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Will Mumbai Electro Rockers Pentagram Get Back Together?

The 20-year-old band’s frontman Vishal Dadlani admitted that the band members have issues to sort out

Lalitha Suhasini Nov 20, 2014
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Pentagram – (from left) Randolph Correia, Vishal Dadlani, Papal Mane, Shiraz Bhattacharya.

Two decades without interruptions is a landmark in the life of a rock band in India, given that most bands are formed in college and split up when its members graduate and find “real jobs.” There are less than 10 Indian bands, which have stuck it out together for 20 years and are compelling on both stage and in the studio. With Pentagram announcing an “indefinite hiatus” in October, there is a gaping void, no doubt, but for the band members and some fans, the break is good news. Says Vijay Nair, Pentagram’s first manager and director of Mumbai-based event management agency, Only Much Louder, “It’s a good thing they’ve taken this step. I think they’ll come back in a year sounding better than ever.” The band’s drummer Shiraz Bhattacharya adds, “It’s just that it felt like we’ve been doing the same thing for 20 years.”

News of the band’s hiatus broke late last month when the band’s lead vocalist Vishal Dadlani announced on Twitter: “Pentagram is on indefinite hiatus, due to differences-in-opinion. There is great love and mutual respect amongst the guys, but certain “administrative issues” are a problem. As of now, all shows for this season stand cancelled. We will keep you informed about the future course of the band. Much love, and many thanks for the good times!”

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When we spoke to Dadlani about the administrative issues and whether they were linked to the band’s management, he said, “After 20 years, management issues don’t affect us. It’s between the four of us. There are issues in the band that will hopefully be addressed. I don’t have any answers right now.”

With the touring season hitting its peak, the break couldn’t have been more ill-timed, but Bhattacharya tells us that they weren’t inspired to get on stage again. Says the drummer, “We tried. The acoustic set [being readied for Bacardi NH7 Weekender] was sounding great but our heart wasn’t in it. Now we’re chilling and thinking about this.” Dadlani agrees. “We were preparing for NH7. We were doing our early songs such as “Mother” and “Is There A Light” and it was sounding beautiful. But we realized there were issues in the band. We’ve had bust ups many times in the past, but sometimes, you don’t recognize something until it jumps up and hits you in the face.”

The band was also in the middle of writing songs for their fifth new album when the hiatus was announced. Bhattacharya says that the band members are still thick as ever and even met up for a rehearsal this month. “We all got together at Vishal’s house and were jamming.” Bassist Papal Mane also reassures fans saying, “There’s a lot of anger in a rock bands. These things happen. We’ll be back soon.” Dadlani too confirms that the band members have been hanging out with each other just talking things out. “We were together on Shiraz’s birthday and had a blast. Maybe this is what we need to do ”“ take it easy and wrap up that bunch of conversations that have been pending.”

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How soon the band will be back on stage is a question that none of the band members have an answer to at this point. Says the band’s guitarist Randolph Correia, “I think all of us are trying to reinvent our sound.”


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