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Indigo Children Begin Work On Debut Album

Delhi punk rockers ready debut album that’s taken five years to come together

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Sharin Bhatti Oct 25, 2012
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Photo: Vinit Bhat

It’s hard to keep a straight face around Indigo Children. When they’re not cracking each other up and rolling on the floor [literally, yes], they make time for music. On their singles launch tour in Mumbai and minutes before getting into a soundcheck at Blue Frog, vocalist Sanchal Malhar, bassist Nikhil Rufus Raj, drummer Sahil Mendiratta and guitarist RN Jaidev break into an uproarious fit of laughter that ends with Malhar on the  floor. While we give up trying to decode the in-joke, 15 minutes into the ”˜band meeting’ Malhar is still hysterical. “It’s the lack of sleep I think or no cigarettes or the soundcheck or mushrooms,” says Malhar. 

Indigo Children have been making music and entertaining audiences since they stepped out of school as a three-piece band called The Superfuzz in 2004. The Superfuzz won the Campus Rock Idols in 2005, The Great India Rock Festival in 2006 and the Channel [V] Launchpad in 2007. 

As Indigo Children, they won the Hornbill Rock Contest in 2011 and opened for Bryan Adams and Backstreet Boys in 2008. Their disco-pop song “Irresistible” found itself on producer John Leckie’s compilation album with Indian bands on a British Council commissioned project called Soundpad. 

Eight years in, post the name change, numerous lineup changes, attempted transition from punk to prog rock and a year of parting ways, the band decided to finally get into the studio. Fuzzy riffs and spunky punk tunes that they made when they first started gigging continue to dominate the Indigo Children sound. 

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The difference is in the maturity that the band members bring to their sound. The much older [Malhar, the chief songwriting force of the band is now 26] musicians can now focus on serious songwriting without getting distracted. “We have been playing in the band since we both were 19,” says Malhar of his band Superfuzz and founder member Raj, “We didn’t have time to do much growing up to do because we were always gigging or preparing for some big contest or writing new music. We really needed to change things up.” 

The big change came in 2009 when the band took a break from making music to “travel, study, meet some yogis and get a reality check.” Adds Malhar. “We all studied and read up on a lot of things and discovered new music. That has really helped us improve on our songwriting and change the way we look at things.” The band’s earliest influences were bands such as Wolf-mother and Oasis. Now the band tunes into more experimental rock like The Babs Johnson Gang and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. 

The sound of their debut album, as Malhar describes it, is “indie punk meets prog rock” and features 11 tracks including their 2008 single “Sing To Me.” “You’ll hear a lot of psychedelic stuff and some crazy experiences. Some of the song titles are ”˜Colours Of A Dream,’ ”˜Alien Beauty’ and ”˜High Priestess.’ This is stuff you won’t imagine us every singing about,” says Malhar. 

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Though the band’s recent releases “Jesus Was A Mushroom” and “Why Don’t You Follow Me Down” are a throwback to their Superfuzz days. The fuzz-laden riffng, the hectic bass lines and the hooky vocals are all there. “The songs will not be on the album. They were just songs we released online to promote a tour. We really wanted to gig because we hadn’t in a while,” says Malhar. The album will most likely be recorded at Fender Music Academy in Delhi and produced by Viraj Mohan of Another Vertigo Rush and Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor. Mohan and Dhar also produced their recently released singles. 

Says Malhar, “We are picking out new themes and there is fresh energy that Sahil and Jaidev have brought to the band. Jamming with them is a lot of fun.” Indigo Children plan to release their debut in December this year. 

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