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Rock On

Director Abhishek Kapoor and producer Farhan Akhtar have pulled out all stops to make Rock On!! look genuine and sound authentic

Bobin James Sep 14, 2008
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Harsh Man Rai

And great riffs are aplenty across the soundtrack ”” be it the slow chugging one in ”˜Pichhle Saat Dinon Mein’ or the relentless bludgeoning of ”˜Zehreelay’. SEL too have got the recipe for a good rock album just right. Take one part instantly likeable hooks (refer the title track), one part catchy choruses (“na-na-na-na-na’s” as on ”˜Pichhle Saat Dinon Mein’ rarely go wrong), one part interesting voices (listen to Dominique Cerejo, Caralisa Monteiro, and well, Farhan Akhtar), mix ’em all up and serve fresh. “One thing we very consciously decided was to not have songs that cater to the situation in the film,” says Shankar about the composing process. “The songs have their individual identities and they are just there.” And as with most good things in life, great songs don’t come easy. “It’s a complete trial and error process. We just sit and jam, jam…” Adds Loy, “Anything can be a trigger, a drum roll, a bass line, a guitar riff, a piano chord, anything.”

The result, Kapoor says, is a sound that is very different from what you see and hear in conventional Bollywood films. “The approach in this movie was to make songs come from the band,” he says. “As a band you have the lead guitars, rhythm guitars, you have bass and you have drums. So all the songs have only these instruments. You don’t hear any other instrument. It’s not like the flute plays or the tabla comes in just to make the song rich. This is band-centric.”

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The authenticity applies to the concert sequences too. “We wanted to capture the energy of the concert. All my actors were trained to play their parts. Farhan sung the songs, he’s belting it out on that mike, Arjun has learnt his chords, rehearsed them. Purab learnt all the stuff that he had to play and Luke is a musician. They all knew what they were doing,” says Kapoor. So the shoot was not broken up after every two lines of songs, as is the case with most Hindi films. The concert sequences were shot using five cameras and featured over a thousand people in the audience. “We did it some five times, but they were performing,” Kapoor says. “If you were in the crowd, you would have forgotten there was a movie being shot. We created a concert, and we shot it as a concert. All the shots of Farhan jumping into the crowd and Arjun playing solos were done in just one take.”

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