Proving his metal

Updated: Jul 06, 2020, 10:11 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

An Indian indie musician has joined an international band that features some of the biggest names in global metal music

Pradhan (centre) acknowledges Chris Adler on stage in Bengaluru
Pradhan (centre) acknowledges Chris Adler on stage in Bengaluru

Last year, drummer Chris Adler had visited India for a 15-city tour. At the time, the former member of American groove metal giants Lamb of God had been mulling a new outfit, which he'd been in talks with ex-Megadeth bassist James Lomenzo about. But, they were short of a singer. And that missing piece in the musical puzzle was solved when he met Bengaluru-based vocalist Girish Pradhan at a show they were part of in the city.

Pradhan tells us, "After the gig, Chris was kind enough to tell me that he appreciated the way I performed, and asked me if I have any links to my work. I showed him some stuff on YouTube on his phone and he mentioned later that he was working on a few songs for a new group. He asked if I would like to try out. I said, 'Of course!'" That set the ball rolling and the two musicians then travelled to Mumbai and Hyderabad for more shows, at the end of which Adler sent Pradhan a text with the track that he wanted him to work on. He also added the singer to a WhatsApp group with Lomenzo and Myrone, the budding outfit's guitarist. Pradhan says, "I did a few rough vocal takes as soon as I returned to Bengaluru, and they seemed quite impressed. That's when the whole thing began to take shape. We started exchanging emails with ideas and got on Zoom calls to work on three or four more songs, till we became a proper band. Honestly, had it not been for the pandemic, we'd be touring right now."

Girish Pradhan
Girish Pradhan

So, that's the rather serendipitous story of how an Indian indie musician with roots in Sikkim became part of an act, called Firstborne, which features bona-fide legends of the global metal scene. They released an eponymous debut EP two weeks ago. Pradhan tells us it was all quite magical for him initially. But the humility with which Adler and company accepted him into their fold meant he quickly settled in as a peer. He says, "No matter how big the names are, they are really nice people who don't put themselves above others." And that, in our books, is heartwarming to hear.

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