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Goddess Gagged Reunite for 2Stroke Tour’s Fourth Edition

The Mumbai alternative metallers will return to the stage after nearly three years as part of the seven-city tour

Rolling Stone India Jul 25, 2016
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(from left) Jeremy D'Souza, Krishna Jhaveri, Arman Menzies, Devesh Dayal and Siddharth Basrur in 2012. Photo: Roycin D'Souza

(from left) Jeremy D’Souza, Krishna Jhaveri, Arman Menzies, Devesh Dayal and Siddharth Basrur in 2012. Photo: Roycin D’Souza

The multi-city 2Stroke Tour series is getting more intense in its fourth edition, with a few changes in its format. Mumbai alt metal band Goddess Gagged, who went on a hiatus in January 2014, will reunite for their first set of shows alongside local bands in seven cities between August 26th and September 4th. The band will play shows in Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Mumbai.

The tour news comes just after the band put out a teaser to a new single “Handmade Waterfalls,” signalling their return. 2Stroke organizer Uddipan Sarmah, who runs Ahmedabad-based studio, label, event and artist management firm BlueTree, says he had been asking Goddess Gagged frontman Siddharth Basrur about a reunion ever since the second edition in 2015, which featured the Basrur-fronted alt rock band Last Remaining Light. Sarmah says, “All the members [of Goddess Gagged] are actively playing in other projects, so I asked Basrur, ”˜Why not get together and come back?’”

Goddess Gagged, who started out as Fulcrum in 2008 with guitarist-vocalist Arman Menzies, bassist Krishna Jhaveri and drummer Jeremy D’Souza, added Basrur and guitarist Devesh Dayal in 2010 and released their full-length album Resurfaces in 2011. After opening for the likes rock legends Guns N’ Roses in Mumbai, Goddess Gagged continued to promote the record. By 2013, Dayal and Jhaveri had both joined prog metal band Skyharbor, Basrur was immersed in solo work. Menzies launched his electronic music project Zokhuma in 2014, while D’Souza joined punk rockers The Lightyears Explode earlier this year after studying music at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. Says Basrur, “All this time, only three of us were in the country, so now with four people back, it worked out.”

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Although the musicians have branched out into different projects since the release of Resurfaces in 2011, they still consider the material strong. Basrur says, “This was the first band of mine that stuck. I honestly thought this [reunion] was never going to happen.” The band members are already doing their own rehearsing and reacquainting themselves with the songs, while Dayal only arrives a week prior to the tour kick-off in August. While Jhaveri and Dayal have played on month-long tours with Skyharbor, the bassist says the 2Stroke Tour is “definitely going to be more tiring.” He adds, “We’re flying around everywhere, unlike getting in a van and you can just pass out there. We’re getting ready for a few nights of no sleep.” The band will perform most songs off Resurfaces and non-album material such as “Fine Lines” and “Handmade Waterfalls.”

Sarmah, who is putting the tour together for the first time since co-founder and investor Ramakrishnan Krishnan’s exit from 2Stroke, says the lack of a sponsor gives him more room for flexibility and experimenting with the format. Unlike previous editions, there’s only one band playing seven cities this time, with support from the likes of Kolkata metal act What Escapes Me [in Kolkata, where the tour kicks off], Guwahati alt metal band Lucid Recess, Delhi math rockers Kraken, Mumbai space rock band Gumbal and more. Sarmah adds, “I saw the response when all the bands promoted one show, when I hosted [two-day gig series] The Double Bill. It’s very important to reach each and every one.” Getting on the road with his profits so far, Sarmah says he’s sure to break even. He adds, “Whenever I experiment, I never fear losses.”

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GG 2Stroke2Stroke Tour ft Goddess Gagged 

August 26th ”“ Princeton Club, Kolkata w/What Escapes Me

August 27th ”“ Cloud 9, Shillong w/Dossers Urge

August 28th ”“ Terra Mayaa, Guwahati w/Lucid Recess, Dark Carnage

August 31st ”“ Antisocial, New Delhi w/Kraken

September 2nd ”“ High Spirits, Pune

September 3rd ”“ The Humming Tree, Bengaluru w/Tails on Fire, Diarchy

September 4th ”“ Antisocial, Mumbai w/Ferry Tales, Gumbal

Event details here. Buy tickets here.

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