Art & Culture, Bapi Records, Jukebox

In conversation with Shabd

The Broken Scooter recently caught up with Shabd during their jam session. The band talks about their influences,khatti’s(hang outs), the little coffee breaks during exams, their problems and everything else. On their experience with Indian Ocean Unreal! We are just a band from the local.

By Dec 9,2011  0

The Broken Scooter recently caught up with Shabd during their jam session. The band talks about their influences,khatti’s(hang outs), the little coffee breaks during exams, their problems and everything else.

On their experience with Indian Ocean

Unreal! We are just a band from the local scene and meeting such a huge band was an awesome experience. We talked about music and they were really insightful and told us about the finer nuances of music. They were really down to earth.Susmit Sen had a unique guitar, it had just a fret board, didn’t have a belly, we were silly enough to ask “Is that a guitar?” and he laughed “Yeah, definitely.”

On what keeps them together
The basic thread that connects us is love for music and moreover we are all very good friends. We practically fight while jamming but then at the end of the day, we know ego never sets in amongst us. Bands get disbanded easily all around the world, even here in Bhubaneswar, but we are fortunate enough to find each other. We complement each other and gel evenly. We combine constructively rather than destroying any creative output over trivial issues.

On current influx of Sufi music in India
Sufi is difficult. It’s originally meant as a song which is calling out to God. It’s a very pious and pure form of music. Now a days, we have songs in India which pen down romantic lyrics and call it Sufi style of music. If you do that then you have destroyed the very basic idea of Sufi music, don’t call it a Sufi song. It’s meant for God and not for your girlfriend. Sufi songs are messed up big time here.

On Oriya metal
You need to divide a language on the basis of the syllables. That’s not what Oriya facilitates. It’s a fact. You cannot break down the language on your whims and wishes. If you make a few changes then maybe you can get close but it wouldn’t be classic metal. Oriya is a root language and it dates back to really old times. You really can’t mess up the language just to prove a point.

On current trends in music
Nowadays just a glossy video with gorgeous, curvy women becomes a hit, no matter however bad the song maybe. Radio died out, people don’t listen to songs, and they are watching songs. Jimmy Hendrix was not a good-looking guy but once he played, people were hooked. Real music is dying out. Don McLean could have sung This will be the day music died today and it would describe all that ails music now.

On their first original “Bechain Se”
Bechain se, the band’s first original composition has its roots in the slippery grounds of love. The song was a rough composition by Sidharth on the keys until Ayushman added the guitar leads and acoustic arpeggios that have made the song what it is today. The song has a special place in every member’s heart and we thank each and every person who has ever appreciated it in the right spirit.

On their band
Shabd was formed in 2007 with the likes of Ayushman Dash and Jyotir Aditya on guitars, Sidharth Sahu on vocals, Rishav Sethia on bass and Anshuman Dash on drums. The reason behind the band was always to give a voice to the tunes that play within and it stays true until today. We have always followed the route of music.

On naming of their band Shabd
Shabd, albeit not a fancy name, occurred to us as an apt description of the band’s philosophy behind music. Words and notes reach out to musicians. We do not rush in framing our originals.In fact we wait until we perceive that every word, every note hits us from within. This might sound philosophical but we have originals that have taken us 15 minutes to compose and others that have taken more than a month. That I guess pretty much describes the philosophy behind the name “SHABD”

On retaining their identity
We had some very gifted musicians in our band from its origin but as with any other band time has played its role in the metamorphosis of our music. We dearly miss Manu bhai on drums and Rishav bhai on bass, but our passion for music remains the same and I believe we have found substitutions whose attitude towards music is the same. Overall we are happy as a unit making music but definitely haven’t forgotten the contribution of our former members towards our music.

On the current lineup
We have Ayushman Dash and Jyotir Aditya on guitars, Siddharth Sahu on vocals, Soumyaranjan Dixit (Dahia) on drums and BFB on bass. We also have Mr Jagannath Prasad as our manager without whom none of this would have seen the light of day. Biswajit Misra, one of the best guitarists of the state, a member of Fakin Void, and presently a guitarist in Djentle Labs is our sound technician.

On the problems faced by a band pursuing music in Odisha as serious profession
Odisha as we may take the liberty of saying hasn’t exactly made its mark upon the rock scene in India. We began at a time when bands were thought of as “melody parties” comprising of students who have nothing better to do. Frankly the scene has changed a lot over the years but people need to inculcate in themselves is the respect for music. We have played at many locations here and it is not rare to find terrible sound systems being provided, sound checks being prohibited etc.Though many bands have come up in the past few years one does get a feeling that the music in Orissa does need to mature a lot.

On composing their tracks
Funny that you asked.., It is dominantly me (Siddharth) who pens down the lyrics but the music that is written has very awkwardly come out when we had least expected it to. Ayushman, me and Anubhav normally study together while exams as we share the same college and I can at least recollect 2 complete songs being framed in those small breaks that we take between study hours. Also we have a lovely place near CET popularly known as the Happiness tree or Pathshaala where we love to sit down together and compose stuff. We do put in a lot of brain storming into every song that we make after we get the basic structure. We believe a song much like wine grows in its quality the more you let it mature.

On their inspirations and influences
We started out as a more of a conventional Hindi rock band so I won’t forget to mention bands like Jal and Raeth that had influenced our music but of late we have delved into more mature and unconventional music mainly inspired by bands like Fuzon, Shafaqat Amanat Ali, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and also English bands like Tool, Coldplay, U2. It might sound awkward that we derive our inspiration from English bands but we firmly believe music doesn’t have linguistic boundaries.

On their most memorable performance
There are quite a lot of them. Some lasting back to the winning of Chakravyuh in ITER with the bands initial and former members, to the performance at Alma Fiesta, IIT Bhubaneswar which bagged the runner’s up prize.

On the history of the band
We started out as one of the first rock bands in the state in the year 2007.we have witnessed many changes in line ups as well as music. We concentrated mainly on playing covers and conventional rock Originals in the past but of late we composed many tracks of various genres. The past we believe is the harbinger of the present which is but an extraordinary prophet of the future. We do remember our past realize our mistakes and try to correct them with every passing second of time. A lot of afore-mentioned people have contributed to what we are today and we are indeed grateful to them for having shown us what we are capable of and for firmly believing in us.

On moving to bigger platforms
Well, for us, it doesn’t actually matter where the place is, what matters is how the place is. We would love to perform anywhere on the planet provided there is a good crowd who respect music.

You can check out the Band’s Music Profile here Shabd

All photographs used in this article are a property of Swayam Satta Swain.You can find more of his work here swayam’s photography


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