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Gig Preview: The Lightyears Explode, Achint at Blue Frog, Mumbai

The Mumbai punk rock band will perform new material from an upcoming four-track EP while the frontman of psychedelic rock band Rosemary Achint Thakkar debuts his solo world music project

Rolling Stone India May 27, 2014
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Achint Thakkar. Photo: Janak Shah

Achint Thakkar. Photo: Janak Shah

There’s a lot in common between Mumbai punk rock band The Lightyears Explode [TLE] and former frontman of progressive psychedelic rock band Rosemary, Achint Thakkar. Before Rosemary called it quits in 2011, both Thakkar and members of The Lightyears Explode studied in the same college and started out around the same time in the college competition circuit, sharing common fans. The Lightyears Explode have also occasionally played a cover of Rosemary’s song “Golden Trees,” reminiscent of the band’s early grunge sound.

This time however, when both The Lightyears Explode and Thakkar perform at Blue Frog on May 28th, they are sticking to their own sets. While TLE frontman Saurabh Roy says his band will play a few new songs from their upcoming EP, Thakkar’s live debut will include a band and material from his upcoming solo full-length album, Shalimar. Roy says he suggested Thakkar’s name for a supporting act. Says Roy, “He [Thakkar] didn’t need too much convincing [to play live], it was already something he was thinking about.”

Thakkar is a bit nervous about taking his solo world music project live, playing completely different music compared to Rosemary. Says Thakkar, who last played live in September 2010 with Rosemary, “It [the music] is a mix of a lot of different sensibilities. I’d say it’s world and electronica music with distorted guitars and synthesizers.” While Thakkar will play synth, guitars and trigger samples, his backing band includes former Rosemary bassist Suraj Manik and drummer Viraaj Saxena [from prog/sludge metal band Midhaven]. Thakkar’s setlist will include material from his 10-track solo album Shalimar, which is slated to release in September, and his 2013 remix EP Reinventions, which mashed up alternative pioneers Radiohead with Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Says Thakkar, “There’s also a single released called ”˜Komal’, which I haven’t told anyone about. It released in July last year after I had sent it in for a competition in San Francisco [where Thakkar was studying music at Pyramind Media and Music Production School]. The top four got released online as part of a compilation.”

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The Lightyears Explode will also play new material at their gig, in addition to songs such as “The Late Night Song,” “I Am a Disco Dancer” and “Kunj Gutka” from their 2013 debut album The Revenge of Kalicharan, featuring vocalist Aniket Mangrulkar [formerly of alt rock band Zodiac]. Says Roy about their new material, “We still have a lot of working titles like ”˜New Song’ and ”˜New Song 2’ and ”˜Anthemic in Drop D’.” The Lightyears Explode will release a four-track EP before Roy heads off to the UK to study music production at London’s Point Blank Music School in September. Says Roy, “Right now, we’re recording at home and we’ll record drums somewhere.” Formed in 2009, the band will go on a hiatus for the first time when Roy leaves for the UK. Says Roy, “This is our fifth year as a band and we do definitely need a break, otherwise we’d kill our drummer or something.”


The Lightyears Explode, Achint perform at Blue Frog, Mumbai on May 28th, 2014.
Entry: free.
Event details here.



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