With the scorching heat finally kneeling before the soothing rains and dark clouds hovering above us, we caught up with a very promising band- Sweet Poison, jamming in their secret hideout.
Their current line up.
We have Pratiksha Priyadarshini – the vocalist, the terrific trio of Alok Ranjan, Sangeet Pattnaik and Ashish Roshan Tete on Rhythms, Base Guitar and Lead Guitar respectively. We have Sandeep Edward Kindo on keyboards, Subeer Nanda on the Drums and last but not the least, Darshan Mohanty as our Band Manager.
Naming their band Sweet Poison.
When we were in the initial stages of formation of our band, the idea was to “take the road less traveled”. We didn’t want to be associated with a single genre, so the first thing we took care of was the name as it was something that defined us and our passion for music. Being a group of amateurs back then, we couldn’t experiment much, so we basically played Soft Rock and Heavy Metal. The name Sweet Poison reflected our playing style. While sweet projects our inclination towards soft rock, poison signifies the dark metal.
Their coming together.
Ashish Tete, started learning guitar in 2008 after being hugely inspired by his elder brothers Lalit Soreng, the founder of Abyss School of Music and Alok Albert, who had his own band . When the craze of forming his own band took control of him, he started searching for band members.
We found all members, from our rhythm guitarist to the keyboardist and drummer at Abyss School Of Music. Our vocalist Pratiksha, a student from Ravenshaw College, was the last piece of the puzzle. And after all the pieces fell in place, Sweet Poison came to life.
About the Competition in the field of music.
In Cuttack, we generally don’t get such a good response in shows. The music scene in Bhubaneshwar is different.People here appreciate different genres of music. You cannot compare one band with another as they all are unique. We are good at what we do and so are other bands. The actual pleasure comes in competing with bands that can promise a nail-biting contest. It’s not only about competing against them but also the opportunity to learn something new that makes us happy.
Playing Odia songs in shows.
It generally depends on the kind of crowd at a performance that makes us choose the songs. We are trying our best to set an example of playing Odia songs in different stage shows. In a state where people love their mother tongue so much, you cannot afford to ignore the fact that a simple Odia song can lift the spirits, the mood and the energy level of the crowd in a matter of seconds.
Well, while our guitarists idolize Jimmy Hendrix, Ashish worships Metallica. Our vocalist, Pratiksha, is a big Sona Mohapatra fan. She loves everything about her.
The biggest hurdle we face is travelling for the jamming sessions. Time management is also not our forte. And since we have a female vocalist, practicing till late night isn’t much of a choice for us. Financial problems, big or small, do creep up sometimes.Though we aren’t experts at solving all the problems in one go, we do try to minimize it as much as we can. We pay the rent for our jamming room from earnings from gigs and shows. We generally keep our practice sessions during the weekends, when everyone is free.
Their first step towards success and the triumphs that followed.
We first performed on stage in a show organized by Marwari Yuva Manch. That gave us the feel of what an actual stage performance is like. We continued to perform in cultural fests of various colleges, KIIT being one of them. Every competition didn’t guarantee us a win, but it did give a new experience that helped us improve every time we performed.
In 2012, Rubaab was the biggest platform we had got to perform and showcase that we did have the talent to compete at the highest level. For a band like us, walking into the finals was certainly a big thing.
Next up, we got to participate in our first reality television project. With stalwarts from the music industry of Odisha judging the show, MBC ROCK ON was just the opportunity that we were looking forward to. And when it came our way, we grabbed it with both hands. With the concept being almost the same, the actual difference came in form of camera consciousness. Performing in front of the camera, with no crowd in front but thousands of people watching you at home, it was quite a challenge.
We have some big shows coming up like the Tech Fest at KIIT, XIM-B Xpressions and few more fests.
The idea of releasing an album is something that is in progress. We don’t want to hurry up on this and rather give the people of Odisha a collection of songs that they would cherish for a long time. We are trying to inspire each Original composition from the lives of each of our band members.
The Last Word.
Time isn’t something that you can hold back. We are pursuing our studies and will continue to do so, but Sweet Poison will be as it is. It was our undying passion for music that brought us together on this wonderful voyage, and does this vast sea of music have an end?? We don’t think so. There are shores to this sea where we might stop, rest a bit. But the journey shall continue in search of new horizons.