Black to Debut Album with New Record Label
Due Out September
Somewhere in Mumbai in a tiny studio, Black vocalist Shawn Pereira is matching scream after bloodcurdling scream to some grungy guitar tracks laid down earlier. Elsewhere in the studio, there’s a raucous party of sorts going on as the rest of the band members fill time by making some terrible jokes, a lot of noise and taking occasional pot-shots at each other. “This album,” says guitarist Anish Menon enthusiastically, if a little worryingly, above the bedlam, “is going to be as good as having Black play in your ears.”
It’s almost the final stage of the recording and the band is excited about having people listen to their newly refurbished songs. “We had recorded demos earlier but they weren’t that good. Like whenever people would come up to us and say, ”˜We like your stuff and we want to hear it, we’d be like, ”˜Go to our MySpace page but don’t listen to the demos too much. Don’t blame us if the quality is bad’,” chuckles Menon. The band’s been around for the better part of two years now and some of the songs on the album were composed for the first live show they ever played. ““We’re essentially a live band. We’re trying to recreate that kind of a sound, because on stage it’s about being honest and very energetic, that’s what we want to get across on the CD,” says Pereira.
That each member brings their own feel to the songs is obvious on the first listen. The tracks combine Pereira’s gritty vocals with Menon’s blues-tinged guitar, bassist Roop Thomas’ funk-based basslines, Shishir Thakur’s metal-esque drum patterns and second guitarist Reinhart Dias’ pop sensibilities into a very listener-friendly alternative sound. “It wouldn’t sound like Black if any one of us wasn’t playing,” asserts Dias quietly. Their themes, likewise, revolve around the band members’ personal experiences. “It’s just about all kinds of emotions; it’s not profound or against society or anything,” says Menon. “We’re not out to prove anything.”
Black’s sound came to the attention of Manav Parekh, co-founder of brand new record label Un.Herd Records who’s at the studio today to oversee the recording. Parekh discovered Black on their MySpace page and decided that they were the ideal band to launch the record label with. “We were actually hunting around for bands and we had three four bands we wanted to work with. When we heard Black we felt they were different, their emotions come through the music and that felt right for the label.” Parekh, though, is reluctant to talk about the label’s plans for the band prematurely. “We’re going to do at least a month of promotion before we release the album. We’re also looking at sales and distribution channels; we’ll see how it works out.” Pereira grins, “First time Manav asked me what plans we had for the album, I said ”˜Record the album at a friend’s place, print CDs and throw them to the public for free.’ He was appalled.” The band’s looking to launch the album by mid-September and will play extensively to promote it. “In the end, it’s all about the fans, dude,” says Dias earnestly, “and the lights,” as the room dissolves in helpless laughter.