Shillong’s Street Stories Will Debut New Songs At Ziro Fest
Punk pop band Street Stories will play on September 16th at the festival in Arunachal Pradesh
For a band that had performed only in Northeast India after they formed, Street Stories got quite a crowd when they performed for the first time at the Escape Festival in Naukuchiatal in May this year. “It was a big deal for us. We didn’t know how our music would be received outside the region,” says Pezo Kronu, the band’s 20-year-old lead vocalist. Street Stories needn’t have worried: The Shillong-based punk pop band’s introspective lyrics and highly charged music found several fans. “We weren’t really expecting a large number of people, so it was a pleasant surprise that so many came to listen and actually enjoyed our performance.”
The band members may look like they stepped out onto the stage during their school break, but Street Stories is slowly gaining a name as a reliably entertaining act. Pezo, however, brushes off their rising popularity saying, “Most people in the Northeast are into heavy metal. They listen to really hard-core stuff and a lot of bands play that as well. We’re still building a fan base.”
Street Stories comprising the Kronu brothers – Pezo on guitar and vocals with Riko on bass and backing vocals – was formed in 2009 when the brothers hooked up with drummer and school mate Mastram Sangma. The band that draws its inspiration from all sorts of music – classic rock to punk and pop – recalls how a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” imbued with their own brand of energetic alt-rock was a performance highlight at the Escape Festival. “We recorded it at home sometime in 2010, and put it on ReverbNation. It became quite popular and we even performed it in our home town,” says Pezo.
Performing in the Northeast has its advantages, says Pezo, the biggest being that usually any performance manages to get a good number of listeners. That, however, is also a disadvantage. “Most people have been listening to a variety of music since they were kids and so they have very strong opinions. That can also make them very judgmental, and any band in the Northeast has to consistently deliver to high expectations,” says Pezo. Then there’s also the fact that the money is not great. “We have to work really hard to make our way. We should be paid at least Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 for a local performance, but the actual offer is much less than that.”
Most of Street Stories’ songs tap into their real-life experiences; none more so than the last track on their EP, “I’ve Got Something to Live For.” Pezo explains, “We had a really hard time in the beginning, but we struggled on because we knew that in the end, it would be worth it. The song is our message to others, who struggle to live their dream, that there is always hope.”
This month, the trio will perform at the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh, where they’re also looking forward to watching Mumbai band Sky Rabbit and Delhi’s Peter Cat Recording Co. perform. Street Stories will perform a one-hour set, and will play all tracks off their debut EP, Apple and the Clown, besides some new material that they have been working on.
The Ziro Festival of Music will be held on September 14th, 15th and 16th.
Buy tickets to the Ziro Festival here