Indian Ocean re-loaded

Music band Indian Ocean is in the city for their upcoming performance. The line-up includes long-time band members as well as two new members. The Guide caught up with drummer Amit Kalam on the eve of their concert

For a band that has a feature film depicting their lives, Indian Ocean is pretty down-to-earth, which gets reflected in their music. After having lost the voice of the band -- Asheem Chakravarty, who passed away in 2009 -- the band has managed to retain its originality with a tweak in their line-up. Indian Ocean now includes Rahul Ram (Bass), Susmit Sen (Guitar) and Amit Kilam (Drums) as well as newbies Tuheen Chakraborty (Tabla) and Himanshu Joshi (Vocals). 

Indian Ocean at their Guwahati concert

But the band still misses Asheem. "When we are performing and someone in the crowd shouts out Asheem's name we miss him all the more. There is a big void. We have done many shows with him and needless to say we miss him," says Amit.

The new line-up

He adds that they almost had to re-establish the band after Asheem's demise. "What we have now is the sum of the past, but the fact that people still listen to our music means more to us."

Talking about working with the new line-up Amit says, "We haven't made any music post-Asheem. We just haven't had enough time as we had back-to-back shows. The new outfit is still raw. We will sit down this summer and see what our capacity is. How far can we push ourselves? We can sing songs that the old line-up had composed, but we will only know where we stand when we sit together and work on new material."

At the concert, Indian Ocean will be playing songs from their album 16/330 Khajoor Road. "The album is a compilation of tracks that we have composed for feature films. We obviously couldn't make an album with stray tracks, so we have compiled most of them into this album."

The album's name is inspired from the address of the area where the band used to rehearse. "It was our home. This album is also a sort of a tribute to Asheem; a lot of the songs have been sung by him, they have his voice. We still managed to maintain his essence," observes Amit.

We quiz Amit on the secret of lasting two decades in an industry that has a short shelf-life. "People realise that our music is fresh. We have maintained our original sound and we play for a lot of younger audiences, which refreshes the memory of the songs. I think we have an infinite shelf-life. The fact that people who listened to our songs back in 1991 still listen to our songs today is a testimony to that," he concludes.

On: February 4, 8 pm onwards
At: Hard Rock Cafe, Koregaon Park.
Cost: Rs 1,000 (Rs 500 entry plus Rs 500 cover charge)

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