American indie rock band Young The Giant is slated to perform at the upcoming SulaFest in Nashik this weekend. Frontman Sameer Gadhia talks to Deepali Dhingra about their musical journey, their latest album and why his band mates are the closest he has to blood brothers
On January 21, Young The Giant, the American indie band, released their second album, Mind Over Matter. With singles such as My Body, Cough Syrup and Apartment reaching the top five of the US Alternative Songs' chart, headlining Billboard's SXSW showcase in 2011 and opening for Kings of Leon's worldwide summer tour last year, Young The Giant — including frontman Sameer Gadhia, Jacob Tilley, Eric Cannata, Payam Doostzadeh and Francois Comtois — is making all the right noises with their melodic rock 'n' roll sound. And now, the band is playing at the SulaFest at Nashik on February 7. A chat with Gadhia:
Q. Tell us about the early years of your band, formerly known as The Jakes.
A. We formed out of a garage in Irvine, California, around 2004. At the time, Irvine was strongly influenced by Post-hardcore bands such as Thrice and Rage Against the Machine. The Jakes was formed as an antithesis to Post-hardcore, inspired by a local indie dance band, now defunct, called The Colour, and started more as a joke, which later became serious. There was once a local battle of the bands, which we were not even invited to play for, but we hijacked the stage after one of our friends' bands performed. They ended up crowning us the winners after just one song. At that point, all of us realised that we had potential.
Sameer Gadhia (Centre) with his bandmates from Young The Giant
Q. What's the best part of being with a band you know inside out?
A. We aren't friends anymore. We are brothers. I don't have a blood brother and this is the closest thing I will ever get to that.
Q. Your second album Mind Over Matter came out recently. What do you hope to achieve with each new album?
A. Although each album's scope and intent is varied, it is safe to say that each album we have and ever will produce comes out of evolution; our desire to grow and learn as a band, challenge ourselves, and the paradigms we hold as truths and formulas.
Q. It's your band's debut at SulaFest in Nashik. Have you been to India before?
A. Even though this is the first time I'm performing in India, and my first time at Nashik, I have been to the country many times to visit family. This country has been a part of me since my childhood and I'm eager to share it with the band mates.
Q. Do you listen to Indian rock bands? What do you think of them? Any favourites?
A. I am just opening my eyes to the world of Indian Rock music. I was previously so engrossed in the American and European scene that it's now a breath of fresh air to watch these young bands. Sky Rabbit has caught my attention in recent years.
Q. On his website, singer Morrissey of the legendary rock band The Smiths called you one of his favourite new bands. Where do you hope to take Young The Giant from here?
A. We want to continue to learn, soar, grow, and play for the people. Beyond that everything else is just the icing.
Young The Giant will perform at SulaFest at Nashik from 8.40 pm onward on February 7. Tickets available on Bookmyshow.com