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On The Record: Sky Rabbit

Mumbai electro rock band plan to release five-song EP titled Where this month

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Megha Mahindru Apr 08, 2013
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Sky Rabbit. Photo: Naman Saraiya

Sky Rabbit. Photo: Naman Saraiya

On stage, the four members of Sky Rabbit seem to channel their inner zen, taking audiences on a lazy trek across a hilltop or on a long drive to wherever it is that you’d like their songs to take you. When they’re not plugged in, they’re restless and easily distracted, but stick to the tangential route if you ask them about their music. It’s apt then that their latest yet-to-be-released EP is titled Where, since Sky Rabbit would rather take us on the journey instead of pointing to the map. “To put it loosely, Where is the name of one of the tracks from the EP and it sort of works with all the ideas that we have. With all the understanding we had, Where suited the most,” says Nadkarni. We know that’s as much we’re getting about their new music.

At our photo shoot at Shivaji Park, the band is thrilled at the sight of a slide swing. “It’s been years since I did this,” says the bassist Siddharth Shah, climbing onto the slide as parents accompanying their kids look on disapprovingly. Soon, a roving security guard will drive the foursome away, bringing a smug smile to the parents’ faces. Sky Rabbit’s manager of two years, Vidhi Jhaveri, is only half joking when she says that her band is a bunch of kids too and calls herself a “mother of four children.” “Rahul (Nadkarni, guitar and samples) is the good child and Raxit (Tewari, vocals and samples) the independent one,” she says, adding that the bassist is the enfant terrible of the band and drummer Harsh Karangale, the shy one. 

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The four of them have spent the last six months in the studio working, or rather playing, from what we gathered later, on the EP. Says Tewari, “It’s 95 per cent done, with a few tweaks here and there.” Guitarist Nadkarni is engrossed in a Star Wars crossword puzzle, leaving most of the talking to the band’s vocalist, reminding us of his shoegazing stance on stage. One question that interests Nadkarni is about Sky Rabbit’s electronica leanings. The band’s music transformed when they got their hands on Fruity Loops, the audio editing software now known as FL Studio, in 2005. “It was like a new game. To be honest, it was something that could do anything you wanted and you could just play with it all the time,” says Nadkarni.

Those who have followed the band since their early industrial metal days as Medusa will realize that the band’s sound has impressively evolved and the confidence is showing. The EP produced by Mumbai-based producer Ayan De was recorded “more or less in our houses,” they say. “We wanted to stay true to the whole jam room vibe; to have the liveliness and energy of the whole experience. There are a lot of raw guitars and we’ve kept the songs as naked as they are to us,” adds Nadkarni. While the recording and songwriting process are free-flowing, jam rooms are where it all starts for the band. “For me, most good jams are like celebrations. It’s about four people connecting at a certain point and just having a blast, that’s what really happens in our songs,” says Tewari. Karangale’s drum section was recorded entirely in the band’s jam room. “We got this soundcard that had eight inputs and went ahead and recorded it. This one is completely indie”” we tracked the guitars, literally took the soundcard to the jamroom, rigged up the amps and took a couple of mics,” adds Tewari.

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Fans of the band are likely to know all the tracks by heart including “Where”, “In Our Times, “In Dance”, “Over The Rise” and “Maybe Is Open Tonight” that have made it to the  EP. “I think ”˜Sun Me Out’ is probably the only song from our set that will not be part of the EP,” says Tewari.

Where, which will be released online this month, will be available across multiple platforms online as a paid download. “It will be very minimal, less than a bag of chips. Even a poor person can buy it,” says Tewari. Shah chips in laughing: “A poor man who must have a computer.”

 

This article appeared in the April 2013 edition of Rolling Stone India 

 Sky Rabbit perform at Area 79 Music and Arts Festival on April 13th, 2013 at Blue Frog, New Delhi. For details, click here 

 

 

 

 

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