...with the new band Schizophonic that features known names from the city's music circuit in a brand new avatar and never-heard before sound
Experimental acts aren't new to a city that has a handful of performances every weekend. But when the likes of jazz musicians Aman Mahajan and Arjun Chandran come together with the turntable expert Prashanth Pallemoni to create a band of their own, you can expect nothing short of an explosion.
It happened five months ago. Their distinct sound took them straight to opening for artist Chicane's performance in India and to other popular ones like the Big Mushroom Festival.
We caught up with Arjun Chandran, guitarist, Schizophonic over a telephonic interview ahead of their first proper show in town. Talking about how the band came into existence, Arjun says, "We have known each other for a while and have worked in different bands.
It was about four-five months ago that we got a call for an enquiry and realised we could do it ourselves. That is how Schizophonic came into being and we are having more fun than we imagined playing for ourselves," he says.
What sets this band apart from other experimental ones is the fact that they aren't restraining themselves to a trademark sound. There is scope for much change and evolution. "That's why we call ourselves Schizophonic.
'Phonic' means a lot of sound and 'Schizo' means uncertain. A name like this allows us a lot of freedom to use the different styles we have learnt and played individually as musicians in the past 10-15 years," reveals Arjun.
Their sound has a pattern and is essentially electronic in its grammar through influences of jazz, blues and Afro-American folk arts primarily in vocabulary. "Electronic is the base of what we do, but we don't want to categorise ourselves. These genres will soon die and ours is like a live boat.
The internet has bridged most gaps musically and all people are now looking for is something fresh. Instead of cashing in on one name, we want to create sound that is different. Sub categorizing is a little extreme," says Arjun.
The result is a mish-mash of genres, guitars, piano and a turntable that delivers a unique sound. For their show tomorrow, an added attraction is the collaboration with a visual artist, Vandana Mohan that will give the show a cinematic and textured appeal.
The band is still in its nascent stage and plans many more performances in town before releasing singles that are already in the process of being recorded. After more than a decade in the industry, these artists have broken barriers to come together and create a platform for themselves but have little faith in its fate in the city.
"Experimental bands are not received well or for that matter anything that lies outside the expected categories. They are marginalised. Only three things work in this city- Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, Metal or Electronic Dance Music (EDM).
Any band with critical acclaim will not work here and selling alcohol has become more important," says Arjun. They just have one thing to say to those who want to follow in their footsteps, "If you want to be experimental, get out because this country won't like you or just play something everybody likes."
Where bFlat, 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar
On November 19, 8 pm
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