Scribe becomes India's first ever band to be nominated for the MTV Europe Music Awards. The unabashed Bollywood and Pav Bhaji lovers tell us why this is only just the beginning
The street couldn't get any noisier, or the people, sweatier. As whiffs of cigarette smoke lace the air of a laidback, outdoor caf � in Bandra and patrons sip steaming hot coffee, beating heat with heat, sitting cool as two cucumbers are Scribe's Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy (vocalist) and Prashant Shah (one of the band's two guitarists). Their modest demeanor won't reveal it, but Scribe, the dynamic hardcore/metal/indie band, is the first Indian band to be nominated for the MTV Europe Music Awards. Yes, mayhem in the moshpit!
Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and Prashant Shah from Scribe can barely
contain their excitement at being the first ever Indian band to get a
nomination at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar
"We were asked to keep quiet about the nomination until the press release was out," says Krishnamoorthy, excitement slowly sweeping over his face. "Everyone (in the band) had turned purple! At first, I didn't take it seriously. I do a lot of voiceover work for VH1, so I thought it must be some promo work. I never thought it had anything to do with the band."
Fortunately, it does. Shah, who had come straight from the studio where the band has already plugged in amps for their next album, is eager to share the global limelight. "The nomination is definitely a morale booster for everyone; it's an affirmation that this sort of recognition can be achieved by an Indian band. It should lead to more concerts and distribution deals. Even if I was not in Scribe right now, I'd be so ecstatic that there's momentum. The most important part is that everybody is cheering, it's like a whole community has come together to push this forward. It's not just for the band, it's also for the country."
Their humility beats the humidity, any day. Perhaps it's this refreshing, unassuming attitude that links the boys whose musical influences are diverse, ranging from Frank Sinatra and Bollywood to the hip-hop of the Naughty By Nature days to the greats of punk and metal. "Bollywood?" we ask. "We keep going back to the Bollywood that meant something to us -- the 1990s," Krishnamoorthy says with a grin. "I think Karan Arjun could have been a graphic novel."
He proceeds to sing the riff of a hit song from the film, which Shah has deftly blended into their music. After a few seconds of mild headbanging, Krishnamoorthy says, "We are open to all kinds of influences. We are Indian, man. We dance like the Backstreet Boys and even Demonic Resurrection; we are utterly shameless." Adds Shah, "It's about making people feel comfortable and let loose. And we let loose with them."
Scribe's wildly successful Mark of Teja is packed to the gills with everything from their shared love for Pav Bhaji ("I Love You, Pav Bhaji") to the amusing Laurel and Hardy type relationship between Shah and Sahil Makhija of Demonstealer Records ("DemonPra"). The buzzword: unconventional.
In fact, Shah was among the pioneers in India on the seven-string. "He influenced a generation of metal guitarists," says Krishnamoorthy. Why the seven-string, though? "I can't explain it, except for the feeling I get when I plug the guitar into the amp, strum an open B chord, and hear it roar."
These stalwarts are set to break even more barriers with their next release. Between the power chords, double bass and breakdowns, expect to find swing, Spanish music, electronic, dubstep, grind... what have you. "We are going all out, like we always do," says Krishnamoorthy. There will even be a special documentary-styled DVD that fans wouldn't want to miss. But for now, the country is rooting for Scribe's success at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2011.
To vote for Scribe, log on to http://in.mtvema.com/artists/scribe. Catch the exclusive broadcast of the awards night on November 8, at 9 pm on Vh1.