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Premiere: Rohan Solomon’s Rock Band By Chance Launch New Song ‘Hard To Breathe’

The former frontman of New Delhi band Cyanide returns from New York with a trio of songs on how he’s coming to terms with environmental damage

Anurag Tagat Sep 03, 2019

Indo-American rock band By Chance brings together Cheilean Jacob, Rohan Solomon and Jeet Paul (from left). Photo: Courtesty of BigBeat PR

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When singer-guitarist, composer and recording engineer Rohan Solomon got off the plane in New Delhi after a stint in New York in December last year, he immediately began coughing. It was the start of a slow realization that his hometown – which birthed rock band Cyanide – was suffering.

While Cyanide eventually became inactive by 2014, it gave way to Solomon releasing solo material and joining bands in the U.S., the latest of which is called By Chance. As the name suggests, the trio came together with no set intentions when they met at New York studio Engine Room Audio. Solomon says, “At the moment, all three of us are based in three different cities. Jeet Paul (guitars and vocals) is in New York, Cheilean Jacob (drums and vocals) is in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I’m currently in New Delhi.”

By April this year, they had released their debut song “Blue Sky,” which Solomon describes as an ode to his hometown, nostalgic for the time when the capital was not so polluted. His latest, the hard rock-oriented “Hard To Breathe,” has hints of country and pop as well. Solomon adds, “I wrote this song about a real life experience that I faced many years ago in Mumbai, where my band mates from Cyanide had to rush me to the emergency room because of a severe asthma attack.”

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The song would likely remind any seasoned Indian rock follower of Cyanide, which is something Solomon doesn’t deny. He says there’s still times people remember him from Cyanide, and since he was usually the songwriter in the band, even By Chance’s songs have a similar direction. He adds, “In fact, ‘Hard to Breathe’ was written while I was in Cyanide and I even presented a demo to the band at some point, but it was way towards the end of our journey, so it didn’t really find a place in Cyanide. I guess the song found its way to By Chance because Jeet and Che loved it and wanted to record it.”

Their next song, “Time,” also delves into the environmental aspect, although it’s the first that By Chance has written collectively. It lends itself to a “sweeter” pop-rock sound, according to Solomon. But thematically, it’s still pretty serious. He says, “In ‘Time’ we talk about how we shouldn’t take things for granted and how the time is now to ‘get up and make a change, this is your chance today’.” Solomon, who is setting up a music production/audio engineering school in New Delhi, will shuttle between New York and the Indian capital in the mean time.

Listen to “Hard to Breathe” below. 

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