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Artists To Watch Out For: The Uncertainty Principle

Delhi prog rock band gear up for debut album this year

Anurag Tagat Jan 19, 2013

The Delhi rockers are one of the five emerging bands to have made it to our list.

The Uncertainty Principle. Photo: Vijay Kate

WHO: In September 2011 ”” a year after founding members and guitarists Abhishek Rajan and Nishant Kurup got together in school ”“ Delhi progressive rock band The Uncertainty Principle [TUP] finalized their lineup, after finding a committed drummer in the then 18-yearold Keith Peter. Rajan met Peter in north campus [Delhi University]. Two years on, they have not only carved a path out of their alternative rock roots towards more prog rock terrains, but also won several accolades along the way for their intelligent yet catchy music. “We were looking forward to college competitions, but after we recorded our songs, we just thought: ”˜no more competitions!’” says drummer Peter.

SOUND: Though their initial days as a band were influenced by alternative rock bands such as Creed [they still like to throw in a cover of the band’s song “What If?” at shows], every member shares a common liking for prog rock legends such as Karnivool, Porcupine Tree, Tool, and Dream Theater guitar virtuoso John Petrucci’s solo work. TUP runs the risk of sounding too close to their influences at times but for their alt rock leanings. “The idea is to make catchy music. It’s not about time signatures and technical music,” says vocalist Raghav Meattle. Rhythm guitarist Nishant Kurup adds, “It’s progressive rock, but it’s free flowing.” Adds Peter,“The way we make music, the audience should go: ”˜Oh shit!’ or whatever.”

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BIG BREAK: Their first ever win at IIT Delhi’s Blitzkrieg competition in October 2011 caught the attention of judges Nikhil Malik [from Delhi alt rock band Cyanide and Half Step Down] and Srijan Mahajan [drummer of Parikrama, Half Step Down and Cyanide], who invited them to record at their studio. Their top hits such as “Forever,” “Through My Eyes” and “The Question” were recorded at Malik and Mahajan’s Studio Fuzz.

WORK AND PLAY: All five members study at Delhi University, with the exception of bassist Siddharth Rajan, who has a day job at a supermarket. “Most of our [the band’s] work happens on the weekend, so it’s cool. It’s a bit hectic but not exhausting,” says Rajan, the older brother of guitarist Abhishek.

ON THE CARDS: TUP have set their sights on a full-length release next year. They’re not sure of an exact date because they are waiting on Studio Fuzz to upgrade facilities for recording live drums. “It’s really important to me [to record live drums], because some of the programmed stuff on our earlier songs still sounds modulated. The recording has to sound pro,” says Peter. Lead guitarist Abhishek wants “eight or nine songs” to be their benchmark for the album, including newer tracks such as “The Orb” and “Stigma.” 

SPIN THIS: TUP’s seven-minute song “The Question” with its heavy crescendos, double bass drums and Meattle’s refrain “Why are we here?” that has something new to say to you every time you hear it.

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