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UK’s Hacktivist, Italian Metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse Announced for Mumbai’s BIG69 Festival

The two-day metal festival, which takes place in January, also includes Nepal groove metal band Underside, Mumbai extreme metallers Demonic Resurrection, Delhi metallers Undying Inc, Bengaluru death/thrash metal band Inner Sanctum and more, with two more international headliners yet to be announced

Rolling Stone India Nov 05, 2014
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Fleshgod Apocalypse make their India debut at BIG69. Photo: Press Image

Fleshgod Apocalypse make their India debut at BIG69. Photo: Press Image

For those who thought underground metal in Mumbai died out with the scene’s favorite venue B69 closing down in early 2012, its proud parents, online music equipment retailer BAJAAO, were simply plotting a comeback. Says marketing and events manager Himanshu Vaswani, “We always wanted to bring it back, in spirit at least.” Vaswani and the Bajaao team says their latest two-day metal festival, BIG69, has been on the cards for two years.

The first edition of BIG69, which takes place on January 17th and 18th at the industrial warehouse, Richardson and Cruddas, in Mumbai, will include performances by UK grime/rap metal band Hacktivist and Italian technical death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse, and top Indian metal acts like Demonic Resurrection, Undying Inc, Inner Sanctum, Providence, Gutslit, Noiseware and more. Hacktivist vocalist Ben Marvin says the band is really excited about performing to a completely new audience. Says Marvin, “We don’t have any clue what’s going to happen, or what it’s going to be like.” The band, who have been gaining fans straight from UK’s prog metal scene to the big stages at Leeds and Reading Festival for songs like “Unlike Us,” “Elevate” and their cover of Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris,” are currently working on new material, but their debut full-length album may not be out in time for their India show.

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Also taking a break from working on new material to debut in India are Fleshgod Apocalypse. Currently on an European tour, the Italian tech-death metallers have been their country’s best new export, particularly for their combination of mixing elements of classical opera, death metal and concepts about Greek and Roman culture. Says vocalist-guitarist Tommaso Riccardi about playing at BIG69, “First of all, I think India is like China, one of those new markets for metal, who are starting to open the gates. We’ve already had good experiences in China and Indonesia [earlier this year], so in some way I think Eastern markets are the future. We’re pretty excited to play these places.” Following their current Europe tour, Riccardi says the band will begin writing for their fourth full-length album, the follow-up to 2013’s Labyrinth. The frontman adds that they are most likely to be accompanied by live vocalist Veronica Bordacchini, who provided operatic vocals on Labyrinth. Riccardi however admits there won’t be CO2 geysers or a piano on stage at BIG69. “There are a few things we cannot afford to bring when we travel so far. Safe to say, though that we will bring Fleshgod Apocalypse, we will bring the energy that we have.”

Nepalese groove metallers Underside, who have previously opened for American death metal band Dying Fetus in Shillong and performed in Bengaluru this year, are also slated to return to India for BIG69. Says guitarist Bikrant Shrestha, “We’ve been planning a lot of shows for next year and India is a good way to the start the new year.” With a 12-track album currently being mixed and mastered, the guitarist says Underside are also plotting an Australia and Europe following their performance at BIG69. Says Shrestha, “We feel it’s the right time to push our band. And with this festival [BIG69], it’s going to be one hell of a show.” Hacktivist vocalist Marvin adds that he’s looking forward to see how their brand of rap and metal is received in India. Says Marvin, “Hopefully, they’re just as wild as the rest of the world.”

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With two stages across two days, a separate space to showcase metal artwork and other activities in the works, two more international headline acts are yet to be announced for the festival. Season tickets and day passes will go on sale this Friday, November 7th. While presale season tickets are priced at Rs 2,000, student tickets will be available for Rs 1,500, granting access to both days of the festival.

Watch the promo video for BIG69 Festival 

BIG69 Festival 2014 Partial Lineup

Fleshgod Apocalypse



Plague Throat



Demonic Resurrection



Inner Sanctum


Chronic Xorn

Grammy Winning Effort

Escher’s Knot

Undying Inc



BIG69 Festival takes place on January 17th and 18th at Richardson and Cruddas, Mumbai. More details here.

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