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The rabbit's out of the hat

Sky Rabbit, formerly known as Medusa, is all set to unleash their electronic avatar with a new album and a fresh sound. Yolande D'Mello caught up with the band to find out how their old fans are taking to the transformation

Sky Rabbit will be in the city on January 4 to promote their self-titled album. Vocalist Raxit Tewari, guitarist Rahul Nadkarni, bassist Siddharth Shah and drummer Harsh Karangale have released the album after a gap of three years, in which the band moved on from progressive metal to alternative rock. We take a peek into stories behind the new songs and the band's identity with two new members.

Why did you decide to change the name of the band?
Nadkarni: It's been in the pipeline for about three years now. We changed from heavier metal music to an electronic/alternative sound. We needed something that would justify the image of the band and since we are releasing the album, it seemed like the appropriate time.

Tewari: We went through about 100 alternate names and Sky Rabbit was the only one that all four of us liked. Rahul and I are the only members from the original line-up and we wanted a name that would create a particular sentiment. Other options were Postman Snowman, which is fun, but priority was that everyone love it.

Why the change in genre?
Nadkarni: It was a series of reasons. When three Medusa members moved on, we were without a bassist and a drummer and we would do their parts digitally. We eventually started to make music samples and we quite liked the electronic sound.

Tewari: It may seem like it was all of a sudden, but the change has been a gradual shift ever since Medusa released their first EP. The group fizzled out and we moved on from a jam room set-up to a recording studio. We started to experiment with softwares and the sound became electronic.

What has been the reaction from fans?
Nadkarni: We haven't received any hate mail as of yet. There haven't been any extreme reactions to the switch. It's a good time to get them accustomed to the new sound since the album is out, may be they'll like what they hear.

Tewari: We got some flak, it's true. Random people will come up to us and say, 'Why would you move away from metal?' but it'll be okay. Some people think it's a brand new band so it doesn't make a difference for them. Old fans will come around.

What's the story behind the song Anti-coke Ganpati?
The lyricss go 'Me for president / And my anti-coke Ganpati / Me for president / We'll fight this rank blasphemy / Asleep still? / Can you wake up?'

Nadkarni: It was Sid, our drummer, who coined the term. I don't remember how it came about but it was good fun. I guess it stuck in Raxit's mind and he decided to write about it. We are from Mumbai and the song is about a perspective on urban life. Mumbai inspires us a lot.

Tewari: The song is quite abstract, it's about a character who was supposed to be our album mascot but that didn't work out. I don't think it's about anyone I know but if you listen to the song, you will want to know him, he's a fun guy.

What are the subjects that you like to write about?
Nadkarni: We don't really sit down and have a discussion about what the song should say. We feed off each other. When the four of us sit down a lyric will often lead to a tune or the other way round. The city and people around us, brief moments and instances make their way into our music.

Tewari: We don't think any of our songs will go on to change the world. Songs are just about moments from our personal lives. Sometimes you are having a conversation with a friend and something will stick with you.

What did you grow up listening to?
Nadkarni: As a kid I listened to whatever my dad played, which was mostly music from the sixties and seventies. In school, you end up listening to whatever is on TV and stuff that friends suggest. That is essentially what moulds your senses.

Tewari: I listened to a lot of radio where you had old Hindi classics and I'd invest in mix-tapes so I could hear a little bit of everything. Rock 'N' Roll and eighties dance music played a lot when I was young.

Sky Rabbit will perform at blueFROG on January 4 and High Spirits, Pune, on January 6

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