Artists To Watch Out For
Five bands made it to our list; more coming up in a second list later this year
When ROLLING STONE India kicked off the series in its launch issue in 2008, we found that Delhi seemed to be the seat of new talent in the country; Kolkata witnessed a rise of The Supersonics, a band that would soon make an indelible mark on the growing alternative music scene; Bengaluru saw a rush of electronica acts; Chennai had just taken an about turn from its Eighties rock fixation to a less self conscious, more original approach from Kishore Krishna, who had just kicked off Adam & The Fish Eyed Poets and Mumbai had little to show.
In four years, both the number of bands and the size of their audiences have impressively swelled. While the country hosted more festivals in 2012 than it ever has in the past decade, we’re still a little far from not featuring the same bands on the bill at most festivals. This year, bands from Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru had strong contenders for our list, spoiling us for choice and giving us a compelling reason to run the series not once, but twice.
SPUD IN THE BOX
The Mumbai pop rockers plan to release their debut EP this month
WHO: Within just a year of getting together in 2011, the six-member band has endeared itself to both audiences and artists such as Indus Creed’s Uday Benegal and Mahesh Tinaikar. “We were really indecisive about the band,” says Rohan Rajadhyaksha, one of the vocalists and keyboardist of Spud In The Box that was formed when its members – students of Jai Hind college – wanted to compete at Kaleidoscope, the annual fest of Mumbai’s Sophia’s College. Alongwith Rajadhyaksha, Spud In The Box includes vocalist Ankit Dayal, guitarists Hartej Sawhney and Siddharth Takwar, Vivaan Kapoor on drums and bassist Zubin Bhatena.
BIG BREAK: Soon after winning Kaleidoscope, the band was invited to perform at Live From The Console, the fortnightly series of gigs at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studios. “We had just two songs, so we were really surprised that we got called for that gig,” says guitarist Sawhney. Adds Dayal, “The response for that was really good and it was the first time that we played with this six-piece line-up.”
SOUND: Buoyant pop, clean, sweet harmonies and uncomplicated lyrics get Spud In The Box going. You’ll hear Dave Matthews and John Mayer in there, but for a band that’s just been around for just a year, Spud In The Box can hold their own
ON THE CARDS: Producer KJ Singh recently stepped in to produce the band’s four-track debut EP Attention Please that is slated to be launched this month. “He asked us pertinent questions about the future of the band and where we saw ourselves 10 years down the line,” says Rajadhyaksha of Singh, who is also the proud parent of their guitarist Hartej, “That’s when we decided we should put in everything to make this work now, so that later we don’t have any regrets.”
SPIN THIS: “Lens Life,” which also on their EP, is quotation marked catchy and remarkably mature when they tell you that “Happiness, believe me, it’s just a state of mind.” The kids are definitely all right.
Spud In The Box releases their debut EP Attention Please at Blue Frog, Mumbai tonight. Entry Free