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The Lightyears Explode To Begin Recording Debut

Bollywood molls and heroes make it to the punk pop trio’s first studio album

Lalitha Suhasini Jul 30, 2012
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The Lightyears Explode Photo: Ronit Sarkar

It’s not often that musicians attend gigs unless they happen to be performing. Over the last few months, Mumbai punk pop band, The Lightyears Explode’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Saurabh Roy, has regularly shown up at various shows. It was being part of the audience at a show by Rohit “P-Man” Pereira’s electronica project ViceVersa that led Roy to rope in P-Man  to rap for a track on their debut album. “It’s a groovy song and I tried to rap, but I really sucked at it,” says Roy, “Then I saw P-Man at a ViceVersa show and realized that only he could do this.”  While P-Man is yet to jam with the musicians, he has planned his next episode for The P-Man Music Files with the band. “I don’t consider what I do as rap, but I’ll bring in my flava into the track,” adds P-Man.

The three-member band formed in 2009, which sounds uncharacteristically happy for a punk band, both in its writing and sound, has turned into one of the buzziest acts in the city. The neck snapping drum beats, frantic riffs and charged vocals are all a voyeuristic view into a mind of a hyperactive 20-something musician. The “Gay Song,” a bouncy, coming-out track off their five-track EP that was released in 2011, is a gig hit and is the only track from the EP that will make it into their new album. “We’ll build a jam section around it in the middle just like we do for gigs,” says the vocalist.

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From what Roy tells us, the new songs on the album already sound like a cheeky, probably crazy, purely nonsensical mix that riff off on Bollywood molls, dancing and anger management issues. “There’s a song called ”˜Mona Darling’ based on a character from a Hindi movie,” explains Roy, between muffled laughter, “There’s another one called ”˜Garam Dharam,’ which is about people doing stupid things when they get angry.” But The Lightyears Explode know that an album with kitschy Hindi film references would be incomplete without alluding to Mithun. Enter “I Am A Disco Dancer.” “It’s a song about dancing when no one’s looking,” adds Roy. There’s also a track called “Diet Coke,” which has no link whatsoever with the beverage, but is about “making things up in your head ”“ like a party in your head” explains Roy.

While Mumbai-based producer Ayan De mixed and mastered The Lightyears Explode’s eponymous EP, the band wil record their debut with producer Jason D’Souza. “Our drummer’s really loud, so we’re tracking the drums separately at Yash Raj Studios so we get that big sound,” says Roy. The plan to record drums separately changed overnight due to renovation work  at Yash Raj Studios and the band will record the album entirely at Jason’s suburban Mumbai studio.

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D’Souza has known the band for a couple of years now and as Roy observes, is a fan of the band. “He likes the same bands as us ”“ The Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. He’s a Jack White fan too and the best part is that he also likes us,” says Roy. The band will record all through August and release singles from the new album in September. “We hope to have the entire album ready by October,” says Roy.

 Listen to The Lightyears Explode’s EP here.

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