Remember the name, Bloodywood. The Indian quintet have stormed out of their home nation and are rocketing towards international stardom, here is a band who have somehow managed to harness the Bhangra sound with a fruity blend of Nu and Folk Metal. Led by dual vocalists Jayant Bhadula and master of ceremonies Raoul Kerr, the New Delhi boys are joined by guitarist Karan Katiyar and touring musicians Vishesh Singh (drums), Roshan Roy (bassist) and Sarthak Pahwa (dhol player). We spoke to Karan at Bloodstock about their humble beginnings, acceleration to international acclaim and what the future plans are.
"The only reason we're political right now is because there is a huge disbalance all over the world when it comes to politics"
Your career started off from recording covers of well known Indian songs and uploading them to YouTube, from there it rocketed upwards, was it something you expected or wanted to happen?
“We always wanted it to happen but we never foresaw it, we never foresaw the intensity of it but we always wanted it to happen (being honest about it haha).”
For those who know the Indian metal scene, they would know Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos as the defining pioneers of the scene, are Bloodywood considered the 'new wave of Indian metal'?
“I wouldn't say that because those bands have been at it for a really long time, sometimes people say that the torch has been passed onto us, but I don't believe that because they're still doing their thing, we're doing our thing and I have a feeling that you're going to see a lot more from the Indian metal scene, there are some very promising metal bands coming up.”
Of course competitions like the Wacken Metal Battle have helped support the metal scenes across the sub-Indian continent, do you feel with this exposure that more metalheads in Europe will pay more attention to bands in that part of the world and wider Asia?
“Um, no I don't think that's going to happen. I think there's going to be an equal amount of attention throughout the world because that's just how metal is. I don't think you can really pinpoint a particular place to say that metal belongs 'here or there', it belongs everywhere. It just takes a few good bands for people to start listening to bands from that area, I feel it's still yet to happen for India but things are looking up.”
What are the modern challenges that bands in the Indian metal scene face nowadays?
“Id say there are just two challenges that we in particular face – One we don't get any gear in India, everything has to be imported which means we pay about 300% of the price, and two there are a lack of venues, because it's a very different way of how people work over there – venues decide if they want to let the bands in or not and no ones heard of metal, so they're very sceptical. Lack of venues and gear, that's the only thing that makes India different.”
Your music video 'Machi Bhasad', was that filmed with audio overlaying the video or with live music?
“No, none of the music videos have live audio, it's impossible to do that because you're going to catch so much of the ambience – if we actually sung into the mics we and record that, you're going to hear people all over the place, cars and horns, it's India man it's never going to be quiet, so that's impossible to do.”
So when you had the locals in the video, what did they make of the music?
“They don't understand any of it, but they really want to enjoy it, because it's a spectacle for them, you don't find metal bands rolling up to your village an start playing in the road everyday you know? They're just very supportive though, they'll never get in your way, if you want something you can always ask them, they'll just stand by and watch, that's all they ask for in return.”
Your debut album 'Rakshak' was released this year and was well-received worldwide, please tell us what the album is about.
“I can't put one particular topic to the album because there are so many things we talk about, but I'd say all the songs are in favour of a better world. I'd say the songs are political in nature, but we also want not to be extreme about it, we want a very balanced approach, the only reason we're political right now is because there is a huge disbalance all over the world when it comes to politics, literally all over the place and that's when we have to speak up, if things were in balance then we would not be a political band.”
What are your tour plans for the rest of the year and into 2023?
“We have a month-long USA tour in September / October, and then in 2023 we're coming back for a headline tour across the EU and UK... and there's talks about Japan too so we're all very excited.”
Do you have any greetings and thanks you that you wish to send out to friends, family, fans etc?
“I'd like to say hello to everyone who is reading this interview and everyone can check out the band across YouTube, Facebook, etc., if you catch us on tour you can buy a very limited edition of our vinyl, its called the 'naan vinyl' – it looks exactly like a naan, because the tour is called the 'Nine Inch Naan Tour', spoiler alert... it's not edible but is selling like hot naans.”
"When we released 'Ari Ari', a famous Bollywood actress Ileana D'Cruz liked it and actually posted about it on Instagram, that was pretty cool"
Arguably one of the most talked about metal bands from Asia alongside Babymetal and The Hu in the last few years, India's Bloodywood have shaken the foundations of metal with their aromatic and flavoursome blend of Bollywood covers, Indian Folk Metal and cultural panache that landed them a slot at Wacken Open Air last year, and a slot at next year's Bloodstock Open Air after the 2020 edition was postponed due to the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. Vocalist Jayant Bhadula gave GMA the low down about their humble origins, the strength of the Indian Metal scene, how they became known across the country and why it's Asia'a time to showcase it's wealth of talent to Europe and the USA.
What was the initial idea behind Bloodywood?
"When we started we always had a plan to release original music, that has always been a goal for us, but we didn't find a way to get it out; because I think there are a lot of metal bands in India and that's the thing. We wanted our music to reach out and not just be restricted within our region, state or country, we wanted our music to spread worldwide. This is why we thought the best way to go round it would be by doing covers, actually it wasn't really covers, first we tried to make metal renditions, like give it our flavour 'Sinbad The Slayer'... It was a gradual process through trying to make our sound that we would be comfortable with and eventually it lead to 'Ari Ari' and then to others."
What was the reaction from both the Bollywood and Metal music scenes to your music?
"It was widely received well in India with the audience here, it was also seen as funny. Finding it funny and then actually appreciating the metal behind it too is what we got from the Indian audience, but I would have never imagined that someone from Bollywood would have actually acknowledged it.
The Bollywood industry I mean... it happened with 'Ari Ari' though; when we released 'Ari Ari', a famous Bollywood actress Ileana D'Cruz liked it and actually posted about it on Instagram, that was pretty cool."
As you have only been going since 2016, to be where you are now (having played Wacken last year) it must be a dream come true for the band?
"Oh yes absolutely, I'll give you a little fun story. This was around the time when I was in my final year at college, I was like 'I should start saving money and go see Wacken Open Air', I wanted to there and experience what it's like so I started saving money, go to Germany and see Wacken Open Air. Then because Bloodywood was going on and then I was actually working with another band; I've got one more project alongside Bloodywood.
Bloodywood was getting busy and we eventually finally got the call for Wacken Open Air, that was personally for me and I can vouch for everyone in the band a dream come true for everyone; even the sound engineer he plays guitar with me in my other band, for him to be there to manage our sound was a dream come true for all of us."
You've shifted from covering Bollywood music and writing your own material, where does your inspiration come from?
"So it wasn't just the Bollywood songs that we used to cover, we used to cover almost anything that used to catch our eye. Literally from Bollywood to anything else, as long as we felt it was catchy we would just make a diddle on it. But the transition began when we started making ''Punjabi Metal', that was for the 'Mundiya Te Back K Rahi'... because while we were composing 'Mundiya Te Back K Rahi' around that time in the end we actually realised that and it was was Karan Katiyar who showed me that dhol goes really good with guitars and I took it as a joke, I was like no I don't think so, that's not going to happen. So he actually created the whole instrumental and was like now check it out, dhol which is a traditional north Indian folk instrument that was going perfectly with it. I felt it made the song more groovy, so what's where we got to the point where we should try experimenting with more Indian instruments and even then we're experimenting with more instruments."
Arguably that's how metal seems to be evolving, by utilising other sounds and non-traditional metal instruments like the dhol per se.
"I mean it depends on which metal act we're talking about, for Bloodywood at least I can say that when we started experimenting with folk instruments from our country, the idea was actually to incorporate instruments to make our sound a little more Indian. It's like Alien Weaponry who I don't think use folk instruments however they sing in Maori. I mean it really comes down to which bands you're talking about, I mean for example The Hu from Mongolia, they do use their folk instruments with metal so, but I don't think bands are introducing instruments for the sake of making a new sound. I feel that everyone is trying to express themselves in the best way they can like we did with Bloodywood, that's what I think the bands are doing."
With all the things that has happened to Bloodywood, surely it must make you pinch yourself in asking 'is this really happening?'
"Yes that happens quite a lot at least with me, because every time I go to the studio it takes me back to the time when I used to go to Karan's house and record a lot of stuff. But because a member in my other band owns a studio, we ended up going there thereafter; he's been such a nice guy about it all, given us his studio almost for free - just because he is friends with us and has supported us throughout. So when I look back I have a sheer amount of gratitude for those people, they didn't expect anything, they just wanted to help us out."
What do your parents think of your music?
"(laughs) my parents? My parents basically asked me 'you cool? Are you happy with what you're doing?' and I said 'yes' and so they said 'Ok we're cool too', they don't get metal. When I was in Chicago with my dad and we were sitting in the same room, Veil of Maya was playing nearby where we were staying and I put some of their music on the music system and my father looks at his uncle, and says 'this is what he does', my father looks at the screen and sees a guy screaming and guts out, and he's like 'yeah don't do that'."
For those who listen to Bloodywood for the first time, what languages are you singing in?
"'Ari Ari' is Punjabi but if you go to the rest of the songs after that it's Hindi."
Are they completely different or similar? Are they easy to understand?
"There's a lot of differences, I wouldn't say they're 100% different but there would be around 97% differences. There are a few little words here and there from what I use in Hindi and put into Punjabi. But there's a lot of languages in India, at least 100 plus (I'm not sure of the exact number) and lots of different dialects and they change as you travel in any direction. Yes we can understand each other, that's the funny part... English is actually quite useful in India... almost everywhere I think English is spoken and even though there are times when you get to the point where you are not sure what the person is saying, English comes in and saves us."
Has Bloodywood released any EP's or an album? If not will we see one this year?
"It's not out of the question that we will end up doing that, because I mean this year the festivals are shut, I don't think something will be happening anytime soon, I hope that the world gets better and we can go back to festivals. But as there are not a lot of festivals which are still happening, I think this year we will be focusing on creating and hopefully if everything pans out, an album might not be out of the question, but it's still not been decided yet."
Some people refer you to as a Folk Metal band, others a Nu Metal band, could you please clarify your sound?
"I like to call it Folk Metal because that is what we want to be seen as for everyone, we do incorporate modern elements because we embrace it - if you look at my influences they are all Deathcore, Metalcore bands. Our drummer Vishesh Singh is heavily into Death Metal, so because all of us come from different niche styles of metal, when we combine it together it comes out to me what the 'Bloodywood sound' is; which I like to call Indian Folk Metal; mainly due to the instruments we use."
On that note is it relatively easy or challenging to master the art of playing these traditional Indian folk instruments?
"It is tricky, for example the dhol we use there are multiple variations of it. But the instruments themselves are tricky, that's my take on it because I don't play them. So I'm probably not the right person to ask regarding this (laughs)."
Speaking about the Indian Metal, arguably Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos were the leading pioneers, would you therefore say Bloodywood is carrying the scene forward?"
"Well it does not just end with Bloodywood, Demonic Resurrection or Kryptos, it's actually all of the bands that are in the metal scene. The Indian Metal scene is small, but I say this in every interview and I cannot stress enough on it that it might be small, but it's really tight-knit. We've got Systemhouse33, Gutslit, Kryptos, Demonic Resurrection all of whom played internationally, there are just so many bands from India producing so much quality material that I think its all of us who are carrying it forward."
Nowadays what are the challenges that most Indian Metal bands tend to face (excluding COVID-19)?
"Don't even get me started on that (laughs), Indian Metal bands have been facing so many problems for so long. It started off with venues not being open to letting metal bands to play there, to not being paid or not doing tribute shows or, I mean it's not a bad thing to do a tribute show, but at the same time there used to be less scope for original music to come up because people tended to come out for more of the tribute shows, but now as the audience is opening up there but still there are lots of venues and not a lot of money being invested in it. I think it's going to get better because the number of shows last year at least were a lot, I've never seen a lot of shows like that.
There were a lot of bands from the US and Europe coming in, just in January we had As I Lay Dying come here, so I mean we've come a long away from just one metal band coming to India in a year, maybe for Bangalore Open Air per se where we get to see quality acts. Apart from that there was nothing, hardly any shows going on, but now even the promoters are getting into it."
Do you feel it's more important than ever for metalheads from Europe to pay more attention to bands from Asia per se?
"I feel the world has been sleeping on Asia for a long time and maybe now it will... maybe Bloodywood, or The Hu from Mongolia or Underside from Nepal; I love those guys, so I mean us Asian bands trying to get out and actually doing shows and getting a positive reception actually does make a way for other Asian bands to come out. I think people in Europe and the USA are actually embracing this. I actually met a guy in Osnabrück, Germany who was wearing a Gutslit t-shirt - Gutslit is an Indian band, I wanted a photo and send a message to the guys saying 'hey guys I saw a guy with your t-shirt in Osnabrück, Germany."
Finally have you got any greetings or thanks you wish to send out to friends, fans, family, etc?
"I want to say hello to everyone who's going to believe in us."
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, they all have a lot in common. Historical connotations, geographical locations, seasonal conditions, cricket, religious festivals among others... but nothing as striking as the sheer size of their metal music scenes. Sure not many people in the West know that these scenes exist with India being the exception, after all Kryptos and Demonic Resurrection have been gracing the UK and European shores many times. As for the rest of the subcontinental contingent, there is Orobas from Bangladesh causing a buzz, Pakistan's Black Warrant perhaps being one of the oldest bands from there and Sri Lanka's Dhishti leading the Sri Lankan Black Metal wave... overarching all of that is a passion for extreme music, a passion for metalheads expressing themselves and a passion for thriving in an 'Extreme Nation', this is what Indian director Roy Dipankar's latest documentary is called and is about. He gladly spoke to GMA about the documentary, the troubles funding and filming such a feat and what it means to be a metalhead in this part of the world.
"The subcontinent now has her own flag-bearers in extreme metal being recognised worldwide thanks to the internet, supportive distributions and record labels."
Roy, what gave you the idea of doing a documentary about the Indian subcontinent's extreme underground metal scene?
"My affinity for independent and alternative music has traversed a long way, a decade plus later, manifesting itself as a film via videos and documentaries capturing the panorama of non-mainstream music and emerging voices from the Indian subcontinent. The professional experience in the commercial and institutional sector of record labels eventually left me not so satisfied in terms of creativity, progress and space to showcase emerging sub-cultures and alternative voices of the youth. I began to feel (and see) the societal fissures and cultural bias (injustice) which ran from pillar to post, within mainstream culture, be it the case in India or Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The more I searched, the more I discovered concurrent narratives of musicians, fans and propagators from far corners of the underground subcontinent.
The fledgling emergence of an unique subculture against the backdrop of religious radicalism, rising nationalism, traditional hegemony makes this documentary loaded in contrast, conversations and controversy. This led me to develop a first-of-its-kind attempt to document and showcase voices, the prevailing conditions and questions raised by metal musicians from the fringe communities based in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Almost five years in the making, 'Extreme Nation' is now debuting at various film-festivals, media outlets and panoramas in India and outside."
What challenges did you have to overcome to deliver the documentary? How long did it take to create?
"Several! Especially when one embarks upon an independent task towards creative art which is all about subversiveness and anti-creation. Be it the interpersonal relationship of the countries, or the highly elusive or inert nature of bands and characters involved in the underground. Finding the right people and convincing them to be a part of a bigger spectrum was a massive deal.
Financial hurdles were / are the most difficult ones. Especially when the international documentary world is looking at India to produce more apparent hard-pressed issues related to environment, gender identity and equality, caste-based politics and such, a feature film on subculture takes a second or rather a second-last silver lining on the path to fruition.
Security was another concern regarding the cast and 'politically sensitive' content due to long term internal disputes and border-territory issues across the subcontinent. Diplomatic problems like visas have always been a chimera for extreme musicians to travel across our borders for performances. Struggling against the pre-fixated mindsets towards music that is metal, noise, power electronics, hardcore, is tough. But I took this as an anti-morose challenge which is both exciting and satisfying as the awareness spreads... a film about dark music! A film about the seething yet fragile voices within nations of the Indian subcontinent."
Do you feel that Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan (along with Nepal, Bhutan and The Maldives) are being noticed worldwide as forces within the extreme metal scene?
"Very much. The subcontinent now has her own flag-bearers in extreme metal that is being recognised worldwide thanks to the internet as well as supportive distribution and syndication by record labels."
What have you noticed about the scenes there, that at first came as a surprise to you?
"More than as a surprise, the feeling was that of a kind of discovery. The bands, their message, performances and imagery came across as crisp and sharp. It was both unique and seminal that would lay the path of an organised scene is what became clear to me."
Do you feel it will come to a point where a lot more Western labels take note of bands in this region; with Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos leading the way?
"Further to the aforementioned bands there are substantial releases of Indian subcontinental bands like Genocide Shrines, Konflict, Tetragrammacide to the now recent Kapala that has gained severe international recognition by release through 'Western labels' in the extreme underground."
What was life like growing up as a metalhead in India? What does your family think of your choice of music and your film-making?
"Growing up in the early 90's, the only two unique distinctions in sound for me was AR Rahman's music and Heavy Metal. Don't get me wrong, I mean, I grew up in the Bombay heartland (thus being) exposed to Bollywood, devotional cacophony of loudspeakers blaring during festivals, cassettes and LPs of international artists like ABBA, Boney M, Kraftwerk, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Rabindra Sangeet published by Polydor, Columbia, HMV (my grandfather's lifetime as an Exports Manager at HMV, Calcutta). But the teenage angst in me would be satiated by metal music alone and a bit of Bruce Lee films maybe. What attracts me in metal or extreme music (as currently what I listen to might not easily be identified as metal: 8MM, mz412, Bell, Black Cilice, Qrixkuor), it probably is that naked, unabashed and true openness of expressionist art that needn't adhere to a form, method or general formulae. My family is fine with me whether be it choice of profession or passion."
Will people in Europe get to see this documentary? Will you look to release it on DVD in the future?
"The film is completed and is making its way through film and music festivals. 'Extreme Nation' had her world premiere at the prolific Jecheon International Music Film Festival in South Korea this August. It was also screened at Wacken Open Air 2019, Germany and FICIME, Bogota, Colombia. The film is scheduled to screen at more avenues like Infierno Fest, Peru and a possible screening at Brutal Assault, Czech Republic next year. More announcements to follow. Currently I am in talks with a record label in Europe for a DVD release of the film later this year!"
Any final thoughts? Greetings you wish to send out?
Sigh on to you my friend,
Might be, is this the end,
The pain hurts the fear inside,
Kill be, the weak to ride."
Demonic Resurrection are one of the leading metal bands from the Indian Metal scene, having been around since the turn of the millennium they have released 5 albums, 1 EP and 1 split and in that time played across Asia and Europe; most notably playing twice at Bloodstock where this year Sahil (vocalist/guitarist) had a chat with GMA about why he was putting not only the band to rest, but his other bands as well. He spoke about his YouTube channel, the scene going forward, what you can do in Bombay and what religion means to him.
"Religion is very good fiction; they're great stories and it's unfortunate that people have taken them literally "
Demonic Resurrection has come to an end, could you tell us how this come about?
"I don't know man I think after 18 years of doing this, I'm kind of a little tired and fed-up with the way things are. I don't mind the struggle and I'm happy to work really hard and put 110% behind what I am doing, but for me I feel like the struggle has been with the same things as opposed to being different struggles as you progress as a band. For me that's kind of where it sort of says it's not working; if you're struggling with the same thing you started 10 years ago then maybe you're doing something wrong. So I kind of need to at least for now just put this behind me and maybe focus on something that is really doing well for me right now, which is my Headbangers Kitchen YouTube channel, so that's the plan right now."
Regarding your YouTube channel, you recently become certified correct? And you contributed to a book?
"Yeah we got certified a while back but we just reached 230,000 subscribers, so it's pretty much become my full-time job now and has kept me quite busy.
I was approached by a publisher last year to sort of edit a book rather than write one, I wrote some stuff for this book but mainly edited a lot of their recipes too make them keto-friendly.
Keto is a sort of way of eating where you deprive your body of carbohydrates and it goes into burning fat for fuel, it's sort of become one of the hottest ways to lose weight because it kind of lets you do it in a more of a free-approach to it, rather than being restricting yourself in terms of what you can and cannot eat; though you are, but it doesn't feel as deprived as most diets do."
Out of all of the dishes you have done, which is your favourite?
"Oh that's a tough question man, I would definitely say one of my most popular dishes is the 'bacon bomb'; that is kind of my signature meat dish, but I'm also very proud of my buttered chicken. The 'bacon bomb' is half a kilo of ground pork meat seasoned beautifully with fresh herbs, stuffed with cheese, peppers, onions, wrapped in bacon, covered in BBQ sauce and baked. That would keep you going for the rest of the day."
So your other bands Reptilian Death, Demonstealer and Workshop are being phased out too?
"If anyone has been following me, I think it was about 2 years ago I put Workshop to rest and then a year ago I put Reptilian Death down as well. I don't know man just things stopped working for the band and like I said I don't mind working hard, but when all the odds are against you then you just need to know when to let go. With Workshop we just come to a point where we were just unable to book shows because whoever booked shows didn't like our music, so eventually we were not able to book anything and it just sort of died down because there were no gigs we could play and the other members became busy with their other musical careers, so we called it a day."
With Kryptos carrying on, what does the future of the Indian Metal scene look like in your opinion?
"Honestly I don't know, but what I do know is it will survive, it will go through it's up's and down's like it always has, I think as a genre metal still holds onto people in some way. Even though the Indian scene is not growing in the way it should, but you know we will have to wait and see the way it goes, but I do believe it will survive and have children always wanting to play metal, so you will always have some Indian Metal bands; whether they last or not, that's a different question."
With the metal band Bloodywood mixing Bollywood music with metal, do you see this as a step forward?
"Honestly, I don't know if that's a step forward but it is definitely a connecting point for people around the world to know that there's metal in India. I guess they've tapped into what I would call the 'YouTube Market' ,which is a huge platform for very creative content and creators to exploit, and I think they have found a formula what works for them. So I definitely think them as a band will do great things, whether they choose to go live or whether they choose to spend their energy on YouTube, it will definitely be and introduction for most people getting into the Indian Metal scene."
So how did Demonic Resurrection come round to playing Bloodstock this time? Do you keep in touch with past members?
"Yes I think Bio-Cancer dropped out and my agent said I could book in for Bloodstock, so I was like let me check the visa situation because the last time we came here we had to get a work permit, which is really expensive, but it turns out that there is a cheaper option and I was anyway planning to visit the UK for friend's wedding so it kind-of worked out. Especially as we have two members in the UK, so that's two people that actually needed to fly in now for the gig; myself and Virendra. As of now we have Shoi Sen and Arran McSporran from De Profundis who play bass and guitar, they're our live session members in the UK.
I'm still in touch with most of them yeah, they're always doing something or the other. Nishith Hegde and Ashwin Shriyan play in Bollywood, they're session musicians and as is Daniel Kenneth Rego, Mephisto chills at home and writes some of his own music but doesn't really put anything out so."
Could you tell us more about your last (and final) album "Dashavatar", what does it mean?
"'Dashavatar' is basically about the the primary avatars of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation, it's actually funny that I even wrote something like this because I'm a staunch atheist and I have a lot of disdain for religion, but as stories there are interesting things here and my wife told me the story of
Narasimha the man-lion, and the way it was told to me was... it kind of showed a very brutal side to the story and the truth is I think, religion is very good fiction; they're great stories and it's unfortunate that people have taken them literally and f****d everything up, but they are great stories and they were stories that I thought would be good to tell through our music and I made sure that we didn't compromise the music that we made. I know we do have Indian instruments in the album, but they are there with a purpose, they are not us suddenly going all fusion, trying to create something, so that was an interesting thing to do."
For metalheads visiting India, aside from the Taj Mahal, what sights / attractions would you recommend seeing?
"Well if you're coming to Bombay (Mumbai) it's always good to get a look at the gateway of India, there are these caves called the Ajanta and Ellora caves which are nice to visit as well, you can go to the beach, Juhu beach, Marine Drive, yeah you can go around and eat some good food in Bombay. Honestly I always never know what to tell people to go and see in Bombay because myself I don't really care for sightseeing and stuff, it's all about food."
Signing off are there any greetings or thank you's that you wish to send out?
"Thank you for having me and for doing this interview, thank you to anyone who has listened to any of my music and bought a CD or t-shirt, I appreciate it!"
Putrid Ascendancy bears the torch of the true Metal underground movement, promoting the foulest sounds and meanest endeavors with a mission to unleash and spread the vicious seeds of extreme metal across the country.
As the name suggests, these guys are a dedicated bunch with the focus of being able to bring up a quality Extreme Metal scene in India and promote the scene abroad. Putrid Ascendancy was formed in January 2011.
Ritual Ascension Festival upholds the torch of the True Metal Oath and establishes the Kolkata (Calcutta) scene as one of the prominent epicenters of Metal in India, all through live shows from which some of the punishing acts of our times demonstrate their talent! Having being a constant face in the Kolkata scene for sometime now and going through organizing pure extreme occult local metal gigs, Putrid Ascendancy takes the next step, that is to bring in international bands in the form of Nafarmaan from Bangladesh to perform as the headliner for Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy
On this occasion GMA's India correspondent Farzand Bawa had the opportunity to talk to D from Putrid Ascendancy on the upcoming storm that Kolkata is about to face, and what else is in store.
Welcome, Putrid Ascendancy. How is it going on in the camp with Ritual Ascension Fest II just around the corner?
It has been pretty hectic so far. The preparation for decimation is rigid and almost requires ritualistic attention to every detail.
What is the motto that Putrid Ascendancy abides by?
From the days of inception, it has been the same:
[Necrodeity live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
Putrid Ascendancy is the first band to pull off an old school metal gig in Kolkata. How does that feel and to what extent have you seen the scene grown since Ritual Ascension Fest I was held on 4th August 2012?
It was just last year, 2012. Our journey just has started. And yes it was one of the most important shock-waves ever to hit Kolkata, the rest is history. Kolkata, just after Bangalore, has now maximum numbers of high quality bands and most importantly fans, who are loyal, dedicated, sincere and knowledgeable. And this I hope would keep on ascending and it has to.
Bangalore is considered to be the old school metal capital of India. Where do you all see the Kolkata scene on a more national level?
Bangalore is indeed the metal capital for many reasons, one of them would be their professionalism which is the building block for any industry for that matter art-houses. Kolkata, it’s still a new scene but is growing and developing at sensational speed. Today we have very good quality upcoming bands with genres ranging from Death Metal to Thrash Metal, Death / Thrash to Black Metal, Black / Death Metal to War Metal, Hard Rock to Hardcore Punk, Grindcore to Doom / Death Metal and even Classic Heavy Metal. Times are changing, fans are not going to be force-fed with bullshit. They will not tolerate mediocre festivals that are coming from famous and popular 'been there done that, yet still here' bands / musicians, since they know their metal from its basic fiber and DNA! You know what I mean, right?
Coming back to Ritual Ascension Fest II, it has been delayed by almost 4-5 months due to the blessings of the Government and its great visa rules. Your thoughts on this.
Yes, Oath is an oath, Promise is a promise. We chose to wait because we are metal brothers to begin with and not promoters with monetary intentions. War.Cult.Supremacy was meant to be for all of us so it is, sadly Enmachined told us they could not see any possibilities getting the visas done so we had to give up on them, keeping it clear that we are there to organize another gig next time they get a visa and invited the young band named Deadbolt instead who debuted with full gusto at KOSMA's Hard and Heavy, they received positive accolades for a very strong debut performance. Regarding the Government and visa difficulties, we cannot do anything about it and we are not first ones to be effected by it, remember the Nile gig in Bangalore?
The earthquake in the form of Nafarmaan is going to strike Kolkata on the 11th of January, 2014. What does Putrid Ascendancy expect out of this occult occurrence?
We have seen them live already at the Banish the Posers Fest and trust me you can expect blasting bestial madness from the deepest regions of the crawling chaotic sea, swallowing you in it's apocalyptic void. 666% Guaranteed.
Being a pure Extreme Metal organizer, how difficult is it to make such an event possible in Kolkata?
People expect a free gig or don’t want to pay much which looks very cheap and ridiculous indeed. If you want good gigs with quality metal acts, start paying for it or be a keyboard krieg machine. Just pay for it or die. Hahahaha. They are forever pauper hahaha. The good side is that there are a new breed of educated and passionate metalheads who love to pay for quality fests / gigs and buy merch with full passion. To the new breed / generation of Kolkata Metalheads, we give our salutations to them!
If Putrid Ascendancy was to make a list of the most influential and essential albums, which ones would it feature?
Divus De Mortuus – Necrovore.
Seven Churches – Possessed.
Fallen Angel of Doom – Blasphemy.
INRI – Sarcofago.
Altars of Madness - Morbid Angel.
Under the Sign of the Black mark – Bathory.
Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost.
Worship Him – Samael.
Black Metal – Venom.
World Downfall – Terrorizer.
Severed Survival – Autopsy.
Show No Mercy – Slayer.
The Return – Bathory.
The Awakening – Merciless.
Horrified – Repulsion.
Triumph of Death – Hellhammer.
In the Sign of Evil – Sodom.
Malleus Maleficarum – Pestilence.
Exterminate – Angelcorpse.
Slowly we rot – Obituary.
Deathcrush – Mayhem.
The list goes on forever!
To a complete outsider tell us how much the underground Extreme Metal scene has grown in South Asia?
With the growth of old school entities, that are mainly Putrid Ascendancy and the Kolkata Old School Metal Association, we have only seen progress that was never there before. Stagnation and stereotypical understanding existed and most people who were in bands or were organizing gigs were highly unaware of the Heavy Metal membranes and aesthetics. So from the artwork to the sound everything sounded and looked everything metal is not all around. Still we have metal gig posters looking like DJ party invitation cards and bands sounding very repulsive and ridiculous, but you can witness the growth in the past two years. From bands being signed on for an EP in a matter of 1 year of formation (Mortar) to bands getting signed to big labels from the USA (Purgation) and successfully releasing them and getting them sold out completely (both of these bands) to being invited to play at international and national festivals:
Purgation (Undergrind Fest 2012, Death Skull Ritual 2013, Bangladesh, Banish the posers fest 2013, Bangladesh), Armament and Dead Veneration (Disorganized II, Bangalore), Mortar (Doom Over Bangalore, 2013), Necrodeity (Trendslaughter Fest III & IV) and Deadbolt (Thrashfest in Mumbai). All of these bands are highly professional, educated and talented musicians who are knowledgeable of the fibers of Heavy <etal so they can never forget their roots. Hence they are successful in their own fields / genres. All of them are working on their upcoming releases, to be released by a good label and they will carry on spreading the good name of Kolkata outside their home state for sure.
Name some of the old school bands from kolkata?
Inhuman(Inactive), Purgation, Mortar, Necrodeity, Armament, Dead Veneration, Strangulate, Kapalin, Deadbolt, Zahhak, Chhinnamasta, Mortis Divinum, Steelbird, Gypsy, Blakhole, Neon Rooster, Cryptocasm and the ever increasing madness of old school aesthetics.
[Armament live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
Will there be a dedicated merch stall and if yes than what are the essentials which Putrid Ascendancy recommends the audience to pick up?
You can get hold Nafarmaan's T-shirt. Purgation's EP and shirt too will be available.
Along with Putrid Ascendancy we have another great bunch of guys in the form of Kolkata Old School Metal Association promoting the old school metal sound in its entirety. What does Putrid Ascendancy have to say about the efforts of Kolkata Old School Metal Association and how does it see the partnership with them to decimate the ever declining false core scene over here?
We acknowledge and appreciate their effort and its great to see Kolkata having two strong forces nurturing and looking after the Metal scene and its future, you can say the future is in safe hands! Partnership and legionship will be welcome in right time to decimate impurities and restore anarchy and chaos of true f**king metal!
It’s a quite known fact that of the biggest issues one faces as an organizer is the proper sound and monetary part. How does Putrid Ascendancy deal with these being such an active organizer of gigs?
Money is an issue but will and passion takes over when it comes to music. We are a small underground cult dedicated to passion for Extreme Metal. So definitely we won’t expect big sponsors, but we are lucky to get help in different forms like Sid Sharma doing the artwork to our friend and renowned tattoo artist Mr. Kaivalya decision to help us, also promotion is well carried out by you with much vengeance! Money is an issue! Yes it is. But it can never tame or defeat us hahahaha, till we have strength in our bones!
[Purgation live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
A lot of people on social media sites like Facebook show support for the scene as if they would risk their lives for it, but in reality all they do is click the attending button on the event link but never turn up. What does Putrid Ascendancy have to say about such people?
Well such examples are there in every scene and every underground festival, so we better deal with the fact Facebook is just a medium and it comes with faulty data often so do your predictions. You got to know well who are the true fans and know how many to expect in your gig rather than blindly relying on the RSVP.
The lineup of Ritual Ascension Fest II is very diverse, covering all the Extreme Metal genres that can be. It must have been a consorted effort by you guys. How does Putrid Ascendancy feel about achieving such diversity?
Yes from Thrash Metal to Death Metal and Black / Death Metal! We are looking for some chaotic Black Metal bands to fill out the spectrum completely, this may happen in the next edition. There are two very talented pure Black Metal bands in Kolkata right now, Chhinnamasta and Zahhak, but both of them don’t play live for their ideological manifestations which we understand and respect. I've heard of two new bands playing Black Metal but are yet to go through their material.
There is this ever going battle as to which bands laid the foundation for Black Metal and Death Metal genres. What is Putrid Ascendancy’s take on who should be the fore fathers of these two essential extreme metal genres?
It’s an age old debate. Let me give you the right answer.
Possessed - Death Metal.
Hellhammer / Bathory - Black Metal.
As simple as that.
[Contact these numbers for passes of Ritual Ascension Fest II]
What does Putrid Ascendancy have in mind to make the coming future an even better one for the Kolkata scene?
We will start planning future after Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy is over.
Finally a few words that Putrid Ascendancy would like to say to the people who support extreme metal with their heart and soul?
Do attend Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy, watch it till the very end and do leave us feedback.
Ritual Ascension Fest II - War.Cult.Supremacy: https://www.facebook.com/events/154565728083266/
Final Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrYY05NVBwQ
Genre - Bestial Black / Death Metal
Country - Bangladesh
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nafarmaan.horde
"Bloodsoaked Revelation" Live at BTPF 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7763uSnD8rw
"Quayamat Lullaby" Live at BTPF 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zq0u6hfieI
Genre - Bestial Death Metal
Country - India
Bandcamp - http://necrodeity.bandcamp.com/
Genre - Brutal Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PURGATION
"Communal Carnage": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQt49BuEzEg
Genre - Old School Thrash Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/armament666
"Hammer of God" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=948R2NNlHyw
Genre - Black / Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Kapalin666
"Forgotten" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J04NyfHuWdQ
Genre - Thrash / Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Deadbolt.India
"City of Rot" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVWQW9QQmFw
Official Inking Partner - Dragonfly Tattoo - https://www.facebook.com/dragonflyta2
Official Artwork Partner - Sid Artworks - https://www.facebook.com/SidArtworks
F**k the False!!
Worship the true!!
Hail the cult!!
By GMA's Bangladeshi correspondent Nabil Abaddon
Purgation is a five piece metal band that hails from the vibrant city of rich cultural background, Kolkata (Calcutta)! Within a very short history of existence, they have created quite a buzz around their hometown and all around India alike with their appearance at Bangalore-based yearly fest ‘Undergrind’ (shared the stage with Singaporean Grind legends Wormrot) and their Death Metal cover of ‘Terminal Show’ at a Motorhead tribute album from India. Purgation is all set to unleash their debut EP “Exterminated Malfeasance” via Slaughterhouse Records and is preparing themselves for their second invasion in Bangladesh for the upcoming Banish The Posers Fest. I caught up with Subhajit, the vocalist of the band over the net to talk about the band, their debut EP and what not! Here is how the conversation was like!
If you live in Bangladesh, you should surely check these young guns out at Banish The Posers Fest 2013.
Ave brother! How is the band doing currently?
Hey man, we are doing great. Our drummer is slowly recovering from a fatal accident. Although Debanjan is in Germany now, we are all set to kick some candy ass in Bangladesh.
So This is going to be Purgation’s second tour to the East Bengal. You guys played here in Death Skull Ritual II just 7 months back. How excited are you guys to come back for more at Banish The Posers Fest 2013? What is going to be the slaying strategy this time?
First of all we are very thankful to all our brothers from Bangladesh. They have been supporting us all throughout. Death Skull Ritual II was absolutely kickass. We were looking forward to more gigs in Bangladesh. Banish The Posers Fest is honestly one gig every band would have loved to play in. The lineup is insane and we had a killer crowd support back in DSR 2. We are really looking forward to this gig and of course we do have few surprises as well.
Did you try any local delicacy or street food in Dhaka last time?
Of course we did. We had a special dish from Dhaka (Don’t remember the name) but it was top notch.
Alright! Now let’s talk a bit about the band. Please elaborate on how the band initially started. What were the directions and motivational factors to start Purgation?
We were basically known to people as Flesh Protocol. Debanjan and I had formed the band and the sound we planned was already different from the ones we had out here. After a few months we went for a couple of changes in our line up with a second guitarist in our band.The line up at the beginning of new year, 2011 was Debanjan bro on guitars, Denzil on guitars, Ayushman on bass, Abhinava on drums and I on Vocals. Arijit replaced Abhinava on drums who left the band around mid August'12 due to some unavoidable circumstances. Actually the name of the band is Purgation and not Purgation Inc. We added the "Inc." word to our Facebook page just to identify it separately from our group. Now that Abhinava is back again we are all set to kick some serious ass.
How did the band name come about and what do you want to convey through it?
It was a random name just like we used to call it Flesh Protocol. Since the lineup was brand new, we decided to give a one word name to it. Purgation means "cleansing" to be very precise.
Purgation has been signed by Slaughterhouse Records for the upcoming EP ”Exterminated Malfeasance”. Purgation have also hooked up with Jeff Fischer from USA for the mixing and mastering duties. How did that come about?
We were more than delighted to know that JR Torina bro from Slaughterhouse Records was interested to get us signed to his record label. Ayushman was busy sending our demo tracks to few renowned record labels in the world. We had a few responses but JR bro was in with full support. The idea of an EP cropped up almost a year ago but we lacked enough resources to make it happen. Jeff Bro has been there for us all throughout. We mixed and mastered our Motorhead Tribute track from him. Somehow we got hold of Tushar Da (of Pentatonic Studio) who helped us a lot in recording, mixing and mastering our tracks.
Purgation was also featured in a Motorhead tribute album from India and you guys covered the track ‘Terminal Show’ which is one of the heavier Motorhead tracks. Purgation covered it quite decently with turned down guitars and growled vocals. Please tell us about the experience. What were the responses that you have received from the fans?
It was one hell of an experience. We are thankful to the whole crew that gave us this opportunity to be on board with some of the best bands from our country. I approached Srikanth Bro from Bevar Sea and he was really interested in giving us this opportunity. It was basically a home recording with drums programmed because our drummer was out of town. We really regret on that part, however Jeff bro tried his best to make it sound professional. We had mixed responses to be honest but the major part of the crowd appreciated the fact that we did not budge away from our area of comfort, Death Metal.
For those who don’t know Purgation, which song would you like to suggest to them and why?
"Communal Carnage"! This song reflects our sound perfectly. The lyrical aspect gets portrayed beautifully. Check Communal Carnage on YouTube.
How is the metal scene like in Kolkata in terms of musicians, bands, venues and gigs? I have heard that Kolkata used to be full of Metalcore bands and pretentious pseudo metalheads once upon a time. Then dedicated organizations like Putrid Ascendancy, KOSMA emerged strongly out of the fog and a new era started in Kolkata since then. How much has the scene changed or evolved you think? would you like to suggest us some bands from there?
The metal scene in Kolkata was more like bollywood. Fortunately the trend followers have all died with the inception of Putrid Ascendancy. It all started with Metalcore, Deathcore and finally it had come to a halt with the likes of Djent and other ass foolery genres we have nowadays. KOSMA is new and they are oozing with confidence and talent. We really have promising bands like Armament, Gypsy and of course Necrodeity who have already set an example for young lads trying to follow the right path.
Coming to a personal question, how did you get into Death Metal and who do you take your inspirations from?
From being naïve listeners to getting better day by day, we decided to choose the best and create the sound that helps us to deliver the message to the people more elegantly. Death metal had always been our first priority. We have our influences from the likes of early Suffocation, early Deeds Of Flesh, Immolation, early Morbid Angel, early Cannibal Corpse, early Cryptopsy, the list never ends.
Our primary inspiration is drawn from mighty acts like Autopsy, Grave, Benediction, Obituary, and Unleashed and of course Acts like Dying Embrace, Kryptos, Bevar Sea from our country and Orator, Morbidity, Nafarmaan from Bangladesh.
Most of the Metal bands these days portray atheistic or nihilist ideologies through their music. Whats your take on this? Also tell us what are Purgation’s lyrical themes based on?
There is no problem in portraying nihilist or atheistic ideologies in the form of music. The main concern is about the way you put it. It is very important to amalgamate the ideologies with the band’s sound. Our lyrical theme is totally based on anti-socialism, against the system, corruption and I use a bit of occultism as well.
What do you think of the Extreme Metal scene in Bangladesh? Do you listen to any bands from ‘Opar Bangla’?
The extreme metal scene in Bangladesh is f**king A. With bands like Morbidity, Orator and Nafarmaan one becomes anything but skeptical about the extreme metal scene out there. Then we have bands like Warhound, Enmachined, Nuclear Winter as well. Bunch of talented people who are really true to their music. The crowd is insane.
What do you have to say about the folks from Primitive Invocation?
The brothers from Primitive Invocation are doing a great job. Organizing such huge gigs requires lot of responsibilities. They are setting examples and helping people in other countries take similar initiatives as well.
What holds for the band in the future? Any sneak peak?
Well, we do have our EP on its way from USA. We are planning to release our EP on the gig day itself making it a grand occasion.
Alright mates. Thanks a ton for giving us your time! Really looking forward to see you guys perform in BTPF 2013. Hails! Anything you want to say to your fans? The space is all yours.
This is for our brothers in Bangladesh who are fighting against the political turmoil in their country. F**K THE SYSTEM!!
By Farzand Bawa
Nafarmaan is a Black / Death Metal band who formed in 2008 and hails from the lands of the mighty Bengal. The detested ones, the Nafarmaans each united by common hatred for the sacred entity, are bound to obliterate all who dare to stand against their ideologies; which as the name suggests is anti-religious. Vowing not to spare believers of any religion, for all is the same and hence are guilty of the same crime.
Lyrically the band never intends on exhorting anything but that which is deemed as the exact representation of their hatred for the very foundations of all so-called established religions which are a direct translation of the name of the band Nafarmaan, the blasphemer, the disobedient. On the acknowledgement of their very first live performance which will be at the upcoming Ritual Ascension Fest II, as one of the two headlining acts from Opar Bangla, Global Metal Apocalypse goes ahead and interviews their drummer, Nohttzver (ex-Weapon) and their vocalist, Imam Iblis (Bloodlust) on their debut gig, debut EP, "Quayamat Lullaby" and how the band have been going since their beginning in 2008!
The interview was conducted by "D" on behalf of GMA! Read on for further blasphemy...
Hails, hows the band doing right now and whats the killing strategy for this upcoming nuclear war invasion: War.Cult.Supremacy?
Nohttzver: Ave! Nafarmaan is doing great and are sharpening it’s blades for the upcoming nuclear war invasion at the moment. Apart from a few Visa related glitches presently the band is ready to kill.
Imam Iblis: Thanks a lot for having an interest on Nafarmaan. Much appreciated. We have been rehearsing and raging to hit the stage. Debut show seems to be just like we wanted it to be.
This is your debut performance. How excited or determined are you to desecrate and banish everything in your path at War.Cult.Supremacy?
Nohttzver: As Imam mentioned earlier, Nafarmaan was itching to go live and what better than inaugurate the first live ever in India and in a majestic city like Kolkata. Currently the Bangalore and the Kolkata hordes are considered to be the truest die-hard metalheads from India in my books. The maniacs over at Kolkata are going to witness the wrath called Nafarmaan first hand and for the first time since this is going to be our first ever live appearance, so expect nothing short of what your expectations are from us. Guess it’s pretty special for all of us.
Imam Iblis: It’s not a measure of the level of excitement or determination. It doesn’t go up or down. May it be a rehearsal or a live act, it’s always up there. Nafarmaan means just that. Uncompromisable filth and disrespect for all organized morality. We are absolutely honored to be a part of this occasion.
Going back to the very basic questions, How did Nafarmaan come to its existence? Could you tell us about its initial line up and member changes? Have all these effected the sound of the band anyhow?
Nafarmaan was a thought I conjured up. I never intended to create a line up after my former band Weapon which I co-founded as well. I was totally out of reach and didn’t have a single thing to do with music rather than even metal back around 2005 / 2006. Let’s just say I was confronting my inner demons and getting in and out of rehab ha ha. My thought progressed and started taking form in 2008 when I was approached by longtime friend and guitarist Agnee Azaab. We started writing songs and I came up with the name of the band. There has been three lineup changes so far. Vocalist, bassist and a guitarist. The former members were quite a burden for the force and none played their respective roles when called for. So parting ways was inevitable. Nafarmaan took form mainly after we got hold of Imam Iblis. The founder of the first ever Death Metal band from Bangladesh ‘Bloodlust’. He has always been a kickass vocalist with a reputation to go with that. The Nafarmaan sound was complete when in early 2012 two new additions were made to the lineup. Nafrat and Marhoum. It is just not the sound that makes us an entity but rather our ideologies, beliefs and perceptions of how we see things.
What is the meaning of Nafarmaan? Could you tell me about the ideological reference for such name?
Nohttzver: The name Nafarmaan is mainly an Islamic / Urdu name. It means insubordination / rebellious / disobedience to any forms of beliefs mostly religious beliefs and ideologies. We dont and will not support any false religions and we stand as who we are, for we are Nafarmaans.
Imam Iblis: Simply put, Nafarmaan is the worst kind of sinner. We embrace it!
Hailing from Bangladesh and playing such abrasive and harsh music with blasphemous lyrics, have you ever faced any kind of oppression or threats?
Nohttzver: Yes we have actually, and quiet a number of times. The most memorable one for us was during our recording sessions for the EP. Someone from the recording studio deliberately erased three vocal files from the vocal takes when he understood what our lyrics were about. We being who we are, went in and got things done our way. Apart from that these nuisances keeps on happening, so we don’t really give a f**k.
Imam Iblis: We would’ve been the ones who mock faith and morality even if we weren’t making music. That is the reason behind choosing such a form of music to vomit out how we feel. These threats from people with zero sense of humor and rotten cum in their head have been coming in for years. These things don’t matter.
Could you shed some light on the bands musical references? What kind of bands or musicians have influenced the style you guys play?
Nohttzver: Our influences ranges from Polligiti (subcontinental folk songs), eastern classical, to the vilest extreme forms of noises there are.
Imam Iblis: I personally listen to most forms of music. There’s just way too many to name. But I think my influences come more from literature and art than music itself. A 70% - 30% split would be approximately correct.
Could you tell us about how Nafarmaan writes their material as in song writing process, is there any particular process you follow?
Nohttzver: Basically till now me and Agnee writes the skeleton of the tracks and the rest of the band works on it. Lyrical concept is thought of before making the riff lines. So, you can understand, the riffs are made to follow the profanity the words describe.
Whats your opinion on the Asian underground cult movement? Since Nafarmaan will be on a compilation featuring some of the most influential bands like Mantak, Belligerent Intent, Orator, Twisted Fate, Savage Deity etc..
Nohttzver: As you know, we are already a part of a compilation involving the bands you mentioned. Great ties and brotherhood between us. The Asian underground scene has been flourishing quite rapidly nowadays. We have nothing but respect for those who keep producing true sound of death. We as Nafarmaan, are proud to be a part of this movement which represents an authentic sound, spearheading our native sound to the global ears. And mighty proud of it too!
Imam Iblis: Ah! Excellent sound on each of the bands you mentioned. Originality is present for each band’s noise. That’s what matters. I like the way how they’ve worked to give their band’s name a definitive sound. Respect!
What do you think of Indian scene in general? Are there any bands Nafarmaan would want to collaborate with in future?
Imam Iblis: Promising acts are coming out these days from India, especially Bangalore and Kolkata. Necrodeity, Purgation, Armament, Kapalin, Bevar Sea, Witchgoat just to name a few, and there are, Kryptos, Dying Embrace from the legendary ones. About collaboration, as I mentioned, these bands all have great sound, so when/if it happens you guys will be the first to know!
Tell us about the scene in Dhaka, In past and present. In term of purity of Metal, accessibility of skilled and knowledgeable musicians and work ethics? Also tell us about the fans and how they support metal? Do they support the bands by attending gigs, buying the official merch and materials? Hows the gig scene in Dhaka?
I’d say it has been quite unfortunate for the Bangladesh underground scene for many years. No point detailing out the reasons, but it has been quite poor in most of the faculties you mentioned. However, for the past few years, things have started to look promising. There have been some excellent underground concerts, involving international artists as well. Fans seem to have taken a great interest in researching about the kind of music they actually like, getting their hands on official merchandise. This could be a good start.
Going back the EP, that is coming out soon, "Quayamat Lullaby", when did the band started writing the EP?
Nohttzver: F**k! That will be from 2008, the concepts and the song writing process started from then apart from a track or two. I must also mention that the songs wouldn’t have been what they are if it wasn’t for one of our brother Godslayer’s contribution. We are indeed grateful to him.
The EP seems to have four songs, is there anymore song the band had written?
Imam Iblis: Six tracks were recorded that night. The 4 tracks of the EP and two other. One of them, ‘Azaab Al Muminun’ is getting released on the ‘Southern Death Compilation CD’.
Nohttzver was the former drummer of legendary black metal band Weapon, so how Nafarmaan is different from Weapon? Is it a continuation of old primitive black metal sound of Weapon or separate entity that has its own musical DNAs?
Nohttzver: Weapon was Weapon. My era with Weapon mostly emphasized on songwriting that dealt with basic Death / Black or rather Black song structures but with utmost rawness. Nafarmaan is completely different from what you’ve heard from Weapon, the only two things you might find similar are one being Nafarmaan as like Weapon will give you something entirely different sound wise, and two you can relate to my playing a bit.
Name 5 most favourite albums that are important to Nafarmaan.
I:Blasphemy – Fallen Angel of Doom.
Sarcofago - I.N.R.I
Mayhem - De Myteriis DomSathanas
Venom – Black Metal
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness
The list is endless.
Any words to the fans?
Nohttzver: Submit and Embrace the wrath that is called Nafarmaan.
What is your opinion about the guys at Putrid Ascendancy?
Nohttzver: Those guys are sick! Total respect to what they are doing to keep the true form of extreme metal alive, may it be gigs to promoting true deserving acts. This undoubtedly one of those banners from India who really knows what they are doing. Their support and brotherhood in its entirety is very much appreciated and cherished by us all. Our best wishes to them.
Imam Iblis: Excellent metalheads infest what is called Putrid Ascendancy. Support from Nafarmaan for all the madness they are to bring! Hails!
We wish Nafarmaan a very successful invasion in Kolkata. KILL! Also total support for this upcoming EP! Keep the black flame burning and cult alive! Thanks for this interview! Ave Lucifer!
Nohttzver: Thanks, Ave!
Imam Iblis: Thanks a lot. Till we meet in Kolkata.
Nohttzver - Drums (ex-Weapon)
Nafrat - Guitars
Imam Iblis - Vocals (Bloodlust)
Marhoum - Bass
Agnee Azaab - Guitars
EP teaser:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNFHK5nrY6Y
I caught up with Sahil Makhija, vocalist and guitarist of renowned Indian Metal band Demonic Resurrection about their scheduled performance at Bloodstock Open Air 2012 this year, this is what was said.
1. Is this Demonic Resurrection's first time playing in England?
Yes this will be the first time that we play in the UK.
2. What are your anticipations about this performance, do you feel it will open the global metal scene up further?
We're really looking forward to it and it seems we have some really passionate followers of the band there so we're dying to come play for them and hopefully introduce a whole bunch of new folks to our demonic brand of metal. I'm not really sure how and if it does anything for the global metal scene but sure hope it does at least get us some more offers to come back
3. You'll be performing amongst some of Metal's heavyweights such as Evile and Anaal Nathrakh, are you nervous about it or excited or both?
Not nervous about playing alongside anyone really, because it's not a contest we're just happy to be on such an impressive bill and more than that I'm looking forward to watching and meeting my idols Nile, Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Testament etc.
4. What are you most looking forward to besides playing and meeting your idols?
We'll be working on some club dates and we're really looking forward to those additional shows. Not to mention the whole experience of touring in a van, carrying your backline around and all that stuff. In India we're pretty much flown around, got cards and drivers provided by the promoters, along with stay backline etc. So we'll rough it out in the UK that should to be fun.Not to mention I'm going to go crazy with the food find some good meat and wolf it down.
5. How would you sum up Bloodstock Open Air in general?
Metal As Fuck! \m/ Can't wait for it!
6. Do you feel that festivals like Bloodstock bring a community together and is there any big festivals in India or Asia alone?
Considering I've never been to Bloodstock I can't say what it does but I'm pretty sure most metal festivals bring people together, it's a whole bunch of metal heads in 1 place. In India we have Independence Rock the longest running festival in Mumbai, 26 years and counting, Great Indian Rock Festival about 17 years running and the more recently NH7 Weekender Festival. So these definitely do bring people together, build a sense of community and I'm sure Bloodstock does the same.
7. If there is something you wish to take away from playing at Bloodstock, what would it be?
As cheesy as it sounds I'm going to take away hopefully some great memories of playing a kickass show, meeting amazing musicians and watching amazing bands and most importantly getting to meet all the wonderful people in the UK who have been supporting Demonic Resurrection.
Interviewed conducted by RHYS STEVENSON
BAND: EXILED SANITY
MUSICIAN: DEEPTAROOP BASU
GENRE: PROG / EXPERIMENTAL METAL
1. How long has Exiled Sanity been going and how did the band form?
The band has been around 6 -7 months (formed in 2011) I was playing for another blackened death Metal band which i left, so these guys who have been playing under a similar name, but they left soon and asked me to play, so i checked them out. It was initially like a class, where I was guiding them how to focus on a new sound, then about 6-7 months ago we started playing officially and we released 2 self-produced original compositions 'Twisted Route to Salvation', and 'Redesigning Humans'!
2. How big has the Indian metal scene become and who are the most notable bands?
India has been doing alright, but not that great, because I want to see Indian bands go on world tours, there are numerous great talented bands such as Scribe and Undying Inc. But I guess some negotiations are to be done with international gig organisers and tour coordinators, for making not only the old bands which are big already outside India but also emerging bands like ours and our buddy bands such as What Escapes Me or Yonsample from Kolkata
3. Are there any problems playing Metal in India and what is the media press like?
Yeah Metal is still considered taboo here in a lot of places; people tend to think it's a bunch of crazy guys, banging their heads like they have gone bad to music, where the words are not understandable. The press and media level is getting better as there are a few online websites coming up but there is metal being talked about in the daily newspapers, only reviews of international acts are presented sometimes, that's about it.
4. Do you feel with bands like Demonic Resurrection getting signed to Candlelight, that this has opened the gateway for Indian Metal to be globally recognised?
Yeah Demonic Resurrection has been in the circuit for over a decade now and the band has helped in spreading Indian metal to a certain extent as it's the only band which has a fair amount of international gig experiences and a few tours.
5. Out of the metal genres, is Black Metal shunned upon in India due to religion?
I have doubts because I haven't yet come across any black metal bands from India who are doing it spiritually, I mean if you are comparing black metal bands from Norway, then India is very far behind. I guess the music needs to be spread and understood more because the concepts are deep and everyone cannot change their lifestyle due to these kinds of music, only feeling this kind of music to a great extent will encourage the person to play black metal religiously.
6. Does Exiled Sanity have any plans for 2012?
Yeah we are planning to release our self produced EP, we will be coming out with a new song probably end of January or in the 1st week of February, the EP would be in the late end of mid 2012 hopefully before 21st December 2012.
7. Finally do you have any tips for musicians looking to improve skills and/or get into a band? What do you have to say to the global metal scene?
Ahh.. II have always wanted to play an instrument so as to channel my emotions, I play heavy music so as to get my aggression out of me as its immature to act randomly when you are angry so music is the best way to channel emotions, therefore I would like everyone in this world to play an instrument because it helps you take out whatever you are feeling and music does a lot of things to you. Which beginners will get to know better as they start learning music and the global metal scene is doing good, new bands with newer sounds are coming up, and music is evolving; now people have more choice of listening to whatever kind of music they want to listen to.