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Mumbai Alt Rockers Unohu Win High Spirits’ Bandcubator Competition

The trio took home the big prize; second spot shared by prog rock band Skylight Vision and post-rock act A Mutual Question

Anurag Tagat Mar 14, 2016
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Unohu. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Unohu. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

When Mumbai alt rock trio Unohu finished soundcheck for their set at the finals of the Bandcubator competition hosted by Pune venue The High Spirits, they all went straight back to their hotel ”“ not for some downtime, but to put in hours towards their upcoming college exams. It looks Unohu know just how to strike a balance between gigs and studies ”“ the band went on to win Bandcubator’s grand prize of Rs 1.4 lakhs and along with it, an EP recording deal at Cotton Press Studio in Mumbai, a four-city tour booked by artist/event management company Mixtape and a video slot on Pepsi MTV Indies. Says drummer Shashwat Karkare, “Gig season is always usually also exam season, but we make it work. We’ve sort of got accustomed to this routine of studying and jamming. Nothing can take a backseat.”

Karkare says in the midst of all the exam prep ”“ he is answering his BA exams while his brother and frontman Sarthak has his English Literature finals and bassist Yohann Coutinho’s got Statistics final exams  ”“ the win hasn’t exactly sunk in. The drummer adds, “We haven’t found the time to think, but we want to spend it wisely and we know it’s really important for us in the long run.” Sarthak adds, “It’s a huge thing and we’re overwhelmed. It’s a lot of money for three people and we didn’t expect it at all.” Unohu, who came together in 2012 and released their first EP Asunder in 2014. With another EP already in progress, the band says they will take their time before they make their moves.

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Unohu’s win at Bandcubator followed just a week after they were declared winners at the Mumbai leg of another competition ”“ the Road to Converse Rubber Tracks. As part of the win in Mumbai, they recorded their rock & roll set staple “Nowhere to Go” at That Studio, which will be their next release. Interestingly, Bandcubator runners-up, Pune prog rock band Skylight Vision, also won the Pune leg of Road to Converse Rubber Tracks. Says vocalist Gaurav Tophakhane, “There were 20 bands and pretty much everyone knows everyone. No one was giving each other stares or anything.” With their winning prize of Rs 50,000 [the other Rs 50,000 going to Mumbai post-rock band A Mutual Question], Skylight Vision plan to head into the studio for recording either a single or EP. Playing to a packed crowd on a night that showcased a range of everything from hard rock [Silver] to prog rock courtesy Skylight Vision. Tophakhane adds, “We played about four times last month at the High Spirits, I think more than anything people got to know our songs now.”


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