BENGALURU: The hunt for a talented vocalist, who blends with the other musicians in a group, is like building a swimming pool with a fork, says Grammy-winning drummer Chris Adler as he recalls his drum clinic tour in India late last year. It was then that Adler sat down to jam with several artistes from Bengaluru’s independent music scene, including Girish Pradhan, Sunneith Revankar, Tony Das, Suraz Karki and Yogesh Pradhan. While he was overwhelmed by their talent, which he terms “incredible”, it was Girish who fit into Adler’s upcoming project which needed a vocalist. Thus, the metal outfit, Firstborne, was formed, which released its self-titled debut EP in June. The line-up also features veteran bassist and former Megadeth James Lomenzo, and Los Angeles-based producer/ guitarist Myrone, who pioneered the soft shred genre.
“As fate would have it, Girish showed up to our first jam session in Bengaluru, grabbed the mic and gave me chills,” Adler tells CE. “I was in total awe immediately. We spent the next few weeks together and it turned out that Girish is also one of the nicest, most down-to-earth persons I have ever met and worked with. I made a call back to the US to Myrone, telling him that I had struck gold,” adds Adler, who credits his friend and agent Subhash Rao from Gravity Talent who brought him to India for his previous tours.
Although the following months saw the pandemic setting in, Girish says the band was already in full swing with the recordings and interactions on a regular basis although they were in different parts of the world. “The main factor here is that all of us share a similar taste in music, so we were confident that we can rely on each other, and everyone was open to feedback. This made it a very comfortable zone to work in,” says Girish.
Talking about the EP, Adler asserts that it quite simply speaks about “not giving up”. He explains, “That’s a global idea that we all share, and it’s also very personal to me. I’ve seen for myself all over the world that people tend to become complacent and discouraged. That eats away at hope and leads to a mindset that just getting through the day becomes not giving up.” While Firstborne, the title track from their debut self-titled EP, leans on these lines, The Anthem speaks of the many struggles one faces as an individual and together. “It talks about how unity is required among the common people rather than being divided by a higher power. We also wanted it to resonate with what was happening in the USA with the Black Lives Matter protest,” says Pradhan, adding that the song also touches upon the incidents revolving around the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Agrees Adler, stating that the lyrics and music embody the idea of “US” against all. “If that’s not metal, I don’t know what is,” he exclaims, adding that the outfit looks forward to recording together in the near future. “We are purposefully focusing our attention on India and the Australasia region as we all love travelling to the area and the connection we have with people there. When the world re-opens, Firstborne will be there,” says Adler.