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Home > Lifestyle News > Culture News > Article > GATCs Girish Pradhan We have this core love for 80s bands

GATC’s Girish Pradhan: ‘We have this core love for 80s bands’

Updated on: 04 November,2023 01:58 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Nascimento Pinto |

Ahead of their performance at Independence Rock music festival in Mumbai this weekend, spoke to Girish Pradhan, frontman of the Sikkim band based in Bengaluru, about their love for 80s rock, their journey, and performing with Guns ‘N’ Roses earlier this year

GATC’s Girish Pradhan: ‘We have this core love for 80s bands’

Bengaluru-based band Girish And The Chronicles will be performing at the Independence Rock Music festival in Mumbai on Day 1. Photo Courtesy: Independence Rock Music Festival 2023

When Girish And The Chronicles take to stage at the Independence Rock music festival this November weekend, it will be a performance that was waiting to happen, especially after the iconic festival made a comeback last year after almost nine years. The Indian rock band, fondly known as GATC, which hails from Gangtok in Sikkim, is coming off hot of some major performances this year. Among many of them, it was opening for legendary American rock band Guns N’ Roses at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, that the Bangalore-based band will cherish for the longest time. 

Frontman Girish Pradhan shares, “It was a dream come true for us being on stage and performing with them. We have been playing G N’R’s songs for the last 14 years. It has been a journey because we have grown up listening to bands like GN’R since we were kids.” It was only the latest in the line of performances in July because before that they also opened for legendary bands like Alter Bridge and Bullet For My Valentine at the Summerside Festival in late June, followed by a performance where they were supporting Mike Tramp from White Lion.

This is not their first brush with performances with international bands. In the past, they have also opened for Hoobastank, Poets of the Fall and even TesseracT among others in India. In 2019, they played with American musician Chris Adler, the drummer associated with 'Lamb of God' and 'Megadeth', and playing with him was nothing short of a learning experience. “We learned a lot with Chris Adler in terms of music and how the flow of the show can be. It was good to have such an experienced legend behind us with the drums and we thought, ‘wow, this is intense’. We were covering Megadeth and Lamb of God, which is not so easy,” shares Girish about the experience.

Indulging in 80s rock music

Cut to 2023, when they take the stage on the first day, it will be nothing short of a celebration of their music over the years.Interestingly, the band was contacted to be at I-Rock last year, but it didn’t work out at the time, Girish reveals. However, he is happy that the culture is back for the genre, because “it is really important”. Maybe this is the year it was all supposed to happen for the band, which started out in 2009, playing 80s-inspired rock music but have now evolved into so much more over the years, the vocalist admits.

He explains, “In 2009, we were more of the idea that we wanted to sound like classic rock bands of the 60s and the 70s. We were working on our compositions by using guitars like that. If you listen to the 2014 version of our first album, it had those kinds of vibes. We used to cover a lot of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and AC/DC and wanted to be in that zone.” At the time, they didn’t even call themselves a heavy metal band. “Even Suraz wasn't using a Floyd Rose guitar,and he was using a Gibson guitar,” adds the Bengaluru-based musician.  

Finding their own voice 

In the process, the band, which has his brother Yogesh Pradhan on the bass, Suraz Sun on the lead guitars and Nagen Mongrati on the drums, have found their own voice. Pradhan says when he was writing this song ‘Angel’, it was locked in two styles - one of the 80s of music like Guns ‘N’ Roses and Bon Jovi and the indie side. “It is because the scene was like that back in the day because all of us were listening to Coldplay and that kind of music - there was a lot of Radiohead and Oasis. So, I found a blend because I was working on that. At the same time, I had this very heavy metal side to me.”

With Yogesh always being a part of his musical journey, it was the latter who actually asked Girish if he wanted to record the band’s first single. “So, that's where it all started. All of us had been jamming since 2006 actually but eventually we started presenting our riffs to each other and putting it together. We all have this core love for 80s bands.” It was during this time that the band realised, says the lead singer, that no matter how much ever they tried to play classic rock, there was always a tendency to make songs more complex in nature.

Their love for 80s rock with a touch of their own influences can be seen in their songs in so many different ways. While their covers of the likes of G'n'R are really popular, they released their first album 'Back On Earth' in 2014, followed by a sprinkling of different kinds of singles in the middle, before they released their second album 'Rock The Highway' in 2020 just before the Covid-19 pandemic, and then 'Hail to the Heroes' in 2022. Their journey is evident from their early singles like 'Angel' to more recent ones like 'Rock 'n' Roll is Here to Stay', 'Identity Crisis' and even 'Lovers' Train', which brings together the best of both worlds - their personal influences as well as their love for the 80s.

As they get ready to play some of their most popular favourites, they are also simultaneously working on their next album. “We have started laying the foundation for the next album. We are in the process of sorting out the riffs from the random recordings that we do on the phone and that we make on the computer. We are going through that and finding a common point which we can enjoy and do together,” says Girish, but not before revealing that they have a busy next few months before they embark on their UK tour in early 2024.

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