THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The word ‘possessed’ may sound big. But in this context, it is the name of the dream music band formed by a set of school students in the city. The band, which is barely a month old, was named recently by its members just before their first public performance last Saturday in Kovalam. Explaining the rationale behind the nomenclature, Bharath Salil, (support vocalist)says, “we are not possessive and therefore the name.” All members in the team are the students of Saraswathi Vidyalaya in Vattiyoorkavu. Nanda Gopal (guitarist), Arathy Jayapal (drummer) Aswathy Krishna (vocalist), and Arjun C R (keyboard player) and Bharath are plus two students while Prathi Ajit (guitarist) is a class 9 student. Underscoring the words of Bharath was the response of all members when they began to speak on their collective maiden venture in music.
The formation of such a band was not on the cards when they jammed their way into the CBSE youth festival in 2011. The students were trained by percussionist Shanibhuvan for the item. “We chose the time after the school hours for jamming and did it for one-and-a-half-hours a day. Other than that, we sought permission to practice during free hours,” says Nanda Gopal. But all agree that they could not devote more time to music while at school, as studies are given top priority.
Internet is the primary source from where they garner information. They also do improvisation in guitar and did the intro piece on their own. Drummer Arathy studied the instrument all alone by learning the rhythmic pattern through lessons and material online.
The beginning was a tough time for the team as they did not have much instruments to play. For the youth festival, they used the drum set of their teacher Shani. Base and amplifier were also not available for them to play. Says Nanda Gopal, “for practice sessions we hired equipment at low rates. But we opted for quality instruments that cost high for performance.”
Prathi, guitarist of the band, says that the support given by the family is tremendous. It is at his home that the team meets during holidays for practice. “Support from the family is great, but they are not comfortable with the idea of us performing in places other than school,” Arathy sighs. And what do they play during performances? Bharath immediately lists out a number of bands from which they draw inspiration. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Meshuggah... and the list goes on.
“Let’s buy a new notebook to write all the names,” Aswathy jokes in between. Yet they all agree in unison that they have a special liking to ‘Avial’, the city-based band that shot into fame with the piece ‘Anakkallan...’ in the film ‘Salt and Pepper’ and Kochi-based ‘Motherjane’.
Though the team has grand musical plans during summer vacation, long tuition hours cast a shadow over it. But in spite of all the hitches they wish to carry it further.
“We may choose various careers in future, but would always love to stay tuned to music,” says Nanda Gopal