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Behind The Scenes: Swarathma and The Wanton Bishops from Lebanon Collaborate On New Track

The Bengaluru folk rock band spent two days in Kolkata in December writing their new song ‘Lay It On Me’

Rolling Stone India Feb 13, 2014
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Members of Swarathma and the Wanton Bishops in Kolkata. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull India

Members of Swarathma and the Wanton Bishops in Kolkata. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull India

It’s probably true that Bengaluru folk rock band Swarathma never turns down an invitation to collaborate. In the past, they’ve had Mumbai hip hop group Bombay Bassment and Delhi EDM artist Dualist Inquiry remix their tracks and included singer Shubha Mudgal on the track “Duur Kinara” from their second album, Topiwalleh. While they were performing at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Kolkata in December last year, they shared the Red Bull Tour Bus stage with Lebanese blues rock duo, the Wanton Bishops. Red Bull later arranged for the two bands to collaborate on a new song, “Lay It On Me.”

Swarathma guitarist Varun Murali says the song was written in two days. Says Murali, who also served as the recording engineer for the track, “We jammed in our hotel room in Kolkata converted it into a studio.” Prior to meeting in Kolkata, the two bands talked over Skype, where Murali even played them a riff he was working on for Swarathma’s new material.

The new track, “Lay It On Me,” takes its name from a refrain Wanton Bishops vocalist Nader Mansour was singing and includes Swarathma vocalist Vasu Dixit singing in Hindi, Kannada and English. Thematically, the song deals with “how one always thinks their own struggle is the biggest,” according to Murali, who adds, “But if we can share the struggle, it’s a lot easier to get through it.” Though the guitarist says they started out with an idea for an acoustic, stripped-down song, “Lay It On Me” turned into a high-energy song with influences from folk, Hindustani classical and rock. Says Murali, “It’s not super heavy, but it’s exactly what a mix of Swarathma and Wanton Bishops would sound like.”

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Check out behind the scenes photos from Swarathma and The Wanton Bishop’s recording “Lay It On Me.” Photos courtesy Red Bull India.


Download “Lay It On Me” here and watch the video below

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