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Delhi Bands Launch Gig and Workshop Series

The Delhi Underground Legion, which kicked off last week, wants to give newer bands a performance platform

Anurag Tagat Mar 31, 2014
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Death metal band Menticide at the first edition of Delhi Underground Legion's weekend gigs. Photo: Karan Mehta

Death metal band Menticide at the first edition of Delhi Underground Legion’s weekend gigs. Photo: Karan Mehta

What started off as a status update venting against the lack of gig spaces and overdependence on band competitions for rock and metal acts in Delhi, led to the creation of the Delhi Underground Legion. Bands and organizers who were part of the conversation took their debate offline and met to form the Delhi Underground Legion [DUL] in February.

DUL, which comprises members of upcoming bands such as progressive metalcore band Colossal Figures, progressive heavy metal band Trigger and blogging site 8eight8 Music, held their first gig and workshop last week. The idea, according to Trigger guitarist Ashwin Ramanathan, was to change the existing culture of band competitions as the only launchpad for bands. Says Ramanathan, “We [Trigger] had to start with live competitions and I hated it. There are so many rules and time constraints. Plus, I’ve never felt like there was a crowd for metal at band competitions.”

Delhi progressive metalcore band Colossal Figures’s guitarist Karan Mehta was nominated as the head of management, considering his prior experience with organizing gigs, including the multi-genre WORME festival in December 2012 and the Rabbit Hole Sessions, a jam series, at Turquoise Cottage. Says Mehta, “There were about 12 band representatives and wanted to create a community with some exclusivity.” With an aim to promote bands, DUL chose Delhi venue and jampad, Carnival Underground Music Alley in Lajpat Nagar for their first ever weekend gig, featuring Trigger, progressive death metal band Menticide, black metal band Toxoid and metal band Carnage. Says Mehta, “We thought of that venue firstly because they were giving it to us for free, the venue wanted to help musicians out and because it would fit in about 60-70 people. That was a good enough number for us for the first leg.” DUL wanted to promote bands outside of just the live performance, giving away 10 demo CDs of each performing band along with entry. But both Mehta and the DUL don’t want to just promote metal or bands in their friends’ circles. Delhi electro rock band Jester’s guitarist Pranav Pahwa conducted a free guitar workshop at Carnival Underground on March 29th.

Bands bring their own equipment and DUL covers lighting and sound mixing overheads with a minimal entry fee to the gig ”“ Rs 50. However, the next edition of Delhi Underground Legion’s weekend gig will have to wait until mid-April, since most members are busy with university exams. Says Mehta, “We already have eight or nine bands in mind for the next edition. It’s just about getting good bands together and targeting an entirely new crowd of young kids who like all kinds of music.” Ramanathan adds, “From the bands’ perspective, it’s about stopping ourselves from competition. We [Trigger] want to play as many shows as possible. We don’t want to be judged upon or given marks for our performances any longer.” 

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