The F16’s To Release Debut EP in March
The Chennai electro rock band will perform at India Bike Week in Goa this weekend
Chennai’s The F16’s are not the ones to take it easy. Within a month of forming the band in early 2012, the barely 20 year olds had enough new material to bring home the title at the Le Royal Meridien Band Hunt in Chennai. Since then, the electro rockers have steadily gained prominence in the college band competition circuit, having played at festivals like JIPMER’s Spandan, IIT Saarang Decibels and MCC’s Octavia among others. So it’s not surprising when the band’s keyboardist Harshan Radhakrishnan says, “Making a song is not an issue; it doesn’t take long. I don’t understand how bands take three years to record an EP.”
Surely, in less than a year, they are ready with their debut six-track EP due for release this March. “We can’t go about telling everyone about all the competitions we’ve played. An EP will help us reach out to more people. We haven’t gigged much, so hopefully hearing our songs, people will want us to perform in their cities,” says Radhakrishnan, who, like most Chennai bands, complains about scarcity of performance venues. “Barring Star Rock and Geoffrey’s for metal bands, there is nowhere to go. But I hear Hard Rock CafÃ© is soon opening in Chennai, so that should make things better.”
With Radhakrishnan on keys and samples, the F16’s also comprise vocalist Joshua Fernandez, Sashank Manohar on bass and siblings Vikram and Viraj Yesudas on drums and lead guitar respectively. The quintet’s happy music comes with a singalong quality, especially on songs like “You Can Wonder.” “Luckily, we figured our sound early. Many bands start off as something and end up being something else. We had it set from the beginning that we’ll have an electro indie sound,” adds Radhakrishnan.
The band counts indie pop/rock bands such as Vampire Weekend, Alt-J, Coldplay and Foals among their influences, and tracks such as “Nuke” and “Avalanche” unmistakably evoke comparisons with the same. For now, even though The F16’s doesn’t own their own gear yet, they have an hour’s worth of original material. “We meet once in two weeks for practice. It’s very difficult since we don’t have equipment. The two guitarists [Viraj, Joshua] and bassist [Sashank] borrow guitars from friends before practice and basically keep it for as long as we can,” says Radhakrishnan. For their 40-minute set on February 2nd, day one of the two day biking fest, India Bike Week in Goa, the band has borrowed guitars and put in extra hours in the jam room. “We will play all the songs from the upcoming EP and even debut a new track that we are working on,” says Radhakrishnan about a song tentatively titled “Little Forest Cry”.Â
Listen to “You Can Wonder” here: