BANGALORE: The rock capital of the country, Bangalore, has seen many iconic bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Deep Purple and artistes like Bryan Adams and Roger Waters perform. But in recent times, these names have been replaced by the likes of Tiesto, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Steve Aoki and others. EDM is relatively new to the Indian audience but Bangalore has embraced this form of music with great zeal. Over 15 different big-name DJs have performed in the city over just the last 12 months.
With this growing popularity of EDM, has the rock genre seen better days? Is rock music dying?
We asked the city’s oldest and most celebrated heavy metal band—Kryptos— these questions and they staunchly disagree. “Bangalore is the fortress for heavy metal. And Metal will always be alive! The city still has a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. We hear about new bands coming up every now and then. We don’t think EDM has anything to do with our scene. They can do what they like, but if they come our way, there will be a fist waiting for them.”
Here’s more from the chat we had with Rohit Chaturvedi, the lead guitarist of the band about how they have evolved in a city that has seen many musical fads come and go over the years:
Kryptos was the result of a drunken conversation between Nolan Lewis and Ganesh Krishnaswamy back in 1998. Back in the day, there were no online platforms or social networking sites, we just had to find the right people who shared the same love for heavy metal. I guess the band got lucky. Our inspiration comes from heavy metal stalwarts like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. If not for them, we’d be playing in a wedding band.
The journey so far
Being on the road for so many years isn’t easy. We have had to learn to live with floating egos and tantrums. Moreover, back then there was no infrastructure for heavy metal, no touring circuits, no promoters and no decent venues. It was almost impossible to have a sound of your own, everyone was playing on the same sound systems at college gigs which lacked proper organisation. Maybe we have better equipment now, but we are still the old guys doing the same old thing.
In 2009, we found ourselves on the same bill as Iron Maiden. This was absolutely insane, playing to over 40, 000 rock maniacs was a dream come true. After the gig, we also got to hang out with the band, and to be honest, they are the most humble people we’ve ever met.
The creative process
While the world is going full speed ahead, we are going back to the good old days of heavy metal. This reflects in our style of music as well. No disco, nothing. Every band has their own style of writing music, we just jam together and if it sounds good, it goes on the record. Most of the times it sounds like we ought to do our homework. Then we head to the bar.
We recently played at Hard Rock Cafe, paying tribute to the biggest thrash metal icons, Metallica. We are heading to Germany in September for the Hamburg Metal Dayz. We will be playing alongside our friends from Dark Tranquillity. We are also thinking of releasing a new album. The last one we released was in 2013 called ‘The Coils of Apollyon’ through AFM records, Germany. Will we experiment with other genres? Good question, but no!