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Black Letters Perform At Springr Café

The Kochi rockers who are readying their debut album will perform an acoustic set at Springr this weekend

Rolling Stone India Jul 12, 2013
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Black Letters. Photo: Harsimran Basra

Black Letters. Photo: Harsimran Basra

It’s a good thing that Kochi alt rockers Black Letters never tire of playing competitions. After winning titles at festivals such as IIT-Madras’s Saarang and IIM Kozhikode’s Echoes in 2012, the band more recently won Decibels, a band hunt organized by local radio channel, Radio Mango this year. “It happened in March. We took part because it was good money and exposure and the winning band would get to feature a track in a Malayalam film,” says the band’s vocalist, Sharath Iyer. As a result, one of their earliest materials, an old school rock number titled “You Say,” has now been featured on the OST of recently released Malayalam film, Anchu Sundarikal.

Download “You Say” here

Since their formation in 2007, the quartet formed by schoolmates has been through many transformations. From lineup changes to rechristening the band (it was initially called Rome and later, Surfacing), what started as a jam band later showed an inclination to metal, until in 2010, Black Letters adopted alternative rock. “In fact, ”˜You Say’ was one of the first songs that we wrote after we changed our style and sound. I remember we were playing at a band hunt and needed three originals, though we had just two. We came up with ”˜You Say’ just ahead of the show,” says Iyer, adding that the track will also feature on their upcoming album. The band previously released a four-track EP, Snippets in 2010, but dumped it after their sound changed. “We don’t have it online anymore because that is not something we play right now. We took it off since it didn’t represent our music. ”

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Currently comprising Akash Chacko on drums, Sarang Menon on guitar, Arjun Radhakrishnan on bass and Iyer on vocals, the Kochi band surprisingly has only one member in Kerala for now. “Our drummer is in Bangalore studying law, the bassist and I are in Chennai and our guitarist is in Kerala but is planning to shift to Bangalore or Chennai soon,” says Iyer. “But our families are in Kerala so we all visit often and stick to practicing at least two-three times a month.”

Back home, the band is also working on their debut full-length album at the studio of Motherjane vocalist Vivek Thomas. “The tracking of the album is done. Vivek is a new producer in the industry and he’s really good at it. He does a lot of work for movies and bands,” says Iyer who plans to release the album by October this year.   

Songs from their nine-track album will make up their hour-long setlist at Springr Café, where they perform this weekend. Unlike their high energy sets at band hunts, the quartet will settle down to play their first acoustic set here. “It is going to be a partially acoustic set because we will be plugging in the bass guitar, one electric and one acoustic guitar and maybe a cajon and a shaker,” says Iyer, adding that their producer, Thomas, will also join them on a few songs this Saturday. 

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Black Letters perform at Springr Cafe, Fort Kochi on July 13th, 2013, 5.30 pm onwards. Cover charge: Rs 300. For details, click here

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