Band that started out in college to release its first EP Esssentia
Catch a band that started out in college, and is now set to release its first EP
College festivals often act as fertile breeding grounds for young musicians looking to form a band. At least, that's what happened in the case of Strike Three, a musical act in which the oldest member is 24 and the youngest, 18.
"We were participating in the band competition at St Xavier's College's Malhar festival in 2015 and one of the categories that year involved writing an original song. We liked what we did and thought we would stick it out -- that's how Strike Three came to be formed," says Craig Fernandes, the 21-year-old vocalist of the six-piece band.
Strike Three at a live performance
When it's pointed out that the name gives the impression that the act consists of a trio, he reveals, "Strike three is actually a baseball pun. When we came up with the original song, we got it right after three tries and then thought we would give that name to our band."
This was around two years ago. Since then, the act has progressed from being a college band to playing professional gigs, which is what they will be doing at a Bandra venue tomorrow night. That apart, they are also readying their first EP, called Esssentia, which consists five original compositions and will be released within a month.
(From left) Jeremy Fernand, Fernandes, Brent Tauro, Shannon Ponnoth, Vimog Barboza and Oswin Tellis, the members of Strike Three
One of the compositions is Perfect Foolish Woman, which we found to be a pop rock track with earworm potential. The song's been given the full-band treatment, complete with catchy keys courtesy Brent Tauro (19), and talks about a lover who has flown the nest, with lines like, "My perfect foolish woman won't you look at what you've done/ I fought all of your battles but the war is not yet won/ You made me your enemy now you better run."
Fernandes says about the track, "Every time people hear it, they ask me about the girl the song is based on. But I had no particular woman in mind and wrote the song in my college canteen in about 10 minutes. It's about a topic that I'm sure most people would have related to at some point in their lives."
He adds that Strike Three also performs covers of popular songs, though the band always gives the original their own twist. We found this to be true in the case of Ed Sheeran's Shape of You, for which Fernandes suddenly breaks into a rap that's non-existent in Sheeran's version.
The singer says, "For Wednesday's gig, Shannon Ponnoth  and I will be playing a mix of acoustic covers and our own songs," adding, "There is more acceptance [in India] now for original compositions, which is a beautiful thing because the audience learns these songs over time, and to hear people singing aloud with you at a gig is the best feeling in the world."