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The Family Cheese Launch Debut Album

Mumbai rock trio’s self-titled debut album surfs psychedelic, prog and alternative waves, occasionally tickling the funny bone

Anurag Tagat Nov 25, 2016
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The Family Cheese. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

The Family Cheese. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

If you haven’t seen The Family Cheese drummer Yohan Marshall’s high jinks on their latest music “The Bawa Rap”–which has racked up over 70,000 views–then you don’t know what an ordinary day of his life in his Ahmedabad household was like. Marshall adds, “It also tapped a lot of social issues, it has hidden messages about marriage and community.”

The song, of course, came about when the alternative rock band were in their favorite element–jamming on stage towards the end of their set–and Marshall just began rapping over guitarist Apurv Isaac’s funk and bassist Homi Rustumji’s grooves. Marshall says, “All the material is written in a simplistic way. You can’t take any one of us out of the equation.”

After a hit-or-miss test with their 2013 EP Stories of the Places You’ve Never Been, the band took the long road towards completing a full-length album, which now comprises eight tracks. Marshall says they recorded everything at Yash Raj Film Studios in Mumbai in five days with studio engineer extraordinaire Shantanu Hudlikar (whose credits include Shillong blues rockers Soulmate, former jazz duo Adil & Vasundhara and more) but spent the one-and-a-half years working on the mix. Marshall says, “We want this to be our first impression. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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Apart from the hilarious “Bawa Rap,” the band, who have been around since 2012 and are all graduates of Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Chennai, traverse psychedelic (“Boob”), Carnatic prog (“Lala”), bittersweet folk rock (“Sometimes All U Need”) and soaring blues/hard rock (“Stories of the Places You’ve Never Been,” “Blue and Pissed”).  Marshall adds, “The songs have matured to the point of us realizing the potential of this material.”

With a multi-city tour that includes stops in Marshall’s hometown Ahmedabad, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai, December and January looks packed for a band that’s gone from competing in battle of the bands gigs to headlining them. There’s also a second music video coming out from the album, for “Stories.” Marshall says, “We want to keep it under wraps but what I can tell you is that it’s connected to the ocean, like the artwork. We haven’t done anything like this before.”

Watch the video for “The Bawa Rap”. Buy the album here.

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