Yatin Srivastava Project Teams Up with Members of Steven Wilson, The Pineapple Thief
The New Delhi-based producer, composer and guitarist on his latest album ‘Chaos // Despair,’ which also includes acoustic artist Dhruv Visvanath and singer Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, among others
When progressive rock veteran Steven Wilson was in India a couple of years ago, New Delhi-based guitarist and producer Yatin Srivastava made sure timing was everything. Srivastava says, “I emailed [drummer] Craig Blundell when Steven was in India and sent him two tracks, asking if he could play on one. I had nothing to lose here. He said he would play on both tracks.”
To his credit, Srivastava – who has been releasing music since 2015 from capital as well as out of London – stayed lucky. He also wrote to UK prog band The Pineapple Thief’s vocalist Bruce Soord and received a reply saying it could be done in a few months. “I was just aiming high,” says Srivastava.
The six-track debut album Chaos // Despair features many more notable names – from New Delhi’s distinct voices in Dhruv Visvanath (commanding prog power on “Ozone”) and Sanjeeta Bhattacharya (on what Srivastava calls the “weirdest and proggiest” track, “The Unknown”) to London-based Marissa Landy (on the gothic “Forgotten,” her second single after 2017’s “Take a Look at Me”) and guitarist Abhishek Mittal (from instrumental rock band Submarine In Space).
Additionally, the album also features vocalist Kunal Singh, on the riff-dragging opener “Alive,” and Aranya Sahay lending his voice to the wide-as-valleys, pummeling track “Cognizance.” Srivastava says about enlisting vocalists for every track, “I did not know what the fuck to do with vocals, but I knew what I wanted in some songs. I was imagining them in my head and went with what fit.”
But the guitarist says he had “lucky jolts of creativity everyday” which ensured the album was never stuck. After mixing, he sent it over to Bosnian recording engineer Ermin Hamidovic (credited on albums by the best in modern prog – from Periphery to Devin Townsend), who finessed roaring highs and lightheaded lows alike. Like a lot of prog records, Chaos // Despair is born out of meticulous attention to detail while writing, mixing and mastering, which makes it perfect for headphone listening.
Srivastava plans to take the album live with different bands in the U.K. and India, with the latter including drummer Arjun Mathur and keyboardist Rishabh Sanghi. “The only problem is getting a bassist and someone who can cover a whole spectrum of vocals,” the guitarist says. With a video for “Forgotten” in the works (“We’re waiting for the right weather to kick in,” Srivastava says about filming in London), there’s also plans to hit U.K. festivals next year. He repeats an earlier sentiment when he says, “I’m sending out requests to festivals in the U.K. Worst case scenario, they don’t reply. I have nothing to lose.”
Listen to ‘Chaos // Despair’