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Them Clones to release their debut full length album

Album: Love, Hate and Heroes
Producer: Them Clones and Zorran Mendonsa

Neha Sharma May 20, 2009

As Zero is to Mumbai, Them Clones is to Delhi. In saying that the parallel is derived purely on popularity quotient – bands whose songs when performed live get the impassioned singalong from audiences, word for word rolling smoothly off the tips of their tongues. Over the years, Them Clones has amassed the affection of concert-goers with its riveting stage performances and originals – ”˜My Life’ (the banal anthem-like profession of individuality), ”˜Zephyretta’ (the love ballad), and ”˜The Bomb Song’ (the rip-rage of political badgering) – which more often than not impel encores at a Clones gig. This Delhi band’s songwriting might not be prolific or ingenious ”“ known for their brand of standard rock, they give it “straight up as it is,” disregarding any of this decade’s new wave jargon on sound. But what they have managed to do is grasp the popular sentiment amongst rockers with compelling charm. It’s been almost nine years since the inception of Them Clones and in all that has been accomplished, the band has to its credit only one eponymous EP released in 2003 featuring five originals. This quintet is finally coming out with what would officially make for its debut album, Love, Hate and Heroes scheduled for release this August.

Vocalist Prithwish Dev, drummer Surojit Dev, guitarists Gucci Singh and Joseph Lalmachua, and bassist Clarence Gonsalves have recorded 17 tracks in all, comprising the old numbers and new material which audiences aren’t as well acquainted with. “The idea of putting out the album now after nine years was to put everything that we’ve done, on it. We will feature only eleven tracks of the seventeen on the final album; you can download the rest from our website. We are letting the fans decide what they want on the album,” Singh informs us of the voting process that shall be kickstarted on their website this month. Singh says the work on the album – which began around 2005-2006 – has been tedious because of the band’s “fussy” disposition. Previously having tracked the drums for the record at Mumbai’s Empire Studio, Surojit wasn’t satisfied with the results, which lead to them re-tracking all the drum portions in Delhi at the Soundadvice Studio. The guitar portions were laid out at Singh’s own studio while the vocals were recorded in a studio at Chittaranjan Park. “We just blew open the gates with the sound we wanted. For instance, Prithwish wanted a particular make of microphone to record his vocals – the Neumann series, which is a very high end brand – and we went for it. For ”˜My Life,’ we had a couple of friends step into the studio to sing along, to evoke that live experience on record. I mean, come on. After nine years, you pretty much want to do the best you can,” Singh adds. Prithwish believes it’s been a struggle but he wouldn’t have had it any other way: “We didn’t want to compromise on a lot. We’ve had our share of recordings. We couldn’t find the right person at the right time at the right cost. Just to give you an example, we had spoken to certain producers from the UK who have worked with some really big acts but we couldn’t afford them. We were not willing to compromise in any way on the album so we waited until we found the right fit in Zorran. It’s a different thing to say that we wanted people to have a good listen but more importantly we wanted to have a good listen.” The album is co-produced by Zorran Mendonsa, who proved to be a “blessing.” Prithwish says, “HHe has some great experience behind him”¦ he kind of caught the music and came into the groove with us.”

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Of the new material on record, the songs are two months to over an year old, but what makes them essentially new is the fact that they aren’t played live as much. “There are a couple of new tracks, which we tend not to play too much live because they don’t fit the bill for a live gig but they very suit an album very well,” says Singh.  “ ”˜Through Another Night’ is a hardcore blues number we haven’t popularised enough as we don’t play it live as much, perhaps only at unplugged gigs. This track would definitely throw people off [if they are expecting] the usual Them Clones stuff.” Amongst more recent originals, Prithwish cites tracks like ”˜Spunk’ and ”˜Horizon’ which, he believes, shall expose a different side of the Clones to audiences. “ ”˜Spunk’ is different from any of the regular music you have heard from our catalogue. ”˜Spunk’ is more than rock, you can’t ignore it even if you wanted to. In terms of lyrical content, it’s a post-relationship depression hangover, the anger and despair. I wrote the song, so I guess you could say that that was a time when some of these things were happening in my own life. If you listen to the groove, the changes, the way that song is constructed, I don’t think I can compare it to any other Them Clones song. It’s very very heavy on the guitars.” He carries on to speak of ”˜Horizon’ which is based on a memorable conversation he had with a friend in Goa. “Most of our stuff is written in third person, [but] this was a first person account and there are some real quotes from the conversation plugged into the track.” A spanking new video of ”˜My Life’ is up for viewing and this month we shall get a complete taste of Them Clones on record as they put all seventeen tracks up for streaming.

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