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Back in the Game

After laying low for awhile now, Barefaced Liar dusts up and gets its act together

Neha Sharma Sep 26, 2009
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“I used to play with a band called Prithvi. I actually met these guys at the annual rock competition at IIT-Roorkee last year. And normally one does tend to check out one’s competition at these events. So I see Barefaced Liar right there and I was like these guys are still around?! When I saw these guys play, I was a bit taken aback as their sound had changed since the last time I had heard them play in 2004,” laughs drummer Bhim Kaul of how he came to become the Delhi band’s drummer today.

Barefaced Liar won the 2008 edition of Sea Rock (the BITS-Pilani rock competition) and Wargasm (IIT-Roorkee’s rock), while Kaul bagged the title of best drummer at Wargasm. As they put it, it just made perfect sense to play together. The band’s previous drummer Nikhil Vasudevan, who played with them for about a year in 2007, moved on to play for Delhi-based band Emperor Minge. The original trio of vocalist/guitarist Akshay Chowdhry, guitarist/vocalist Sumant Balakrishnan and bassist Dushyant Purohit founded the band in the year 2002 when they were still in school.

This alt-rock band has been around for quite some time now but for a few years the band was plagued with inactivity. The pursuit of higher studies took each member to a different place. The band did suffer but each kept working on their craft and exchanging ideas for songs to keep from hacking what they’d started. Though as Chowdhry suggests this was not exactly a bad thing for the band, as he got a lot of exposure studying in California, “Besides taking the odd music class in school and playing in college, everytime I’d come back, we would end up recording new music or writing new stuff. We felt it made more sense for us to work on our songwriting the first few years rather than play the random show. We kept in touch and kept our music going.” One of the band’s most popular numbers ”˜Carnation’ was recorded in 2004 over a summer holiday in which the band recorded around ten songs. The song went on to be featured on a compilation of upcoming artists by a label in Los Angeles as well as various Indian compilations. “The song was definitely recognised when I took it back to the States. Besides that I got feedback from music professors and people who were linked to various music forums in LA. I used to hand it out wherever I could, like the local clubs there. I would just drop off the demo. We got a lot of positive reviews but there was also the critical stuff, like that our music was perhaps derivative of the stuff we were listening to at the time,” Chowdhry says.

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The band has been furiously writing songs and working towards its resurgence on the music scene. The guys have whipped up some spanking new originals produced by Nigel Zachariahs intended for an EP (yet untitled) out this October. The EP shall feature six or seven new originals. Tracks most representative of the band’s crackling re-entry would have to be ”˜To the Alamo’ and ”˜Out of My League’ which storm in with a frenetic pulse and shredding solos pinned to a heavy soundscape. Chowdhry defines this new sound as being “more streamlined in blues/hard rock.” Balakrishnan seconds him: “I love blues-driven guitars with a hard-rock feel, really groovy chunky rhythms like Led Zep. Our guitar-playing has evolved in such a way that we compliment each other really well now. It’s come to a point where we could play anything that we possibly want, but we choose to play within these boundaries where the most productive music comes out which is pleasing and most satisfying.” Another new track ”˜Glow’ realigns with their older numbers like ”˜Unity’ and ”˜Carnation,’ with an emphasis on melody, striking a nice equilibrium between the acoustic and electric. “The next step for us right now is probably a video. That would be a better promotional tool than anything else. We are looking at ”˜Glow’ for our first video,” says Chowdhry. The band plays its first show at the recently opened Hard Rock Café in Delhi this month.

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