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Guwahati’s Digital Suicide Planning Two Mini Albums

Assam’s freshest prog rock band will play songs from one of the upcoming albums at the Ziro Festival

Sharin Bhatti Sep 11, 2012

Misery abates misery. Rock abates rage. But when rage seeps deeper, music becomes survival – a theory 28-year-old musician Daniel Langthasa learnt very early in life. Growing up on Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Placebo, R.E.M. and Sonic Youth with an odd Bappi Lahiri or an RD Burman thrown in, Langthasa had the most normal upbringing in Haflong in Assam, where rock rules and Bollywood doesn’t. Somehow in the melee, Langthasa managed to strike the balance. A customary guitar lesson after school and being a guest vocalist at a college show were enough to make the musically inclined Langthasa a very happy kid.

Then tragedy stuck. Langthasa lost his father and Congress politician Purnendu Langthasa to targeted shooting by an extremist group in 2007. While the state grieved the assassination, Langthasa internalized his grief. “I formed a band,” he says. Langthasa’s agitation found musical expression on vocals and guitars when he met friends Dpak Borah (bass) and Ratan Bordoloi (drums) to form Digital Suicide in 2008. “When we formed the band, Assam was affected by insurgency and terrorism. Ten years before that, the situation was different. We were in high school then, and three of us would hang out after school to make music or play the fool. But none of us were very serious about music. Then things changed,” says Langthasa.

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What changed was the security of the state. Langthasa saw his friends lose their loved ones. He turned to music for solace. “We would lock ourselves, just the three of us and make music all day long. That became our chief objective. Our songs are all about the situation around us, what we saw and what we continue to see,” says the Digital Suicide vocalist.

Digital Suicide describe themselves as a post grunge band and their melodies are known for their strong bass lines and drum grooves. Drawing influences from Seattle’s grunge era of bands like Alice In Chains, Temple of Dog and Nirvana – Digital Suicide’s music is darker, angrier and resonant with electronic loops. Their debut EP, which is also a five-track demo of the band’s music, released in March 2010. Langthasa puts the EP down to “amateur angst.” “The Prophet” and “Amnesia,” two tracks from the EP, reflect on the cultural condition of Assam.

“A year ago, our sound was very different from where we stand now. We have been experimenting with a lot of electronica and are working on our next project ”“ mini albums,” says Langthasa about his two eight-track mini-albums that the band aims to release later this year. “We have just been signed on by Keith Wallang, who will now manage our shows and give us the much needed support,” says Langthasa.

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Digital Suicide were one of the five finalists of the nationwide talent hunt Ray-Ban Never Hide Sounds and went on to perform alongside Something Relevant and Pentagram at the finale concert held in Mumbai in October, 2011. Earlier this year, the band has been performing all across the Northeast and has played alongside Mumbai-based punk rockers Blek in Shillong. Next, the band will perform on the final day of the upcoming Ziro Festival in Arunachal Pradesh, on September 16th. The band plans to perform new songs which will feature on one of their upcoming mini-albums titled Third World Superstar. “After the Ray-Ban show in Mumbai, we got a lot of shows. It’s been great so far,” says Langthasa.

Digital Suicide will perform at the Ziro Festival of Music on September 16th.

More details on the festival here

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