Tuesday, April 24, 2007

interview: Prakalp

Talented. Recklessly spontaneous, and willing to perform and entertain under any circumstance.That in short, is what prakalps all about. What goes into making a great band? Trust, talent, practice, hard work and patience. They have the perfect proportion of all the ingredients! Each one has what it takes to make it to the upper echelons of the extraordinary world of music and performance. Be it the technical or theoretical know-how, music-direction skills, perseverance, enthusiasm, a very big ear for music or faces that are easy on the eyes! PRAKALP ROCKS! Read on:

20th April, 2007
Venue: Prakalp’s Jam Room.

Having never interviewed a metal band before, I had my inhibitions. What would I ask? How would they respond? I was pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of courteous kids, at least till the interview began! Their enthusiasm was infectious; answers were heartfelt and the camaraderie genuine. The song they performed at the end of the interview made me a fan!

At first, a few guys had got together to form Apocalypse. One thing lead to another and things clicked. Anant Dwivedi, Alister Fernandes, Vineet Nair & Vincent Pereira got together. Gavril Mankoo joined the party. Prakalp was formed.

Here is an honest one-on-one with them.

1. The name of your band is Prakalp. What does it mean, and why did u choose it as your band name?

Anant: Prakalp, in Hindi, has 2 meanings. It means an undertaken project, as well as the Rising. We were formerly known as Apocalypse, but the band line up was different then. And it kept on changing. Once things settled down, we thought Apocalypse didn’t suit our genre, so we wanted a name which was Indian and would perfectly suit our music. Some names we thought of were – Astitva, Abhaas, etc. Then we got Ashwin Chinchkhede to manage the band, who thought of this wonderful name. All of us loved it. Why this name? Because, we have undertaken project Hindi Metal!

2. What made you want to be a band?

Ashwin: Music was always our passion! Everybody in the band wanted to make music their profession. We had creativity, and a will to perform. Personally, I don’t call it a band. It’s a family because even when we aren’t practicing, we are together and meet each other regularly.

3. What genre do you feel Prakalp fits into best?

Anant: (rolls his eyes) we absolutely have no answer for this. We don’t keep a genre in mind when we make new songs, they just happen! We are entertainers, that’s all. We love to experiment and be versatile.

Alister: I think we are Hindi symphonic metal band with clean/snarling vocals because this is what the people have starting calling us, after Anants clean snarls!
(Gives Anant a pat on the back smilingly, Anant responds with a ‘f**k you’!

4. Your vocals are in Hindi. How did you think of this concept - making songs with Hindi lyrics and Indian classical vocals?

Ashwin: Anant has been learning Hindustani classical singing for a few years is adept at playing the Tabla too. That’s our Indian Classical connection.

Anant: When we started listening to rock music and metal, we realized that music, whether Indian classical or Heavy Death Metal revolves around those twelve notes and has the same musical expression, the only difference is that heavily distorted guitars are used instead of a sitar.
(Sings the 12 notes, crisply and melodiously, while Vineet gives him the beats.)

Anant: We also wanted to attempt something new by using Hindi lyrics in metal because Hindi is a powerful language with words that have very deep meaning, Hindi comes closest to the Sanskrit language, which has evolved from the Devnaagri script, one of the oldest scripts in the world.

Alister: Besides, it is our National language and we believe we can speak the Hindi language better than any other foreign language, or at least understand better. When we sing English songs, it’s cool. But Hindi Metal rocks! And to a great extent, this experiment of ours gave quite a satisfactory result.

Gavril If Norwegian Black Metal bands can make music in their own language, why not us?
The kid has a valid point.

5. Has the metal community in Mumbai accepted your kind of music?

Vincent: Most of them have, some of them haven’t because they think that we are a Hindi band, and they do not want us to contaminate the metal scene whereas we try to put a different essence into it. They directly link it to the Bollywood industry, which mainly consists of romantic songs, prancing around trees and wet transparent saris! Bollywood music has its own fan club, I do not deny it!

Vineet: For us, language is not a barrier, because the music remains the same. Someone introduced us to thrash, death metal, progressive, and so on! All these bands must have faced the same issues that we are facing at some point of time when their genres evolved!

Gavril: And we don’t care about a few narrow-minded opinions!

6. What are the themes associated with the lyrics of your songs? What inspires your lyrics?

Gavril: The themes are death, revenge, anger, hatred, pain, sorrow, regret, etc. in a good sense. One of our songs, Maut, impersonates death and describes how death easily claims its victim. This doesn’t mean that we want people to die! This is reality! Everyone dies!

Vineet: One of our newest songs called Aatmahatya portrays the self inflicted pain a person has to go through when one tries to commit suicide. For suicidal people death means more to them than life! Imagine the things revolving in their head! This doesn’t mean that we’re promoting suicide!
Revenge, hatred, anger, pain, sorrow, etc are emotions just like love and affection. When people can write about these emotions, then why not the darker aspects of life?

Vincent: Our society inspires us! They give us points, and we elaborate on them in our songs!

7. Your third OC, 7/11 revolves around the recent Mumbai train blasts and is a favorite among most of those who have heard Prakalp play. Your reflections.
Anant: It is sad, what happened. This song is a message to the terrorists that when unnecessary killings are done, people suffer. Stop it! It’s dedicated to those innocent people who have lost their lives. We want this song to be on the lips of everyone who is against terrorism, not because it’s our song, but because we want terrorism to stop.

Vincent: Hope it does not get us kidnapped!

Ashwin: F**k the terrorists!
(middle fingers everywhere)

8. How was it to be featuring in the Global Metal Documentary?

Anant: It was a thrilling experience! Dr. Sam Dunn and his crew members are a very professional and hard working lot. We are amazed to see ourselves being featured in the documentary alongside bands that we look up to! Demonic Resurrection & Bhayanak Maut have been our sources of inspiration!

Vincent: Sam is a great guy & has an amazing personality. He is too soft spoken to be a Metalhead! No sarcasm involved!
(Everybody asks Vincent to shut up!)
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the Indian crowd to be so passionate here.” Although what interested him the most was the Hindi metal band, Prakalp. “I’m a fan of Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut, though Prakalp was quite interesting!” he signs off.


Ally: It was a dream come true, as the man has interviewed members of bands like Black Sabbath, Slayer & Iron Maiden!

Vineet: B******d, that guy is tall! Check the Pics!


9. Some people feel that you are over-rated and didn’t deserve your place in Sam Dunn’s doc. Comment.

Gavril: It was purely on talent that we were selected. Anant can play the drums WHILE singing. Vincent eats Bass, Vineet is superb and Alister kicks ass! We practice hard, and are improving day by day! We are one of a kind, with a different concept. And if some deserving band wasn’t selected, it was not our fault! It was Sam Dunn’s decision!
(Ashwin asks Gavril to calm down. I move on.)

10. How has Prakalp managed to achieve such milestones in such a short time?

Anant: I thank the other band mates who took such a bold step by doing what nobody dares, or wants to do, for that matter! In today’s scenario where people don’t get too many paid gigs one has to rely on competitions. We really worked hard on the technical part of our music .We waited a long time before entering competitions. Thanks to our supporters who always stood by us. We have amazing friends!
They are a tight bunch.

11. Any plans of an album or an EP?
Ashwin: We are already working towards it, but due to certain constraints, we have kept it on hold for some time. But, we are seriously looking forward to launch it some time from now! Currently, we are working on our originals. Watch out for them!
I could feel the excitement and anticipation.

12. Hailing from Vasai means power cuts and load-shedding may surely be hampering your practice and jam sessions. How do you guys manage?

Vincent: Yeah, power cuts suck! They are a major issue and we have to work around it as per the whims and fancies of those Electricity Board a******s!

Gavril: Apart from load-shedding issues, all the members are students, and so one has to keep a track of their daily routine. We make sure that we practice for at least an hour everyday.

Vineet: We write lyrics when there is no power, and work it out on the acoustic guitar, and set the drum patterns.

Alister: F**k electricity, we don’t give a damn! We practice ANWAY!

13. Any gigs that left a memory or two?

Ashwin: The Nagpur gig, chiefly because of two reasons. 1. EXTREME climate, for which Prakalp was not ready! 2. Financial crisis! The gig remains in my memory because we were completely stripped of cash, and we had to wait and hope for someone to win in some category to get the money required to head home. Anant won the award for the best vocals and received 1000rs which bought our tickets to come home!

Vincent: VCET! We had performed in front of an 800 strong crowd. Some guys were using Pyros in the crowd! They even waited for us even when the lights went out. VCET rocks!

Alister: Also the VCET chicks were hot! They couldn’t stop screaming our name!
Everyone seems to agree!

Gavril: SIES, Powerchords!

14. Do you feel that there is a scope for more bands to pick up Hindi Metal?

Anant: We do feel so, because we are doing something different, and we are getting a lot of appreciation for our music. Earlier, we faced a problem as to which songs we should cover, as we had no band to cover! Hopefully, the new bands shall get inspired by our choice of music. We want to pave the way for other bands that want to take up Hindi metal, but are a little hesitant to do so. We do not believe in following a trend. We want to set a trend so that other Indian music lovers can start appreciating this form of music and support original music.

15. What do you guys think of the Indian rock/metal scene?

Alister: The Indian Rock/Metal scene is growing at a very rapid pace! Indian bands are getting global recognition. People are beginning to appreciate good rock/ metal music! It’s a very healthy trend! \m/ to the people!

16. Which Indian bands, according to you, rock?

Gavril: Bands like Demonic Resurrection, Pin Drop Violence, Parikrama and Pentagram, Devoid, Bhayanak Maut, Infernal wrath… the list goes on!!

17. What exactly happened at the S.I.E.S gig?
Ashwin: It’s a long story. It was a f**kin roller coaster ride! We lost our guitar processor, played without the lead guitarist, and still managed to reach the finals! All this in our first competition! The details are on our site.

Vineet: More the pressure, the better we f**kin perform!!

18. What difference has Prakalp made in your life?

Alister: it has made me more mature. My outlook towards people has changed. And it has inspired me to grow my hair!!

Vincent: it has made me famous, a better performer, and a hit among the chicks!
Everybody laughs! Vincent eyeballs them all.

Gavril: Prakalp has changed the way I thought of music and increased my dedication to music.

Anant: It has given me confidence, and given me life long friends! My partners in crime!

Vineet: Yes, drinking partners! Seriously, helping hands in a crisis, whom I can completely rely upon.

Ashwin: It has made me a great manager of a great band! Have learnt time management, money management and resource management! Im more organized and satisfied.

19. Message to fans.

First of all, we would like to thank our friends/ fans/heroes:

Uncle (Anants dad) - for providing us with the jam room!
Bansi: for giving us a place to stay!
Gary: our tech support!
Sharma: for always motivating us.
Bhau: for being there
Mahesh: his guitar lessons and practice place!
Amin: for his constructive criticism.
Adil: for promoting our music.
Kamlesh/ Sagar: for capturing our memories.
Tejas: our booze sponsors!
The gals, Jyoti, Poornima, Avni, and Shraddha for their screams and applauds!
Our parents: for tolerating us!
Navjot, Shubha, Ashish, Homesh, Shree Vidya, Aishwarya, Amardeep, Rajesh, Harini, all the SIES volunteers, RGIT’s Kartik- thanks for all the love!
The Demonstealer, Pradeep, Shubham, Melroy, Charles & Chetan for their advice.
Sorry if we are forgetting someone!

We live to perform and entertain you. Please keep supporting us; we are where we are because of you! We hope to move forward with your best wishes, but we will never ever forget you! Please interact with us, criticize us, whatever! We are always available!

They then performed Maut. They have a bright future.

Signing off,

Kartikeya Dwivedi


Name Anant Alister Vincent Vineet Gavril
Petname Antz Ally Vincy Jadya Kiddo
Role in Band Vocalist Rhythm Guitar, backup vox. Bass Guitars Drums Keyboards
Idol Kurt Cobain Fred Durst Steve Harris Mike Portnoy Jaane Warman
Fav Band Nirvana Limp Bizkit Iron Maiden System of a Down Children of Bodom
Poison Imperial Blue Tadi White Mischief Imperial Blue Appy Fizz

Originals include:
Main Chalaa --------------(Power Metal)
Maut --------------(Symphonic Death Metal)
Inteqam --------------(Progressive Death Metal)
Aatmahatya --------------(Symphonic Death Metal)
7/11 --------------(Power Metal)

Contact Details:

Phone :+00 91 9226712144 {Ashwin}

+00 91 9823515958 { Anant}

+00 91 9226364861 {Alister}

+00 91 9823943864 {Vineet}

+00 91 9890296730 {Vincent}

+ 00 91 9323799803 {Gareth}

+ 00 91 9960238466 {Gavril}

E-M@il :prakalp.theband@gmail.com

Site : http://www.prakalp.piczo.com

1 comment:

Rashmi said...

Great interview indeed, Kartik!....am really glad to hear about Prakalp, Antz and the rest of the gang!:-)Good Luck Prakalp! Cheers!