Chennai’s 83 Miles Per Hour Get Ready For Mumbai Gig
The six-piece hard rock band will play new tunes from their upcoming EP
When members of the Chennai band 83 Miles Per Hour got together in early 2011, they hadn’t planned for the speed at which things would move forward. “We jammed for one week and then we were performing,” says drummer Peter Francis Joshua of a slew of gigs they have performed at in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. The band also went on to win Channel [V] Launchpad in January this year besides other contests, but nearly two years on, they’re not exactly happy with their own city. “The scene [in Chennai] is not great. My friends tell me the Delhi scene is really good and they usually get one gig every week,” says keyboardist Aldrin Dominic Alexander.
Of late, though, with Alexander away, studying at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music near Chennai, the band has been busy jamming and recording as a five-piece set up. “We keep sending Aldrin all the material and we’ll be recording together when he returns in December,” says Joshua. Alexander is one of the big draws at 83 MPH gigs with his keytar. Says Alexander, “It’s not a gimmicky thing, but I play more leads, so it was better to play this [keytar] instead of an ordinary keyboard. I have a special connection to this instrument.”
Their upcoming release is a yet-to-be-titled five-track EP that they are recording at one of Chennai’s better-known Krimson Avenue Studios. “A couple of songs are ready, and in a couple of months, the EP should be ready,” says Alexander. The keyboardist adds that the band sat down for a two-week session to thrash out ideas for the EP. “We decide on a theme and then go along. If someone wants to write about something very close to his heart, we give him room,” says Joshua, who wrote “Fighter” about his “fucked up relationship” and how his advice is “you have to be a fighter.”
In Mumbai, 83 MPH are playing a 30-minute set at Ray-Ban’s 75th Anniversary Celebrations, which includes their whirlwind title track “83 Miles Per Hour,” “Hold On,” “Drunk” and “Candy”. They might even throw in a cover by Queen. Part of the winning perks for each band is collaborating on one song with Mumbai rock veterans Indus Creed’s Uday Benegal and Mahesh Tinaikar. “It was intimidating [to record with Benegal and Tinaikar] initially, but then it went smooth. I choked at one point [while recording] but Uday told me to relax and that calmed all of us,” says Joshua about recording the new collaborative track titled “The Light,” which will make its stage debut at their first Mumbai gig this week. Joshua describes “The Light” as a “straight power rock ”˜n roll track with some prog background.”
83 Miles Per Hour perform at Ray-Ban’s 75th Anniversary Celebrations with The Uncertainty Principle, Street Stories, Modern Mafia and The News at Bandra Amphitheater in Mumbai on December 1st. Entry free.