The Down Troddence to go on a Hiatus
Bengaluru’s favorite folk/groove metallers will take a year-long break, but promise a new single before band members break away to concentrate on professional commitments
Just hours before their set at the ill-fated Bengaluru gig series Metal Assault last week, folk/groove metallers The Down Troddence’s frontman Munz aka Mithun Raj announced on Facebook that this would be the band’s last gig for some time. On stage, Munz confirmed that the band would take a break for a year owing to drummer Ganesh Radhakrishnan leaving the country for a work-related project.
Radhakrishnan, who works in a multinational management consulting company, will move to Minnesota in May. He says, “The plan is to put out a music video for a new single from the second album. Release that, and once I go, we’re going to keep writing material.” The band plans to continue to work over the Internet from different locations; while most members are based in Bengaluru, keyboardist Sushin Shyam works out of Chennai. Munz notes that it’s not entirely a new experience for the band. He adds, “Actually for our song ‘Ortniavis’, we met only after making and releasing that song. Everyone was in different cities. It’s doable and not going to be a big block for composing music. [Playing] shows is going to be a problem. But it’s good in a way.”
Formed in 2009, The Down Troddence made a bigger impact once they released singles such as “Shiva” and “Ortniavis” in 2011 leading up to their 2013 album How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You. After making a clean sweep at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards in 2014 and playing across the country, The Down Troddence nearly seemed like they were stagnating, performing the same set of songs for two years, occasionally throwing in a cover of Brazilian metallers Sepultura’s “Roots Bloody Roots”. Munz believes that the break will also help them finish work on their upcoming second full-length album. Guitarist Nezer Ahemed adds, “There’s a ton of new material. We’ve got a lot of riffs. We just need to sit down and crack that and keep the momentum going.”
In the meantime, the band is working on the pre-production for their upcoming single. But they are yet to decide who will produce it. In the past, The Down Troddence have worked with the likes of guitarist-producer Rex Vijayan [from Malayalam rockers Avial] and recording engineer Vivek Thomas [now part of rock veterans Motherjane] on their self-produced first singles and flew down Keshav Dhar [from Delhi prog metal band Skyharbor] to record How Are You.
As far as the songwriting goes, Munz says that the approach for their second album has been quite a different experience. “The first album was pretty easy…We didn’t have to make an album, it was all there,” he says, referring to how the material was around for a few years before they recorded it.
With the second album, there’s a judgmental attitude at work within the band. Ahemed says, “We’re like ‘Should I include this riff?’, ‘Should I change that cymbal there?’” Munz adds, “Back then, if we had two weeks together, we’d have finished the song. But now, just finish a portion of the song in two weeks. We just sit on it and think if it’s conveying what we want. I think that’s the block.”
Sonically, the band says it’s only right now that they’ve truly “discovered” their sound. Munz says there’s more maturity and not just a mish-mash of metal worship and all-out aggression like their earlier material. The vocalist however assures that it’s a continuation of where they left off from the first album.
While there are plans of a final send-off gig in Bengaluru, The Down Troddence will travel for their last out-of-town show in Mumbai on March 11th, as headliners of Vidyavardhini’s College of Engineering and Technology’s band competition Octaves, in Vasai. The band plans to stick to their live staples for the show. The band missed out performing in Mumbai last November, when they were among bands dropped from bike and music festival Harley Rock Riders VI due to “unforeseen circumstances” involving noise complaints. Radhakrishnan makes a pun on the festival’s tagline saying, “At Harley, it didn’t get loud. So we’re really looking forward to this one. The Bombay crowd has been so good.”
The Down Troddence performs at Octaves 2016 at Vidyavardhini’s College of Engineering and Technology, Vasai. Entry: Rs 200. Event details here.