'Thermal And A Quarter' band: Rocking Hard

In a space where it is common for indie groups to disband, pursue solo careers, or just quit music, Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ) can be stamped as a rock-solid band.

Published: 01st February 2023 08:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2023 08:38 AM   |  A+A-


TAAQ members – Tony Das, Bruce Lee Mani, Rajeev Rajagopal, Leslie Charles.

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  In a space where it is common for indie groups to disband, pursue solo careers, or just quit music, Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ) can be stamped as a rock-solid band. The four-member Bengaluru-based outfit, comprising Bruce Lee Mani (vocals and guitar), Rajeev Rajagopal (drums), Tony Das (guitar), Leslie Charles (bass) has been instrumental in establishing the homegrown genre that they identify as ‘Bangalore Rock’. 

TAAQ rocked their show in Delhi with their distinct musicality. In this edition of Soundscape, we speak to members about their journey as artistes, what Delhi can expect, and more.


You started TAAQ in 1996, one of the few bands in India that has stood the test of time. Even when indie music was at a nascent stage in this country, how did you go about breaking out in the scene and solidifying the TAAQ legacy?

Bruce (BLM):  I don’t think there was any attempt or agenda back at that time to ‘solidify a legacy’. Guess what we did right was stay together and keep writing new music. Over time, the cumulative effect of all that has resulted in this ‘legacy’ as you mention. Now, we’re more aware of our work, the sphere of influence and our continued drive to have a blast making music!

Unlike any other band in the country, you have popularised a homegrown style that you call ‘Bangalore Rock’. Was this creation completely organic, or were there any influences?

BLM: Through the process of writing our early material, we discovered that our individual influences were varied. As expected, our early material saw us wear these influences on our grubby sleeves rather excessively – that’s the natural process of songwriting craft. Ten to 15 songs down, we found ourselves more in command, but still discovered that we (a) loved to mix up various styles, (b) were strangely fond of South Indian rhythmic intricacies and odd-meter syncopations, (c) liked to write about things we experienced in B’luru, in words common to Bengalureans.

For years, we continued to call our music ridiculous things like progressive-blues-rock-funk-fusion-pop. Along comes an old friend (HR Venkatesh) – he remarks on the inescapable ‘Bangalore-ness’ of our words and in that very conversation, ‘Bangalore Rock’ was born.

How was it for TAAQ to connect with rock fans across India?

Leslie (LC): Sometimes, how one performs the material is more important. If you play well and put on a good show, the audience will want to be part of the experience. 

How has your music evolved?

Rajeev (RR): Staying true to the rebels in us, our music has used, to its advantage, the steady decline in attention spans of most youngsters to bloom into a multi-layered progressive form, going against the grain of what most commercially-released music is today.


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