The Koniac Net Dig Deep on New Album ‘They Finally Herd Us’
The Mumbai rock act’s founder David Abraham talks Sci-Fi influences, punk rock and his vault of song ideas
One of the first things that would perhaps strike anyone about Mumbai hard/alt rock band The Koniac Net’s new album They Finally Herd Us is the post-apocalyptic movie poster-like cover art by Mumbai-based visual artist Hanisha Tirumalasetty. Something straight out of an alien invasion, it clearly indulges founder and vocalist-guitarist David Abraham’s love for science fiction.
He’s leaned into that influence on previous releases as well – their debut album One Last Monsoon (2012) deals with somewhat biblical themes while 2014’s Abiogenesis EP covers complex emotions – but Abraham says there’s no concept timeline that connects each release. “I’ve been a Sci-Fi fanatic since I was really young, in my college days I got introduced to a lot of shows by my friends. A lot of those shows got canceled, like Firefly. My style is writing stories that are very different from what other people write about – instead of love, heartbreak, struggle or the usual shit, I try to write about random stories,” the frontman says.
Abraham goes on to start talking about a song that he’s already prepping for the next Koniac Net release, but we’ve heard that before. It’s been over five years since the release of Abiogenesis EP but the songs and ideas never stop for Abraham, who then presents it to the rest of the band. Most of the 11-track They Finally Herd Us are about five years old, but then Abraham remembers he wrote the Nineties-esque “Here We’ll Be” in 2003. He says, “I had only half the song done, I’d left it and I wasn’t happy with it. I just played it for the band and they liked it – it had a Nineties vibe which we also incorporate. We don’t incorporate just one genre.”
The album features songs that Abraham created and then introduced to the six-member band – bassist Adil Kurwa, producer-guitarist and vocalist Jason D’Souza, guitarist-vocalist Aaron D’Mello, drummer Karun Kannampilly and the latest addition, keyboardist and vocalist Mallika Barot. While the opening track “As We Became Birds” opens on a punk-rock note, it melts into familiar moody alt-rock territory, featuring melodies contributed by everyone in the band.
The freshness of bright yet steely rock remains a signature for The Koniac Net, delivering sing-along hooks on “Crawling” and “Alison.” The title track brings arena-rock grandiosity, while “All Hail Backslider” – perhaps bearing the only recurring reference from One Last Monsoon – is uneasily aggro. “Something New” craftily builds the rage, while “Cobra Avalanche” features a modern rock pace, while they save the heaviest for last with “In Vein.”
While The Koniac Net launched the album last month with a production-heavy show (something Abraham credits entirely to Kurwa, Kannampilly and D’Mello) at Above the Habitat in Mumbai, more gigs are awaited. “As a six member band it makes it more difficult. We want to travel outside India and play. We just need the right backing and have the right people believe in us,” Abraham says.
Stream/buy ‘They Finally Herd Us’ below.