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Exclusive Premiere: L.A. Experimental Rock Act Syreim’s Eerie Debut ‘The Real’

The duo comprising musicians Sandesh Nagaraj and Kaitie Sly release the debut single off their EP that comes out in November

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Sep 27, 2016
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Los Angeles-based experimental rock duo Syreim - Kaitie Sly and Sandesh Nagaraj (from left). Photo: Joe Davis

Los Angeles-based experimental rock duo Syreim – Kaitie Sly and Sandesh Nagaraj (from left). Photo: Joe Davis

Once a part of India’s formidable tech-death metal band Myndsnare and prog metallers Extinct Reflections, guitarist Sandesh Nagaraj moved from Bengaluru to Los Angeles in 2009 to study at Musicians Institute. There he met singer-bassist Kaitie Sly.

In 2012, Nagaraj’s turn to writing music outside of metal resulted in a solo album under the moniker of The Sonic Chameleon, which included bass and vocals by Kaitie. Nagaraj says, “Initially, we were just planning to collaborate on one song, but since we worked so well together, we decided to continue writing, and Syreim was born.”

Their alternative/experimental rock duo is notably very different from the Sonic Chameleon or even Nagaraj’s latest metal venture, The Replicate. The proof is in the debut single “The Real,” off their upcoming EP, which is based on the philosophy of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Kaitie explains, “Our lives begin in what Lacan called the ‘real.’ Here, we do not know where we end and where everything else begins. In the real, everything is merged into one mass, and there is no sense of a separate selfhood.”

The L.A.-based Syreim even have a surreal, creepy video to boot, directed by Venezuelan filmmaker Victor Velasco, which follows a cube-headed protagonist battling his own identity. Kaitie says the rest of their EP, due in November, has a similar psychological theme. “It has to do with different kinds of internal struggles, such as the struggle with our own egos, conceptualizing our identity, and with the way our external world affects us on the inside.”

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Watch “The Real”

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