Indian regional cinema meets 80s rock, has a beer with punk music, shakes a leg with disco, chills with reggae and head bangs to metal.’
This is how the Bangalore based band Live Banned describe their music and by now you know that they are not your regular live band and that they have a wicked sense of humour! “We are sell outs. We like to mix everything. Since the mixes are interesting, we have got offers from various local bars like Manjunatha, Lakshmi and Sreenivasa. The concept of genre is man-made. When you think beyond that, it becomes spiritual. We believe in one music, one genre - Indian mass music,” says Amrit, the band’s lead vocalist.
And when they tell us that their love for milkshake, cold badam milk and Butter Chicken keeps them together, you also know that parody and satire are their forte and you can’t expect serious responses to any questions posed to them.
On their latest track The Auto Tune, Amrit tells us,”I have been doing a lot of research on Indian Auto Rickshaw drivers for the past ten years by travelling in, guess what, auto rickshaws. So we decided to make a video of the entire thing and act in it and boy did we act. The video was shot in beautiful locales like Tippasandra, Yarab Nagar, Brigade Road, Sarjapur and Yeshwantpur. As of 7:53 pm this evening, a total of 11,442 drivers have turned me down which coincidentally also equals to our youtube views for The Auto Tune.”
We ask them if the music scene in the city shows promise with the restrictions on nightlife, he adds, “If the music scene has to change, the mind set of people and authorities towards live music must change. Venues will support live music only when audiences are ready to pay the ticket price and cover charge. For audiences anything ‘free’ sells.”
Live Banned was also featured on MTV Roots last month, which is a weekly music block that showcases music by bands and artistes with a strong South Asian connection including the Indian subcontinent. Amrit explains, “It is a show meant for independent musicians. The response has been great and we received a lot of support from our fans. It also helped us to venture into the Mumbai scene.”
On advising the aspiring musicians, bassist Raveesh says, “With great power comes great responsibility, but only with great passion comes real music. Follow your heart today, there is no such thing as later. Be true to yourself and nature supports you and of course do the necessary.”
When asked to pick one city they love to perform other than Bangalore, they sign off, “It has to be Chennai. We strike a chord with them every time we play since the South Indian quotient in our music is very high. The people are very supportive and love their music. Hyderabad is a close second and the love is mutual. The latest addition to our favourites is Pune.”