Aswekeepesearching Prep New EP, Announce Tour
Frontman Uddipan Sarmah on taking a new sonic direction and stepping away from managerial duties
The irony is not lost on rock band Aswekeepsearching‘s vocalist and guitarist Uddipan Sarmah that they’ve come back from losing money on their debut European tour and have struck deals to play for free (and in some cases, next to nothing) on their eight-city Homecoming tour, which runs from September 6th to 29th. He says jokingly, “If you ask me what kind of strategy this is, it’s called death. You jump off a cliff and think god will be there waiting for you.”
The band, however, does have more savings to fall back on even after the Europe tour in May, which included festivals and touring alongside the likes of American rock act Tides of Man and Australian post-rock band Sleepmakeswaves (who will make their India debut later this year). Sarmah says, “The last eight or 10 months, with the music video [for “In Circles”] and the Europe tour and all, it has been only investments.” From eight shows they’ll play, there are five free shows, something they wanted to make happen for fans.
All the decisions come on the back of news that the band will now be managed by artist and event company Only Much Louder’s Rahul Sinha. Sarmah says the role of a manager was always his focus from day one, but it eventually became “draining.” He adds, “After the Europe tour, the agenda changed about how we’d make music. Until then, only 40 or 50 percent of each members’ creativity went into the band, but it deserves all our time.” He wants to divert his attention to becoming a better guitarist and experiment further with the band’s sound.
That’s being put to the test with their upcoming EP, which follows 2017’s Zia. With four tracks in the bag, Aswekeepsearching will be working with not just in-house producer and live sound engineer Adhiraj Singh (from experimental metallers Noiseware), but also New Delhi producer and multi-instrumentalist Ritwik De (from instrumental rock band Zokova) and Mumbai-based producer-drummer Rohan Ramanna (one half of electronic duo LANDS). Sarmah says, “We found people whose work we vibe to. When I heard [Ramanna’s work on Chennai indie band] The F16s’ album, it changed my way of thinking of mixing a rock record. Similarly, I have seen Ritwik’s work and every project has something great.”
The tracks remain in their earliest stage, but the band will work with each producer to give the songs shape. “We’re open about anything at this point. Rohan suggested analog recording and it sounds exciting already.”
As for their upcoming tour, Sarmah promises a special set in Mumbai on September 9th, where they want to bring on special guests for an extended collaborative set. “It’s people from different genres and we thought instead of having an opening act, we’ll have people we appreciated and look up to join us on stage.”
Aswekeepsearching Homecoming Tour 2018
September 6th – Hard Rock Cafe, New Delhi
September 8th – Blue Frog, Bengaluru
September 9th – Above the Habitat, Mumbai
September 20th – Hard Rock Cafe, Pune
September 21st – The Moonshine Project, Hyderabad
September 28th – The Evening Club, Shillong
September 29th – Terra Mayaa, Guwahati