BENGALURU: Thermal and a Quarter (TAAQ) are known for their upbeat tunes, elements of groove and subtle, yet hard-hitting lyrics. But rarely does one come across a TAAQ album which speaks about the grim side of life. The Bengaluru-based band’s eighth studio album, A World Gone Mad, is a reflection on the current times. “I wrote these 10 songs in 2016, just after the current president of America was elected.
The music took a while to be put together since it was a different subject for us to explore. What’s strange is that between 2018- 2019, it became easier to stay in that zone because everything around the world was going crazy. I never thought about a situation like this in my life where we are quarantined at home. It’s like dystopia,” says front man Bruce Lee Mani, adding that the 10-track album, which released on Friday, was written in 2016 and happens to reflect on the gloomy events over the past three years.
Mani emphasises on the track, Believe It All, which talks about ‘information pollution’. “Like everything else in our environment, information is also increasingly getting polluted nowadays. This song is a tough experiment. For instance, what if you believed everything? It can be the same as believing nothing, and what if you held information to truths that are self-evident? The track speaks on those lines,” says Mani, adding that another track, Distance, looks at humanity as a whole and further zooms into how the smallest issues can give rise to some of the biggest troubles. “We have never been preachy but if these songs give people time to reflect and think about the issues we are pointing at, that is a positive byproduct. These songs are observations of what we feel and if it inspires people to do things better, that’s great,” says Mani.
While a few songs from the album such as A World Gone Mad, Leaders Of Men and Stone Circle were released as singles in the last few years, the sonic aspects are distinct as their compositions highlight peculiar differences which one can notice from their previous works, with the line-up featuring Leslie Charles on bass, additional keyboards, Tony Das on guitars, Rajeev Rajagopal on drums and Mani on guitars, vocals and synths.
While TAAQ’s current tour stands cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mani emphasises that one should spare a thought to those who remain affected.