Emag Issue 9 - August, 2011 Drummers Special DYING FETUS MALEVOLENT CREATION DEFEATED SANITY WORMROT INNERGUILT DEVIOD JAHILIYAAH COLD HAVEN + ANTIM GRAHAN JUGAA
FEATURED DRUMMERS: Surya Pun Nikhil Tuladhar Kiran Shahi Kasun Nawarathna Bikram Shrestha Daniel Rasaily Amar Shakya Sankalpa Cheďż˝ri Rasu Rajkarnikar Sarin Bajracharya Bivesh Thapa Yugal Gurung Dipesh Shrestha Gobinda Sen Subash Rana Gautam Tandukar Sahil Risal Sujal Shrestha Prajol Kansakar Rishav Acharya Bibek Tamang Dipesh Hirachan Mike Parker Lord Rakshyas Alec Sciamma Anil Shakya Lille Gruber Raef Al Hasan Allan Shrestha
PLUS: BAND FEATURES INTERVIEWS PHOTO FEATURES REVIEWS ARTICLES AND MORE
Issue 9 Content Featured Bands Interviews Skinbashers Special Featured Drummers Interviews 5 Records that Changed Your Life Drum-talk A Dozen Menacing Drummers Article Album Reviews Promotions Editorial
Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
Upcoming Concerts Aug 19: Metal Mayhem II
Sept 24: Black Tour, Pokhara
Aug 27: IV Perfect Dehumanization
October 15: Silence Festival II
Sept 9/10: Nepfest September
October 22: Black Tour, Dharan
Featured Bands BIDROHA (ktm) NARSAMHAAR (pokhara) DARK GUREE AMORT (pokhara) NAKINJHYAA (lalitpur) UNDEFINED HUMAN (hetauda) DIVINE INFLUENCE (ktm) INK BLOT (texas, usa) GRUNGY MORPHINS (darjeeling, india) PLECTO ALIQUEM CAPITE (sri lanka) SINISTER VIOLENCE (darjeeling, india) RAGE HYBRID (ktm)
FEATURED BAND BIDROHA
Genre: Thrash/Heavy Metal From: Kathmandu BIDROHA is a thrash/heavy metal band formed in early 2010 with the initiation of the front man Saurab (ex Kafan/Arachnids) & Lead guitarist Zantu (ex Kafan). In the beginning the band was named Kayakairan literal meaning: revolution) which was later changed to Bidroha (literal meaning: retaliation). Bsal Manandhar who was a colleague with Zantu in a call center joined the band on bass. Then they began to make music together. So far they have recorded their three originals and are planning for an album and a music video in late 2011 or if not in early 2012. With their music, they are ‘retaliating’ against all the social evils prevailing in the society in the current scenario and lyrics are especially focused towards political sarcasm. The band is mostly inﬂuenced by the music of Slayer, Sepultura, Megadeth, Evile, etc. The band has competed in an inter-college level music competitions KEC ICMC 2010 and played in several local metal concerts in Kathmandu. Members: Saurab Man Sainju – Vocals/Guitars Zanardan Tandukar (Zantu) – Guitar Bsal Manandhar – Bass Amar Shakya – Drums Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/BIDROHA/
PHOTO FEATURE: BIDROHA, BY: TRIPTI DHUNGANA SHRESTHA
FEATURED BAND NARSAMHAAR
From: Pokhara, Nepal Genre: Death/Thrash Metal Narsamhaar was formed in the year 2010 by the members of Kaal and Akel Dama with an intension to shred some ruthless brutal-ness in the form of extreme sonic musical notes. Just after the merge the ﬁve piece outﬁt started to jam continuously and came out with their ﬁrst original called ‘God Wants My Blood’ which is a crowd favourite in the local gigs. The song clearly deﬁnes the sound that the band would like to follow i.e. demented guitar pieces & solos incorporated with some thrash inspired riffs. The band, then, slowly began to play live shows and instantly became regulars at every metal gigs. With a strong stage presence and crushing originals the band has gained lots of respect and appreciation within the local underground scene in Pokhara. Narsamhar is also the only band from Pokhara to have played in Kathmandu twice. The most recent one was at the Original Brutality-2. The band was also recently featured in Brutal Pokhara’s compilation album called ‘Occult Science of Metal’ which has bands from more than 12 different countries. Narsamhaar are: Subash Rana: Drums Dinesh Pun: Guitar Sagar Gurung: Vocal Krishna Saru: Bass Mahendra Gurung: Guitar Photo: Zivon Gurung/brutal pokhara
PHOTO FEATURE: NARSAMHAAR, BY: UMES SHRESTHA
Photo: Zivon Gurung/brutal pokhara
DARK GUREE AMORT From: Pokhara, Nepal Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
It was the year 2009 when some like minded friends gathered together and shared the idea of creating some sonic destruction and hence Dark Guree Amort was formed! A band that you could frequently see at any underground event causing havoc and kicking the fuck out of every sorry ARSE! When asked what Dark Guree Amort means, a ﬁrm reply was ‘Dark war to death’ from the drummer of the band Chinese Gurung, who is without doubt one of the most charismatic and insane drummer you could possibly ﬁnd in the local underground scene!
Drawing inﬂuences from legendary bands like Sepultura, Slayer and Metallica to the new age Metal giants like Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse and Sceptic the band possesses a sound that that has won them many appreciation and respect within the scene. The band has also recorded two crushing originals, ‘Tranquility Realm’ and ‘Slave of a Broken Fate’. Dark Guree Amort are: Bisan Jirel-Bass/Vocals, Chinese Gurung:Drums, Saroj Ghale: Guitars, Dipesh Pun: Guitars, Hem Pun: Vocals
Genre: Experimental Technical Death Metal From: Patan, Lalitpur NAKINJHYAA is a six-member band from Patan Lalitpur, originated from inﬂuences of technical-metal bands like Necrophagist, Decapitated, Animals as Leaders, Blotted Science, Dying Fetus, Meshuggah, Periphery, The Faceless, etc. The band’s name is derived from Newari folklore goddess “Nakinjhyaa”, also the name of the tole where the band has its practice room. The band started by covering the bands like Decapitated, The Faceless, Amon Amarth, Necrophagist etc and now has some ﬁve original songs. Lyrically, the band’s songs are written around the theme of serial killers, war, history and scientiﬁc mysteries. The band has competed in some prestigious intercollege level music competitions like KEC ICMC and Nepfest and played in few local metal concerts. Their
upcoming major concert will be the ktmROCKS Black Tour in Dharan, and will play along with black metal heavyweight Antim Grahan and rising death-metal band Hatebook. Members: Bishes Bajracharya – Vocals, Biliz Maharjan – Guitar, Rajib Bajracharya – Guitar, Jenish Maharjan – Bass, Sarin Bajracharya – Drums and Sarin Man Shrestha – Keyboards Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/nakinjhyaa
FEATURED BAND UNDEFINED HUMAN Genre: Black/Death metal From: Hetauda Undeﬁned Human is a band from Hetauda, recently formed by ﬁve friends in 2011. They have since been jamming and practicing daily and working hard for concerts. They have also played in several live shows in Hetauda and Narayanghat cities. The band cites Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth, Suffocation and Napalm Death as their major inﬂuences. The members also like E.Quals, Deﬁne Mental, Binaash and Antim Grahan from Nepal’s scene. The band used to cover Nepali metal songs from bands like X-mantra, Vhumi and Arachnids but later with the addition of Prasis they started doing originals as well. They plan on recording some songs very soon, including their original “Essence of War”. Lack of metal gigs in Hetauda has not deterred the band. They usually slide into local concerts as a rock band but when on stage they play metal songs. They say they have been interrupted several times by doing that, but they have also started to get steady crowd support in concerts around Hetauda. They are now waiting for a chance to play in local gigs in Kathmandu. Undeﬁned Human are: Prasis Shrestha(vocal), Sabin Lama(guitar), Yaman Shrestha(Bass), Phurwa Lama(drum) Waris Sharma(vocal)
FEATURED BAND DIVINE INFLUENCE
Genre: Groove/Metal-core From: Kathmandu Divine Inﬂuence is a groove metal band formed in September 2010. They list their inﬂuences as Lamb of God, Pantera, Slipknot, Children of Bodom, Messugah, Dream Theater and various others. They have performed in various underground gigs, namely: Ides of March, GIG II, GIG III, Deiﬁcation of the Saboteur and Beneath the Silence. The band is gradually weaving a triumphant presence in the underground scene, for they have already earned a strong support through the crowds. When you see this band on stage, one can possibly get skeptic that it’s been only few months that they have existed. Formed in late September 2010, they have already made a mark in the Nepali underground metal scene by being good at what they do: playing metal music for all. The band has four original numbers and is ready with the ﬁfth one on a row of making. Releasing an album is not in the list of priorities for the band right now, as they want to perform more and write more originals. They also wish for the improvement in the Nepali underground music scene and growth of metal listeners. Band Members: Vocal - Aman Shahi , Guitar – Rishav Shrestha, Guitar – Pranit Singh, Drums - Sankalpa Chettri, Bass - Ajin Karki Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Divine-Inﬂuence/160924100595280
Genre: Metal/Experimental From: Texas, USA “We see our life long goal for you as our audience, to experience our music as a conduit for your own neurosis to come out. For your own embodiment to rise against any institution. Lift the spirit of personal freedom from your own heart, mind, body, and soul. And ROCK THE FUCK OUT!” Ink Blot was formed by Christopher Bayard after just dissolving the band The Sons of Rudra, which lasted a whole completion of 0 shows. Niran Manandhar, Dipesh Hirachan (former Albatross drummer), and Shirish Dali used to come over to Christopher’s house to jam as they had a practice space and thus were introduced. Noticing that all of them were into the same kind of bands, they started to see each other around more often. Zachary Barrera who had lived next door to Niran and Dipesh voiced his interest in playing. He came to one practice and was accepted in the new formation which was Ink Blot. In 2010, the band started to jam and write songs. They then recorded “Theater in Cocytus” EP, at the Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, TX with Caleb Comstock. Ink blot are: Christopher Bayard: guitar/vocals Niran manandhar: bass guitar/back vocals Zach Barrera: Guitars/back vocals Dipesh Hirachan: Drums/back vocals www.myspace.com/inkblot3333 www.facebook.com/inkblotaustin www.reverbnation.com/inkblotaustin
GRUNGY MORPHINS Genre: Extreme Metal From: Darjeeling, India
Rising from the beautiful peaceful hills of Darjeeling, Grungy Morphins “The Gorkha Metal Warriors” play anything but peaceful music. Formed in 2000, the band labels its music as just extreme metal, denying to associate themselves with a single speciﬁc metal subgenre. Till date, the band has toured many different cities in India, headlining shows and winning numerous competitions. They recently headlined the Brutal Fest gig in Pokhara in their ﬁrst ever performance in Nepal as well. They also had their tracks included in different Indian and international compilations including “Shrouded in Silent Omens III”, Canada, and lately, “Occult Science of Metal” by Brutal Pokhara. In the mean time, the band is recording some new tracks for their 3 way Split Album (Bonded By Brutality) between Grungy Morphins (India), Sangre (California) & Necrocest (U.K.). Alongside this project, the band also informs about their debut full-length release through Copro Records, U.K. which is planned to come out just after the split. The frontman of the group, Hozo Rai is also the main organizer of the Underground Unleashed Festival, a three-day international festival going to be held in Darjeeling later this year. Band Members: Hozo (Vox), Kusang (Guitar), Gaurav (Bass), Ashes (Keys), Triratna (Drums). Ofﬁcial Home Page www.grungymorphins.webs.com Record Label : Copro Records / Casket Music Label (UK)
FEATURED BAND PLECTO ALIQUEM CAPITE Genre: Black Metal, Experimental From: Sri Lanka
Plecto Aliquem Capite (translated to ‘Suffer Capital Punishment’) is known as a project initiated by front man Buddhika Karunasekera of Forlorn Hope which is considered one of the earliest Black Metal units from Sri Lanka, as a project which delved into murky waters of Black Metal fused with unhealthy doses of experimental music and noise. The current PAC line up features two members from Funeral In Heaven also from Sri Lanka, namely Kasun Nawarathna on drums/ classical violin/woodwind and Joseph Dealwis on guitar. The band currently has a few releases under their much underground belts including releases such as “Atrocities” (2008), “As Agony Unfolds” (2009) split with Raaksha and Pogrom, “Across Death, Through Pain” (2010) a split release with Belgium’s Yhdarl (Zeitke NL Records) and have currently announced another collaboration with Funeral In Heaven to release “Astral Mantras of Dyslexia” (Dunkelheit Productionen, Germany) in a few months. It’s a rare occasion when the band takes its art to the stage but when they do, the sheer intensity of the music coupled with Buddhika’s deranged vocal delivery can contribute to one hypnotic dirge of a crushing dirge of complete Black Metal desolation. Recommended to all fans of Experimental Black Metal. Plecto Aliquem Capite are: Buddhika Karunasekara: Vocals/Lyrics Kasun Nawarathna: Drums/Violin/Woodwind Joseph Dealwis: Guitar
FEATURED BAND SINISTER VIOLENCE Genre: Symphonic/ Grindcore/ Blackened Death Metal From: Darjeeling, India Sinister Violence is a symphonic blackened gore metal band hailing from the darkened woods of Darjeeling blending the taste of contemporary Progressive Metal with a pinch of Black Metal and occasional touch of Melodic Death Metal and much of gore on vocals. The music is pretty fresh which deviates from other existing bands in the scene. Members Iñsåñë Lúçífér (Gyaltzen) - vocal Karan - guitar Wangden - bass Amardeep - drums Anil - keyboard Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sinister-Violence/242532503239
PHOTO FEATURE: RAGE HYBRID, BY: DIPIT RAZ
FEATURED BAND RAGE HYBRID Genre: New Age Metal From: Kathmandu (Freak Street). For anyone who follows Kathmandu’s metal gigs, Rage Hybrid needs no introduction. The raw energy they bring on the stage leaves the crowd head banging to their music almost every single time. The band was formed about 18 months ago. Not concerning about how the scene was going on, they chose a different choice of genre and different style of music covering bands like Parkway Drive, As I lay dying, Slipknot and other metalcore stuffs in the practice room. Through the songs the band throws out the rage, frustration, suffocation and whatever that’s mentally killing them. The band’s music also relates to their life and every song could be a chapter of their past or the present. The band says they are inﬂuenced by almost every sub genre of rock music from old-school to grunge, punk to alternative to nu-metal, death metal to metalcore and with such varied inﬂuences, Rage Hybrid has created something unique, which they like to call as New Age Metal.
they played and came on playing many gigs after that. They took part in the ﬁrst KEC Inter College Music Competition and won the title. Also took part on the ﬁrst NepFest and stood second in the competition.
The band state their primary inﬂuences as Slipknot, Mudvayne, Snot, Otep, Static-X, koRn, As I lay Dying, Parkway Drive, Unearth, Bullet For My Valentine, Breakin Benjamin, Linkin Park, Sikth, Meshuggah and it so on.
Members: Ranzt- Guitars, Sujon - Guitars, Amit – Bass, Dipesh – Drums, Gaurav - Vocals
Ides of March V, ktmROCKS annual concert, was the ﬁrst priority gig
Currently, the band has composed about 8 songs and is hitting the studio soon.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/RaGE-HyBRID/147926238592183
PHOTO FEATURE: FUNERAL IN HEAVEN “Blasphemous Hela Metal” from the kingdom of Raavan -Sri Lanka h�p://www.facebook.com/funeralinheaven
Photo by: Duminda Nawarathne (Studio D)
Interviews John Gallagher - DYING FETUS, USA Vishal Rai - JUGAA, Ktm ANTIM GRAHAN, Ktm Hari Maharjan - HMP, ex-NEPATHYA, Ktm Anil Dhital - WHITE/E.QUALS, Ktm SYMBOL OF ORION, UK JAHILIYYAH, Bangladesh WORMROT, Singapore Gio Geraca - MALEVOLENT CREATION, USA DEVOID, India Hozo Rai - DEFENDERS OF METAL, India COLD HAVEN, USA INNERGUILT, Lebanon
JOHN GALLAGHER (DYING FETUS)
For those how didn’t know yet (kill them), DYING FETUS is a grind/ death metal band from Maryland, USA which was formed way back in 1991. Perhaps one of the originators of the “slam-death metal”, DF has released six full length albums and two EPs. Currently, the band has been touring a�er the release of their 2009 “Descend into Depravity” and recently released an EP �tled “History Repeats…” with cover songs. Through out the years, the band has faced several line-up changes, which has le� the band’s founding member JOHN GALLAGHER as the only original member remaining. Even though only a trio now (along with Sean Beasley on bass and Trey Williams on drums) – DYING FETUS s�ll remains as one of the most brutal forces in the metal world , thanks to GALLAGHER’s resilience and undying passion for death metal. On behalf of ktmROCKS, RASHREE SINGH talks with GALLAGHER, who is undoubtedly a death metal icon.
JOHN GALLAGHER (DYING FETUS) Greetings from Nepal, John! How’s the band doing currently? The band is doing great. We are currently writing new songs for our forthcoming album, and we just did an amazing gig in Puerto Rico this weekend, gearing up and getting ready for this year’s Summer Slaughter. We just released a covers’ EP called “History Repeats...” this month, just a little treat for all our diehard fans and something new to check out while waiting for our next album. So we are busy and really excited about everything going on right now! Just out of curiosity, what inﬂuenced the name “Dying Fetus”? I came up with the name to shock people but also to have a simple name that would be memorable and it works. People, even if they don’t like the band, tell me they can’t forget the name once they hear it. When we started back in ’91, we were heavily inﬂuenced by the gore scene so that also gave inspiration for the name Dying Fetus. You’ve been a three-piece band for quite sometime now, after Mike Kimball had left DF. Is the band still looking for another guitarist?
No, we are going to remain a three piece. It’s just easier this way and I think it gives us more of a distinctive identity. We tried a couple guitarists out after Mike Kimball quit but it just didn’t seem right. And let’s face it – death metal isn’t the most lucrative profession so it helps with fewer members to make a little money. How has the line-up changes affected the band so far? John: Well the lineup changes can be good and bad. The bad thing is the obvious, you have to ﬁnd replacements and that can be challenging and also a pain in the ass. Sometimes it is hard to ﬁnd suitable local replacements and you have to ﬁnd out-of-town players and that gets costly when booking ﬂights and hotel rooms. The good side of it is bringing in new blood and usually the replacement has a lot of desire and ﬁre and wants to do everything possible to move forward and progress within the band, so new blood can be beneﬁcial when an older member starts to become complacent. But Fetus hasn’t had a lineup change in about 5 years now so things have been very solid for a long time. The last change was when Mike Kimball quit the band and we decided to remain a 3 piece and things have never been better for us at the present time
So when’s the new album due? What can we expect this time? The new album is due to be out April 2012 on Relapse Records. In general, expect this album to have a little more groove and slam in it. Of course it will still have tech parts and plenty of blast with arpeggios. We will never add techno parts or female vocals. We have done a couple joke songs on the Grotesque Impalement EP but I think people see the obvious sarcasm in it. How is a typical Dying Fetus recording process like? It’s tedious and at times very draining; death metal is pretty complex at times and challenging. My grandfather always used to tell me to play country music, maybe I should have listened to him, hahaha, naah! But seriously I love what I do and the recording process is just part of the job. Right now I’m in the pre-production studio making demos of the songs using Protools, Amplitube for the guitars and midi Drums from Hell. I ﬁnd it’s best to get a rough draft of the songs before going to the main studio. We will hit Wrightway Studios to track our next album on November. I’ve learned that Dying Fetus’ old records like
JOHN GALLAGHER (DYING FETUS) internet downloads. They just have rights to the physical copies. Talking about the lyrical themes, most of DF’s songs are increasingly dealing with politics lately. What do you say? I wouldn’t say most of our lyrics are political but a good portion is. Well, we try to be diverse and entertaining with our lyrics. We like to give an ambiguous approach on our current social and political lyrics. We also deal with lyrics of a variety of topics such as war and everything that goes with that, violence and revenge, media mind manipulation, terrorism, abortion, intimidation tactics through weaponry and many others. So what are the upcoming tours on your diary? Yes the Summer Slaughter Tour with Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under, Oceano, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Powerglove. It is a four week tour hitting all the major cities in the USA and also two Canadian shows, those being Toronto and Montreal. We are totally stoked and looking forward to this tour! Come out and shred with us! “Killing on Adrenaline” (1998) and “Destroy the Opposition” (2000) are now being re-released by Relapse records?
Tell us some of your musical inﬂuences. What type of music do the band normally listens to?
Well I decided to release the older Fetus albums through Relapse because I decided to stop my record label Blunt Force Records because as we all know the record industry is dying and will be a thing of the past very soon. Everyone is stealing music these days. Or maybe not everyone but a good percentage are. So I decided to let Relapse put these albums out but I still have the digital rights for
I have many musical inﬂuences going back to childhood days when I would listen to classic rock like ACDC, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Nazareth, and stuff like that. Then I got into Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, old Motley Crue, Van Halen, Venom, Slayer, Exciter and all the thrash stuff. Then death metal came around and it was Death, Obituary, Deicide, Suffocation, Napalm Death, Carcass and so on. The
JOHN GALLAGHER (DYING FETUS) other guys pretty much listen to the same stuff. Sometimes to lighten the mood on tour we listen to some 80s hair metal and rap to have some fun. We love metal but sometimes you have to chill and listen to some other shit to chill out and unwind. Tell us a bit about the gears you use. Engl amps, Emg pickups, Seinheiser mics, Amptweaker tight metal pedal, Vader cabs, Boss noise suppressor, Boss tuner, Jazz 3 xl picks, Sit strings. How is the extreme metal scene in Maryland? Could you tell us more about the infamous Maryland Death Fest?? John: Well to be honest, it really isnâ€™t that big as far as fans are concerned. We do have some killer bands such as Misery Index, Criminal Element and Visceral Disgorge. The best thing about Maryland is the Maryland Death Fest. It has become one of the most attended and legit fests in America today. Hopefully we will be playing there this year. We have played there in 2003 and 2008 and each year it gets bigger and better. Thanks for the interview, John! Finally, any message for your fans in Nepal? Thanks to all our fans in Nepal and hopefully we will be able to work out a concert sometime in 2012 and crush your heads! Keep supporting metal and stay sick!
We want to thank John for being such a nice guy by replying to the questions, even though DYING FETUS was in the middle of touring and recording. We will be anxiously waiting for DFâ€™s new album !
VISHAL RAI (JUGAA)
“Those kids who sign off every sentence with “hardcore 4 life” or “punk’s not dead” or “metal rules” aren’t gonna be around for too long.”
This interview was conducted at the request of the millions of loving fans of Jugaa around the world. Their quality to quantity of work remains unmatched anywhere in the globe. Today is the day you get to know “Jugaa” personally from the wonderful gentleman Vishal Rai, the legendary and mythical character AKA EvilSchemer.
Interviewed by KSHITIZ of Sangharsha
First of all could you please give the audience a wonderful introduction of who you are and your mythical character and your place in the band? I play guitar in Jugaa, I’m 28, and I’m the angriest guy in the practice room. My idea of a good time is making fun of teenagers on the internet.....among other things. How does it feel to be the best looking band in Kathmandu? Actually, if the number of female listeners was
a factor, it would be Albatross. But then again, Sunny is fat so I guess we’re the rightful holders of the title. I heard you guys are the most mild mannered gentlemen when you are drinking Tuborg? That we are. Except Ranav, that is. He once bit some poor guy’s ﬁnger and pushed NPC’s manager into their swimming pool - fully clothed. He also grabbed Sanjay of 1974 AD in a headlock. Yeah, stay away from him when he has a bottle of Tuborg in his hands. There are rumors ﬂying around that you guys are actually sponsored by Tuborg secretly. Is that true or not? False, but we could turn those rumors into truth if we wanted to. Ranav has a lot of contacts in the Nepali alcohol industry as you might have ﬁgured by now. Of all your previous releases, the public and me personally love the EP Hamal Hardcore which was
a step towards greatness. Any thoughts on the concept?
Scene? And how do you deﬁne the scene in Nepal and abroad?
Man, you’re embarrassing me with that “greatness” shit. Hahaha. I know you, you’re just trolling me.
Well, that’s more like a minute of noise than a song but it serves its purpose.
To tell you the truth, that EP actually happens to be my least favourite release. I don’t even like playing those songs anymore. The whole “concept” was conjured up over bottles of Tuborg. That’s how we roll. We actually wanted to put in that famous “saathi ko lagi salaam dushman ko lagi falaam” dialogue as the intro. The only reason we added those clips from “Deuta” instead was because the shopkeeper at the place where I bought the VCD told me that the movie with that classic line wasn’t available due to copyright issues. That man knew his shit. I said “respect” and walked out. Any personal feud with the great actor Rajesh Hamal? You’ve been picking on him since the days of 5th Grade Dropout? They had a song called Rajesh Hamal Must Die too right? It’s a love-hate relationship for sure. And yes, 5GD did have a song with that title. It sucked horribly. I’m glad we never recorded that shit. What aspired you to write the song Fuck the
I recently found out somebody somewhere calling you guys a metal band and saying that you were not hardcore enough? Any explanation on that saying?
As you very well know since we’ve been in a band together, we’ve never ever cared about scenes. We’ve always stayed ahead of the curve in every band we’ve played in, as far as local music is concerned. We were in a punk band before there was a punk scene, we were a hardcore band before there was a hardcore scene, and we were in a metal band before that scene blew up. I2ST was a punk band that wanted nothing to do with the punk scene, Cruentus was a band that turned the local metal scene on its head and, today, I’d like to think Jugaa espouses the values of our former bands. We don’t depend on anyone to release our music and we play shows only with bands we’re friends with or ﬁnd interesting, regardless of what scene that band belongs to. In short, this whole “scene” thing is not for us, we do our own thing. We don’t ﬁt into a particular scene and we don’t want to.
Man, I was butthurt when that happened. I cried for 2 weeks straight and stopped listening to hardcore after that. When the hardcore experts thinks you’re not worthy enough what the fuck are you to do?
From what I’ve noticed, people who are super into scenes for a while are the ﬁrst to drop off. Those kids who sign off every sentence with “hardcore 4 life” or “punk’s not dead” or “metal rules” aren’t gonna be around for too long. It’s pretty much the same case in Nepal and abroad. You could call it a six-month phase.
Yep, we’re inspired by the artwork of Rohan Harrison of Extortion. Well actually I am. I pick up (read: ripoff) ideas from the stuff he does with Extortion and other bands and, since I’m not an artist, I then ask my girlfriend to put them on paper and she then adds her own little ideas to them.
Nah, but in all seriousness, what stupid shit was that? Being called a metal band is awesome, I love metal. Do I play in a non-traditional sounding hardcore band? Yes. Do I want to play in a band that sounds like 90% other bands that play rehashed NYHC riffs? No. Is debating what ﬁts the criteria of a stupid genre of music immature? Absolutely. Do I give a fuck? Most certainly not. We play music that we want to hear and that’s all that matters. What about the artwork that you guys have in your merch and records? Any inspirations behind the brutality of these artworks?
Any future releases coming up? Yes, a split with your band. Hahaha. You asking me this question is hilarious. Anyway, for those who don’t know yet, the Sangharsha/Jugaa split titled “The Sickness That Never Sleeps” will most probably be out by the time you’re reading this. There might even be a review here. We each have 2 new songs along with a cover. Sangharsha covers Integrity’s “Vocal Test” while we butcher Ringworm’s “Birth Is Pain”. We’ve named the split after a Roses Never Fade song. It’ll be available as a free download, just like every other release of ours, and we also intend to put out a limited run of cassette tapes just because it’s the cool thing to do right now. So,
download it, share it with your friends, read the lyrics, learn the words and come sing along at our future shows. In the end can you please give us some information/deﬁnitions about the other three characters in your band? Sushil (Lambu/SushilPop) - Hippie-lover. Basantapur local. Compulsive weed smoker. Forgetful - has to be given bass tabs to practice songs that have already been recorded. Supposedly slaps the bass really well but, unfortunately, that talent has proven to be useless in our music. Ranav (The Danav/Rakshyas) - Legend. Ethnomusicology student. Once featured in a huge
Oranjeboom hoarding that was placed smack in the middle of the city at Thapathali so I suppose that makes him a model as well. Also an in-demand sarangi player. Anil (Kai / Pu) - Arrogant. Sports an ugly faux hawk and rattail combo. Maintains a very noticeable silence when he sees a drummer better than him. Also a drum teacher at Shuvatara School.
Find Jugaa here: www.facebook.com/jugaahc
PHOTO FEATURE: JUGAA, BY: UMES SHRESTHA
SAMYAM SHRESTHA caught up with the guys from ANTIM GRAHAN at their practice room. He talks about the band’s current stuffs, the experience of playing in India for the ﬁrst time and their upcoming album.
Hello guys, what’s up with the band lately? We’re currently working for our sixth studio album. We’ve added a new bassist, Kundan Shrestha (ex-Wings of Spasm) and our former bassist Bhaskar will now be the second guitarist for the band. A new album? Could you enlighten us a bit about this? Yes, we have started working on it. We’ve just ﬁnished composing one song, which we’ll be playing in the forthcoming gigs.
Photo by: Kelum Niroshana Dharmawardena Deccan Rock 2011, Hydrabad India
Musically, we’re up to some straightforward black metal this time, with a bit of funeral doom inﬂuences. There won’t be any death/ grind elements as in our last album “Putrefaction Eternity”, but you could observe some raw black metal and brutal black metal inﬂuences within. This will be some primitive, cold and depressive black metal, to speak. Any concept the album will embrace? As said above, this time our lyrical theme will revolve around the
ANTIM GRAHAN depressive side, the melancholy of life, built in with dark fantasy. So when do you think will it be out? We’re not in hurry for that. This time, we’ll do the thing slowly and steadily. We’ll attempt to achieve the best quality music (especially in the studio) no matter how long it’ll take. We’re just in the songwriting process and there is no any rush at the moment. You guys had recently played in Deccan Rock, Hyderabad in your ﬁrst ever performance in India, which was headlined by Decapitated. How did the tour go? What was your anticipation before the tour, the actual gig and the responses? Well, it wasn’t any minor thing for us. The anticipation was really huge for all of us. It was an honor to play alongside one of our favorite bands, Decapitated, whom we are following since their debut release. The crowd was a little thinner than what we had expected, about 500 (in the ﬁrst day), but the gig went awesome, and it was one of the best performances we’ve ever given. After our set, we were stunned with the reaction of people. Those weren’t just “you guys were pretty good” responses, but “man! You guys surprised me, I didn’t know good metal bands
existed in Nepal” sort of responses. Obviously, there was a bit of underestimation from the crowd before, thinking that we’re from Nepal. But later, they were literally shocked through our performance, and we were shocked through their reviews. Gaining “the best band of the day” title (in some review) is obviously a huge thing for us. A great appreciation was there for our drummer Surya and guitarist Pankaj, who had better stage presence than rest of us (haha).
options to select for a gig. How do you normally select songs?
After the gig, we talked with the guys of Funeral in Heaven (Sri Lanka) and Violent Eve (Spain). They were really cool guys and we have become good friends with Funeral in Heaven.
In order, “Pashu Samrajya”, “With Vengeance I Bleed”, “The Ruin of Immortals”, “Winter Blossom ov Ceremonial Grief” and “300”. We had to cut short our set, because a band before us took hell of time to start and ﬁnish their set.
About the outcome of the gig, I guess it could be an opening of the door for other local bands to the international metal arena. We’ve given them a hint that we have a decent metal underground here and it could be good for our local scene as a whole. So overall, it was a tremendous achievement. Plus, few promoters in India have shared their desire to invite us there, in cities like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, so hopefully, we’ll be playing there soon. We might be playing in Sri Lanka as well, with the help of our friends in Funeral in Heaven, and we will also be trying to bring them here in Nepal. Having released ﬁve albums, you have a lot of song
Well, it’s all in random. There’s no such criterion at all. But sometimes the wish of crowd would drive us pick few songs as “Forever Winter”, “300” and “Infected” which have always been the local crowd favorites. What was your set-list in Deccan Rock like?
So what are the upcoming performance dates in your diary? The three conﬁrmed are KtmROCKS Black Tour, Nepfest and Silence Festival, the latter one opening for the mighty Vader. Under the Black Tour, we’ll be playing in Pokhara, Dharan and Kathmandu, that’ll take place around Dashain/ Tihar. After these concerts, we would probably stop playing live for a while and concentrate on our next album. Your last release “Putrefaction Eternity” had received some critical reviews from the listeners. What do you say?
Our last album was a total experimentation. We had brought together black metal, brutal death metal and grindcore elements all in one mixture. So there was a greater risk of disappointment for the listeners who would want some regular Antim Grahan stuff. It wasn’t purely black metal and it wasn’t purely brutal death metal either. Some of our fans still want us to write songs similar to our ﬁrst album Forever Winter, but we’ve shifted direction with every new album. So, with many listeners taking the Putrefaction
album as a total shocker, most of the fans of the typical Grahan melodies/symphonies might have been dissatisﬁed. Well, share us which bands have been on your playlist lately? Parash: Alcest, Deafheaven, Shape of Despair are on roll lately. Also add the None So Vile era Cryptopsy and Unmerciful. Man, I never get tired of Unmerciful, the side project of guys of Origin, which I like more than Origin themselves.
Pankaj: I’m with some early Cryptopsy albums. Also, Pig Destroyer and In Flames. Niraj: I’ve been digging a lot of stuffs, like Ulver, Shape of Despair, Nortt, Cold World, Nargaroth, Darkthrone and Emperor. Surya: A bunch of djent bands like Sikth, Meshuggah, Tessarect, etc., and some other regularly played bands like Decapitated, Emperor and Cryptopsy.
ANTIM GRAHAN Kundan: Shape of Despair, Emperor and Gorgoroth. Also some Necrophagist. Bhaskar: Alter Bridge, Tool and Meshuggah. Nearly 23,000 likes in Facebook. Had you guys expected that you would have such a number of fans when you ﬁrst started Antim Grahan? First of all, we hadn’t even expected that there would be something called Facebook, haha. And no, we seriously hadn’t expected this at all, since we were formed just as a college band for the sake having fun without much seriousness (in the beginning that is). You’ve deﬁnitely come a long way observing a drastic change in the local underground. Any new band in scene that you really like? Yes, there are a lot of excellent bands lately. One of them is Hatebook, who look really promising. Although not so new, we really like Binaash and their straightforward no-bullshit brutal death metal blended with some grind. Also, the black
metal band Garudh, whose raw and primitive sounding music we like. And how can we forget Deﬁne Mental? Haha. (I was interviewing there and Surya was playing keys and Niraj was with a guitar so…) You guys seem to be multi-instrumentalists, right? What instruments can each member play? Parash (vocals): I can play drums. Surya (drums): I also play guitar, madal, ﬂute and keyboards. Niraj (keyboards): Flute and guitar. Pankaj (guitar): Well, I can growl and can also give some drum beats on pop songs, haha. Bhaskar (guitar): I also play bass and drums. Kundan (bass): Drums and guitar. And lastly, your take on - (early) Cradle of Filth One of the major inﬂuences for Antim Grahan in our beginning years, which could be clearly noticed in our early materials. We love Cradle of Filth till their “Dusk and Her Embrace” album, and also “Midian”. We’ve always been fans of their
albums like “Principle of Evil Made Flesh” and “Vempire”. And, (later) Cradle of Filth Dani Filth’s commercial puppet; an utter bullshit. And, Anti-Christianity? Well, it’s there in metal bands in the west, but I don’t see any reason for incorporating such thoughts here in Nepal since we don’t have any historical feud with Christianity. So, I think it’s more of a trend to act that way here. People who claim to be Satanists are often seen exclaiming the phrase “Oh my God!” and that’s ridiculous, haha. About us, although there’s a slight touch of Satanism in our music, we never take it deeply. Thank you very much for the interview, guys, and all the best for the upcoming album and the gigs.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/grahan.antim
PHOTO FEATURE: BINAASH BY: UMES SHRESTHA
A pioneer of gypsy jazz in Nepal, HARI MAHARJAN is also a well-known virtuoso guitarist. His music career dates back to 1995 when he ﬁrst started playing professionally. His recording career began after he started playing as a session guitarist in Newari songs after which he went on to music arrangement. However, it was his involvement with Karma and their much hyped album “Hukka Mero” that earned him his ﬁrst big break in the mainstream. Sometime later, he joined Nepathya and remained with the band till 2008. With Nepathya he recorded “Ghatana,” a progressive rock/folk album, which many consider to be the band’s best work to date. He then formed Hari Maharjan Project and has been involved with the band since. Here’s a short interview with Hari Maharjan by SADICHCHHA POKHAREL.
Which artist/band has had the biggest inﬂuence on the kind of music you play? Djengo Reinhardt. He is the founder of gypsy jazz. It was in 1999 that I ﬁrst found out about gypsy jazz and Djengo Reinhardt, and I have followed his music since. There are many other French guitar players that I like. One of them is Daniel Givone. I have been highly inﬂuenced by his solos. Then there is jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery whose solos I have been learning for a long time. These guitar players and the musical knowledge and ideas they applied during their time have been really useful for me. Evidently, you have toured and played live numerous times. Your best and worst gig experiences so far? Every moment that I’ve played on stage with other musicians has been different, and interesting in its own way. Playing together brings life to music…it’s fun. I haven’t really had a “worst” experience (laughs). I enjoy every gig I play. I had some of the best concert moments while touring with Nepathya. We travelled all the way from Mechi to Mahakali and played in maximum towns in the country…practically in every place that has access to roads. We also toured outside Nepal. Those are the best gig experiences I recall. You have also been appreciated as a guitar tutor. What made you take up the profession in the ﬁrst place? Basically, it was needs. If performing was enough to survive, I probably wouldn’t have taken up tutoring. I would have dedicated all my time to performing. But in Kathmandu, it’s difﬁcult for a musician to survive solely by playing, so there needs to be a second option. I used to take classes from the beginning, and
HARI MAHARJAN then I eventually joined NMC (Nepal Music Center). Many people here didn’t know about gypsy jazz… even I didn’t, initially. They come to me to learn about a kind of guitar playing that is very different from what they know. Tutoring also helps me with my own playing...I get to analyze myself on the tiniest of things. When I teach a student, I think it’s actually me who learns more than he does (chuckles). Has a student ever managed to outshine you? It happens all the time. Kathmandu is full of people with varied tastes in music. They come from different musical backgrounds, and their diverse musical knowledge when merged together produces something truly unique. For example, when a sarangi player comes to learn guitar, the musical articulation he makes is really different. It leaves me awestruck. Then there are self-taught students that come to learn from me. It’s amazing to listen to them play what they’ve practiced so ﬂawlessly. Sometimes, I ask them whether they’ve come to learn or to teach me instead (laughs).
artists and playing as a session guitarist. I spend a maximum amount of time in the studio. If there is a gig, I spend some time preparing for it. Currently, I am improvising Newari songs and a few Nepali folk songs in gypsy jazz format. I have already performed them in several places. Any plans for the next HMP album? Actually, our compositions are ready. We have done many songs but we only selected nine for our previous album Kalakarmi. We have been playing the rest of them at shows. As of now, the plan is to release the next album in 2012 but we are yet to decide on the marketing. What else will you be involved in, other than HMP? I will be applying gypsy jazz to our kind of music. I also have this big dream of having a huge team of all the good guitarists we have come together and play. I once went to this jazz festival in France where numerous guitarists played together in one place. The atmosphere they created was incredible. I want to do something similar here. I will be working on making that possible.
drummer in a band? In gypsy jazz, the guitarist himself provides the rhythm and plays the role of a drummer. But generally in a band, the drummer and the solo instrumentalist have a connection. When that connection is strong, the music they make generates an extraordinary emotion. It creates a lively atmosphere. If that connection is lost, the whole thing seems to fall apart. So it is necessary for the two to bond well. Who has so far been the best drummer you have worked with? The drummer I have worked with for the longest time is Nikhil Tuladhar. We played together in Nepathya, and he was also there during the initial period of HMP. Even before joining Nepathya, we played in bars of Thamel for many years. I ﬁnd it easy to work with him…he understands me without me having to explain much. Daniel, HMP’s drummer is also really good but with Nikhil I connect well. Maybe it’s because we have played together for so long.
HARI MAHARJAN So what are you currently doing, apart from tutoring? For years I have been arranging music for other
Since this is our ‘drummers’ special issue’, a couple of obligatory questions for you. What, according to you (as a guitarist), is the role of a
Thank you so much for your time, hope to hear your new album soon !
PHOTO FEATURE: PRABIN “LAALEY” MANANDHAR (STAIRS OF CIRITH) BY: UMES SHRESTHA
ANIL DHITAL (E.QUALS/WHITE)
Hi Anil! Thanks for taking time out for this interview. We know that you’re a very busy musician; can you tell us about the projects you are working on currently? Well, currently I am working actively with White and starting an Eastern-metal band called Lakhe. I am also working on a few tracks with classical veterans Sukarma and am planning to play at a concert with them. I am also teaching guitar at the Metal Institute and studying music (BA in Music, 2nd year) at the Fine Arts College.
What sort of musical project is Lakhe? By the sound of it, something like this has never been done in the Nepali scene before. What can we expect from the band?
ANIL DHITAL, lead guitarist of E.Quals and WHITE, is a highly respected guitarist in the underground scene of Nepal. He is also well known for his work with Eastern Classical musicians such as SUKARMA and KUTUMBA, and is currently involved in starting a new Newari Metal project called LAKHE. He also teaches at his Metal Institute. APOORVA LAL talks to Anil about his current projects and future plans.
Lakhe is going to be an eastern-fusion-metal project. The idea came up partly because I was kind-of frustrated with Nepali bands being compared to their Western counterparts. Most of our bands are heavily inﬂuenced by and are often compared with Western bands; E.Quals was compared with Parkway Drive, Binaash with Cannibal Corpse etc. What I wanted to create was a project that was truly unique, one that could be truly one-in-the-world. Lakhe will be truly unique in the sense it employs instruments that have never been, to my knowledge, used together in an ensemble to play metal. The instruments used by Lakhe are Dhime, Khi, Tauju, Jhyali (all of them are Newari percussion instruments, the latter two being Nepali equivalents of cymbals and hi-hats), 2 Bansuris (high and low), Sarangi, bass and electric guitar. I will be using a 7 string guitar for this project, which gives me more lower end access for rifﬁng. Watching the band live should be a spectacle, because we will perform
were either my friends of friends of friends. It’s the same case with Lakhe, although in this case the music is quite challenging and so if the selected musician doesn’t have the proﬁciency to play it, the proﬁciency has to be developed gradually. You are involved in a variety of genres and musical styles. What would you consider your strongest musical inﬂuence and what kinds of artists are you listening to at the moment? wearing Lakhe masks. We’ve completed 2 originals as of date, and more are in the pipeline. Also, since the music is heavily inﬂuenced by Eastern music, the music has turned out to be quite technically advanced and an immense amount of practice goes into writing and playing the material. There are multiple time-signature changes and multiple polyrhythmic sections which will take some time to perfect. We are ready to work long and hard to achieve the tightness we are looking for and once we are ready, we will be performing in concerts. Sounds great! We eagerly await your live performances. How do you usually go about the process of ﬁnding members for any project that you want to start? How was White formed? What about Lakhe? Musicians that work perfectly for any project are very difﬁcult to ﬁnd. Usually, it’s either students, or friends, or friends of friends who end up in a project. The bass player of White, for example, was a student of mine, and the other members
The single most important band that got me into music, and metal speciﬁcally, was Metallica. I was in class one when I ‘borrowed’ my brother’s Black Album CD. That album was immensely inﬂuential and drove me towards developing rifﬁng, soloing etc. Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Sepultura and other Thrash bands are also major inﬂuences. I am also a huge fan of Death Metal and Technical Death Metal. I enjoy and am heavily inﬂuenced by bands like Necorphagist , Origin etc. I am also heavily into Eastern artists ranging from sitar players like Ravi Shankar and Niladri Kumar to vocalists like Lata Mangeshkar and also enjoy eastern fusion bands like Shakti. I also listen to a lot of ragas. The thing with me is that I don’t listen to music very seriously as a listener; I listen more as a musician looking for ideas that might come in handy in creating my own music. I’ve also been listening to a bit of Meshuggah these days. White was a real breath of fresh air for our scene, which has been ﬂooded by metalcore bands lately. What was the driving idea behind this project and what are its future plans?
White was basically a project formed to play music that I had been composing for years on my own. There is a lot of music that I write on my own, sitting with a single guitar, and it progresses from there. I felt that I wanted to perform stuff like this too, and White was formed to take these compositions and turn them into songs. There is no real genre that I stick to while writing stuff like this, so, the music is generally quite eclectic. The good thing about White is that there is never a dearth of ideas; on the contrary, every time we practice, we usually end up composing a new song. We have around 10 originals till date, and are working on a new one called ‘Don’ at the moment. How do you usually go about writing music? Does it vary according to the project you’re working on? I usually compose with a single guitar. I take the ideas that come to my head and arrange them into guitar lines, and compose other instruments’ parts based on what I have. I usually compose a lot of music, and only some of it has been turned into songs that have been performed live. That being said, the actual songwriting process varies depending on the band. With E.Quals, the songwriting was done when we were all together, anybody came up with an idea and the other members added and modiﬁed it to turn it into a song. With White, it’s usually me who does the songwriting and the other members give their suggestions. The lyrics are deliberately ‘haude’ and are written by Sushant (Vocalist - White) based on the title that I give the song. The songs are not written with any preconceived notion of what the song will end up sounding like, and hence the result is quite
PHOTO FEATURE: ANIL DHITAL BY: MANI RAI
difﬁcult to generically classify. With Lakhe, the process becomes a bit more challenging because the music is more technically advanced, and ideas that I have come up with in my head need some time to materialize on the guitar because I need to ﬁgure out how to play the idea. All the other instruments’ parts are composed in my head; and I usually instruct the instrumentalist when we practice. Are there any other musicians in the Nepali Scene that you have worked with? What was the experience like? Are there any other projects that might be on their way? I worked with Kutumba on a couple of ‘metal fusion’ tracks recently. They have been recorded and will be uploaded soon. I have also composed a few songs with Sukarma and will be recording and performing with them soon. I also have a pile of solo material that might be recorded as a solo album once I ﬁnd the suitable members for the band. You’ve been playing guitar for a long time at a very high level. What advice would you give to young guitarists? How do you go about teaching guitar at the Metal Institute? How important do you think are theoretical concepts in writing music and how do you apply theory while writing music? I will speak from experience here; as a youngster, like many young guitarists, I was obsessed with playing fast. What I realized much later is that playing fast prematurely has many adverse effects on your playing in the long term; your playing will
become muddy and you are likely to have difﬁculty playing cleanly and conﬁdently at slower tempos. So, the most important thing I would say to a young guitarist is that one should not start playing fast. Start slow, and then build up speed, not vice versa, because it causes major problems. At the Metal Institute, I usually concentrate on the aspects of guitar playing that are most pertinent to metal: rifﬁng, alternate picking, sweeping etc. Students need to be at a certain level in terms of technique and knowledge in order to absorb this effectively. Music theory, in my opinion, is very important in writing music. It makes the process of writing music much easier because you subconsciously know where to go. Having theoretical knowledge of both eastern and western music is especially helpful for me. Many people talk about how it is difﬁcult to utilize theoretical knowledge, but I beg to differ. I think the theoretical knowledge is utilized by itself without you even realizing it. For example, if you have some basic knowledge about chords and chord progressions, and you are playing a progression in the key of D, you really don’t need to think in order for your hands to move directly to the B minor chord. They just do, and it isn’t necessary to consciously sieve through your knowledge to ﬁnd out why something happens. Without theoretical knowledge, the whole process becomes much more difﬁcult and tedious. Can you tell us a little about the experience of playing with E.Quals at the GBOB ﬁnals in England last year?
Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
It was quite fun to perform at the GBOB ﬁnals. Each band was given an 8 minute set-list within which time the entire performance had to be completed. The crowd was great, and a sizeable crowd of Nepalis had come to support us, which was quite heartening. The lights, sounds and the stage were of a quality which we hadn’t seen back then (because until then, gigs in Nepal didn’t have very good sound systems etc, but now, some of them are on par with the ones in England), and we enjoyed playing there. There was a variety of competing bands playing a variety of genres. Overall, it was enjoyable and was reminiscent of the days when we were young and were competing in local band contests. Are there any plans of recording with any of your projects? What can we look forward to? Well, E.Quals is taking a bit of a break at the moment, but we will probably record soon. White will most probably be recording in the coming months; we have enough originals for a full-length album and have been practicing regularly. Lakhe will be recording too, though a Lakhe album will take some time because the song writing and rehearsing process is quite long. I might also record a solo album soon. Let us see what happens.
number of bands as well as the size of the audience in the underground scene in Nepal. Back when I started with Vhumi, concerts were held in small venues like the GAA hall and the Ex-Army Club in Pulchowk, and there used to be a very small number of people in the audience. That seems like distant history now when we compare it to the attendances of gigs these days, where it is common for 2000 people to show up at a concert. There are many talented bands in the scene, but I still view the old days with nostalgia, and would love to have Vhumi, Cruentus, Atomic Bush and Antim Grahan playing on the same stage again. In the past, the underground scene revolved more around Black Metal, Death Metal and Thrash Metal – for me, the three ‘original’ genres of metal. This has changed, and these days we’ve seen a deluge of Metalcore bands which is a change I do not entirely approve of despite the fact that it was E.Quals that started the change.
What progress and changes have you seen in the underground scene in Nepal? Any advice you would give to young musicians looking to make a career in music?
With regard to the idea of an ‘underground’, I think it’s completely based on the number of listeners and people who attend gigs. A band is considered mainstream because thousands of people listen to it, and an underground band is underground because a smaller group listens to it. It all depends on the choices you make in terms of genre and marketing. I don’t think it’s very important. These days, underground shows are attended by a very large number of people, often greater than the attendances at ‘mainstream’ concerts. Who would you call underground? More importantly, is it really that important?
There has been a tremendous growth in the
About being a musician, I have to say that it is a
tough career, probably tougher than most. But once you choose a certain path, you have to be satisﬁed with what you get. You cannot get everything you want, especially as a musician, but playing the music that you love and living properly is all that you should ask for. It is impossible to make a living by playing metal; gigs and albums rarely raise enough money to provide the band members with pocket money, let alone enough money to maintain a decent standard of living. So, you need something else for survival. It may be teaching, or becoming a session musician or producer, or something like that. But one should not compromise on one’s music. Whatever respect I have gained today is because of metal, and this would have been very different had I given up hope and become a pop musician or something like that. Although the income that you earn is quite small, ‘khana pugya cha, launa pugya cha, aru ke chahiyo?’ . I am happy as a musician and would not want to do anything else. I think that is what it should be for any musician. Thank you very much, Anil, and good luck with the upcoming projects. We are looking forward to listening to Lakhe and your solo material. Check out these bands: WHITE: http://www.facebook.com/pages/WhiteBand/177877385593251 E.QUALS: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ EQUALS/317667010316
PHOTO FEATURE: ANTIM GRAHAN, BY: DIPIT RAJ
PHOTO FEATURE: NEPFEST I, BY: CHANG SHAKYA
SYMBOL OF ORION
SYMBOL OF ORION is a thrash band formed by young Nepali guys in London. The band has been quite active in and around London, performed in several concerts and recently competed in the Emergenza Festival, which is considered to be a huge platform for unsigned bands in Europe. PRANJAL GHIMIRE talks with the band about their music and recent goings-on.
Photo: Mani Rai
SYMBOL OF ORION Greetings from ktmROCKS! Please introduce yourselves to all the metal fans in Nepal who might not have heard about you yet. Who does what? Hello Folks! We’re Symbol of Orion. We’ve been playing together in London since 2009 and we like to call our music “Forward- thinking Metal”. Here’s our Band lineup: Yugal - Drums Saugaat- Guitars/ Vocals Manish - Bass Saujan - Guitars Which bands/artists do you consider as your primary inﬂuences? Although we started out as an out an out Thrash Metal band, all of us have different musical backgrounds. Basically, any good music can be an inﬂuence for us and we like to experiment with different styles as a band. We recently saw a video of you guys performing at the Emergenza festival, which apparently is considered a signiﬁcant competition for up and coming bands. Tell us more about the competition and your experience of it. Emergenza Festivals is one of Europe’s biggest Unsigned Band Competition. We took part in the competition this year and even managed to reach to the Finals. This was a massive step for us as a band. This was also the ﬁrst and the only band competition we’ve taken part till date and the experience phenomenal. On the ﬁnals, we even got to play at the prestigious venueHMV Forum. To play at the same stage where Slayer played last year still gives us goose bumps, literally! The global metal scene has been witnessing what’s been termed as the ‘Thrash Revival movement’ in recent years with younger bands bringing
back the rawer spirit of Thrash Metal back into the limelight. Would you, as a thrash metal band, consider yourselves to be a part of that movement? We’re totally aware of the Thrash Revival Movement but this is not the reason why we started this band. Our love of thrash metal has been there since we got into metal but we don’t want to get tagged just as a “Thrash Metal” band. Our sound, with no doubt, has progressed into lot of different styles since we recorded our two-track demo last year. Further developing our sound into something different or even unique is the band’s motto. Judging by your songs, it seems that you believe in a more old school thrash metal school of thought. So the question here is, do you intend to keep it that way, or would you, in coming days try to make your sound more relevant to the time? Yes, our two songs- Beyond Perfection and Monopoly indeed have an old-school thrash vibe. However, since we recorded it last year, our sound has changed a
SYMBOL OF ORION lot and we believe this “change” has happened in a good way. Our new compositions sound a lot more dynamic, dense and has an airy feel to it. You have two originals posted on the internet which have got good reviews so far. Do you guys have plans on recording more? Maybe an album? Fortunately for us, our two-song demo has got good reviews so far. Of course, we want to record more songs as this is the only way to keep our listeners updated. Currently, we’re planning on recording an EP by the end of this year and like we’ve said before- our new tunes will be sounding a lot more fresh and different! How often do you guys play live? Tell us about the underground scene in the UK. Live gigs happen quite often around pubs and venues in London. Usually, we take our time from our work and college/university to play gigs which is quite a struggle but we’ve managed it so far. UK metal scene deﬁnitely has a lot of potential as we all know it. However, bearing in mind that there are thousands of unsigned metal bands like us desperate to get signed by a record label, the competition is very tough. A band that has a strong
fan-base, professional looks and the music itself is what record labels are looking for, so at the moment, all we care about is composing songs, building a strong fan-base and trying to be a good live-act.
the two Nepali bands based around London that we think are great.
How are the Nepali metal fans over there? How’s the turnout during any Nepali rock/metal band’s gigs?
It would be an honor to play in Nepal. We all miss the Nepali underground gigs and the whole scene. It’s just sad that Nepal is so far away from UK that it’s quite hard to bring all our gears and stuff down there. Hopefully, if we get the right time, we might be there - you never know!
We started our band in 2009. The “Nepali metal scene in UK” back then was a lot different than it is now. There were used to be regular gigs with an average turnout of 100 people which was quite huge for us. On the other hand, these days, it’s like 50 people showing up or even 20 sometimes! Every Nepali people, as far as we know, like to attend “Dance parties” or clubs rather than live music gigs. We’re not complaining or anything though, as we also have a lot of dedicated metal fans who regularly attend our gigs. We do want to be a part of Nepali metal scene but we’re desperate to go out there and compete with any other bands in the larger UK scene. Are there any other Nepali rock/metal bands there in UK that you’d like to recommend to us? High Street – a progressive/experimental rock band and Mind level- a metalcore/metal band. These are
Do you guys have any plans for playing in Nepal yet? That would be awesome.
Thanks a lot for your time. Finally, if you have anything to say to your fans, this space is all yours! First for all, huge thanks to ktmROCKS for the interview! Please check us out on www.facebook. com/symboloforion. We’ve got our two-song demos in the “bandpage” section. Listen to them and don’t forget to leave any comments/suggestions. You can also check our ofﬁcial music video for “Beyond Perfection” directed by Shirish Gurung on our youtube channelwww.youtube.com/symboloforion. We’ll be recording an EP, hopefully, by the end of this year. So, stay tuned and help us spread the word! Horns up!
PHOTO FEATURE: HATEBOOK BY: UMES SHRESTHA
JAHILIYYAH is a death/black metal band from Bangladesh. Heavily inspired by mythology and the occult, this band, ac�ve since 2009, has �ll date come up with an EP en�tled ‘Aiyyame Jahiliyyah’. Here’s an interview with the band conducted by PRANJAL GHIMIRE. The band talks about their music, their view on religion, the Bangladeshi underground scene and more.
Hello Jahiliyyah. Hails from Nepal! Tell us something about the history of the band. How did the band come into existence? Hails. Jahiliyyah, started out as a studio project in early 2010. It started out as a two-man project, with Mephistopheles on drums and me doing the rest. Initially, the idea was to record originals and move on to the rest once that was done. So after recording half of the EP, we felt that we wanted a full line-up because we wanted to be able to play our music live and this ultimately led to the formation of Jahiliyyah, as it stands now. How did you guys come up with the name ‘Jahiliyyah’? What does it mean? Jahiliyyah is an Arabic word that means darkness or ignorance. Due to the distinct nature of the Arabic language; words can have multiple meanings or mean different things, depending on the context. Jahiliyyah in its most used form roughly translates to “darkness that spreads from ignorance”. The “darkness” here is meant as the collective spiritual ignorance & decadence of the human race. “Aiyyame Jahiliyyah” thus roughly translates to “Age
of Ignorance” or “Age of Darkness”. The name is Jahiliyyah, because, we felt it is the most appropriate name to describe & symbolize our music as well the concept behind it. What sort of bands/artists do you draw inﬂuences from? As individuals we all have different musical preferences. There are a lot of different artists across genres that we admire and there are a lot of different sources from which we draw inspiration for our music, it’s actually a considerably long and diverse list. All these artists serve as personal inspirations for us to pursue metal & creating music of our own. However, collectively as a band there is no particular band that we look up to.
JAHILIYAAH, BANGLADESH Do you guys follow a certain philosophy while creating your music? What are your lyrical themes based on? While composing for Jahiliyyah, the initial and primary focus is to try to create a certain ambience or atmosphere with each piece of music, and to communicate it to the listener. The music is created to trigger a speciﬁc type of response & catharsis in the listener – to provoke, to incite, to overwhelm, to create a trance, if you will. The music and the words together entwined form the ritual that is the music of Jahiliyyah. Therefore the music and the lyric are intrinsically connected, and shape each others dimensions. The lyrics are evocations and invocations of the ritual which is fueled by the Music. Jahiliyyah’s lyric incorporate a diverse and bizarre list of references & elements; which include, but are not restricted to - the occult, mythology, spirituality & history - all of which are constructed and woven into apocalyptic and aggressively misanthropic worldview which in it’s most basic form is a complete and absolute rejection of the consumer slave modern industrial civilization and all it’s aspects. However, all the lyrics have several layers of meanings which reveals themselves according the readers level of knowledge and understanding. “Aiyyame Jahiliyyah” is a conceptual EP, all the lyrics together ﬁt into a speciﬁc linear structure.
Apart from this, the other signiﬁcant aspect of Jahiliyyah’s lyrics is that it is constructed following the method of “Tawil”. “Tawil” is a literary tool used especially in Arabic poetry and by the Muqaribbun, to hide references, riddles and clues within a text – you can think of it as creating multi-layered symbology in terms of words. Coming from a deeply religious society, what are your takes on religion? Religion, is a speciﬁc belief-system. That’s what fundamentally “a religion” constitutes. It is a set of speciﬁc principles and beliefs that guide speciﬁc actions & rituals – the principles vary from one “religion” - belief system to another, but that’s the basic idea. Whether one is a Christian, an agnostic, a libertine or a Pagan – is a matter of distinction which concerns what they each, choose to believe. But they all believe something – the one who believes in nothing does so because he believes there is nothing absolute, there is nothing to believe in. There is no difference among, all of them in the sense that each of these people follow distinct philosophies/belief system that guides and inﬂuences their actions, and shapes their worldview – a religion. All the problems with Religion come from the religion institutions, their morbid authoritarian-
JAHILIYAAH, BANGLADESH ism and their need to monopolize their respective god(s). Even in this regard religion is not very different from other philosophical disciplines and belief system. Just like religion was used to manipulated masses into ﬁghting the crusades, or the Spanish inquisitions, similarly we now see, Wars and Wars to “stop wars” in the name of “Democracy”, “Communism”, “Nationalism”, in the name of Peace and Humanity! So religion like any of these other Concepts is open to manipulation, but this characteristic, as I said, is hardly unique to religion. As for the Spiritual and philosophical aspect of religion, well true philosophy can be limited by neither creed nor faction; in fact it is incompatible with every artiﬁcial limitation of human thought. Therefore there is compulsion in religion – To each his own. Tell us something about the Bangladeshi heavy metal scene. How is it growing? What are its good points? Also, what are the obstacles that are hindering its progress; the things that need to be sorted out? The extreme metal scene is deﬁnitely growing. There are more shows, more enthusiasm, more originals & more awareness. As for the general Heavy metal scene, I think it also is growing in the sense that more people are taking it seriously,
passionately and sincerely. However there still are no record labels that actively support Heavy Metal Music in Bangladesh. Another huge problem is the scene is more or less based around the capital, this has to change. Also I think the listeners, concert goers and metal heads need to be more supportive and dedicated to the scene and in supporting original bands from Bangladesh. How are the live shows over there, in terms of crowd, sound/lighting system and overall quality? Also, how often are gigs/concerts organized there? The sound is actually pretty good. The lighting not so much, however it’s workable. The extreme metal crowd is very enthusiastic & supportive. The problem is with the irregularity in organizing shows, and lack of efﬁcient organizers. Also it is really hard to manage a venue where we can hold extreme metal concerts, which makes it difﬁcult to organize regular shows. For any developing metal scene, one of the major problems tends to be the ‘cover songs only’ mentality. Most people tend to expect and appreciate cover songs of their foreign heroes rather than original music. This holds true for both bands as well as the audience. Is this the case in Bangladesh as well? Unfortunately, yes. This holds true for “Local Heroes” as well. A lot of kids, tend to follow their
personal guitar-gods or drummers or vocals blindly, and tend to inherit their beliefs and perspectives. People don’t take the time to form their own opinions or judgments & instead just choose somebody [local or foreign] to follow. These result in the abundance of cover songs at gigs, and the prevalence of bands that all sound similar. The groove/thrash metal scene in Dhaka is a very good example of both these tendencies. You have bands like SEVERE DEMENTIA and ORATOR, who’re doing pretty good. Are there any other promising bands you’d like to recommend to us? Chromatic Massacre. So, what does the future hold for Jahiliyyah? Any plans on recording an album? Yes deﬁnitely. We have already started work on new material; we gave already laid down the skeletons of two tracks. It is too early to say anything, but we are working on a plan for a release in 2012. Just curious, how are the recording studios in Bangladesh? Plus, are there proper record labels there that support underground music? There are a couple of decent recording studios in Bangladesh; where the people actually have a precise idea about what exactly they are doing – Studio Niﬂheim being one of them. But there are
JAHILIYAAH, BANGLADESH still no decent drum tracking facilities in Bangladesh as far as extreme metal is concerned. There are a lot of technological constraints and the costs are way too high, but we have to work with whatever limited resources we have.
Chaos Art upon the Nepalese Metal Horde – we would be more than happy to play in Nepal.
As for record labels, there is one record label that releases several compilations every year [which features “underground” bands across genres]. But that’s about it.
Thank you for your time and support. Keep supporting Jahiliyyah & keep supporting the true underground. I would like to take this opportunity to make an announcement for all the Jahiliyyah supporters & especially for ktmROCKS and the Nepalese extreme metal horde: 500 copies of “Aiyyame Jahiliyyah” are being released from “Eternal Transmigration Records” [Argentina] in Tape format - scheduled to be released in September. You can contact the label here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you heard anything from the Nepali metal scene? How would you like to play here? I haven’t had the chance really. But I would love to. As for playing in Nepal, it would be an honor for Jahiliyyah to have the chance to unleash our
Thank you for your time Jahiliyyah. Any last words you’d like to share with us?
You can also contact the band at: www.myspace.com/jahiliyyahbd Hails
KALODIN Live at Blues, Guwaha�, India 28 June 2011
PHOTO FEATURE: KALODIN, BY: MILAN THAPA MAGAR
Singaporean grindcore specialists WORMROT greeted the world with yet another brilliant album “Dirge” a couple of months ago, which, in a short span, has managed to bust a lot of balls across the globe. SAMYAM SHRESTHA interviews the band’s founding members, Arif (vocals) and Rasyid Juraimi (guitar).
ktmROCKS: Greetings from the Himalayas, yo! Firstly, I would like to congratulate Wormrot on the amazing worldwide response to your new album “Dirge”, which has been considered by many to be one of the best grindcore releases this year. So let me start with this: how would you deﬁne ‘grindcore’ yourself? And how would you deﬁne Wormrot? Rasyid: Right now, I would say grindcore is a bastard child of punk and metal with less limitation. I would say Wormrot is a band that plays catchy tunes at a faster BPM. ktmROCKS: So how did the band come into existence? Arif: Wormrot started out as a death-grind project formed by me on vocals and Acit (Septikaemia, Hellghast) on drums. We took in
Halim (Arbitrary Element, Cardiac Necropsy) to ﬁll in the bass. I met an old high school friend Rasyid who had just completed his national service (2007) by a chance meeting through a mutual friend and was invited to try out on the guitars. A couple of jamming sessions followed yet we couldn’t ﬁnd a comfortable stride. Rasyid and I decided to go on our own to form a grindcore band, retaining Wormrot as the band name. Fitri was a friend of mine in camp while we were in our national service. He ﬁtted the empty drum slot comfortably. And hence was our current line-up positioned. ktmROCKS: When I ﬁrst heard the band name, I thought your lyrics would deal with topics such as gore, disembowelment and necrophilia, but they actually turned out to be a lot different. Tell us about your lyrical themes? Arif: The lyrics are always about my own personal issues. We don’t have any hidden messages through our songs. Just a warning to assholes around the world not to fuck with us or rather me. We’re not a political band. Rarely would I incorporate the army negativity into our songs but at the same time making it humorous amongst the degrading words. Lyrical ideas will never fade. Personally, I’ve experienced tons of shit that are most likely to contribute to
WORMROT the theme. ktmROCKS: Your style of grindcore reminded me of Insect Warfare and Kill The Client. What made you guys generate such no-bullshit, straightforward grindcore? Rasyid: It actually came naturally to us. Like I said before, we just wanna play some catchy and easyto-listen riffs. Simple aggressive music. ktmROCKS: Tell us what you guys dig more on a personal level - hardcore or death metal? Rasyid: I’m going with hardcore. I never ‘get’ death metal. Arif: All of the above. I can’t really say which one I prefer the most. Basically I listen to everything. Although I’m leaning more towards grind and powerviolence these days. ktmROCKS: Well, you don’t have a bassist in your band and I realized that it was on purpose. Do you think you’ll be getting someone to play bass anytime in future? Rasyid: NO! Arif: 3 is a crowd.
ktmROCKS: Talking about your current record label, how did Earache Records ﬁrst ﬁnd you? Were you guys surprised when you found out that Digby Pearson (Earache Records owner) was very impressed with your band? Arif: Pretty much shocked actually. We were looking for a label to release our second album and we did ask some labels but we didn’t approach Earache cause we didn’t think they would be interested anyway. So when Digby himself messaged us in Myspace, I was refreshing the page a lot of times not believing what just happened. We could not believe it! ktmROCKS: Well, let me just say that the music videos for “Spot A Pathetic” and “Erased Existence” were both fucking amazing. I really liked the concepts. Could you talk about this? What was the making process like? Arif: Both videos were recorded live in one of the shows during our US tour this year at The Blvd in LA. Earache and Dave, the videographer, did a tremendous job in coordinating for both videos. ktmROCKS: Considering that the average Wormrot track clocks under a minute, how long does it take to write a song? What’s the songwriting process like?
Rasyid: It depends dude, sometimes it took less than 10 mins to write a good song, sometimes it took us 6 hours sparingly to come up with an ok song. For “Dirge”, we came into the studio with basically nothing, sometimes I didn’t even have a standby riff to play. It was really a ‘starting from nothing’ process. ktmROCKS: Oh, that must have been a crazy experience then. Well, you guys recently toured the United States and Europe. How did shows there differ from the usual Wormrot gigs in south-east Asia?
Rasyid: Actually we suffered from the ‘just another local band’ stigma (in Singapore), until we gained exposure from our touring, and recently, our signing to Earache. Maybe it shows that “hey we’re fucking serious and we’re here to make a difference”. We’ve been getting better attendance numbers in our recent gigs than our early years, deﬁnitely. Singapore’s a conservative crowd, but more and more are throwing their inhibitions on the moshpits.
ktmROCKS: Do you agree that Asian bands are overlooked by much of the metal world?
Rasyid: It’s a sad unjust fact, but it’s not gonna change. We know, and have seen, many quality bands in Asia, but the spotlights are shining too brightly on the other side of the world that they are contented with what they have there. And unfortunately, people in Asia are tuning in to the West much more than they bother about what’s under their noses, contributing to the ‘just another local band’ stigma. ktmROCKS: “Just another local band” stigma? On that topic, I heard that local bands in Singapore are often ignored by the crowd there (for instance, bands playing in front of just ten people at a show), while they agree to pay larger amounts to catch international groups live. Is it so? Rasyid: Yes, it is and it’s common, nothing’s gonna change. That’s why we’re playing more shows in the US and UK. Sometimes you just wonder “why should I ever give a fuck about the Singapore scene”, and the answer lies in those 10 people watching the
shows. That is a good enough reason.
ktmROCKS: That’s great to hear, man. Getting away from music, what are your day jobs?
Rasyid: Right now I’m a driver in a furniture company.
Arif: I’m a freelance artist doing artworks for bands and I can be reached at my website ‘Rotworks’ (http://www.rotworks.net). Thanks for the interview, guys. And all the best for everything that’s ahead.
Check out more about the band through the following links: http://myspace/wormrotgrind http://facebook.com/wormrot http://twitter.com/wormrot http://wormrot.tumblr.com [Photos: band’s FB page]
PHOTO FEATURE: WINGS OF SPASM BY: NITESH MULMI
GIO GERACA, MALEVOLENT CREATION
If you are a death metal fan and you haven’t heard MALEVOLENT CREATION – you are not a death metal listener at all. We have been honored to conduct this interview with lead guitarist for death metal legend Malevolent Creation GIO GERACE, who was generous enough to reply the questions even though he was in the middle of Malevolent Creation tour. A big thanks to Brijraj Thapa (Cruentus vocalist) for making this interview happen. Here’s a short interview done by UMES SHRESTHA.
Hi Gio, Malevolent Creation fucking rules. Would you care to share us what’s the band currently up to? Not much, we’ve been just been touring and I’m also writing new songs for my other band The Evil Amidst and promoting a new guitar string company called Blackstorm Coils, where I work. How long have you been involved with MC? Did you ever imagine you would be playing with this band, wielding axe along the side with Phil Fasciana? Yeah man, it’s been a cool experience. I’ve known Phil for a long time so it was quite natural that we started playing together. I’ve been in the band for about 4 years now.
GIO GERACA, MALEVOLENT CREATION How much were you involved during the writing of the 2010 album “Invidious Dominion”?
Any favorite ‘new’ death metal bands from Florida scene?
That’s an awesome news. Tell us, what’s the best thing about being in the band like MC and HP?
I wrote two songs and all the solos on that album, it was a fucking blast.
New? No, I like the old stuff.
Hanging with my bros and playing the old songs I grew up listening.
How is it working with Phil Fasciana (founding guitarist)?
Apparently, the band supports “Metalheads against Racism” action – what does it mean?
Who are favorite guitarists of all times?
Well, nothing much to say, its just that no one in this band is racist.
They are Chuck Schuldiner, Alex Scholnick and Yngwie Malmsteen.
So do you have any plans for a new MC album?
Tell us about some of the other bands you have worked with, before joining MC.
Are you endorsed with any guitar?
No plans yet, there’s stil a lot more tours coming up for Invidious Dominion promotion.
Hmm Monstrosity, Hell Witch, Wykked Wytch and lots of projects.
You guys are located in Florida, which is considered the Mecca for death metal with so many legendary DM bands (Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Obituary) originating from this scene. How’s the scene right now over all?
You also play in MC’s alter-ego band HatePlow? How is it different, playing wise, in two the bands?
Haha, Phil’s a trip man., dude’s got a big heart and bigger liver.
Shit man it’s bigger than ever. I mean, all those bands are touring non stop right now. It was fun growing up in that scene back then, everyone hated us and we loved that.
No, I’m not really in that band, just doing some studio stuff maybe. Is there any chance of recording new HatePlow album any soon? I think soon. Phil’s in the writing stages now. I can tell you that Derick Roddy will be playin drums on it.
Yes, I’m endorsed by Jackson, Fernandez. When you are not touring with the bands and not recording music, what do you normally do? Bartend with my buddy Brij..lol. Well besides hanging with my wife, I just stay busy with my other band The Evil Amidst. I am also working for the best guitar string company out there, check them out at www.blackstormcoils.com. Well, thanks Gio for the reply despite being in the middle of the tour. Hope to hear new stuffs from your bands.
PHOTO FEATURE: ANIL SHAKYA, JUGAA BY: UMES SHRESTHA
DEVOID is a thrash/death metal band from Mumbai, India. As a follow-up to the last emag issue’s album review of their debut “A God’s Lie”, here’s an interview with the band taken by SAMYAM SHRESTHA. Hello guys, ﬁrstly, I would like to congratulate Devoid for the awesome international response on your debut album “A God’s Lie”. To begin with, for those who haven’t listened to your music yet, how would you describe a typical Devoid sound? Thanks a lot for the wishes, man. The awesome international response was surely a pleasant surprise. Hard work does pay off. For people who haven’t heard our music, we are a thrash/death metal band with hint of melodic elements. Conscious efforts have been put in to NOT sound like any other thrash act and hence, it’s an interesting listen.
Devoid has deﬁnitely made an impact in the Indian metal scene with the release of the album and the band is obviously getting a healthy amount of exposure in the international metal arena as well. So how has been the six years’ journey till now? Our six year long journey has been needless to say, tough. Earlier it was the lack of funds to buy good equipments. Later it was the lack of funds to record in a good studio. Determined to come out with an album, we took matters into our own hands. We recorded the whole album at MotorG studios which is the brainchild of Arun (band’s vocalist/guitarist). Recording the album was huge learning curve for the whole band. In these six years, we have not given up and practiced our asses off to become better musicians and more importantly, a tighter metal band. The band’s closest friend and manager, Roydon Bangera has played a very important role. He handles all the business end of the band, which according to us is as important as the band itself. Together with him, we have grown as a unit. Opening for bands like Cradle of Filth and Decapitated, who have been our childhood heroes, was deﬁnitely a dream come true. We have
Lie. It signiﬁes the divine lie, hot and ready for selling and spreading. The colors and the images on the album are the brainchild of Shakti Dash. He is an intense guy and he knows his trade. He really got into the album and he wanted to represent what he felt through the music and the lyrics. Tell us something about the recording of the album, which was entirely recorded and produced by the front-man Arun Iyer. How was the experience?
set very tough goals for ourselves, so right now we’re nowhere near where we imagine ourselves to be. We’ll be pushing hard as always. Could you describe the concept behind the album and its name? Any meaning that Kali on your album cover depicts? The face of Kali is a placeholder for God and why speciﬁcally Kali needs no reasons! If any Hindu God/ Goddess deserves a spot on a metal album, it would be Kali and it is probably because she is a badass who crushes demons with her feet, then tears them from limb to limb and then wears them as trophies around her neck while obliterating everything everywhere. Very metal. She, the God, is sticking her tongue out because at the tip of it is the source of the meaning in the album title – A God’s
One of the main reasons for us to record this album on our own setup was the lack of funds. We never really intended for it to be a complete DIY project as far as production is concerned but since I (Arun) had dabbled with the recording arts before I thought it’d be much safer and readily available for any last minute tweaks, and believe me there were a million of them. It was a brilliant learning experience for me and I am really looking forward to more. The ﬁnal sound though on the album was never good enough for me and that stretched on and on for a year till we settled for a sound that was closest to what we had in our heads all along. I understand that in this age records short of pristine quality is thrown right off the window, but to my surprise people have taken the under-produced sound, if you may, rather well. I am not entirely satisﬁed with the ﬁnal sound on the album and now, when I spin the album again I usually ﬁnd more than a few things I’d like to change but that process was seemingly endless. But hey, with jack-diddly for a budget, I think we did just ﬁne.
Was there any reason you had put the “Beer Song” as a bonus track? Is it because of the difference of its lyrical concept as compared to the other songs? Speaking on behalf of the band and the evident numerous binge sessions, we all love beer! This song was one of the quickest songs that came out of the jam room and though it stood out of our set list, which became a major reason for us to enjoy this song even more. We were scared if this would backﬁre on us but thankfully it is now a crowd favorite too. You are among those bands in the world that are reviving the genre of thrash metal. Tell me few of your favorite groups among the revival horde? And also some of your major inﬂuences? The ﬁrst band that comes to my mind is deﬁnitely Hypnosia (if they were still around). Their album “Extreme Hatred” according to me is one of the thrash epics. Sadly, they disbanded after the tragic death of their drummer. Amongst the others are Lazarus AD, Destruction, Bonded by Blood, Deathchain, Violator, etc. These bands came out with some really good albums which had that essence of old school aggression but didn’t sound like copycats. We in the band grew up listening to bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Kreator, Sodom, Sepultura, Pantera, Exodus, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide etc and the inﬂuence is hence understandable. But, Slayer has had the biggest inﬂuence on us. Slayer is the reason why we started this band. We just
DEVOID (INDIA) wanted to be as fast and brutal as them. “A God’s Lie” is a mixture of all our inﬂuences and we’ve tried to make the album sound as interesting and not boring or repetitive as possible. Arun, you were surprised to learn that you also have fans here in Nepal. Had you expected it at ﬁrst? How about a Devoid gig here in Nepal for us, the Devoid fans?
international tours. I wonder if you guys have already started writing for your next release. Well, have you? Could you enlighten us a bit about it as well? How different is it going to be from the last album?
It’s always makes us happy when someone appreciates our music. When I read on Facebook on one such event page as to how many people wanted to see Devoid live, we were ecstatic. We do hope that someday we get to showcase our music to Nepal.
Yes, we have started working on some new material although it is a mess right now. We have all the ideas in our head and we just need to execute them in the right manner. We’re taking it easy to get the right sound. It’s going to be a little different from our last album – less melodic and more brutal and faster. That said, we will retain all the elements that make us sound unique.
So what were your expectations out of the album, when you ﬁrst started working on it?
So how do you see Devoid, lets say, ﬁve or ten years down the line?
Honestly we had no time to think about expectations as our prime aim was to record what we felt was our best over the years and since this was our ﬁrst attempt in recording, we took all the time to make this one count.
Devoid: Touring Europe and recording in a top notch studio.
It’s sad that the record label you’re signed in, Demonstealer Records has now closed its label division. But I’m sure there might be few international labels as well, out there who are eyeing on you. What do you think? Yes, Sahil who owns Demonstealer Records did issue a notice explaining as to why he decided to shut his label. So presumably, our next album will be released on some other record label. About international labels, we leave that responsibility on our manager to select the most suitable option for us. We would love to be on an international label to increase our chances of
Any last words you would want to throw to end this interview? Keep supporting metal, and all deserving bands. We hope we will have the pleasure of spreading our music to Nepal soon. Cheers!
Check out more about the band in the following links: http://facebook.com/pages/DevoidIndia/140937786471 http://reverbnation.com/devoidindia (Photos from Devoid’s Facebook Page)
PHOTO FEATURE: MANIL SHAKYA (E.QUALS) - BY: UMES SHRESTHA
HOZO RAI (DEFENDERS OF METAL)
September 30 to October 2. In these three days, Darjeeling is going to witness the biggest metal festival in the region ever – the Underground Unleashed Festival which is going to be headlined by the mighty US death metal band Incantation, the fest that features bands from throughout the globe, including few from Nepal as well. SAMYAM SHRESTHA talks with the main organizer, HOZO RAI of the organizing group Defenders of Metal about the festival: Hello Hozo. Tell us something about the Underground Unleashed Festival. Hozo: Well, U.U 2011 is the brainchild of Defenders of Metal and it’s a dream project of ours, as we want to make it a premiere indoor metal festival of India where bands from many countries can participate and exchange ideas and spread the brotherhood of metal. When and how did the thought of organizing such a huge international event come in your mind at ﬁrst?
Hozo: It was always there at the back of our head, like I’ve said earlier a dream project for D.O.M. When I ﬁrst saw the international bands’ line-up (before Darzamat and Mastiphal were added), it was an all-death metal roster. Had you, by any chance, intended to make it an all-death metal festival at the beginning? Hozo: Actually we wanted to make it a brutal metal festival, yes, but since we like other genres of metal as well, we just went on to make it a metal fest. But things with regards to the ﬁnal line-up are yet to be ﬁnalized, so lets see what the changes are gonna be. How did you hook up with all those international bands? Was there any sort of selection procedure or something? Hozo: Not at all, you can just say that all these bands are here because of the
HOZO RAI (DEFENDERS OF METAL) relationship that we have or had in the past and also all of these bands are hand-picked personally by Sabiyan and me. There were few people who had shown skepticism if Darjeeling would be the perfect place to host such a historical event. What do you say yourself? Hozo: Well yes, I’ve read some posts too on this, but it doesn’t matter as Darjeeling has a huge rock/metal history and culture. Darjeeling has always been home to good music so it doesn’t matter what the skeptics think. So how’s the venue of the festival? Hozo: It’s a good indoor venue and many good shows have already taken place in this venue with bands like Parikrama (India), & 1974 AD (Nepal), etc. Anything about the tickets? Hozo: It should be out in August and we’ve tried to make it as affordable as we can. We’ve decided to price it to IRs. 300 per day and a limited combo price of IRs. 600 for 3 days.
Defenders of Metal had also held “Sikkim Music Fest” in Sikkim last year where Arsames from Iran had headlined. How did it go? Hozo: It was a great show and the biggest that the regions of Sikkim and Darjeeling had ever seen. It was a good fest. I’ve also read that you guys are planning to organize gigs in Nepal in future as well? Hozo: Yes we are, and we are trying to pull one off this year in Kathmandu in Oct/Nov. Lets see how things go. So stepping aside the topic, how is the overall underground rock/ metal scene in Sikkim, Darjeeling and the north-east in general, in comparison to the rest of India? Hozo: It’s good. Many good bands are coming up which is a good thing, but one thing that these regions lag behind is because we don’t get much attention from the mainstream media. But we are doing well with or without them. Any last words?
Apart from the international acts, some ﬁve bands from Nepal and ten from India are also going to play there. Any update on this?
Hozo: Keep supporting the scene and that’s all I care about.
Hozo: Yeah, we are still selecting bands from Nepal and India, and all of them haven’t been ﬁnalized yet.
You could learn more about the metal festival through its Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=190952810920176
PHOTO FEATURE: BLACK SINS IMMORTAL - BY: TRIPTI DHUNGANA SHRESTHA
COLD HAVEN is a new US based rock/metal/alternative/ piano-rock fusion trio consisting of Kelsey Christian (Vocals/Melody/Lyrics), Ishu Pradhan (Composition/ Arrangements) and Chris Carpenter (Drums). Here’s a short interview with them done by PRANJAL GHIMIRE: Hello Cold Haven. Cheers from ktmROCKS. Before we start, let us ﬁrst begin with an introduction of each of the band members. Kelsey: Hey, I’m Kelsey from Illinois. I’m a classically trained singer, and I’m in charge of lyrics/melody/vocals for Cold Haven.
Ishu: I am Ishu from Ohio. I have been playing guitar for a little more than a decade, and I am taking care of music composition and arrangements for Cold Haven. Chris: Hi I’m Chris from Texas. I’ve been playing drums for quite a while. I’m taking care of all drum compositions and drum arrangements for the album. Reading the ofﬁcial band info, it’s clear that all of the members live far apart from each other. How did you guys get together ﬁrst? How did Cold Haven happen? Ishu: Well, I had been trying to get back into recording for a long time, but never got a chance because of school and work. Finally, last year I managed to launch this project. At the beginning I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I started writing music, but I was still looking for
the right people to collaborate with. That’s when I met Kelsey through a social networking site. I was impressed with her amazing voice. Plus, she also had some prior experience in writing songs. So, I felt like she would be a perfect ﬁt, and asked her to join this project. At that time, I was listening to lots of Evanescence, and that became a perfect common ground for both of us to begin this collaboration. Initially, I was programming the drums, but I wasn’t happy with it. So Kelsey and I decided to bring a real drummer. We started auditioning drummers online. I probably went through 5-6 drummers in 5 months period before settling with Chris. Actually, he just joined us a month ago in May. I met him through a social networking site too. He was one of those few drummers who were more serious about playing, rather than just slamming the drums at 300 BPM. So that’s basically how we got together. Kelsey: When Ishu initially asked me to join the project, I was a little bit apprehensive, but I thought, why not at least give one song a try. We tested the waters with what is now “Set Me Free,” and have been working together since. Chris: Well, I’m the newbie to the project. I got an email from Ishu over a social networking site, asking if I would be interested in auditioning for an album. I thought to myself, sure, why not? Then after listening to the material, it became apparent that I was dealing with some super talented individuals. At this point, I’m really excited about the project; it’s really tough coming into the game this late, as I am just beginning the writing process for materials that have been a “work in progress” for quite a while. I just hope that I can catch
COLD HAVEN (USA) up, rock out, and release a solid record for all to enjoy. How does your composing and recording process go about? Is there a particular cycle that you guys follow? Ishu: We don’t have any set rules for writing songs, but most of the time, ﬁrst I write music on either guitar or piano, and then once I like the core melody/structure, I add other instruments and send it to Kelsey. Then, she writes vocal melody and lyrics, and does her magic to give life to the song. But that’s not always true, sometimes she writes lyrics/vocal melody and piano parts ﬁrst, and then I add other instruments later. Chris: I take what Ishu and Kelsey have created, try to add my own ﬂavor into it, and send it back to them, and then the whole process seems to start all over again. It can be a vicious circle, but in the end, with the right mindset, a little luck, and a LOT of patience, we are hoping to release one heck of a cool album. Are the drums programmed? Or is it a live recording? Chris: The drumming is a live recording. I’m using an electronic drum kit to trigger drum sounds that we try to premix, and ﬁt to the song and the style as much as possible. It’s really tough to play these songs without my “band mates” there to feed off of, but I’m getting there, still learning the material as well, as stated previously, I’m the Newbie here Isn’t it hard for all of you to agree on one thing musically especially, considering the fact that all of you live so far apart? How often does conﬂict of ideas occur?
Ishu: Yes that happens once in a while, especially because we all came from different musical backgrounds. But I think, after working together for almost a year, Kelsey and I have developed a good working relationship. Rather than just debating on whose idea would sound better, we try to focus on what we want to achieve. Chris is still new to the group, but he is a very understanding person and has a very positive attitude, so I am sure everything will be ﬁne. It’s just a matter of time. Kelsey: Sure, we disagree on musical choices, but Ishu is right, we’ve kind of worked out a way to express our opinions without trampling on each other. I haven’t run into any problems with Chris yet, he’s a really positive guy and easy to work with. Chris: I really enjoy working with Ishu and Kelsey, they are both very open minded. As with all drummers, you gotta sort of keep us on a short leash, or we will go crazy, and play a solo in the middle of your ballad. But they let me be as creatively free as the song will allow, and I try to keep in mind, that we are a musical GROUP, not a drummer with some other musicians. I just want to play cool music man! Let’s talk gears now. What are the gears that you guys use while recording/composing? Kelsey: For composition and demos, I don’t use anything fancy. I have a Casio WK-3000 keyboard that works well for the amount of piano work I do for the group. For vocals I have a simple Snowball condenser
COLD HAVEN (USA) and Shure 58. Once we move on to the ﬁnal recordings, I will probably move on to a Neumann or AKG, something that will show off my voice better. Chris: I use a Roland TD-12 V-drums brain unit. As far as my drum pads are concerned, I went with a company called “Hart Dynamics”, I really like the feel of their pads better than any other brand I have played. I use Roland for all of my cymbal pads. All drum rack hardware is Gibraltar, pedals are Pearl Eliminators, and Hi-Hat stand is a DW. I play ProMark Drum Sticks. I record all midi ﬁles from my playing into Pro Tools. I then email the ﬁles and let Ishu do the rest. Ishu: Right now we are still trying to record rough demos of all of our songs, so we haven’t spent a whole lot of time on ﬁne tuning our tone for the album. We have been recording with whatever is available. Currently, I use an Ernie Ball Music Man JP6 and JP7 (7 String). They are probably one of the best guitars I have ever played. I still own a couple of other guitars that I use occasionally for speciﬁc purposes. For amp/effect, I have been using Fractal Audio’s – Axe Fx. I bought it recently, so I am still experimenting with it. Although it sounds pretty promising, my eyes are still on Mesa Boogie Mark V amps. As for Piano, I have a Yamaha P85 Digital Piano, which is good enough for my level. Your debut album is scheduled to be released during the summer of 2012. How do you plan to release it? Will it be just a simple internet release or are you planning on a full-ﬂedged release through a record label? Chris: It will probably end up as an internet release, but I deﬁnitely would like to seek some sort of pressing and distribution in the future as well. We will just have to play that
one by ear, essentially, we won’t know until the recording is ﬁnished and ready to be released. The ﬁrst time you listen your way through an album, you will know right off the bat how much you need to put into releasing it. Sometimes, it just has that “magic” to it. Ishu: Yeah, not sure at this moment. Most likely it is going to be a simple internet release. But we will see how things go. Thanks a lot for your time Cold Haven and best of luck for your album. Keep us updated. Kelsey: Thanks guys!
For more information and demo recordings, visit the Cold Haven facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cold-Haven/211495495551121) as well as the band’s ofﬁcial website (www.coldhaven.com)
INNERGUILT is a thrash/death metal band from Beirut, Lebanon, who are playing in this year’s Silence Festival, Kathmandu, on October 15. Here’s a short interview with the band done by SAMYAM SHRESTHA. Hi there. Since most of us here in Nepal are unaware about your band, could you brieﬂy tell us something about InnerGuilt? Hey Samyam, thanks for the interview. The band was formed back in November 2010 by the members Sako (the front-man) and Serge (lead guitarist). Shortly after that, we released a single entitled “Burden of Guilt” which got many positive reviews and feedbacks. The ﬁrst show we played was at Holy Noise, Dubai which was great. After two months, we headed to India to perform in Deccan Rock Fest 2011 and got many positive reviews both from the crowd and the reviewers. Currently we are
a four piece band and we play thrash/death metal. InnerGuilt are: Sako Helvajian – Vocals Serge Keshishian – Lead Guitars Gary Kabakian – Bass Christ Michael – Drums What’s up with the name InnerGuilt? Any philosophy that your lyrical themes follow... or should I say, follows your music? InnerGuilt is a word that explains the authority’s power against the poor and the weak, the justice that always stands with the guilty; the guilt that lives inside every person and it is reﬂective towards wealth, power and dissoluteness. It remains inside and is denied by humans, who seem to be clean and white but yet, BEASTS. But the music plays the biggest role in the band and the band’s theme.
The band was formerly called Tristmoon that played melodic black/gothic metal and had also released a full length album under the name. How did the sudden change in name and musical direction come in?
excited to know more about the metal scene over there. It might be really hard to operate a metal band in a Muslim country like Lebanon. How’s the reaction of the general people over the music?
INNERGUILT InnerGuilt has nothing to do with Tristmoon. Some of InnerGuilt’s members used to play with Tristmoon and that was it. Now it’s a whole different thing! There is much aggressive theme, music and lyrics now. You seem to have a varied musical inﬂuences then, i.e. from gothic metal to thrash/death metal. What are your individual musical backgrounds? The gothic part has never been InnerGuilt’s members’ background, but Tristmoon’s. We always knew we would be a thrash/death metal band, and that was the thing. InnerGuilt’s members are mostly inﬂuenced by thrash, death, progressive and technical metal music. Are you guys recording anything soon? Actually we are recording our debut album “Slanderous Society” and hopefully we’ll be able to release it in our Asian tour “Show No Mercy” starting September 2011. You guys had recently opened for Decapitated in Deccan Rock in Hyderabad, India, with some great reviews. How was it? The reviews were all positive and we surely were satisﬁed. Opening for Decapitated was a dream coming true. This awesome band is one of our biggest death metal inﬂuences, and we can’t wait to share the stage with them once again. Did you guys catch up Antim Grahan from Nepal in that show? Plus have you heard anything metal from Nepalese underground? I wish we did, but we arrived to Hyderabad in the morning of the second day of Deccan Rock. But I’m sure we’ll catch them soon and many other Nepalese bands as well. Concerning the Nepalese underground, we’re
With all respect to our Muslim brothers, sisters, friends and fans, Lebanon is not a Muslim country. It’s a mix of 18 different sects! The majority of the population is Christians and Muslims, and it has always been this way. Compared to the middle-east, Lebanon is the ONLY country inﬂuenced by the western culture. In the past, a lot of Lebanese bands faced major problems with the cops, but not anymore. Nowadays you can play metal music; you can have long hair, piercing and tattoos. We always have metal festivals and concerts including international acts and local acts. So how’s the overall metal scene over there? Any cool bands you would want to recommend us? The scene is great in Lebanon. We have a lot of rising bands with good music like Level 7, Tormented and many more. We have some old and well known bands like The Weeping Willow, Oath to Vanquish, Post Mortem, Element 26, Nocturna, Melancholy and many more. Thanks for the interview, guys. See you guys at the Silence Fest this October. At last, a ﬁnal shout-out to end this interview? We would like to thank you for interviewing us, and all the Nepalese metalheads over there as well. We are looking forward to play in your beautiful country, and make friends and fans. Cheers to you all, best regards from Lebanon.
You can download the band’s single “Burden of Guilt” through their ofﬁcial website: http://www.innerguilt.com/
PHOTO FEATURE: BIBEK TAMANG - E.QUALS, BY: UMES SHRESTHA
WE DEDICATE THIS ISSUE OF ktmROCKS E-MAG TO THE AMAZING DRUMMERS OF THE SCENE - PAST AND PRESENT; AND HOPE THE ISSUE WILL INSTILL DESIRE AND MOTIVATION INTO ASPIRING YOUNG DRUMMERS.
Nikhil Tuladhar - Rock Sitar Surya Pun - Antim Grahan Kasun Nawarathna - Funeral In heaven Daniel Rasaily - HMP Bikram Shrestha - ex taamishra Lord Rakshyas - Sangharsha Anil Shakya - Jugaa Raef Al Hasan - Severe Dementia
Prajol Kansakar - Looza: Rishav Acharya - Binaash Kiran Shahi - Jindabaad!!! Lille Gruber - Defeated Sanity
5 Records That Changed Your Life Bibek Tamang - E.quals/Lost Oblivion Surya Pun - Antim Grahan Dipesh Hirachan - Ink Blot Rishav Acharya - Binaash Mike Parker - Ayurveda
Allan Shrestha - Cruentus
ALEC Sciamm - Tombstone
A Dozen Menacing Drummers
Nikhil Tuladhar NIKHIL TULADHAR is undoubtedly the most proliﬁc and passionate rock-drummer in Nepal’s music history. An “in-demand” drummer for session recording, he has a wide experience in music, working with several great artists and bands at home and abroad. His most memorable works are for folk rock/progressive band Nepathya, with which he played from 2002 to 2010. Currently, he is the drummer for Rock Sitar, a band formed by Nepal’s premier sitar player Bijay Baidhya (the band is touring Europe at present). Nikhil has also been working as a drums instructor at Nepal Music Center, Kathmandu for several years.
PHOTO BY: Umes Shrestha
Surya Pun Known for his ferocious pummeling of the skins, SURYA PUN (Born 5th July, 1991) is undisputedly one of the best metal drummers active in the scene today. He is best known for his work with the inﬂuential black metal band Antim Grahan. Apart from that, he is also involved with the death metal band, Deﬁne Mental. In the past, he has also played with technical death metal band Bitter Euphemism and played live for black metal band Garudh in a couple of gigs. Surya joined Antim Grahan in early 2009 and played his ﬁrst concert for the band during Butwal Tour along with Vhumi. Since then, he has established himself has a formidable member of the band and a premier metal drummer overall. Along with playing in several concerts for Deﬁne Mental and Antim Grahan, he also boasts two full length albums ‘The Ruin of Immortals’ and ‘Putrefaction Eternity’ under his belt. Currently, he is working on creating more songs for a yet another Antim Grahan album. Surya is a self taught drummer and can also play other instruments like ﬂute, keyboard, madal and guitar. He cites Allan Shrestha (Cruentus), George Kollias (Nile), late Vitek (Decapitated) and John Longstreth (Origin) as major inﬂuences.
PHOTO BY: Nitesh Mulmi
Kasun Nawarathna KASUN NAWARATHNA is currently considered one of the biggest contributors to the realm of Sri Lankan extreme metal, not only as a musician but as a producer as well. Kasun who is known for his background in Indian/Sri Lankan classical music and as a multi instrumentalist, has ﬁlled in for session guitar/drum duties for bands such as Hollow and Sword of the Spirit, and he is has been a part of bands such as Funeral In Heaven, Spleen Saint and Plecto Aliquem Capite since 2007. Managing his own recording studio services as ‘Blasphemous War Goat! Studios’, he has recorded a massive slab of Sri Lankan Metal Ep’s/Single’s for bands such as Funeral In Heaven, P.A.C., Spleen Saint, Ablaze, Fallen Grace, Forsaken, Raaksha and much more. Kasun is currently laying the drums tracks for the upcoming Funeral In Heaven debut at BWG!Studios, Kottawa.
PHOTO BY: Duminda Nawarathne (Studio D)
PHOTO FEATURE: DANIEL RASAILY - HMP BY: NITESH MULMI
Daniel Rasaily Best known as the ever-cheerful drummer of Hari Maharjan Project, DANIEL RASAILY is a well-known face in both non-mainstream and mainstream music scene of Kathmandu. Inﬂuenced by the musical atmosphere of his hostel, he started playing in a church at a tender age of ten. Initially, he played in a church band called Salvation Worship Team. He then joined Nepal Sangeet Vidhyalaya in 2007, where he took drum lessons and met people with similar musical taste. Before long he got involved with Hari Maharjan Project and 7th Gravity. Currently, he also plays for Strings and Urban Gypsy. Interestingly, Daniel admits that it wasn’t drums that he got drawn to in the ﬁrst place. He actually wanted to become a guitarist. Then he grew a sudden interest in percussion, and with time drumming grew on him. He practices with his band for 6-7 hours every day. His favourite bands are Dave Matthews Band and Dave Weckl Band. His favourite drummers in the scene are Nikhil Tuladhar and Kiran Shahi. Besides drums, Daniel also plays congo, djembe and maadal.
PHOTO BY: Umes Shrestha
Bikram Shrestha BIKRAM SHRESTHA has been a familiar name in the local underground scene over the years, who is known for his work with bands as Prakanda Bimba, Taamishra, Angel Dust and Monkey Temple to name a few, playing diverse forms of music, from death metal and symphonic metal to alternative rock and jazz. He was seventeen when he bought his ﬁrst drum kit, straight away began with death metal, since it had struck him really hard. Primarily inﬂuenced by drummers like Derek Roddy, Vinnie Colouita, Jojo Mayer, and Dennis Chambers, and bands like Origin, Deicide, Cryptopsy, Nile, Meshuggah, etc, Bikram is a self-taught musician. “I had joined Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory for a very brief time for gaining some jazz skills though. Beside that, it was all self-learned with the help of my friends and persons like Sarthak Upadhyaya (ex-Prakanda Bimba) who had encouraged me a lot then”, he shares. “I listen to almost every type of music, but it’s got to be death metal on the top, followed by jazz and electronic music. And since I’m more into death metal, playing it comes from my inside more than while playing other forms of music, and thus I feel easy.” He says he’ll be playing in the underground scene again, soon with some new project. PHOTO BY: Umes Shrestha
Lord Rakshyas Born of the Earth and The Sea, his name is LORD RAKSHYAS. He is known to have 4 feet and 8 hands and a direct hybrid descendent of Rawan and Bishnu. Therefore his skins were customized by your gods and demons making them unplayable for the normal human being. A 50 piece kit with human skins and bones. He slams the skins so hard that it oozes out blood as if it has been punctured through all its veins by a sharp knife. His reputation is non to par as he is renown all over the US for his infamous actions with the skins. He is known to have been spotted sometimes torturing the best drummers that you guys have idolized (girlfriends too). Currently he is pummeling the beats for a seminal POP ROCK band called SANGHARSHA. If yâ€™all have not heard this band yet, you will pretty soon, as they are coming out with a split album with the hardcorest band of all time JUGAA. Beware he is coming to relive your nightmares in Nepal. Be on the lookout. PHOTO BY: Bikash Rajkarnikar
Anil Shakya It was in 1997 that ANIL SHAKYA, drummer of Jugaa, ﬁrst picked up the drumsticks. He and Sushil (bassist) who lived next door to each other, used to jam up and explore new kinds of music. After they started doing small performances, they met guitarist Vishal. They got together and formed Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles and started playing gigs. They used to organize their own gigs, and got recognized in the underground as a band that loved to “play mean punk rock and piss people off”. I2ST disbanded, but Anil, together with Vishal, Sushil and Ranav (from Cruentus) formed hardcore band Jugaa in 2006 and has been involved with it since. Anil says that he likes too many bands to remember, but he does mention the punk band NOFX as one of his favourite bands. He doesn’t talk about inﬂuences, saying that he has none in particular but he admits that his favourite drummer in the local scene is Bikram (who used to play for Taamishra) whose last name he cannot remember. Currently, Anil gives drum lessons at a private school. He says that he is also involved in a few small projects.
PHOTO BY: Tripti Dhungana Shrestha
Raef Al Hasan RAEF AL HASAN or Rafa is a Bangladeshi multi-instrumentalist, known for his drum works with death metal band Severe Dementia. Besides this, he is/was also involved with various musical groups as The Joint Family (lead guitar and vocals), Aurthohin (vocals), Kral (drums and vocals), etc. Considered to be one of the ﬁnest and most brutal extreme metal drummers in the South Asia, he has wonderfully portrayed his drumming skills in the Severe Dementia EP “Epitaph of Plassey”. According to him, he had been learning Nazrul songs during his childhood, as well as did some impromptu tabla playing, but it was when he was taken to a concert by his elder brother that he suddenly became interested in drums. He then immediately left playing the guitars, and switched to learning drums. Inﬂuenced by musicians as Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Nick Menza, Scott Travis, Bassbaba, etc., Rafa is currently a drummer, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, as well as a producer and a sound-engineer who has produced various rock, metal as well as hip-hop records.
PHOTO BY: Mahmudul Hasan Rony
PRAJOL KANSAKAR -LOOZA:
PRAJOL KANSAKAR, LOOZA:
PRAJOL KANSAKAR is no stranger to the local music scene, as he has been playing the drums for more than 15 years around town, before Kathmandu even had a ‘scene’. Known prominently for being the guy behind the skin of Looza:, he has also played with numerous other big and small acts (Muk� N Revival, Newaz etc) in the country. We caught up with this old friend of ours (ktmROCKS emag editors i.e.) for some Q&A session.
First off, some basic information for those not familiar with your work: tell us about how you started playing drums and your past involvements in bands/projects. What are you currently working on? Well, I can’t exactly remember when I started, but I think it was sometime around class 6 when Newaz were rehearsing for their ﬁrst album at our place (Roshan Dai from the band is my cousin brother), and when I ﬁrst entered their practice room I saw this drum set with lots of pedals and stuff. Though the room was full of other instruments, I was attracted to the drum set and thought to myself, “I’m gonna be a drummer”. This however was a very amateur ambition, but I kept on going and started playing it seriously over time, and it all began from there. When I was in class 8, some of us in school formed a band called “Devils” and did our ﬁrst show in school. Right after my SLC exams, I joined Looza: (I think I was around 15 or 16). We started playing in small gigs around town and in Thamel bars. We also played in Pokhara where Looza: met Robin Tamang for the ﬁrst time. Robin N’ Looza: started after that and we released our ﬁrst album
“Nepal” within a year. We went on to do two more albums “Adhunik ko Aangan” and “Bhulma Bhulyo” as Robin N’ Looza:. Since then I’ve done several projects with other bands too. Recently I played in Newaz’s new album titled “Kichkandi” and did few shows with Upendra and Friends. Also did couple of shows with Mukti N Revival and played in their Australian tour. Currently, we are rehearsing for the show “Music by the Museum” with Mukti N Revival in collaboration with Hits FM and House of Music. Tell us a little about your musical background: what kind of music you grew up to, your major inﬂuences, favorite musicians and albums/songs, and what you are currently listening to? I come from a musically inclined family. My dad plays guitar, and actually had a band before he got married. Even now we often have sort of a jam session in our family get-togethers with me, Sunit Dai (Looza:), Roshan Dai (Newaz) (they are my cousins) and my father and all my elder brothers. Most of them are somehow involved in music in one way or the other. I guess i was in class 5- 6, when my dad initiated my musical journey by introduc-
PRAJOL KANSAKAR, LOOZA: ing me to Dire Straits and buying me two of their albums. Talking about inﬂuences, among many other, Nirvana was an undeniable one early on in my life, “Nevermind” being one of my favorites. Metallica and Guns N Roses were always there and I was also into Pearl Jam and The Police in those days. As for local bands, Newaz was/still is, without a doubt, THE band for me when growing up. I think it’s safe for me to say that I grew up listening to my elder brothers play and listening to their gigs around town and in pubs around Thamel. As I am writing this, I am listening to Betty Davis. Lately I have been listening to : Trey Gunn, Paradox, Liquid Soul, Yellow Jackets, Terje Rypdal, Joshua Redman, Les Claypool and the Frog Brigade, Aghora, Ephrant, Niacin, some Kyuss , Torun Eriksen, DJ Shadow and some Nitin Shawney and Trilok Gurthu. The last of the basic questions: how do you get yourself ready to play? Do you have a practice routine? Describe your gear and setup, and your dream setup? My warm-up routine consists mostly of jumping and shouting besides doing some regular basic stretches with sticks and some paradiddles and triplets. There was this guy who gave me lots of practice routine sessions, of which I only use some. So, most of the times, jumping and shouting works for me... hahaha.
I have a Premier jazz kit, a gift, from a Finnish guy who is a member of “Drummer Association of Finland”. It is a basic 4 piece set( a snare/ air and ﬂoor tom/and bass),with Sabian thin crash ,bronze 502 Paiste hi-hat, a Zildjian splash, a Paiste 22 ride, and a bell. Recently I bought a second-hand Gretsch piccolo snare from an old guy in a guitar store in Melbourne, got a good deal. My dream set up would be a 5 piece set up with a Gretsch piccolo snare, “A” grader Premier kit with two ﬂoor toms, 8inch splash, an effect splash, Paiste crashes and may be a 14-inch China and a bell. I am not really craving for a fancy set. OK, let’s move one to some speciﬁc questions. You were part of Robin N Looza:, one of the pioneer Nepali bands that bought original-based rock music to the mainstream. How difﬁcult was it for your guys to break through? And in retrospective, what kind of impact did RNL make in the long run? Everything at that time was new to us. There was a lot going around us during that phase. We were all much younger and it all happened pretty quickly. On hindsight, I think we were overly imposed but I think we did OK, I guess. How tough is it to make a living playing an instrument in Nepal? What kind of compromises you had to make and obstacles you had to overcome during your long run as a ‘veteran’ drummer?
Ok, ﬁrst thing ﬁrst: I am not a ‘veteran’ drummer. Veteran drummer would be our Dev Rana Dai, not me. You guys should know about these things! How come? haha. For the current situation here in Nepal, musically it is not tough, or I would say not even hard, to make a living playing an instrument if you have the right connections and links. It is very different from say 10-15 years ago when it was not a plausible option to make a living as a musician. You’ve played with some big names in the Nepali scene (Mukti Shakya, Robin Tamang, Lochan Rizal, Satish Sthapit of Newaz, etc), could you give us a ‘compare and contrast’ scenario that you experienced with these people. What are the few things that stood out for you individually playing with these guys? Well it’s a pretty different story with each of these individuals. I don’t think it would be fair to put those experiences in word and compare them. I know I won’t be able to do it anyways. But if I have to compare just between Satish Dai and Lochan, well. haha, Satish Dai is quite a wild child, and Lochan is deﬁnitely not. You did the Australia tour with Mukti N Revival recently, I believe. Tell us about the experience. How was response of the crowd there? Do you think it is/will be feasible for Nepali bands to tour overseas in the near future?
PRAJOL KANSAKAR, LOOZA: This tour that I did with Mukti n Revival was all in all a ﬁne experience. I presume every musician out there would love to be able to tour and play at different venues/countries/continents, so it was no different for us. It was very exciting. The ﬁrst show we did was in Melbourne which was part of ‘Nepal Festival’. The crowd there was massive, and since we were the headliners, by the time we got on the stage, people were already pumped up and very animated. I would say that the response was extremely positive. I think it is deﬁnitely feasible for Nepali bands to tour overseas, once you believe in the type of music that you are doing, and depending on the type of crowd that you can attract.
Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
fusion things. We might come out with a single or so for now. I remember Looza: had recorded some stuff with Lochan Rizal on vocals, and was rumored to be quite outstanding. Any possibility of those recordings ever being released? Yeah we did record few songs with Lochan some time back, we might re-arrange those recording since we are working on this fusion thing and might release those as well. Are you keeping tabs on the current local scene in Kathmandu? What do you think about the scene as a whole?
I know that most of Looza: members are currently super-busy with their respective projects/jobs, but do you foresee a reunion and perhaps an album anytime soon?
Yes obviously I do, and there are some exceptionally interesting bands out there. The whole underground scene is quite humbling to me as the so-called ‘mainstream’ here in Nepal sucks.
Well, actually, we haven’t really parted or disbanded since we started Looza : so there won’t be any reunion :)The three of us (Sunit, Riju and me)have been working on a fusion thing for a while, so we will probably start this up sometime soon. It is only going to be the three of us since Sharad moved to Melbourne almost a year ago. And also we have plans to include other musicians as guests. But yeah, I do have to agree that we have been quite busy recently, as we are also trying to set up a restaurant in Lazimpat (opposite the British Embassy) where we plan to do a lot of experimental
Which local bands are your favorites? Any current drummer/musician that are you really like? Recently had a chance to see these two bands, Horny Monks and Hatebook.... daaaami. And I am also big on Jindabaad!!! . I like Dave Wickl, Carter Beauford, Manu Katche, Peter Erskine and Chik Coria- as a composer. From the local scene I like Kiran Shahi of Jindabaad/JCS Trio. Well, thanks a lot for the interview ! Best of luck for your restaurant and future releases.
PHOTO FEATURE: SIDDARTHA DHAKWA - COBWEB BY: NITESH MULMI
RISHAV ACHARYA, BINAASH
Rishav Acharya, known in the local underground for his work with the brutal death metal band Binaash, is a versaďż˝le drummer with both extreme metal as well as jazz backgrounds. Apart from Binaash, Rishav also handles the drumming department of Silver Wind Quartet, Street Life Collecďż˝ve and Contemporary Combo (KJC).
RISHAV ACHARYA, BINAASH Here’s some of the things he had to share with us: ON HIS FIRST BAND I ﬁrst began performing with a band called ‘Monkey Kings’. It was an amateurish project formed with my school friends. Obviously, we weren’t that tight but we did manage to play some shows and managed to record a demo. However, it didn’t last long for various reasons. ON HIS TRANSITION TO JAZZ After the brief stint with my ﬁrst band, I still continued my practicing at home. However, it wasn’t until I met Kiran Shahi (Jindabaad!/JCS Trio) that my playing really took off. He introduced me to the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC), where I soon started learning under his tutelage. Joining KJC opened up a whole new musical dimension of Jazz to me. I should consider myself lucky that I got to perform and learn from so many great musicians there - like Mariona Abello (Principal of KJC), among other professional artists. I also got to perform with The Woodstock School Big Band during Jazzmandu 2010. One great musician that I should really consider lucky to have gotten a chance to perform with is the
world famous jazz singer Sachal Vasandani. It was a life changing gig for me. As a musician I learnt so much from that experience – things like consciousness of volume, knowing all the songs perfectly as well as being a tight, precise drummer. ON BINAASH It was Sarthak Upadhyaya (ex-Prakanda Bimba) who actually asked me if I wanted to join a death metal band. Apparently, Pratik dai (Guitarist – Binaash) had been searching for band members for a new death metal band. I was really excited at the idea and without wasting any second, I agreed to join the band. Soon, I joined Binaash and started practicing and creating our brutal death metal songs. The date we started practicing is also a peculiar one – Friday the 13th. Very ﬁtting date to initiate a new death metal project. DIFFERING GENRES, DIFFERING FEEL Obviously, there is a big difference between playing for Binaash and playing for my jazz projects. They are completely different genres and require different abilities and ideas from the musician. Death Metal drumming is more about speed and physical endurance. Blasting requires endurance
and technical consistency. Although by being technical, I don’t mean being rigid. I try to be technically proﬁcient, but at the same time I try to be more creative with my imagination rather than just being calculative. I try my best to play as relevant to the music as possible. Playing in a jazz band, on the other hand, is a much more dynamic experience. You need to be conscious about a lot of different things. Also, it is more of a communication sort of thing rather than just playing the speciﬁc part well. Jazz allows everyone the freedom to tell their own story and improvise. Apart from that, playing two different genres is challenging as well as inspiring for me. Playing in various bands helps me never get bored. I mean, for example, if I get bored playing jazz, I get inspired and ﬁnd motivation to play death metal and vice versa. This way, I get to keep my creativity ﬂowing. It’s all about getting ideas from different sources, connecting and then developing them. ----Check out this video of Rishav playing with Binaash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFNytxYDNug
KIRAN SHAHI, JINDABAAD
KIRAN SHAHI is undoubtedly one of the best drummers Nepal’s music scene has ever had. Kiran began his musical journey with progressive metal band, Ushma Weg, earning high accolades for his proﬁciency behind the drum kit. Now he plays drums for supergroup Jindabaad!!! and several other projects. Here’s an interview done by APOORVA LAL with this extremely talented drummer.
Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
KIRAN SHAHI, JINDABAAD What projects are you involved with these days? Any plans of new projects/ releases? I’m currently involved with JCS trio, Spacecakebreak (a new industrial metal group), Jindabaad, Lyrics Indy, Kristina Allen and Jazz fo’ yo’azz (a jazz project with KJC faculty). Playing in many bands as a professional drummer can be quite a handful, but it’s a lot of fun. How many hours do you practice these days and how does that compare to your practice schedule during your early days as a drummer? My practice is usually divided into 2 parts – band practice and self practice. Since I’m involved with many bands, I usually have band practice every day with one band or the other, and I work on tunes as well as many aspects of songwriting during band practice. In self practice, I work on Rudimental studies (I’m currently working on rudimental solos by Charley Wilcoxon). I also work on studying music theory, harmony and doing ear training (which I also have to work on as part of my college work). In my early days, I had much longer practice sessions and concentrated more on technique, posture and endurance. These days, I concentrate more on musicality and working on tunes. What bands/artists/genres would you cite as key inﬂuences? Please also name ﬁve drummers who have had a profound inﬂuence on your approach to drumming. I initially got serious with drumming when a friend of mine (Ashesh – guitarist of Ushma Weg) showed me a video of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham playing ‘Moby Dick’ back in class 8. Bonham’s energy blew me away, and I started playing seriously from that day onwards. Later, I got into progressive bands like Dream Theater, and Mike Portnoy became a key inﬂuence on my style. Ushma Weg was formed as a result of the members’ love for progressive metal, and we covered a number of Dream Theater songs like Overture, Metropolis, Ytse Jam etc. Then, after joining KJC, I found that I really enjoyed jazz and was inﬂuenced by drummers like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Antonio Sanchez and Bill Stewart. Mike Mangini was also a key inﬂuence on my style. My ﬁrst drum teacher Antonio Alvarez is also a very important inﬂuence.
KIRAN SHAHI, JINDABAAD Locally, my friend Sarthak Upadhyaya has been a key inﬂuence. When and how did you start out playing drums? Did you ever expect to make a career in music? A friend of my dad’s was a drummer, and I enjoyed watching him play and wanted to play the drums myself. So, my dad bought me an Indian drum kit when I was in 6th grade, and I began playing in earnest. I was very keen on pursuing music as a career from the very beginning, and I was very fortunate to have extremely supportive parents. After I ﬁnished school, I joined KJC and worked there as a librarian because I couldn’t afford to study there. Antonio Alvarez, drum teacher at KJC, was very impressed when he saw me play. I remember him telling Mariano (Abello, Director of KJC) that ‘There’s a monster in the drum room’. Thanks to that episode, I was awarded a full scholarship to become a student at KJC. Studying there changed my musical perspective completely; I met international musicians and studied theory and started enjoying Jazz a lot. I started playing with Mariano Abello and other KJC faculty, as well as the ﬁrst big band in South Asia conducted by Dr Gene Aitken at KJC. After that, I started playing with JCS trio, Astha Tamang Maskey and later went on to join Jindabaad and other projects. What albums are you listening to at the moment? Albums that I listen often are the ones I keep going back to because I enjoy them so much. ‘Elastic’ by Joshua Redman, ‘Stadium Arcadium’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘Scenes from a Memory’ by Dream Theater, ‘Piece by Piece’ by Katie Melua, Jojo Mayer’s albums with Nerve, Mike Mangini’s albums, Porcupine Tree albums like ‘In Absentia’ and ‘Fear of a blank planet’. What is your current drum setup (and does it vary depending on the
band you are playing with?) and what is the setup that you dream of having? Well, I currently use 2 different kits, one is a Jazz kit and the other is a Rock kit. The Jazz kit is a small customized Yamaha kit with a 16’’ kick, 14’’ Yamaha maple custom absolute snare, Zildjian A series Cymbals, Istanbul Ride and Paiste Rock Series cymbals. The Rock kit is a Customized Pearl Kit with a 12’’ ﬁrst tom, 14’’ ﬂoor tom, 22’’ bass drum and the aforementioned cymbals. I use Remo and Evans skins, Pro-Mark sticks for normal playing (7A’’ for Jazz, 5A’’ and 5B’’ for rock), Vic Firth Brushes for ballads, Mallets for ambient passages and Vic Firth Rute Sticks for acoustic playing. I use the Pearl Power Shifter Eliminator pedal and hi-hat stand. The different sticks are to add more dynamics to my playing. As for a dream kit, I keep customizing my kit and so don’t really have a dream kit. What are the differences in your approach to drumming when you are playing with Jindabaad!!! And the JCS trio? Are there any major stylistic differences in your approach to playing different genres of music? My stylistic approach to drumming is usually based on adapting jazz drumming and ideas to a rock scenario. I also have many tribal inﬂuences and am also strongly inﬂuenced by nepali percussion instruments like dhime, nagara and the like. Ideas vary widely from band to band, and innovation is very important in creating music that is well suited for any band. I think actively listening to music and working on tunes with skilled musicians of various genres has helped me a lot in this regard. Plastic Heart EP’ was very well received by listeners. Tell us a little about the recording process and your future plans with Jindabaad!!!
KIRAN SHAHI, JINDABAAD The drum tracks for Plastic Heart EP were recorded live in the studio, and all the other instruments were home recorded. Some drum sounds were modiﬁed using Superior drummer samples for better quality. Credit for the sound goes to Rohit ‘Sahu’, because his vast knowledge of production made the whole process a lot more rewarding and enjoyable. Currently, we’re working on our full length album slated for release in 2012. Most of the composition is done online and ideas are shared through the internet with Sahu (vocalist/guitarist), who is currently in Bangkok. We will start recording and gigging once he gets back. We will be using trigger sounds in future gigs – sahu has been working on that. How tough was it to play on clicks/with the metronome during the recording process? What advice would you give to drummers for studio recording? A metronome is of utmost importance for a drummer. A drummer’s primary role is that of a timekeeper in the band, and so one’s timing has to be very strong. I worked on that by practicing along with the metronome when playing with the band, and also did gigs with the metronome playing on my headphones. All this helps one internalize the clicks of the metronome, and once an internal clock is developed, the whole process becomes much easier. Recording becomes very difﬁcult without the internal clock, so I’d recommend that any drummer practice with the metronome (and play along with recorded tracks) to develop it. What else do you do besides drumming? I am a member of the board of directors and the head of promotion for the youth magazine Verse (I recommend that all readers check it out at www.verse.com.np ). I am also a drum instructor at The British School and also give private lessons as well. I am also studying Ethnomusicology (B.Mus) at the Kathmandu University
Department of Music. Any advice you would like to give to young drummers? I’d recommend that drummers practice with metronomes and with recordings, and refer to as many books as possible. Some books that I’d recommend are The alpha, Time Traveller, Beyond Independence (all three by George Shepherd), Stick Control Accents & Rebounds by George L. Stone, 40 basic rudiments, Syncopation by Ted Reed and rhythm Knowledge System by Mike Mangini. The key is always practice, practice, practice. Band practice, Self practice are both equally important. Work on Posture and technique of both hands and feet. Be open to all genres of music and all types of drumming; there’s always something to learn from each genre. If you have any queries or issues, feel free to contact me on facebook or email me at email@example.com. I’d be glad to help. Lastly, anything you want to add to wrap this up ? Thank you all the members of ktmROCKS for this interview, I want to thank each and everyone who has supported Jindabaad and my other bands. And lastly, I want to thank my girlfriend Reshma Tuladhar for her support and love in my life. Thank you very much for taking time out to answer our questions. We wish you the best with your projects and hope to hear more great music from you in the future. Jindabaad!!! Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/jindabaad
LILLE GRUBER, DEFEATED SANITY
LILLE GRUBER is considered to be one of the most unique sounding and versa�le drummers in the death metal world. He is the only remaining founding member of the German brutal death metal monsters DEFEATED SANITY and has also played for numerous death metal bands like Cenotaph (Turkey), Belphegor, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Mucopus, Sinners Bleed, etc. Here is an interview with him, conducted by RASHREE SINGH.
LILLE GRUBER, DEFEATED SANITY Greetings from Nepal, Lille! How have you been doing lately? Hey Rashree, I am doing ﬁne! We are preparing for the Euro tour with Gorgasm in August/ September right now and things couldn’t go better! Going back to your starting days, who inspired you to start playing the drums? At what age did you start playing? The person that inspired me the most to play drums or music in general was my dad, who also was a musician. I grew up in a community of musicians. All my dad’s friends were musicians and I heard and saw them play everyday. So I guess that inﬂuences you as a child. Your style of drumming draws a lot from some other elements of the drumming world and makes your sound and style unique than any drummer I have personally heard in brutal death metal. Can you elaborate on how you created your playing style? Well, I really take music in general seriously. My aim is to make serious music, not pop music. So if you wanna make the best music you can, you will look up to the best, the top of the music world. And that includes mostly jazz, classical, folklore but also pop, rock, soul, blues, of course metal and even hip-hop, electronic stuff, etc. A good musician gets inspired by all musical art form. For how I created my style, my way of playing evolves from my preferences and what comes out is a mix of all that I prefer. I guess you create your own style in a way where you listen a lot to other drummers/musicians and then ﬁrst try to imitate, then ﬁnd your own way how to involve this stuff. How do you tune such a unique set of drums? I really just learned to really tune my drums haha, before I just worked on the drums until they kinda sounded cool for me. For me personally a very important thing is to have the snare nice and high. A too low snare drum seems too “fat” for me, a high one is nice and dynamic, also has that punch.
LILLE GRUBER, DEFEATED SANITY
What kind of snare drum do you use to get that tight sound? I use a Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum – to me, the mother of all snares. Although, I can’t even say that. I just never used much other stuff besides that cause I never felt the need. Would you care to elaborate a bit on your current kit? My current kit consists of 1 bass drum with double pedal (never could afford a second one plus it has no room in my rehearsal space haha), 2 hang toms, 1 stand tom, 2 crashes, ride, china, hihats and the crashes have splash cymbals and a bell on top. I like playing around with splashes now; it’s the ﬁrst time in my life I had the money to afford some small cool stuff like that. It’s a Pearl Master series kit btw.
Well thank you, glad to hear that! Well I never give up and never stop doubting myself so I guess that is the reason for always improving. The general style of every album changed too - different song structure, different riffs. So that is the reason for a different drumming style as well. Also, every album had different drum sounds. None of them really satisﬁed me yet. I hope I can get closer to my vision next time.
Tell us the way you approach after every album? There is quite a shift in drumming between all of your albums, each got better than the previous.
How much do you think that the change in band’s lineup affects the style of music that it plays? What has been the case with Defeated Sanity?
Hmmm depends what situation you have. I think the most important is if the core band knows what they wanna do, if new members come into the whole thing they can be either “executors” or creative minds that vastly change the material. For us, when Chris came into the band his style of playing inspired more fast grinding then we had before. I remember I had to really keep up with him in the beginning. He writes less “contemplated” stuff than going for raw fast insanity, which is a nice contrast to what I was doing.
LILLE GRUBER, DEFEATED SANITY Sadly enough, quite a lot of bands use programmed or at least triggered drums on their albums. What’s your thought on programmed drumming? Were you ever tempted to use programmed drumming? I was never tempted to do that stuff. We need organic, human sounding drums. Well programmed drumming works for a few bands, I am thinking about Heinous Killings and Mortician here. But for a live drummer to sound like a machine (=triggering the whole kit) makes no sense to me. Also lots of guitarists do it cause they can’t ﬁnd a drummer but wanna release shit.... so it’s kind of “worst case scenario” thing. What bands are you listening to right now? And what sort of music do you normally enjoy listening to? Right now I have been on a big old school trip haha. Listening to lots of old Malevolent Creation, Monstrosity... the more thrashy stuff you know? Always listen to jazz and classical stuff on the side, but my main menu is still metal. Right now listening to Watchtower “Control and Resistance”. Immense album! Could you name some drummers who have inﬂuenced you a lot? So many great drummer out there, so this time I
will mention a whole lot of them haha: Tony Williams, Jack De Johnette, Billy Cobham, Wolfgang Teske, Alex Marquez, Stephen Shelton, Rick Colaluca, Lee Harrisson, Chad Walls, Jon Engman, Brad Fincher, Gene Holgan, Sean Reinert... the list is endless. So what’s up with your current bands, Defeated Sanity and Cenotaph? You were in verge of touring? Well, with Cenotaph I don’t do stuff anymore. I haven’t heard from Batu in a longer time now. I think they are working with a young line up in Turkey now and it seems to go really well with their drummer. With DS, as I said, we are right now preparing for the Euro tour starting in August. Also working on 5 new songs and writing much more material than that. I think the next album will be recorded next summer. I am conﬁdent about it. You have been the only remaining original member of Defeated Sanity now. How does it feel to drive the band as the only founder member remaining? Well, ﬁrst and foremost it’s sad to have lost the founding member Wolfgang Teske last year to cancer, RIP!!! He was there with me from the beginning, and then decided he couldn’t do it anymore in 2008 because his ﬁngers didn’t work that well anymore. But with Jacob and Chris, the core of the band seems like my ﬁrst real band,
so it still feels like this is the ﬁrst line up (minus Wolfgang). It’s a great feeling to know, the 4th album is coming up and things just keep getting better for us. Also is a hard task to top each album you released before though. Songwriting-wise, we can’t top the last one, but we will try to make the production better. Can you please tell us about each member and a brief background of Defeated Sanity? Yes, gladly! Jacob I got to know when we were building a new line up after I came to Berlin from Bavaria. I saw him with his old band CEREBRIC TURMOIL, who made a crazy mix of math core and death metal and when I saw him play I knew he was the guy I wanna work with, he was a young fucker too, 17 years old. Chris we met a bit before when we were searching for a bass player, some bassist came to audition and brought Chris with him. In the end we decided to work with Chris but not the bass player. The latest member for DS is Konni on vocals. He was in Despondency before and we have known him since the Demo days. He is a very good frontman and singer, so we are a very strong team! Who’s writing the songs? What are the main themes/subjects of the music? Well I would say I am the musical director in this
LILLE GRUBER, DEFEATED SANITY band. I hear lots of riffs from my band members and compose even more than that myself... and most time in my life I spend with contemplating about putting them together in a good order. This happens on the way to work in trains, at the instrument, or just walking around, or while giving lessons. Lyrical themes are all inspired by the evil in this world. Both the evil that we witness ourselves, but mainly the repugnant things we hear everyday in the news or whatever. We are just very fascinated with cruelty, violence, dark thoughts. Are there any goals you want to reach drummingwise? Yeah, for sure. I try to get faster and more accurate with my double bass. But on the other side I wanna get more ﬂuent with improvisation and jazzy stuff. If u ask me, two contradicting things... but practicing completely different things must be good for you, as you will get a broad horizon musically. I might wanna start jazzy stuff when I get old, haha. That would rule!
Anything you do besides drumming (I mean some other jobs)? No, I only give music lessons right now (guitar and drums), it’s my job. Lastly, any advice, tips, would you give to younger drummers here in Nepal? Play everything SLOW ﬁrst, if you wanna be able to play it fast. Also incorporate dynamics in your playing. Listen to the drummers and the bands I mentioned! And listen to them good, and then play your own stuff and try to emulate it at home while playing your style in the shows!
Thanks a bunch Lille for your kind reply ! Keep it brutal, and keep it sick. DEFEATED SANITY: http://www.facebook.com/DefeatedSanity
5 Records That Changed Your Life Bibek Tamang - E.quals/Lost Oblivion Surya Pun - Antim Grahan Dipesh Hirachan - Ink Blot Rishav Acharya - Binaash Mike Parker - Ayurveda
5 Records That Changed Your Life Bibek Tamang, E.Quals
Bibek Tamang has been playing drums for almost ﬁve years and he’s played with a lot of bands from Kathmandu such as Deadefy, Vhumi, Lost Oblivion, Bi�er Euphemism, E.Quals and a new project called Underside, with genres as diverse as thrash, death metal to metalcore. Here are the ﬁve records that changed his life:
METALLICA - KILL ‘EM ALL
I heard this album when I was 15 and was really impressed with the speed Metallica played in. I had been listening to bands like Guns N Roses, Scorpions and some glam rock stuff at that time, so when I got hold of this album it showed me a whole different side of metal and also introduced me to my all-time favourite drummer: Lars Ulrich. The ﬁrst song I learnt to play from this album was “Seek & Destroy” and I still love jamming some Metallica today.
SLAYER - REIGN IN BLOOD
It was in 2007 when I ﬁrst heard “Angel Of Death” and I thought it sounded “extra-terrestrial”. I was amazed by Dave Lombardo’s playing and, at that time, didn’t know how he managed to play at such an intense tempo with such speedy double bass work. That was the moment I started to get serious about drumming and started listening to Death and Black Metal.
SLIPKNOT - DISASTERPIECES
This video album features Slipknot performing at London Dockland Arena. I actually didn’t know any of the songs when I ﬁrst watched the DVD, all I knew was that there was a sick drum solo in the middle. I think Slipknot is one of those bands that you like as soon as you see them. I started listening to Meshuggah, Sikth and Killswitch Engage after watching this DVD and absolutely love playing this genre of music.
TOOL - LATERALUS
This Grammy-winning album is outstanding. I like Tool not because of Danny Carey but because of Maynard. Although I think the drumming in this and the other Tool albums are great, I think the most attractive aspect of the band is the vocals. Maynard is simply amazing! I also tend to listen to A Perfect Circle a lot.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD - NIGHTMARE
A7X’s “Nightmare” is what I’ve been listening to these days. I think the compositions are outstanding. I was quite tired listening to the same stuff but when I heard this album I felt a new surge of energy. The drumming is superb. Mike Portnoy playing with the band was really interesting. R.I.P. James “The Rev” Sullivan.
5 Records That Changed Your Life Surya Pun, Antim Grahan This “shy” monster has been playing drums for around three years. He plays with An�m Grahan and Deﬁne Mental. Here are the ﬁve records that changed his life:
CRUENTUS - ASANTUSTA AATMA When it comes to life changing bands, a must mention for me would be Cruentus, in that they not only amazed me with their music but literally encouraged me to get into the scene. ‘Rockheads 2005’ was the ﬁrst time I got a chance to see all the talented musicians of that time, including Cruentus. The powerful dual growls, the heavy and raw guitar tones, and the brilliant drumming skills easily made them one of the tightest live bands I’d ever seen. Soon enough, I purchased the album “Asantusta Aatma” which right away blew my mind. You can imagine the inﬂuence Cruentus created in the mind of an 8th grader who was starting to grow a huge interest towards the metal genre and the local scene. I started learning their songs in my guitar and jam along with my friends. Allan Shrestha’s incredible drumming during the live shows was also a key factor that fascinated me towards playing drums. I really respect them as musicians and still have very much to learn from them. Kudos to Cruentus!
CRYPTOPSY - NONE SO VILE This was the ﬁrst album that got me into death metal, and it later made paved my way into more of the technical and brutal death metal bands. One of the craziest high pitched screams/deep guttural growl combo, powerful low pitched sick technical / heavy /catchy /groovy guitars riffs, backed up by a tight rhythm section with well written/recorded bass lines and brutal drumming with intense hyperblasts and ﬁlls makes this a very tight album and perfectly deﬁnes the term “Death Metal”. I credit “None so Vile” for making death metal one of my favorite genres to listen and to play.
FREDRIK THORDENDAL’S SPECIAL DEFECTS SOL NIGER WITHIN Soon I began inclining more towards technical metal, and Meshuggah was responsible for infusing the “Djent” love in me. I am a huge Meshuggah/ ‘Djent’ fan, Which further lead me the way to this album - that curiosity to experience ‘the usual Meshuggah sound’. Finally I got to listen to it, and “weird” is a perfect word to describe my opinion on the ﬁrst listen of this album. It took a while for me to get used to this record, and once it did this album changed my approach/perspective towards music. The metal/jazz fusion elements with unusual ‘psychonaught’ vocals and usual Meshuggah type mathriffs makes this album one of the must interesting and crazy thing to listen to. On top of that, Morgen Agren’s otherworldly drumming takes you far ahead than the average, and even makes you confused and puzzled at times. This album is said to be for musicians not listeners. “If you are a drummer this album is must. If you are musician, this album is for you”. Explore!
SIKTH - THE TREES ARE DEAD & DRIED OUT WAIT FOR SOMETHING WILD Sikth is one band that hit me really hard on my way of exploring new bands. They were nothing like I’ve ever heard before. The dual vocal attacks, intense guitar riffs, technical drumming, and beautifully written bass lines grabbed my attention on the ﬁrst spin. Sikth broke all the barriers and took music to a whole new level. Justin Hill and Mikee W. Goodman singing back and forth (doing different “character voices” if you will) and creating an ambient atmosphere makes it a totally unique album. Pin and Dan Weller’s incredibly complex riffs with odd timings and difﬁcult picking patterns backed up by brilliant ﬂavorful ﬁlls and rapidly changing styles of James Leach on the bass and Dan Ford on drums provided me with a whole new listening experience. The whole album is nothing short of immense, and every member is on top of their game, going above and beyond what is “normally” required. They truly redeﬁned heavy music and took it to a new level.
A PERFECT CIRCLE - THIRTEENTH STEP And last on this list would be A Perfect Circle. It really is very different from what I usually listen/play, but nonetheless equally special for me and hence inﬂuences me on its own ways. I personally think ‘Thirteenth Step’ is a masterpiece as it shows a certain point of maturity, both musically as well as lyrically. It’s basically a concept album that relates to addiction to anything, I reckon. It is a kind of album that requires a few listens to like it, a few more to love it, and then some more to get you totally hooked onto. Throughout the album, we see musical variations in songs like ‘The Outsider’, ‘Pet’, and the likes of ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Noose’, but the theme of the album remains unharmed and unchanged. No doubt, its one of most addictive albums I’ve listened to in years.
5 Records That Changed Your Life Dipesh Hirachan, Ink Blot Dipesh is a badass mofo who used to bang and abuse (literally) drums for Albatross and now he bashes skin for US based metal band Ink Blot. Here are the ďŹ ve records that changed his life:
PANTERA: COWBOYS FROM HELL This is the ﬁrst heavy album I ever listened to. I got this album from Avaya (bassist of Albatross) and was blown away by the double bass drumming in the song “Domination”. Vinnie Paul is the man! He’s got lots of groove in his playing, lots of progressive rock elements and he also owns the best strip club in Dallas (The Club House)!
DREAM THEATER - AWAKE “Awake” gave me a fresh approach to what drumming is all about and I got into more progressive drumming after listening to this album. It was like learning to play drums in a more theoretical way - understanding time signature, poly rhythms, techniques and all the crazy awesome fundamentals of drumming. Mike Portnoy is a very inﬂuential drummer. This band was also my gateway to bands like Rush, Porcupine Tree and King Crimson as well as an introduction to awesome prog- drummers like Gavin Harrison, Neil Peart and Virgil Donati.
SEPULTURA - BENEATH THE REMAINS This album helped me a lot with playing real heavy music. When I was in Abattoir, we did quite a few Sepultura covers and I used to love jamming “Inner Self”. Igor Cavalera brings a lot of his roots to his drumming. I like his style and endurance. I recently got to see the Cavalera brothers play live and they played lots of Sepultura songs. It was fucking awesome!
DEATH - SYMBOLIC I got into this band late but had never heard such technical and also musically advanced stuff till then. Symbolic is one of the greatest albums I have ever listened to - the name sums it all up. Chuck Schuldiner is an awesome song writer and his vocals and lyrics are amazing. More than that, I got introduced to Gene Hoglan. His drumming is also the sole reason I like Death a lot. Gene Hoglan, for me, is by far the best metal drummer to ever exist. He’s got power grooves and awesome tempos changes, very accurate, super technique and awesome foot work. No wonder he’s nick named the “Atomic Clock”.
DEREK RODDY - SERPENTS RISE Derek Roddy is the best extreme metal drummer to date and this album proves it. It’s fucking fast! A perfect example of extreme metal drumming. His single foot blasts are amazing and his playing and technique have been very inspirational as well as educative in lots of ways. Playing that fast and having superb control with superb endurance is absolutely amazing. His drumming exercises are very helpful.
Rishav is probably the most ‘technically’ adept metal drummer around in Kathmandu. He plays for the mighty death metal band Binaash. Here are the ﬁve records that changed his life:
MILES DAVIS - FOUR AND MORE LIVE The late great Tony Williams, one of my drumming idols, plays on this record. This recording was extremely important to me because it taught me the importance of “form in a tune” and knowing where I am in that particular tune. I also learnt about being aware of what I’m playing at every step and making it musical rather than just playing notes on the drums, or any other instrument for that matter. This applies to not just jazz but every other genre. Another thing that I love about this record is the raw sound of swing on Tony Williams’ cymbals. Its sound is what drives the whole quintet into a “movement” sort of thing. The music really “moves” and that’s what a drummer, or any other musician, should be able to do. I mean, create a momentum and make the music ﬂow, make it breathe. Tony Williams is master of paradiddles and the way he phrases them around is what caught my attention. I’m actually still listening to this record and trying to study Tony’s technique.
5 Records That Changed Your Life Rishav Acharya, Binaash
CANNIBAL CORPSE - BUTCHERED AT BIRTH This album is what I consider to be my source of inspiration for playing heavy music. Although I had heard bands like Children Of Bodom, Sepultura, Metallica, etc before, it was this record that really caught my attention and inspired me to bang my drums as loud as possible while playing butcher blasts or bomb blasts. I was aware of blast beats being used in other albums but butcher blasts sounded the most brutal and heavy to me. My favourite tracks in the album are the title track and “Vomit The Soul” where the double bass drums sound like big heavy guns being ﬁred and the snare seems to sound like a butcher’s knife slicing off the meat. That’s what heaviness is to me in music, not 300 bpm tempos or playing 32 notes on the bass drums. The sound of the bass drum on this album is what I want for myself as well when I’m playing this type of music. This album also taught me several techniques that I use while playing in Binaash, such as the brutal ﬁlls and cymbal work, for instance, choking your crash cymbal immediately after crashing it, those sorts of things.
humour before coming across Frank Zappa. I know it’s fun and satisfying playing music but laughing aloud while listening to it is a different thing altogether. The drummer in this album is Terry Bozzio, one of my drumming idols and a musical inspiration.
FRANK ZAPPA - BABY SNAKES This is some of the weirdest music I’ve heard and it’s really fun to listen to because Frank Zappa cracks jokes in the recording itself. I never realized that music could be linked with
Frank Zappa’s music is not just humourous, there’s also musical genius involved. There are polyrhythmic parts and some of the weirdest time signatures I’ve heard but the most intelligent thing about it all is that these weird elements sound musically relevant. All of this made me realize that music is a form of art that can be created with any idea, rather than just something that’s played to a certain timing. I also noticed that music can transcend sounds because listening to Frank Zappa sometimes feels like watching a stage show!!
MORBID ANGEL – DOMINATION Morbid Angel’s “Domination” is another awesome record. Pete Sandoval is the God of Blasts! He is not as fast as the modern drummers of today but he is the embodiment of what I consider to be the “true spirit” of metal drumming. I have analyzed and studied a number of his techniques but when I think about Pete Sandoval I think of the overall sound of his drumming which many drummers of today, Derek Roddy for instance, consider to be the roots of metal drumming. As a drummer, I realized the importance of tuning the drums the way I want it and making
it sound the way I want it to by listening to Sandoval’s drumming on this record. While most Death Metal drummers tune their drums quite low, his tuning is somewhere in between. Pete also has a unique style of drum ﬁlls. He plays the toms together, not ﬂam but in unison. I’ve applied this style in various Binaash songs.
KARIZMA - DOCUMENT In 1999, Electric Jazz band Karizma played at the Modern Drummer Festival with Vinnie Colaiuta, one of the greatest drummers in the history of the instrument. This album documents that performance. Colaiuta has blazed this album with his musical ideas, rudimental soloing and chops - it’s basically greatness in this form of art. Vinnie Colaiuta has played on thousands of records but he manages to sound and feel different on each one of them. That in itself is a unique ability, something most musicians cannot achieve no matter how talented they may be. I haven’t heard all of Vinnie’s records but this particular one is what I consider to be a “listening and getting inspired” album because, as drummers, we try to watch more than listen. This album taught me not only the rudiments of drumming but also playing melodically and in harmony with the band. Apart from that, I consider Vinnie Colaiuta’s ﬂam technique and wicked technical ﬁlls a major source of learning. That’s why I consider “Document” a life changing record.
5 Records That Changed Your Life Mike Parker, Ayurveda Mike Parker is the drummer for Ayurveda, rock band based in New York, USA. Mike also works as Producer/Recording Engineer and cites Ma� Chamberlain, Vinnie Colaluta, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Will Calhoun, William Goldsmith as his inﬂuences. Here he shares the ﬁve records that changed his life. “OK, here we go. It’s an odd bunch, but its where a lot of my early inspiration came from. Here they are in no particular order.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Photo: Bikash Rajkarnikar
Sunny Day Real Estate “Diary” Circle Jerks “Wonderful” Critters Buggin “Host” Pearl Jam “Ten” Soul Coughing “Ruby Vroom”
“I have a difﬁcult time selecting just 5, but at this moment these are the 5 that come to mind. It is hard for me to say what it was in particular about these records that meant so much, and therefore I will forego the album by album talk. When most of them came out I was a guitarist and had no idea I would someday play the drums. However, I think that each of these records represents a different element of my sound and playing style now as a drummer. These are also some of my all time favorite albums and I still listen to them all to this day.”
We’d run a very long interview with the band in our previous issue, you can check out the interview here: h�p://ktmrocks.com/site/interview-ayurveda/
The Allan Shrestha Experience Billy Cobham Masterclass
ALLAN SHRESTHA, without a shred of doubt, is one of the best drummers Kathmandu’s underground scene has ever witnessed. The magniﬁcent work with Cruentus’ 2005 album “Asantustha Aatma” is a wonderful testimony of the sheer talent this naturally gifted drummer possesses. Allan has set a bar for metal drummers, but most importantly, he has paved way for younger drummers in the scene, and has been a ﬁgure to look up to, and get inspired. Currently, Allan is studying music in London, UK and here he shares his experience of attending a master class given by legendary Billy Cobham.
Slowly, he started to increase the intensity and the dynamics along with it. It started getting busier and busier with 16th to 32nd notes ﬂying here and there and it sounded perfect. No mistakes, no uneven strokes just technically “ﬂawless”. It went on for quite a bit and kept going. At one point he looked like a magician with two sticks in each hand doing crazy stuff which you don’t think is humanly possible (thank god he wasn’t juggling those sticks).
Eagerly waiting outside in the queue with some of my classmates from Drumtech, we were excited as hell to see the legend “Billy Cobham”. Well, for me, it was the second time. And as this time he had brought his gigantic kit (and oh yes, I like big kits), it was even more exciting. Finally the doors opened and we all went in. My friend Matt and me, sat right in front of the kit to get the best view. And lo and behold it was a beautiful Yamaha maple custom drum kit in natural ﬁnish, the reason I knew that is because I’ve got the snare that’s missing from the kit (more on that later). After waiting for a bit and discussing about the kit and cymbals and other drum geekiness, ﬁnally Billy Cobham walked in the room and took the stage. He started with an open solo. It was very quiet and dynamically low (pianissimo – for music nerds), as if he was doing ghost notes.
We all stared in awe as our jaws dropped on the ﬂoor. It was almost 20 mins and there was no sign of him stopping his solo. It was like he was trying expressing his feelings or telling a story with his solo and drums as his medium. His face was full of expression, sweat and emotion. The solo ended after about 40 mins, everyone cheered and clapped in amazement. Most people did not get that solo and later were complaining it was pointless. But I really felt it. Every stroke, every change in dynamics, every groove, it was like matrix in front of me. I was connected in a different level as the whole solo wasn’t just chops and showing off, it was so musical and had a lot of meaning to what he was doing. It was like going through an emotional rollercoaster. After that, he started explaining about how he got lucky playing for bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brecker Brothers, Miles Davis, etc. He also explained how he tried to break the conventional method of playing drums – anything from changing the grip of the hands (e.g. having a French grip on the left hand and traditional grip on the right hand) to playing open handed (leading with the left hand on a right handed kit). He also explained how he used to change the order of toms so it would challenge him to come up with new ways to play a simple ﬁll or come up with completely new ideas to improvise. He also spoke about his ﬁrst solo album “Spectrum”, which is one of the best jazz-fusion albums of all time.
After that, he started taking some questions. The questions ranged from improving technique to speciﬁc grooves that he played in albums and so on. He managed to answer all the questions in depth and showed numerous examples. Later on, he was joined by some of the teachers in Tech Music School.
Billy: (Without a blink of an eye, he started saying (like chanting a mantra)): - Get a pillow and practice rudiments on it. - Get a coin, the smallest you can get and put it on top of the pillow and try to get both stick on the coin on each stroke, without missing it.
Carl Orr – Guitar (He’s toured with Billy Cobham extensively) Andrew McKinney – Bass (Head of bass) Simon Carter – (Head of keys)
And that was it, that was what he had actually done or so he wanted me to believe. It was one of those crazy practice ideas, but sadly a very tough one, as I tried it and the coin kept moving and did not really work for me. But then again, if you want fast hands like Billy Cobham then that’s the secret!
They performed some amazing songs like Red Baron and few others from his own album. They had never rehearsed before and just jammed those songs in sound check like an hour before the masterclass (there you go – professional players).
So, I got out of the venue, a big smile on my face and had a raw adrenaline rush in my body. It was like I had just won the lottery but realistically I just wanted to play then and there, but sadly I had to take a train and go back home and keep all the excitement to myself.
After that, the masterclass was over, but I did not want to leave yet. Of course not without meeting him, taking a picture and taking his autograph (OH YES!), haha. A total drum geek but who can you blame? So, he turned up for his autograph session, I had brought my Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute snare, which surprisingly was of same colour as his kit. So, after waiting in the queue for a bit, I had a chance to say hello to him (nervously). I gave him the snare to sign and asked him if I could take a picture. He agreed, but when the picture was being taken, he got distracted by something or someone (and I will never know what it was). So, he’s looking somewhere else in the picture. Before I left I just asked him: Me: What’s the best way to get your hands really fast?
Drum Talk with Alec Sciamma
ALEC SCIAMMA, drummer for now defunct progressive band ATOMIC BUSH, is currently located in Carcassonne, France. He’s been playing drums for grindcore/death band YOUR ASS IS ON FIRE and a power blues/rock trio TOMBSTONE. He’s been touring and giging with the bands, saving enough to buy a couple of drum sets. Here is the drums description of his kit when he plays with Tombstone.
My main set is a SONOR FROCE 2007 Fusion Birchwood kit; I have two snare drums one Ludwig 90’s 14/5.5 and one Gretch 14/3 Picolo snare. For my kick pedal I use a PEARL ELIMINATOR Double pedal with Double chain and I use the blue clamp (it comes with four interchangeable clamps). I’m sure most of the drummers who play metal or progressive music know that this pedal is the best on the market for its price (quite expensive for Nepali market). Kit Shell conﬁguration: Bass Drum 20” Toms 10” And 12” Side Tom 14” Cymbals: K Series Custom session crash (Steve Gadd model) 16” K Series Custom Dark crash 18” Avedis Zildjan Hi Hat 13” Meinel China 18” Paiste 502 Ride 20” Avedis Zildjan Ride Crash 20” I use REMO pinstripe skins for all the toms, EVANS B14HD for snare and REMO powerstroke 4 skin for the bass drum. I do have in my possession a few accessories like a few cowbells, wood blocks 5” 7” and 12” splashes and a 12” china, and a few shakers brushes mallets etc.
Apart from that set, I also own a jazz TAMA kit which I play when I do gigs in small places like bars and pubs. Its a small kit which I made by transforming a 16” side tom into a Bass drums (with the proper skins and proper tuning it sounds great for jazz). Then I have 8”, 10” and 12” Toms - all reduced size. I use just the two of my K series Zildjan cymbal and my famous (haha) Avedis 13” Hi Hat for this set up. And I do get to use my girlfriend’s made-in-England PREMIER Rock kit with a set of Avedis Zildjan Cymbals.
I can say I’m quite happy with what I have for the moment but I do want to own a YAMAHA maple custom recording drums some day. Till then we’ll do with what we have. Anyway its not the drums that make the music sound good, it’s what you play and how you serve the music that makes an impression. So for all the drummers out there, just practice hard and serve well the music you play - whatever the style.
Tombstone will be recording a new album in September. Check out the band here: http://www.myspace.com/realtombstone
A Dozen Menacing Drummers
10 questions with some of the amazing rising young drummers in the local scene !
Amar Shakya (BIDROHA) Sarin Bajracharya (NAKINJHYAA) Sankalpa Chhetri (DIVINE INFLUENCE) Rasu Rajkarnikar (BLACK SINS IMMORTAL) Bivesh Thapa (HATEBOOK) Gobinda Sen (KALODIN) Subash Rana (NARSAMHAAR) Gautam Tandukar (HORNY MONKS) Dipesh Shrestha (RAGE HYBRID) Sahil Risal (WHITE) Yugal Gurung (SYMBOL OF ORION) Sujal Shrestha (WINGS OF SPASM)
1. AMAR SHAKYA - BIDROHA
Amar Shakya is the skin-slammer for thrash metal outﬁt BIDROHA. His approach is simple yet thrilling to watch as he plays with heart (and smile on his face), driving the band from behind the kit. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums since I was a kid; my ﬁrst performance was when I was in Class One. I played for a school function. I must have been around 6 or 7 years. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? In my family, my uncle Kiran Shakya was the ﬁrst one who started to play drums. So I was very much inﬂuenced and impressed by his drumming from my early childhood. I used to watch the way he played. And later, when I picked up the drumsticks, he helped me a lot. All the credit goes to him. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? There are many inﬂuential drummers for me and
it’s hard to boil it down to just ﬁve. However, here are some of them. Lars Ulrich: one of my favourite drummers of all time. I love his playing style, which I ﬁnd completely different from any other drummers. His playing patterns are quite different. Joey Jordison: KILLER DRUMMER. I wish I could play like him. Mike Portnoy Tomas Haake Who are you favourite local drummers? Surya Pun (Antim Grahan, Deﬁne Mental), Allan Shrestha (Cruentus) and Nikhil Tuladhar (Rock Sitar, ex-Nepathya) What are you favorite bands? Metallica, Dying Fetus, Meshuggah, Slayer, Megadeth, Dream Theater, Slipknot, Tool, TesseracT and so many. Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? I have been listening to Slayer, Meshuggah, Dying Fetus, TesseracT.
Have you ever taken any lessons? I haven’t taken any classes till now. All I do is go through google and google few drums videos and learn few techniques through it. And the next thing is that I listen to bands and try to get techniques. Describe about your practice routine? Actually I don’t have my own personal drums set right now, so it’s hard for me to practice on my will. But I do some hand exercise and foot exercise without drums and I do it almost everyday. Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? Well, like I said, I don’t have my own drums but for our band practice I have been using JINBAO drums. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? I’m studying. I’ve just ﬁnished my high school and now I’m planning for further studies in IT. Let’s see what happens haha !
2. SARIN BAJRACHARYA – NAKINJHYAA Sarin plays for death metal band NAKINJHYAA from Lalitpur of Kathmandu valley. When did you start playing drums? I started playing ‘madal’ when I was in school, and a bit of banging of desks here and there, hehe; but I started learning drums, formally only after my SLC. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? During the tenth grade, I was listening to some Led Zeppelin, and became a fan of John Bonham after reading about his life and death. So, John Bonham was my biggest inﬂuence in picking up the sticks. I also took after Travis Barker in the beginning. However, I started drumming wholehearted only after hearing from a lot of local drummers in the scene (specially Surendra Koirala and Daniel Rasaily). Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? My top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers are Surendra Koirala John Bonham Hannes Grossmann Derek Roddy Marco Minnemann and many more (you can’t really limit your inﬂuences), including Buddy Rich, Thomas Lang, Carter Beauford, Neil Peart, Chris Adler, Virgil Donati, the list goes on and on. Photo: Bharat Gurung
Who are you favourite local drummers? Talking about my favourite local drummers, the ﬁrst names I would like to mention are, Surendra Koirala, Daniel Rasaily, Bibek Tamang; I have learnt a lot from these guys. I also love watching, Rishav Acharya, Kiran Sahi, Abhaya Shrestha, Nikhil Tuladhar, Surya Pun, Bivesh Thapa among others. The scene is ﬂourishing with good bands and talented drummers. Goes to show just how much the scene has developed. Always a treat to watch drummers in action! What are you favorite bands? My favourite bands are, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC-DC, RHCP, Metallica, Slayer, Santera, Lamb of God, Opeth, Necrophagist, The Faceless, Decapitated and from out locak scene - BINAASH, HATEBOOK, JINDABAAD, HORNY MONKS, PSYCHIC TOWER, WHITE, VHUMI, ANTIM GRAHAN and so many more. Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? Currently I’m listening to few jazz, the Dave Weckl band, Modern Jazz Collection; Rush (Counterparts) and a lot of Necrophagist, The Faceless, Opeth, Animals as leaders, Blotted Science, Obscura (Omnivium, great album, great band, great
drummer), Cerebral Bore (Maniacal Miscreation, sick chick vocals),etc. Have you ever taken any lessons? I have taken drum lessons from Surendra Koirala, Daniel Rasaily and Bibek Tamang. Currently, I’m learning on my own from videos on Youtube, and a lot of books on drums and other materials. I’m always anxious to learn anything and everything new from any local drummers I encounter, its always fun. Everyone has their own approaches, opinions and styles, showing just how vast drumming really is. Describe about your practice routine? I practice, mostly a lot of stick patterns. I don’t have a very good pair of feet; however I am trying to catch up. I practice from books on drumming and from videos on youtube, drum dvds. I don’t have a regular practicing period, though, I do try to practice regularly. There are days when I practice all day, and those when I hardly practice at all. I try to keep it simple, and not rush or force myself into practicing. I feel it necessary and helpful to come back to practicing simpler and more basic patterns and rudiments time and again, rather than jumping into new and complex patterns everyday.
Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? Presently, I am playing an Indian “Glamour” drum. It’s not very satisfying, but since I’m mostly broke, I don’t have any other alternative (story of most Nepali drummers’ lives I guess). I’ve been using DIXON twin pedals, and VIC FIRTH sticks, the only two things I can brag about, hehe. Whenever I get the chance, I practice at nearby institutions. Dream setup, hhmmm I don’t know, once I dreamt I was playing on Mike Portnoy’s set!! :P But I would freaking love to have a setup like that of Terry Bozzio!! or maybe that golden drumset from Neil Peart, hahaha. Coming back to reality, I’d like to play a small drumkit, not too many cymbals (2 crash, 1 ride, a few splash cymbals maybe, a cowbell and a gong at the back, hehe!!), not too many toms (3 OR 4 would do), a pair of double bass drums, and I always wanted to try one of those direct drive pedals! Any reliable brand would be ﬁne. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? Besides drumming, I’m studying Bachelors’ of Electronics Engineering at Pulchowk Campus. I like drawing, and painting stuff and watching a lot of movies.
3. SANKALPA CHETTRI - DIVINE INFLUENCE Sankalpa Chettri plays drum for metalcore band DIVINE INFLUENCE, from Kathmandu. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums when I was 16 years old. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? First and for most, the credit goes to my friend Rishav Shrestha who saw my potential in drumming. He has encouraged me in every possible way. Also, some credit goes to my parents as well. Chris Adler was and always will be my idol. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? Chris Adler - Lamb of God, George Kollias- Nile, Tomas HaakeMeshuggah, Vinne Paul- Pantera and John Bonham- Led Zeppelin Who are you favourite local drummers? Bikram shrestha of Taamishra, Rishav Acharya of Binaash and Surya pun of Antim Grahan/Deﬁne Mental. These guys are actually making a statement by creating heavy stuff in metal drumming. They are good at what they do. I respect them. What are you favorite bands? Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
Lamb of God, Pantera, Megadeth, Meshuggah, Cannibal Corpse, Sikth, Necrophagist, Faceless, Slayer, Nile, Sepultura, Binaash, E-Quals.
Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? Lamb of God- almost every album Meshuggah- Destroy Erase Improve Megadeth- Rust in Peace Faceless- Planetary Duality, Dying fetus- Stop at Nothing Have you ever taken any lessons? No, I have not. I practice on my own, watching and learning from other drummer. Describe about your practice routine? I practice in my own room; I practice with a snare and a pedal. I don’t have a proper gear of practice set. My practice routine is random, sometime I practice
3 to 4 times a week and sometime there is a gap of days. But whenever I get chance to practice I at least put in an hour or two alone. Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I have a classic Tama drum which I used to play but it’s out of order now. The skin is alright but the spare parts are either misplaced or damaged. Nevertheless, I am planning to buy new one. During the band practice and gigs, I have played different series of Pearl and Tama drums. My dream set up is that to have one like of Chris Adler or better than his, haha. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? Besides playing drums, I play different sports, study, travel to new places, hang out with my pals and many more.
4. RASU RAJKARNIKAR – BLACK SINS IMMORTAL Rasu Rajkarnikar plays drums for BLACK SINS IMMORTAL, a death metal/metalcore band from Kathmandu. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums when I was 13. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? I would give the credit to my brother Surajan Dai. He was one who taught me how to play the drums.
Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? Joey Jordison (Slipknot), Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka (Decapitated), George Kollias (Nile), Tomas Haake (Meshuggah) and Flo Mournier (Cryptopsy). Who are you favourite local drummers? I would say Surya Pun (A.G\Deﬁne Mental), Bibek Tamang (E.Quals), Kiran Shahi (Jindabaad) and yes Allan Shrestha has always been my favourite.
What are you favorite bands? Cryptopsy, Decapitated, Dying Fetus, Sikth, Meshuggah, Slipknot, Cannibal Corpse, Ion Dissonance, Tool and many more. Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? I’m currently into albums like The Negation (Decapitated), Obzen (Meshuggah), Descend To Depravity (Dying Fetus), Organic Hallucination (Decapitated) and The Unspoken King (Cryptopsy). Have you ever taken any lessons? Yes, I sure did take some lessons at NMC three years back. It was real fun and I deﬁnitely learnt a lot about drumming. Describe about your practice routine? There is no routine practice for now, but I usually practice on the practice pad and we have band practices more often. Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I usually play Peavey these days for my band practices. My dream setup would be a Custom designed ‘DW’ drum kit with Custom Designed Sabian cymbals all around the drum kit. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? Besides drumming I play basketball and I like to workout a lot.
5. BIVESH THAPA HATEBOOK
Photo: Tripti Dhungana Shrestha
Bivesh plays drums for HATEBOOK, a death metal band from Kathmandu. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums since 2008 I guess. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? I had quite an interest in guitar and drums, and in the process I had a chance to take drum classes. There’s no particular major inﬂuence. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? Thomas Lang, Romain Goulon, Virgil Donati, Jojo Mayer, Carter Beauford and one more from Nepal - Surendra Koirala. Who are you favourite local drummers? We have KHATRA!KHATRA!!KHATRA!!! drummers in the scene but just to name few of them: Surendra Koirala (teacher), Surya Pun(the powerhouse), Rishav Acharya (technical man), Kiran Shahi, Abhaya Shrestha, Gautam, Bibek Tamang, Daniel Rasaily etc. What are you favorite bands? Opeth, Pocupine Tree, Nerve, Necrophagist, Nile, Decapitated, Suffocation, Faceless, Fellsilent, Aeon etc. From our scene, Deﬁne-Mental, Binaash, Jindabaad!, AG, E.Quals. Some jazz bands but I don’t know the name, Ashesh n
Nekhvam, Stairs of Cirith, Nakinjhyaa etc. Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? Listening to Opeth’s almost all albums repeatedly at night; and mixed playlist of Divine Heresy, Cerebral Bore, Aeon, Porcupine Tree, Dave Matthews Band, Nerve and Thomas Lang. Have you ever taken any lessons? Yeah I took lessons from Surendra Koirala in 2008. Describe about your practice routine? I practice at least an hour a day with practice pad and while I’m practicing with my bands. Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I just bought Tama Swing Star a few months back, so now I’m playing on that kit. My dream step up.....emmmm....Any Sonar Series drums, Demon Drive eliminator DoubleBass Drum pedal, ﬁlter china, Sabian Crash 18” n Hi-Hat, Meniel Crash 16” and China Splash and normal splash cymbals…. hahaha, a great dream. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? Besides drumming I like playing guitar and singing, and listening to experimental music, watching movies, hanging out with friends and watching other bands play in gigs.
6. GOBINDA SEN - KALODIN Gobinda Sen plays for KALODIN, a symphonic black metal band from Kathmandu. He used to play with black metal band Garudh. When did you start playing drums? I don’t remember the exact date but it was in the winter of 2009 when I was in class 11. I had nothing to do so I started playing just for fun. Then, I slowly got deeper into it and eventually started to take it seriously. The ﬁrst song I ever learned was Antim Grahan’s “Forever Winter” and slowly started progressing after that.
Have you ever taken any lessons? I haven’t taken formal classes and actually couldn’t even last longer than 4-5 days at Nepal Music School. Instead, I watch instructional videos of drummers like George Kollias, Derek Roddy, etc. I also download notations of drum lessons and practice. Describe your practice routine? I don’t have a daily schedule but I practice for about 1-2 hours daily and sometimes longer. I think I play drums for about 10 hours a week.
Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? A major inﬂuence would be Surya Pun from Antim Grahan. We are close school friends and I used to see him practice when he had just joined the band. Him, along with some other friends, were highly supportive of my decision to play drums. I also thank Parash dai (Antim Grahan) for helping me progress. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? My top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers would be: Frost, George Kollias, Derek Roddy, Hellhammer and Trym Torson. Who are you favourite local drummers? In the local scene, I like Surya Pun and Kiran Shahi of Jindabaad. I am also a great fan of Allan Shrestha; “Asantustha Aatma” was quite an inspiration. Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? I’m into black metal currently and am listening to albums by 1349 and Marduk such as Hellﬁre, Beyond The Apocalypse, Wormwood, Here’s No Peace, etc.
Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I am playing Duke Drums, the regular setup with Zildjian cymbals. I don’t have a dream setup right now. I’ll judge which drums will be comfortable for me as I gain experience. Although, if I got a chance, I would like to try the setup used by Frost. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? Besides drums, I’m interested in basketball and swimming.
7. SUBASH RANA - NARSAMHAAR Subash Rana plays drums for NARSAMHAAR, a death metal band from Pokhara city. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums when I was 13 years old. I used to play at school functions and during Tihar etc but slowly the passion I had for it grew stronger and it has been around 3 years since I’ve been really into it. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? I always wanted to play and perfect my skills so I was always looking at other drummers and taking ideas from them. I think this is very important for everyone as you can learn many techniques/skills just by looking at great people playing. During my time of learning, which is still going on, I was in frequent contact with Tika Ram Gurung of Psychotive Knerve and that helped me a lot too. Vinnie Paul, Joey Jordison, Derek Roddy and Chris Adler are my other inspirations. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? First I would like to mention Tika Ram Gurung of Pokhara. He helped me a lot by giving numerous ideas of playing. Talking about other great drummers, I am very inﬂuenced by Vinnie Paul, Joey Jordison, Derek Roddy and Chris Addler.
Photo: Zivon Gurung
Who are you favourite local drummers?
Describe your practice routine?
Well, Iâ€™ve been seeing quite a few good drummers in our local scene today, it was a totally different case a few years back. It could be because we have better equipments/teachers these days. I really like these drummers: Chinese Gurung (Dark Guree Amort), Rishav Acharya (Binaash), Tika Ram Gurung (Psychotive Knerve).
My practice session is pretty hectic whenever I set myself to do it. Generally, after breakfast I start with sticking practice on my practice pads for about half an hour and, after lunch, I prefer to sharpen my skills and go on playing for about 2-3 hours despite continuous complaints from the neighbours!
What are you favorite bands?
Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup?
There are plenty as there are numerous quality bands around but there are a few bands that I must mention as they have, one way or the other, inďŹ‚uenced my playing style. I have to name Pantera, Slipknot, Devourment, Meshuggah, Death, Napalm Death, Slayer etc because I have learnt so many things from these bands.
Currently I am using JINBAO drums and Paiste cymbals. I am kind of happy with what I have right now as I, more or less, possess all the decent cymbals/hi-hats and other equipment needed for the kind of music I am playing at the moment. I would like to own a Mapex drum set though and an electric set as well so that I can practice anytime I want.
Which bands/albums are you listening to currently?
Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do?
Currently I am listening to lots of brutal death metal stuff, lots of death/grind metal bands like Devourment, Severe Torture, Necrophagist, Cannibal Corpse etc.
Beside drums I like to play guitar sometimes. Fishing is my other passion and so is watching xxx movies! I also spend countless hours on the internet and yeah, last but not the least, listen to BRUTAL songs!
Have you ever taken any lessons? I havenâ€™t been trained formally as good teachers are rare here in Pokhara although I have taken many ideas from different drummers that I have come across. I believe in lots of practice and the internet is also a good source for learning if you use it wisely.
8. GAUTAM TANDUKAR HORNY MONKS Gautam plays drums for HORNY MONKS, a funk/rock/ punk/crazy band from Kathmandu city. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums after my S.L.C. I think it’s been around 6 years now. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? Peshal Khebang, a classmate of mine, is who I give credit to for making me pick up the drumsticks. He was the one who introduced me to the world of music. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? My top 5 inﬂuential drummers would be John Otto - Limp Bizkit, Travis Barker - Blink 182, Chad Smith - R.H.C.P., Dave Grohl – Nirvana and Vinnie Paul – Pantera. Can I keep a sixth one too, please? If yes, it would certainly be Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden and Lars Ulrich. Who are you favourite local drummers? Kiran Shahi (Jindabaad), Abhaya Shrestha (The Time), Rishav Acharya (Binaash), Bikram Shrestha (Tamishra), Daniel (Hari Maharjan Project), Ratna Tuladhar (Strings), Nikhil Tuladhar (Nepathya), Anil Shakya (I2ST, Jugaa), Bibek (Deadefy, E.quals), Surendra (Circle).
What are you favorite bands? My favourite bands are Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, 3 Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Story Of The Year, Walls Of Jericho, Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Murderdolls, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Metallica, Tenacious D, Mudvayne, Alien Ant Farm, Blink 182, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Gorillaz , Dave Matthews Band, Jindabaad, I2ST etc etc the list just goes on and on... Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? I am currently listening to Limp Bizkit, Breaking Benjamin, Story Of The Year, Arctic Monkeys and 3 Days Grace. Have you ever taken any lessons? I took lessons and got help from Abhay, Kiran, Rishav, Sarthak dai and Ratna dai. I also joined N.M.C. for about 3 months where I was guided by Nikhil dai of Nepathya. Describe your practice routine? To tell you the truth, I’m irregular at everything and at practice too. I don’t have a ﬁxed routine hahhahaha Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I have an Osan drum set which i have been playing for 5 years. I really don’t have a dream setup although I would be glad to have any ﬁne drum set with some ﬁne cymbals hehehehe Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? I like to eat, sleep and play PC and PS games.
Dipesh plays for RAGE HYBRID, a metalcore band very popular in Kathmandu’s underground scene! When did you start playing drums? It’s been about 5 years or so when I started playing. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? Abhay shrestha of The Time and Sujan should be credited since they introduced me to drums and are also my old friends. Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? My inﬂuential drummers are Ian Paice-Deep Purple, Mike Portney- Dream Theater, Danney Carey-Tool, Thomas Haake-Messuggah, and Tim Yeung -Divine Heresy. Who are you favourite local drummers? Favourite local drummers would be Abhay Shrestha- The Time, Kiran Shahi-Jindabaad, Surya Pun- Deﬁne Mental. What are you favorite bands? Pink Floyd, Tool, Nirvana, Frank Gamble, Killswitch Engage, Divine Heresy, Cannibal Corpse, Emperor, Behemoth, August Burns Red, Slipknot, Burzum, Messuggah Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? 10000 Days-Tool, Destroy Erase Improve -
9. DIPESH SHRESTHA – RAGE HYBRID
Messuggah, Ghs3-Frank Gamble, Evisceration Plague- Cannibal Corpse, In The Nightside Eclipse-Emperor, Ink Complete-Spastic Ink, Aenima-Tool, The Light Beyond-Frank Gamble. Have you ever taken any lessons? I have not taken any classes. Describe your practice routine? My practice is very irregular. Since I’m working, I hardly make it 4 times in a week. Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? Currently I’m using Glamor drums (with Paiste cymbals n hi-hat, then Dixon double pedal), which is equivalent to Tama to me for now. hahaha.. My dream set up is simply a Tama drum with Tama double pedal, Zildjian hi-hat, Paiste cymbals and Zildjian chyna. Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? I love cycling. I’m a fanatic of long distances cycling, hiking and creating break downs (music) in spare time.
Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
10 SAHIL RISAL - WHITE Sahil plays drums for WHITE, a genre defying rock band from Kathmandu.
Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? My parents and my elder brother as they were always supportive. My brother was my ﬁrst drum teacher.
When did you start playing drums? I was 14 when I started playing drums. I was clueless at ﬁrst and not serious at all but I slowly started getting motivated.
Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? My top 5 inﬂuential drummers are Mike Portnoy, John Bonham, Terry Williams, Chad Smith and Thomas Lang. Who are you favourite local drummers? My favourite local drummers are Daniel Rasaily and Kiran Shahi. What are you favorite bands? My favourite bands would be Planet X, Dream Theater, Jazz Pistols, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Tool, etc. Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? I’ve been listening to “Three On The Floor” by Jazz Pistols in order to improve my drumming. Have you ever taken any lessons? Yes, I’m a student at Nepal Music School, but I mostly grab exercises from the internet. Describe your practice routine? Honestly, I don’t practice by myself. I’ve been playing with three different bands at three different times these days (morning, afternoon and evening) and that’s all the practice I get. Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I play a Tama Imperial Star although I prefer Pearl to Tama. But talking about my dream setup, it’s always been a DW with Sabian HHx cymbals.
Photo: Nitesh Mulmi
Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? I like going to different places.
11. YUGAL GURUNG SYMBOL OF ORION Yugal plays drums for SYMBOL OF ORION, a kick ass thrash band formed by Nepali guys living in London, UK. When did you start playing drums? I started playing drums at the age of 14 at my school shows.
Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? Listening to Gojira’s From Mars to Sirius at the moment
Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? Salil Kumar Thakuri, who was my senior at school, had a huge inﬂuence on me to play drums. He used to play from our school band and for several other bands. We were neighbors so we shared a lot of music together.
Have you ever taken any lessons? Nope. I watch some drum lessons on YouTube and that’s about it.
Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? They would be Lars Ulrich, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portney, Chris Adler and Mike Johnston.
Describe your practice routine? We have a band practice once every week and that’s when I practice my drums. I know it’s not the best routine if you want to improve but yeah hopefully I’ll ﬁnd more time to do so since my summer break just started.
Who are you favourite local drummers? Back then in Nepal, drummers like Sudip Hada and Allan Shrestha stood out from others and I relished watching them play. I still get to watch Allan play here in the UK.
Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? I don’t own a drum myself but whenever we book practice studios I use Pearl drums. I do own a digital Yamaha DTXplorer though.
What are you favorite bands? Metallica (obviously), Megadeth, Slayer, Meshuggah, Gojira, System of a Down, Toe (japanese band), Sepultura, Pantera, Evile, Down..this can go on forever so I think I’ll stop.
Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? I like singing and playing my acoustic guitar. I love watching and playing football.
12 SUJAL SHRESTHA - WINGS OF SPASM Sujal plays drums from WINGS OF SPASM, a metalcore/symphonic metal band from Kathmandu. When did you start playing drums? I ﬁrst started playing drums at the age of 15. I was serious into it after I gave my S.L.C. Who do you credit as a major inﬂuence in picking up the drumsticks? Well there is no one in particular who inﬂuenced me to start playing drums. I was very much fond of drumming. After I was familiar with music, it became my passion.
Which bands/albums are you listening to currently? And these are the albums I am currently listening to - Carnival Is Forever (Decapitated) and Wasting Light(Foo Fighters) Have you ever taken any lessons? Yes, I have taken lessons.
Who are your top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers? My top ﬁve inﬂuential drummers would be - Joey Jordison(Slipknot), Mike Portnoy (ex Dream Theater), Virgil Donati (Planet X), George Kollias (Nile), Tim Yeung (Divine Heresy)
Describe your practice routine? Basically, there is no particular practice routine. I just jam 3 or 4 times a week when I’m free from studies.
Who are you favourite local drummers? I love these drummers from our local scene - Bibek Tamang (E.Quals, Lost Oblivion), Surya Pun (Antim Grahan, Deﬁne Metal), Kiran Shahi (Jindabaad) and Rishav Acharya (Binaash)
Which drums are you playing now and what is your dream setup? My dream Setup would be - the Pearl Joey Jordison Signature 8 Piece Drum Set which features Joey’s double bass setup with black shells, black drum hardware and black stands.
What are you favorite bands? These are my favourite bands lately - Children Of Bodom, Dream Theater, Sikth, Born Of Osiris, Protest The Hero
Besides playing drums, what else do you like to do? Besides drumming, I would like to hang around with friends plus listening to music.
PHOTO FEATURE: PSYCHIC TOWER, BY: PRAJWAL BHATTARAI
Article: LACK OF DIVERSITY: THE PROBLEM OF OUR LOCAL MUSIC SCENE always seems to be a pa�ern in our local scene which - Mahendra M. Rai THERE can be interpreted as a trend. I believe this is o�en the cause of lack of diversity or even originality within our music scene – be it mainstream or underground. We’ve had Sepulturamania in early 2000 followed by wave of black metal and progressive rock/metal which waned out as quickly as a ﬂavour of the month would. Currently it’s the onslaught of brutal and technical death metal sound. I am certainly not trying to insinuate that this is par�cularly wrong or the bands that have this sound are in any way incompetent and talentless. However, the manner in which it projects itself is no diﬀerent than a teenager embracing what’s hip. I, personally, believe that this is a problem in itself as it subconsciously disallows one to tap into one’s crea�ve self and individually standout from the rest. ‘Epitaph’ is a ﬁne example of my argument. An excellent thrash metal band whose demo showed a lot of promise but completely took a U-turn in recording their debut album ‘Barbaric Regula�on’ to sound more death metal-esque. In my personal opinion their debut album was a mess. If you disagree then all I’d say is to listen to both versions of ‘Murda ko desh’.
I am not biased enough to blindly support the scene just for the sake of music. I certainly will never appreciate if hordes of bands emulate Slayer if I already know a band that does it so well. As a ma�er of fact I already know a band named ‘Binaash’ who plays technical and brutal death metal so well that I personally do not need a handful of similar bands cropping up unless they oﬀer me their own interpreta�on of the genre. More than anything I dread that this might only be just a passing fad just like what happened with Progressive rock/metal. I remember when we had handful of progressive rock/metal bands such as ‘Atomic Bush’, ‘Karmavalanche’, ‘Baking Space Cake’ and few others I am not aware of. I thought they were a great addi�on to our scene otherwise mostly dominated by metal bands and most importantly they all sounded so diﬀerent from each other. Unfortunately none of the bands exist anymore and I haven’t heard of any acts recently that sound like aforemen�oned bands apart from ‘Jindabaad’ who I think are the most contemporary sounding band currently in the scene. They may not be original but nonetheless adds more diversity making the scene a tad bit interes�ng with their form of progressive art rock.
‘Jugaa’ is another band that comes to mind when I think about diversity in our local music scene. I love the way they have brought New York hardcore to the streets of Kathmandu with a crazy li�le experiment by enlis�ng Ranav, who is more of a black metal fana�c, for the vocal du�es and it works. Now what I ﬁnd more compelling about ‘Jugaa’ is the manner in which they have integrated elements of black metal in some songs which just seems to work, again! If you are looking for a proof of my statement then listen to their track ‘Evil Inside’ oﬀ of ‘Fuck the Scene EP’. However, currently the most original and innova�ve band has to be ‘Night’ fusing folk with the elements of rock and metal. I do not know how they managed to pull it oﬀ and they have done so perfectly. They were probably the only live act that I enjoyed completely during my short stay in Nepal.
Now I could talk about how amazing ‘Sangharsha’ and ‘Diwas Gurung’ are but geographically it would be incorrect to consider them as local acts. So it is a moot point to discuss about them and one that would be as relevant as considering ‘Slayer’ as Nepali death rock band. Therefore, I conclude by stressing that we require more diverse bands with contemporary sound within the scene. I personally would prefer bands taking the exis�ng sound and trying something crazy with it. I am not pu�ng any emphasis on originality but rather experimenta�on. If it sounds stupid, at least you’d have tried. If it works, then you will be considered as being one of the most innova�ve and inven�ve bands, if not globally then at least within the known reach of our local scene. If you do nothing then you will just be like every other unimagina�ve and uninteres�ng band. Which do you really think sounds more appealing?
SCRIBE: MARK OF TEJA (2010)
Genre – Post-Hardcore/Hardcore/Metal/Experimental Scribe is a peculiar band. I’ve been exploring the Indian metal scene closely for the past couple of years and they happen to be one of the few bands that have managed to pique my interest. They’re like a breath of fresh air amidst a horde of self obsessed darker-than-Hell bands (not that I’m not fond of the ‘dark’, but you get the point). They’re wacky, they’re quirky and at the same time, they’re downright heavy! Fusing together a straight-forward, technically adept metal/hardcore with an off-thewall sense of humor, they’re able to create something unique, something that is distinctively “Scribe”; and most importantly, they’re what lots of other bands are not – FUN! Mark Of Teja ‘marks’ the band’s third offering following their debut EP Have Hard, Will Core (2006) and the highly rated full-length, Confect (2008). The overall direction of this album is pretty similar to that of Confect. The difference, however, is that it is blessed with a sleeker production job, courtesy of Anupam Roy, considered to be the best metal producer in India. The band’s sense of humor is apparent from the album title itself - a clear reference to a character from the now classic Bollywood comedy ﬂick (fancy a guess?). But Bollywood is just one of the many things that the band draw their inﬂuence from. Some of the other inspirations include food, as evident from the ridiculously titled ‘I love You, Pav Bhaji’; video games, Street Fighter in particular, as referred to in ‘Street Archana V/S Vice Varsha’ and, well, just pure silliness as displayed by most of the other song titles. And let’s not even get into the lyrics.
Don’t let the silliness fool you though. Behind the gooﬁness lies top notch musicality that is second to none as far as regional metal outputs go. The band members come from backgrounds ranging from metalcore to death metal, and it shows through the subtle variances within the music. The music is predominantly aggressive hardcore/post-hardcore/metal, but also has mathcore, death metal and groove inﬂuences along with occasional experimental parts thrown here and there. The vocals range from screams to growls to squeals to ‘modern metalcoreesque’ cleans (I know, I know) to melodic lines reminiscent of Corey Taylor. Versatility is what I’m pointing at. The guitar work on this record is incredible. Listen closely, and you can’t help but notice the amount of talent the two guitarists possess. They don’t do anything fancy, they don’t play stuff you’d call ‘virtuoso’, but they can come up with some of the catchiest of lines and chunkiest of riffs played in perfect coordination. Besides, I totally dig the wet, high gain tone that they have opted for. As for the drums and bass, they complement the guitars perfectly and form a solid foundation upon which the vocals and guitars get to shine. The album consists of 14 songs in total and all but one of them are less than four minutes in length. The instrumental title track, the longest in the album, is a little over the 4 minute mark. So be happy all you long song haters, no place for boredom here. Anyway, in strictly musical terms, whether this can be considered unique or not is debatable. However, what makes Scribe distinct is the fact that they take this form of music and then somehow ‘Indianize’ it with their wicked Bollywood styled humor. In that sense, this band is
highly original compared to their regional contemporaries and I really appreciate that. It’s the same reason why I appreciate works like ‘Hamal Hardcore’ from our very own Jugaa. The music by itself may not be groundbreaking, yet you put your own ingredients to it and somehow come up with something very unique and, not to mention, totally fun. Finally, would I call this a masterpiece? Erm…no. That’d probably be an exaggeration. But this is a collection of some very catchy, goofy and heavy songs that you’re bound to enjoy. A fun ﬁlled experience – that’s what it is. So if you’re looking for a little spice in your metal, listen to this, it won’t hurt you. Forget about your death metal vs black metal vs metalcore vs punk vs blah shit for once and just have a little fun. But do remember, in order to be a gunda, you have to look danger. ;) Rating – 8/10 Pranjal Ghimire
PORTAL: SWARTH (2010)
Genre – Technical/Experimental Death/Black Metal Most of us have our own views about what music is, what it should be, what it could be, etcetera. Some views are more liberal than others; like the ones that these ﬁne men from Australia hold, for example. They call themselves Portal, and they are doing weird things. A band described as being weird generally means that they fuse a variety of styles into a single mix or they may utilize a variety of instruments uncommon to the genre they play. This undoubtedly creates a sound that is different from
other bands. But there are other ways to sound different without resorting to the above mentioned techniques. It has more to do with the way the instruments are used rather than the choice of instruments and Portal clearly prefer this method. They use the same instruments that every other death metal band uses but manage to sound so unlike any of them that one cannot help but be amazed. This album is all about atmosphere; while the guitars are oozing of dread and terror, the thunderous drums bring about total devastation to the listener’s eardrums and the demonic vocals only help to reinforce those feelings. Now the key word here is distortion. Ridiculous amount of distortion. The guitarists almost never slow their extreme tremolo-assault down and that combined with the distortion makes it almost impossible to actually hear what they are playing a lot of times. The extreme distortion causes the music to blend together into a massive wall of noise and makes it seem as if the music is ﬂowing at a slower pace than is actually being played. It’s like how when we look at a fan rotating at very high speed, the fan appears to be rotating in the opposite direction, but at a much slower speed. A few listens and you’ll know what I mean. The drumming on this album is very impressive as well. Most of it consists of blast beats or some variations of it and they make their presence felt as a separate entity instead of just being a part of the album. The drums seem to move at a slower pace than the guitars which help both the instruments stand out. And the lyrics. They are as alien as they come, just like the music itself. They make very little sense and that makes them perfect for an album like this. Here’s a small piece
from the song “writhen”. Sprawling Strictures Slither Seeping Lumen Antegrade Victuals Sinner Qua Non Sentient Fathomless Appendages Dredge That is one of the more “normal” parts from the lyrics. They make up words and spellings as they go and some lyrics can barely be called English due to unhealthy doses of improvisation. The vocals are mostly low roars and the delivery is irregular in the sense that they sometimes cover up a whole sentence in a single drawn-out roar while at other times a whole roar is spent just for a small part of a single word. Despite being a bit low in the mix, the vocals are surprisingly powerful. And according to the credits, they also have a bassist. All things considered, this album is perfect simply because it cannot be compared to anything else; it just has no competition. And also because of how true it is to its subject matter. Lovecraft-horror themes are not uncommon in metal but it is not often that you come across music that can portray such horror the way this album does. In the song “Swarth”, when everything stops and the guitars drone upwards, it could be the sound of Cthulhu himself; that’s how disturbing it is. Or the noise that lasts just for a few seconds at the end of “The Swayy”, that’s the sound of nothingness right there. This album is full of such little things that keep on reminding you how amazing it is. Well, this is the type of music that you either love or hate;
I don’t see much room for any middle ground here. It’s like watching the clouds; some people see nothing, some see all kinds of shapes in there. So, if you want some fresh death/black metal, this is deﬁnitely the album for you. But just don’t expect anything normal. 10/10 Kishor Gajurel
SANGHARSHA/JUGAA Split: The Sickness That Never Sleeps Genre – Hardcore/Sludge
I feel honored that I was one of the few who got the opportunity to listen to this split prior to its ofﬁcial release. I even had the opportunity to be in the studio with Jugaa while they were recording these songs. For those who didn’t know: Sangharsha is a New York based HC band formed by the members of former I2ST and Normal Academic. The band used to be called Sangharsha the Struggle or STS, but it is simply known as Sangharsha now. The band is inﬂuenced by Cro Mags, Madball, Terror, Champions, Crowbar, Eye Hate God, etc. Sangharsha released their (awesome) demo in 2010, which interestingly featured all four songs in Nepali. Then, came the LoveStoned EP, containing a seven minute long song, the intro featuring Prachanda’s infamous shit blabber. Musically, it was a shift in direction as it got more sludgy and heavier and darker. Jugaa is a hardcore band in line with Holy Terror style (bands like Integrity, Ringworm, etc). The band line up is
quite interesting too, with members from punk to black metal background. Prior to this, Jugaa has already released a couple of EPs (Fuck the Scene and Hamal Hardcore) and a split with punk/hardcore band Shannon Scam. So here we go, here’s the song list. Sangharsha - Vocal Test / Insaniyaat Sangharsha - Ekata / Samapta-Aramva Jugaa - Come The Winter Jugaa - Vultures Will Feed Jugaa - Birth Is Pain (Ringworm cover) I’ve not still recovered from Sangharsha’s LoveStoned and here I get to hear two more songs of them. The split starts off with screaming “Vocal Test” an Integrity worship, which swiftly blends into “Insaniyaat”. The song is a mix of everything from crusty hardcore to fastcore power violence stuffs. Very meaningful lyrics too. Aileen Wuornos excerpt in the middle gives me a creep (search the name on youtube). The second song “Ekata” continues in the same vein, until the outro “Samapta-Aramva” catches you off guard – a doom/sludge “emotional” hardcore segment that leaves you wondering which direction this band will take in the future releases.
If you have been following Jugaa’s small yet awesome discography, the ﬁrst obvious change you will notice is their direction. The band has eased down grindcore-ish heaviness (that were evident in the ﬁrst two EPs) and blended hardcore with moshy sludge, still retaining the heavy groove and breakdown parts. (You can forget your generic metalcore bands, when I talk about breakdown.) “Come Winter” starts with brooding slow riffs, passing through bass heavy breaks until stirring up into traditional hardcore segment. Ranav, on vocals, may not be aware of it but he sings a lot like Pulling Teeth vocalist on this record. “Vultures Will Feed” is probably my favourite track from Jugaa side, with moshy-sing-along-riffs and catchy chorus part. The last song is a Ringworm cover “Birth Is Pain”, done slightly differently but with totally integrity intact. I love the gang-vocals more on this one (may be due to Anil, the drummer’s strong Newari accent). With both bands’ apparent love for hardcore and sludge, it is quite natural and understandable that these two bands have now recorded this amazing split album. The production of both sides is dirty, raw and muddy – more fun for the listening process. While the two bands have not done anything “landmark” new, this split is a passionate release, a solid hardcore release drenched in sludge. A deﬁnite “Dashain” treat for hardcore/sludge fans. 9/10 Umes Shrestha
ISS (INTERNATIONAL SOUND SERVICE) “Bringing Revolution to Live Concerts in Nepal” ISS owns modern and hi-fi equipments, imported mainly from the USA, Mexico, Germany and Spain. It also boasts of SHIBIR SHAKYA, sound engineer graduated from London, on controls. ISS and ktmROCKS have been involved in various successful events like KCM ICMCS, Ides of March and Nepfest.
ISS – PRACTICE ROOM for Bands Lagan Tole, Kathmandu For Details, contact: 9851099891
Promotion: “THE BEST MUSIC STORE IN NEPAL” SILENCE STREET, TANGAL, KATHMANDU, NEPAL PH: 977-1-4439204 MOB: 977-9813663840
In the Press
“Music Corner - From the Local Scene” is a collabora�on of ktmROCKS and The Reporter Weekly, which features underground bands on every alternate Monday issue. Our gra�tude to the weekly and especially to Sunny Mahat for this ini�a�on.
ONE VOICE CREW [OVC] One Voice Crew was founded by Abdul Hadi, frontman of a Singapore based hardcore band Social Integration in the late 90s. OVC is involved in spreading the essence of “real hardcore” music all over the world, through One Voice Asia Records. OVC has street teams in several countries which help in promoting and selling their records and stuffs. Their motto: TO UNITE AND TO SPREAD THE REAL HARDCORE ESSENCE. OVC has been working hard in many parts of the world, especially in Europe to spread the label. Links: http://www.onevoiceasia.com/ http://www.facebook.com/onevoiceasia
Editorial Since this is “drummers special” issue, we thought it would be a good idea to share our readers about “favourite drummers” of our editorial team. So here you go:
PRANJAL GHIMIRE: As a listener, I’ve always been more of a guitar guy than a drums guy, so describing drummers and the subtle nuances of their art is certainly not the easiest thing for me. Despite that, there are indeed some incredible drummers who have managed to make me bow down in appreciation of their talents. Here are some of those musicians whom I absolutely adore. Lars Ulrich – He might come across as a dick of a person to a lot of people, but what matters to me is his unquestionable contribution to heavy music. Lars was the one who ﬁrst taught me what metal drumming was all about, and for that reason alone, he’ll always be a legend in my heart. Tony Laureano/George Kollias – One of the reasons that make Nile’s music so amazing is its top notch drumming and since three of my favorite Nile albums are ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’, ‘Annihilation of the Wicked’ and ‘Those Whom the Gods Detest’, I’ve decided to name the two drummers involved in creat-
ing these masterpieces, Tony Laureano and George Kollias, as my favorite death metal drummers. Tomas Haake - With machine like precision and mind boggling technical proﬁciency, I believe Haake’s drumming is what hold’s Meshuggah’s music together and gives it a signature sound – a sound so emulated and copied by tons of metal bands these days. Trym Torson –While ‘In the Nightside Eclipse’ and ‘Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk’ are black metal classics in their own rights, albums like ‘Prometheus: The discipline of Fire and Demise’ also showed an experimental and progressive side of Emperor. Since Trym was an integral part in creation of all of these metal gems, it was an easy choice for me to include him in the list. Dave Lombardo – ‘Show No Mercy’, ‘Hell Awaits’, ‘Reign In Blood’, ‘Seasons in the Abyss’. I speak no more. Gene Hoglan – One just needs listen to the
latest Fear Factory album to realize the sheer ability of Mr. Hoglan. Besides, He played drums in one of my all time favorite metal albums – Death’s ‘Symbolic’. Legendary! It would also be criminal of me not to mention the following drummers: Nicko McBrain, Hellhammer, Bill Ward, Mike Portnoy, Derek Roddy, Virgil Donati, Nick Menza and Scott Travis. And from our local scene: Allan Shrestha, Sudip Hada, Kiran Shahi, Rishav Acharya and Surya Pun. Allan Shrestha was an absolute beast. Best drummer Nepali underground has ever witnessed in my opinion.
Steve Flynn. Well, I’m a huge fan of Atheist, especially of their ﬁrst two albums. While they were amongst the ﬁrst to fuse metal and jazz, and thus propagating the ﬁrst breed of technical death metal, Flynn had a leading role in that happening. The variations he portrayed in his playing - those always advancing, non-repetitive beats derived from jazz and thrash had always made my Atheist listen more interesting. He doesn’t ‘abuse’ his bass, and those pointless uber blasts aren’t his style either. This makes him one controlled and varied drummer backing up a legendary band.
Flo Mounier: He has been one of my all time favorite drummers. His solo on “None So Live” is a sheer madness! While there exist drummers who can play faster or are more technically proﬁcient, Flo has more creative and unique style. His brutal/technical style is (used to be) undoubtedly the main essence of Cryptopsy’s unique sound.
Lille Gruber. One of the most creative and original drummers in the brutal death metal genre. When I ﬁrst put my ears on “Psalms of the Moribund”, I thought it was the most brutal album ever recorded, and Lille’s crazy, unique and insane drumming was one of the factors that drove me to that feeling. Screwy time signatures, the jazzy ﬁlls, complicated rhythm build-ups and mad, mad blasts – BRUTAL! Add Lee Harrison (his work in “Imperial Doom” alone could be an enough answer), Dennis Chambers, Fransesco Paoli (amazing songwriter and vocalist as well) and John Longstreth as well. Kiran Shahi, Bikram Shrestha and Surya Pun from the current local scene. Yeah, and also this chick, because of the amount of hotness she spreads: http://www.facebook.com/meyta1cohen Haha, naah!
John Longstreth: He is the ultimate drum machine! I love his work in every Origin album. He is the most technically accomplished metal drummers, I could think of. His gravity rolls and ‘double stroke bass drum technique’ at prolonged high speed are just amazing! And it’s always refreshing to hear people try different things, like drummers incorporating techniques that are from a completely different genre. Especially when it is two of my favourites: death metal and jazz. Steve Flynn is one of those talented drummers whose style has a lot of jazz techniques. Then there is Sean Reinhart, whose drumming is what made Cynic such a great band. And if there is anyone who can replace Flo Mounier, that has to be Lille Gruber. His style has jazzy ﬂourishes that instantly sets him apart from the rest. Derek Roddy is another very versatile drummer. Though he has so many side projects like Malevolent Creation, Nile, etc., I like his work in Hate Eternal. He is also a great jazz drummer. I also like Dave Lombardo. His drumming on “Reign in Blood” is mindblowing and has also inﬂuenced drum legends like Pete Sandoval and Max Kolsene. Vitek, RIP, was a young and incredible drummer. Tomas Haake is wicked. He has got some unreal technical abilities. I can imagine how hard it must be to follow Meshuggah’s crazy poly-rhythmic patterns and odd time signatures. While we’re mentioning some sick drummers it would be hard not to mention the mighty George Kollias and Alex Hernandez. Check out Alex’s insanity in Immolation’s “Close to a World Below” and “Unholy Cult”. Also, Vinnie Paul, Romain Goulon, Gavin Harrison, Steve MacDonald RIP, Toma Corn... There are too many to list and all of them are unique in their own way!
was the greatest drummer ever. The only other drummer that comes close to Bonham, for me, is Danny Carey (my favorite When talking about drummers, the be-allend-all drummer for me is, without a shadow non-dead drummer). As with Bonham, Carey of doubt, John Bonham. Yes, I know, its cliché also plays very unconventionally, belting out non-linear off-timed complex patterns, all – it has been said many times – “best drumwhile making it look immaculately effortless. mer ever”, and one may think that the accolades are overrated, but this is one of those The thing that makes Carey (and his band rare cases when the talent deserves the hype. Tool) unique is the organic, ethereal vibe that you get while listening to them. The music is technical, but has a certain warmth to it, and As the rowdy drummer of Led Zeppelin, does not sound mechanized. Most of Carey’s he created an unprecedented playing style drumming does not confer to any beat-patterns which has not been imitated since. Although in most songs, and my personal favorites are pitch-perfect on record, evident on tracks his extended ‘solo’ runs during certain songs such as Dazed & Confused, The Lemon Song, which are not apparent to a casual listener for Four Sticks and In My Time of Dying (and at least a few spins (eg. 46 & 2, The Grudge, every other Zeppelin song), he was at his Right in Two etc.). He is also responsible for best playing live, where he transformed into the one of the most kick-ass intros ever – Ticks an otherworldly being capable of conjuring magic. Bonham’s seemingly carefree approach and fucking Leeches. to drumming (and life) and his ability to A few others who require mentioning are Matt effortlessly create free-ﬂowing, off-timed, Cameron (for his longevity and for playing and often very heavy, sound from his kit appeals the most to me. I think he was single- in two of the best Seattle bands - Pearl Jam and Soundgarden), Lars Ulrich (solely for the handedly responsible for changing the stickﬁrst four Metallica records, before he turned to-the-beat, linear drum-playing that was into a giant gaping asshole), Dave Lombardo prevalent in mainstream rock-n-roll during that time, and gave rise to the more dynamic, (for going lights out in Hell Awaits and Reign in Blood), and Brad Wilk (for his crisp cutting involved style of playing, paving the way for sounds in Rage and Audioslave). generations to come. The fact that he is no longer alive (and that he lived the From the local scene, out of the ones I’ve seen stereotypical rockstar life) adds more to his live (very few), I was very impressed with Allan mystique as well, I believe. But nonetheless, Shrestha back in 2004. Of the ones that I’ve twelve years’ worth of Zeppelin material seen on ﬁlm, Surya Pun seems to be THE man stands testament to his greatness, and there right now. is no denying, on my part at least, that he
UMES SHRESTHA: I know most of the people will go – Puffy? Puffy who? But he’s my No. 1, yeah. Mike “Puffy” Bordin, the drummer for Faith No More. A truly unique drummer with a weird playing style, his ﬁlls are quirky and he seems to miss the timing while hitting the cymbals – yet however, most importantly, his style is simple and ﬂuid. Never ostentatious and never over-done. Just listen to FNM’s phenomenal Angel Dust album. I love Puffy. Second to Puffy on my list is Tim “Herb” Alexander (ex - Primus). Herb is a technical monster (he could be a mindfuck just like Danny Carey) but he never shows off and he never makes you bored. He makes a simple 4x4 beat into something like a story telling. He just doesn’t sit behind the kit and keeps the timing and gives cues for the band – he actually makes the drum sing, like a lead instrument. And, he’s probably the most
grooviest rock drummers I’ve ever heard. Listen to Primus’s Tales from the Punchbowl, or Pork Soda albums.
And, we’ve also selected three of our members from ktmROCKS group in Facebook, to share us their favourite local drummers.
I have inﬁnite respect for DM drummers. I am a huge fan of Dave Suzuki, George Kollias, Doc (rip), Pete Sandoval, Derek Roddy, Lille Gruber, Eric Sayenga, Nick Barker, Gene Hoglan and many DM drummers. Yet, if I had to pick just two of my favourites – they would be Kevin Talley (for his works with Dying Fetus and Misery Index) and Flo Mounier.
Sir Dave Lambardo, for his works for both Slayer and Fantomas. Mick Harris (ex Napalm Death) – I love his primitive raw approach to blast beat. Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Discordance Axis) is another awesome drummer that I am a fan of. Same goes for Dennis Merrick (Earth Crisis) – one of the best hardcore/metalcore drummers. I enjoy Tomas Haake’s playing because he’s simply one of a kind. Almost similar to Haake but in different realm, Danny Carey (Tool) is also one of my favourites. From the 70s, none were as sick as Bill Ward (Black Sabbath), John Bonham is truly enjoyable and I love and enjoy the simplicity of John Densmore (The Doors). And, from the current local scene, I am a fan of Surya Pun (for his brutality), Rishav Acharya (for his insane techniques), Kiran Shahi (for his genre blending works), Anil Shakya (for his beastly energy), Bikram Shrestha (for his raw speed) and Bibek Tamang (for his aggressive yet timid playing).
Allan Shrestha (Cruentus) and Anuj Shakya (Silverstone/Arachnids/X-mantra) as they were totally into music as drummers and had gained respect from much during their times and many still respect them. Inspirations to all young drummers\m/ for their playing style and contribution to the music.
Alec Sciamma for his well executed techniques in Atomic Bush recordings and Allan Shrestha for introducing/enforcing (correct me if I’m wrong) the double bass in the local scene with so much power and aggression.
Surya Pun for his inclusiveness, intensity and passion that he brings out while he is playing. He has that key features of innovating things and playing it with a style. He seems to love every part while he is drumming the beats and when you watch him play live, you just can’t take your eyes off him. It’s like he watches you like a predator and rolls on quite comfortably.
ktmROCKS Emag Issue 09: “Our most earnest gra�tude to all the bands, musicians and drummers featured on this issue. And, thanks to all the friends and readers for their mo�va�on, cri�cism and support.” Editorial Team: Pranjal Ghimire, Samyam Shrestha, Vishal Rai, Mahendra M. Rai Contribu�ng Writers: Apoorva Lal, Rashree Singh, Sadichchha Pokharel, Kishor Gajurel, Zivon Gurung (Pokhara) Edi�ng/Photos: Bikash Rajkarnikar Edi�ng/Designing/Photos: Umes Shrestha
Pencil Art of Surya Pun for Cover: Aman Maharjan Photo Contributors: Nitesh Mulmi, Trip� Dhungana Shrestha, Bharat Gurung, Duminda Nawarathne (Studio D), Mani Rai Photo Credit men�oned. Gio Geraca, Lille Gruber, Defeated Sanity, John Gallagher, Dying Fetus, Devoid and, Inner Guilt photos taken from related Facebook Pages and Internet. www.ktmrocks.com www.facebook.com/ktmrocks.page Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyle� @ ktmROCKS August, 2011
This is ktmROCKS e-mag issue 09 , drummer special.