Manefus To Release Debut By Year End
Gujarat’s most popular band, Manefus, is now looking to make a mark on the national circuitNews & Updates July 24, 2012
Gujarat is a dry state in more ways than one. For music lovers of a certain age group, looking forward to college because that’s where all the cool bands play, India’s western-most state can be a disappointment. Not only because there’s little active support for such music, but because the few bands rarely survive beyond the college festival circuit. Not so Manefus, the Vadodara-based alternative rock band, which is one of the most popular music acts in the state and is slowly gaining a foothold on the national scene.
“We’ve performed at many college festivals: IIM Ahmedabad, BITS Pilani, CEPT. We’re looking for bigger challenges now. Already, we’ve won the Best Band at Chaos, IIM-A’s festival, for three years in a row,” says Amit Kalia, the band’s vocalist. They’re slowly getting there: Manefus’ EP Realize, released in 2009, was sold out within a week and the band is now planning to release a full-length album by the end of this year.
Founder-member, Dipesh Pandit is the only member from the original line-up who has stuck it out with Manefus, which started out as a school band, and was named after the ancient Egyptian word for eagle . Besides drummer Pandit and Kalia, the current line-up includes lead guitarist Amit Bhatia and bassist Siddheshwar Malakar. In the initial days, audiences demanded Hindi songs and covers of popular rock when Manefus performed. Now, however, the demand is for their original music, including tracks like Home, All Wrong and Gone for Good.
There was also a lot of “positive discouragement” in the beginning, Kalia says. “People said that our music is good, but that it shouldn’t become our life. We needed to get more realistic.” That of course, is exactly not what happened. All four members are actively involved with Manefus, with two – Kalia and Malakar – being involved full-time. The band is now looking forward to moving to Pune which, they say, offers more opportunities and a larger audience.