The twenty-six-year-old musician-cum-songwriter belongs to a generation that grew up singing ‘November rain’, ‘Sweet child of mine’, ‘Paradise city’ - all popular songs of GnR; to see the band live and perform with them on stage is a double bonanza for Michael Antony Dias.
Michael, who hails from Kochi, will perform with TAAQ, an indie rock band at the concert. “This is the first time I’ll be opening for an international act, so I’m really excited,” says the former Infant Jesus Church choir boy.
A former student of Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, he flirted with software engineering for a year before quitting his day job to become a full-time musician. Everyone who knows Michael would agree that nothing comes more naturally for him than strumming a guitar.
He learnt to play the six strings at Kalabhavan, after which he got professionally trained at the National Academy of Music, Kochi. “I passed my 8th grade from the academy and the place really broadened my spectrum of music,” Michael says. During his engineering days Michael was the guitarist for a band called Hush.
Currently, Michael is the frontman for MAD Orange Firework (MOF), a four-piece band that he put together two years ago. The band plays mostly original music which is a mix of blues, Jazz, funk and pop rock. Since the band does not cater to a particular genre, they like to call their music ‘Orange Rock’.
Michael began playing with Thermal and a Quarter (TAAQ) more recently, the same band that he will be performing with on Friday. TAAQ is a well-established band with 15 years of music and 5 albums to their credit. With TAAQ, Michael has performed at music festivals, college fests, pubs and live music shows throughout the country.
When not playing for either bands Michael teaches music at the Taaqademy, one of the best music schools in Bangalore. “It (teaching) is the best way to grow as a musician and is very fulfilling,” he quotes.
Though keen to bring MOF to Kochi, he is skeptical about the music scene here. He says its time Kochi wakes up and gives more support to musicians here - with better venues and opportunities for live performances. If not he fears that all that great home talent would fly to greener pastures.