Marco Minnemann in action
Marco Minnemann in action

One of the most celebrated drummers in the circuit, Marco Minnemann, a member of the popular progressive rock band The Aristocrats, will perform in Mumbai today alongside musicians Mohini Dey and Rhythm Shaw. He'll take the stage at Hard Rock Cafe, Worli, and will travel to Delhi for a show on September 17. On the sidelines of his gig in the city, Minnemann gets candid with mid-day about his music and love for Indian musicians. Excerpts:

You have visited India before. How has the experience of performing here been?
It's been great. It's nice to have so many wonderful and appreciative people in the audience, who truly are in it for a good time and enjoy music. I am happy to be back.

What do you think about the way your music is received by the audience here?
My music is understood here and people want to listen to it for the sake of the music. They understand the details of it. That makes it an honour to perform for them, as it makes you feel understood. It's the right exchange of energy and mutual respect, I believe.

Mohini Dey
Mohini Dey

What can we expect from your performance in Mumbai?
We'll be playing quite a versatile set at this gig, including our own material.

How long are you here for? What's your itinerary like?
I'll be here for two weeks, playing some shows with Mohini Dey and Rhythm Shaw. I'll conduct some workshops as well. There will also be some leisure time to explore things around me. I am looking forward to the trip.

Do you listen to any Indian musicians?
Absolutely! I have always liked Shankar Mahadevan. I've also recently performed with the great Indian artiste Karuna Murty.

Do you plan to collaborate with any Indian artiste?
I've just played on [Kerala-based band] Thaikkudam Bridge's new album. That was so much fun.

Rhythm Shaw
Rhythm Shaw

Do you enjoy Indian food?
Yes, I do. I even try to keep up with the spiciness (laughs). The good thing is, even if the food is really hot, its taste never gets ruined. I'm treating my taste buds.

The Aristocrats are one of the most popular names in the world of progressive rock today…
Not sure if we're such a big name, but I am glad that we are getting recognised now. We never thought of ourselves as a progressive band. In fact, I was personally never much into the genre. I come from a background of listening to Queen, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa and metal music.

What does playing the drums mean to you?
To me, it means the freedom to express myself and connect with wonderful musicians and people.

Are you working on an album?
My new album, Borrego, was released recently. And it has two special guests on it — Joe Satriani and the legendary Alex Lifeson from Rush, both of whom are playing the guitar. I am pleased with the output, and hope the fans like it too.