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The Real F16s

Three years and two EPs later, the Chennai rockers claim to have finally found a sound they can call their own, on their full-length debut album ‘Triggerpunkte’

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Nabeela Shaikh Oct 09, 2015
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Sitting in their management agency Only Much Louder’s office in Lower Parel, Mumbai, The F16s are all smiles and drunken chatter, de­spite the hectic three-month tour that they’re currently on. They are also scheduled to shoot a scene from their upcoming music video “You Could Use Me as a Weapon” later in the evening, which will be the first single from their debut album Triggerpunk­te.

Low res_The F16s Photo courtesy of the band

The F16s’ new album features feisty guitar-driver tracks as well as mellow compositions. Photo: Courtesy of the band

The F16s’ 16-city Triggerpunkte promo tour kicked off in their hometown of Chen­nai on August 28th and will end at the Bengaluru edition of NH7 Weekend­er in December. At their tour gigs, the band will perform songs mostly from their upcoming album. Keyboard­ist Harshan Radhakrishnan says, “Usually artists have album launch tours, but we decided to have a promo tour. It’s like telling people, ”˜You want to know what the new album is about? Come see us per­form and then decide whether you like the album.’”

Slated for release next month, Trigger­punkte will see the Chennai-based rockers depart from a style that seemed to be heavily influenced by bands like English indie-rock­ers Arctic Monkeys and Foals, and American garage rock outfit The Strokes, and move to­wards a more guitar-driven, original sound on tracks like “Plastic Like Skin” and “Digi­tal Dead.” Triggerpunkte also features mel­low compositions such as the reverb-laden “Palladian Park” and “Please Don’t Be Late.” Lyrically, the album, which has been a year in the making, cov­ers a range of emotions, like happiness, romance and mel­ancholy, courtesy of vocalist and band lyricist Josh Fernan­dez. “Josh is an emotional guy,” jokes Radhakrishnan.

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Triggerpunkte also marks an important milestone in The F16s’ career ”” not just because the nine-track release will be their first full-length debut, but also because the band is now confident that they have finally settled into their own sound. Says Radhakrishnan, “Our music so far was more like a tribute to the bands we listened to. As a band, we’re now finding our niche and we understand what we want. This album is way more F16s than any other artist we’ve been listening to, which is awesome, because we have our own sound.”

The F16s have already played some of the biggest stages the country has to offer, including Nagaland’s Hornbill Internation­al Music Festival and Rock Contest and India Bike Week in 2013, the Pune edition of NH7 Weekender and Rajasthan’s Magnetic Fields festival in 2014. They even traveled to New York last year to record their second EP Nobody’s Gonna Wait, as a part of the Converse Rubber Tracks Global Music Program.

Looking back at the journey, the band still finds it hard to believe how far they’ve come within a span of about three years. Says Radhakrish­nan, “We were just four months old when we released our first EP. We said to ourselves, ”˜Let’s just do something and put it out there, that’s the only way people will notice us.’ And to our surprise it actually worked; Kaleidoscope got us to where we are. It was never planned, that’s the best part.”

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