BANGLAORE: Since the release of their first EP Have Hard. Will Core in 2006, Scribe (modern metal/hardcore band from Mumbai) has come a long way, strongly establishing themselves as one of the best metal acts in the country. While fans like to call the brand of music ‘scribecore’, the band’s music is truly ingenious in the way it seamlessly fuses humour with metal music, along with exceptionally tight song-writing. This is a band that needs to be seen to be truly believed. The lineup includes Prashant Shah (guitars), Akshay Rajpurohit (guitars), Srinivas S (bass), Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy (vocals) and Viru (drums).
Fresh from their third album release, Hail Mogambo, Scribe will perform live in Bangalore at the NH7 Weekender music festival on November 8. City Express speaks to Srinivasan S aka Vaas and Prashant Shah to find out more.
As a band, when it comes to song themes, Scribe takes its cues from humour, food, sports and more, but most importantly, it is Bollywood that inspires their writing. “The story of Hail Mogambo is actually a confecta (see what I did there?) — since it’s a sequel to Mark Of Teja’s (previous album) storyline, which had an evil industrialist purging the world into total chaos by creating the TEJA virus. In Hail Mogambo, the virus strain has mutated to something even more evil and menacing that it’s really hard to keep track of where it is going. Also, with too many creative heads in the band, the storyline currently is stationed at a mysterious and vague crossroad - waiting for someone to just finish the last chapter,” says Vaas.
The sequel album comes three years after Mark of Teja, quite unlike their usual prolific output in the past, and they seem happy that they decided to slow down their pace. “It’s great that it took so much time because we started to look at song writing and structuring in a different manner. As they say “time heals all”, it’s definitely something that bands need to invest in. It’s not just about shutting yourself in a room and recording day and night. It was about relationships and how, as a band, it helps you connect and understand one another and make music that is much more than just riffs and chords,” says Vaas.
“Three years is a very long time and it’s very unlike us to take so long. However, careers, scheduling, conflicts and two weddings took up a lot of time. Hence the massive delay. It’s funny, we have material to start recording the next album as well,” says Prashant.
The band got Jens Bogren on board to produce the album for them and it definitely shows. The album is a 13-track aural masterpiece that is produced to perfection. For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Bogren is a record producer, mixer and recording engineer who has worked on albums by Opeth, Katatonia, Soilwork, Kreator, Devin Townsend and more.
Getting Jens on board was made possible by guitarists Akshay and Prashant and the band’s recordist and initial mix engineer, Kuber Sharma. “It’s like getting Quentin Tarantino to direct your film. Jens is someone who has worked on metal albums that have made history. So it was awesome to have him on board. He is super-professional and so inspiring,” says Prashant.
Hail Mogambo also has Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor fame, doing the mixing. “Our association with Keshav goes back to the days when we played a gig in Bangalore; Keshav came all the way from Manipal (where he was studying) to watch us play and ended up hanging out with us. Since then, he has always considered Scribe as one of his inspirations (he is just being modest here). With his meteoric rise with Skyharbor and his mixing-mastering skills on various albums, it only made sense to approach him for the mixing, which he readily agreed to considering the time crunch,” says Vaas.
The band has earned itself a huge fan following over the years, not least due to their brilliant chaotic live shows that feature all-girl moshpits (a personal favourite of the band), inflatable pool crowd surfing, poetry recitals, skits, courtroom dramatisations and more. “Every place we’ve played at has a memory attached to it. Having toddlers headbanging on stage with us at GIR Delhi to having Roycin D’Souza, a six-foot giant, pick me up and put me on his shoulders while playing a song...we have had some mental moments,” says Prashant.
“When we started out there was nothing, except for GIR and Independence Rock. Today there are festivals like Bacardi NH7 Weekender that give audiences a great experience and bands a large scale platform,” he adds
(Scribe will perform live at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender on November 8.)