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Shepherd To Perform In Bengaluru This Week

The Bengaluru sludge metal band’s drummer Deepak Raghu and bassist Abhishek Michael talk about their debut album

Anurag Tagat Sep 06, 2013
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Bengaluru sludge metal band Shepherd. Photo: Uday Shanker

Bengaluru sludge metal band Shepherd. Photo: Uday Shanker

Formed in July 2011, Shepherd are all about bringing in the heavy. Their brand of sludge has placed them on the same stage as veterans such as Kryptos, frontrunners of the Bangalore old school metal scene. Shepherd, who ready their debut album, includes drummer Deepak Raghu (who also plays with stoner/doom band Bevar Sea), Abhishek Michael (from thrash/death metal band Inner Sanctum), vocalist Mahesh Raju and guitarist Namit Chauhan. In a quick take with ROLLING STONE India, the band tells us how it all began for them and where they are at now.

Why Sludge?

Deepak Raghu: We didn’t start out wanting to play ”˜sludge’ or any particular sub-genre of music. We’re all into slow, heavy, riff-based rock and that was the foundation for the band. We also like our music loud and noisy. Sludge is the closest association we could think of.


It’s not just Sludge, though, is it? There’s a bit of a hardcore punk influence as well?

Deepak: Oh yeah, for sure. There’s a bit of everything from Sabbath to Slayer to Soundgarden in there. Grind it all up and what comes out at the other end is sort of our sound. The incessant, albeit controlled feedback thing is a definite throwback to the hardcore bands we dig from the late Seventies and early Eighties.

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Abhishek Michael: Yeah it’s like one big Paella (laughs).


What can you tell me about the album you’ve just recorded?

Deepak: It’s been a blast having Premik (Jolly, guitarist of metal veterans Threinody) manning the console and helping us attain the sonic excess we’re going for with this album. The working title ”“ at least until we come up with something better ”“ is Stereolithic Riffalocalypse. [It’s got] nine songs running about 40 to 45 minutes. It should be out in October.


Michael, you’re part of Sanctum and Deepak, you’re part of Bevar Sea/Millennium/Mad Orange Fireworks. Is there anything you bring from those bands into Shepherd?

Deepak: The way I approach drumming is based on what material I’m working with. It’s something I’ve developed from listening to a lot of music and figuring out what works in a particular musical situation and what doesn’t.

Michael: Not really, apart from my overdrive pedal. I do have to say that the on-stage experience with Sanctum has helped with Shepherd live sets for me. 


What does a standard Shepherd set sound like? What do you want the crowd to do when you’re playing?

Deepak: Loud and grimey. Slow mosh! I don’t mind the folded arms scowl either. Turns me on.

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Michael: Loud, heavy and dirty for sure! I’ve noticed that quite a few people always ask us about how we get such a heavy sound. As long as people come to our shows and go back with their balls dragging on the floor, I’m happy.


What is your set at Echoes from Beneath going to be like?

Deepak: Super psyched about playing Echoes from Beneath with our chuddy buddies in Bevar Sea. It’s always a blast with those dudes. Hoping to play most of our own material and maybe throw in a couple of covers we haven’t attempted in a while.


Shepherd plays at Echoes from Beneath at No Limmits, Bengaluru on September 7th, 2013. Genocide Shrines, Manifestator, Bevar Sea, Witchgoat and Djinn & Miskatonic will also perform. Entry: Rs 900. Event details here.


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