The Superfuzz: Rock ‘n Roll Family
The Delhi rockers regroup after a six-year break, plot punk-heavy first EP
How is it possible that a band like The Superfuzz, who formed in 2004, haven’t released any studio material in a decade’s time? While they’ve just returned after a gap of six years, any band that played gigs across the country and won competitions such as Campus Rock Idols and Channel [V] Launchpad would have had an EP or an album out — after all, the three member band — comprising vocalist-guitarist Sanchal Malhar, bassist Nikhil Rufus Raj and drummer Aditya Paharia – are peers to the likes of rock bands such as Advaita and Sky Rabbit, who’ve at least had an album to their name.
After re-grouping earlier this year in February, the band members moved into the same house in Vasant Kunj and built a jam room for themselves. Says Malhar about living together, “I feel like I’m in an alternate dimension rock ‘n roll family, like I’m at a Beatles summer camp or something. People are telling us we’ve got to put up some cameras and make a reality show out of it. The banter is great.” Paharia, who left the band in 2008 to pursue a career at an accounting firm abroad and returned late last year, says staying together also ensures they jam together every day, which tightens up their playing and allows for fine-tuning their songs. Bassist Raj adds that there’s even a rehearsal schedule on the door of their jam room, “That’s how hardcore it is. We’re getting better at what we’re doing.” Even in terms of sound, the band says they’ve improved. Paharia says that they were sounding better than ever at their first jam back together earlier this year, “The song structures have become more complex, but we all still have that liking for pop music.”
The Superfuzz are putting together a few new songs and old material for their upcoming debut EP, set to release this month. Says Malhar, “After we got back together, we made a list of all our songs. Some fit into the album, some didn’t. We had nothing to do in the summer, and we thought this was something good to do at home.” While the band finished recording seven tracks at their jam room, with Malhar helming production duties in September, Delhi sound engineer and bassist Anupam Roy is currently mixing and mastering the songs. Since it was their first time recording at the jam room, Paharia even got to record live drums on the EP. Says Paharia, “It was tough to get everything right, but we got a lot of time to set up and experiment, which was a luxury.”
Including their earliest live staples such as “School” and “What Every Kid Wants,” a song called “At My Home,” written in 2005, and three new songs “Satan’s Very Own,” “Bunny Epidemic” and “Manu Is a Dumbass,” Malhar says the EP has “vile little punk songs,” which is why it’s tentatively titled Daft Punk. Malhar jokes, “As you can see, it’s very sophisticated stuff. Some of the lyrics make me laugh out loud.” But their newer material, like “Future Baby Mama,” which was recently performed for online video series BalconyTV, indicates that the band is done with angst and rage. Says Malhar, “I’ve been obsessed with this girl recently, so I’m stuck on that now. It’s just that over the last few years, I’ve been drawn away from angst.” Nikhil says they were kids when they wrote most of their material, which is why even their full-length album includes early hits like “Four Times and Once After,” “What I Really Think” and “Queen of My Heart.”
Just as their sound has changed, the scene that The Superfuzz has made their comeback into has also evolved. Paharia notes how the only big gigs they used to play before was festivals such as Great Indian Rock in Delhi and Independence Rock in Mumbai. Says the drummer, “Earlier, there were things happening all around the year for us, especially more club gigs. That whole thing about winter being the peak season for music, I used to hear that less.” Regardless, The Superfuzz are promoting their upcoming EP with sets at the upcoming Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Kolkata, Pune and Delhi in November, keeping up their name as the loudest three-member band in the country. Says Malhar, “I think we sound this good right now because we’re staying together. After all, music is made up from the relationship between people.”
This article appeared in the November 2014 issue of ROLLING STONE India.
The Superfuzz’s new EP, Inner City Waster, will release this month. Listen to the first single “Rat in the Dirt”