Thermal And A Quarter Kick Off Singapore/US Tour
Â It’s an exciting month for ”˜Bangalore Rock’ pioneers Thermal And A Quarter. The band is currently in Singapore getting ready for their two night slot at Singapore’s Mosaic Festival (where they play alongside acts like Mercury Prize winners Elbow as well the John Butler Trio and Architecture in Helsinki). Following their Singapore shows, the […]
It’s an exciting month for ”˜Bangalore Rock’ pioneers Thermal And A Quarter. The band is currently in Singapore getting ready for their two night slot at Singapore’s Mosaic Festival (where they play alongside acts like Mercury Prize winners Elbow as well the John Butler Trio and Architecture in Helsinki). Following their Singapore shows, the band ”“ Bruce Lee Mani (vocals/guitars), Rajeev Rajagopal (drums) and Prakash K.N (bass) ”“ head to the US for their first ever American tour.
Thermal And A Quarter plan to record their tour performances for the live section of a new album called Three Wheels Nine Lives expected to release in April/May 2012.
ROLLING STONE INDIA interviewed Thermal And A Quarter before they set off and also asked them to do a little Bangalore recommendations list for us.
What is Thermal And A Quarter planning for the US tour/Singapore tour? Have you added any new bits to the live show to, will you be playing new material?
Bruce Lee Mani: There’s actually a lot of material we’ve written across the last few years. Some of it has already been ”˜road-tested’ and released as a video or a single, but there’s more a full albums worth still lurking in our vaults. The current tour is going to see quite a few songs performed for the first time ever. At the Mosaic Festival in Singapore we play two sets every night and will work in some tested live staples along with the new stuff. We’re also doing ”˜acoustic’ sets, so that will see some new arrangements as well. In the US, the plan is to record every gig and use the best takes for the ”˜live’ section of the upcoming album. So we’re going to have to be quite precise on this one!
Four albums in, with another one on the way, a first ever US tour, is this expansion time for TAAQ? Is this the launch pad for bigger plans for the band?
Bruce Lee Mani: Well, the music takes the final call, doesn’t it? We’re doing what we’ve always wanted and that’s good enough for now.
Why is the album called Three Wheel Nine Lives?
Bruce Lee Mani: ”˜Three Wheels Nine Lives’ is the first line of one of our new songs ”“ “Meter Mele One-and-a-Half”. This is a little ode to the adventures you can have in an auto, perhaps in Bangalore, perhaps anywhere in this country.
We think this is quite representative of a modern urban Indian truth – we’re all cool cats, we survive and we get out of near-impossible situations with happy regularity.
Political commentary has always been a big part of the Thermal And A Quarter canon. What are the issues that are currently top of mind in the TAAQ camp?
Bruce Lee Mani: The formation of a third front! One more auto rickshaw connection, eh?
How’s the current lean line-up working out? Are there clear-cut roles and responsibilities for each of the members?
Bruce Lee Mani: It’s been two years now with Prakash handling bass duties and I think we’re now a tighter, meaner and very muscular trio, able to do very different things and stretch in unexpected ways.
Clear-cut roles and responsibilities ”“ well, this is a band, my friend, and we all have to do everything at some point. But when you love it, it’s not work, eh?
You guys came up with the term ”˜Bangalore Rock?’ What exactly does it mean?
BLM: Our music. Simple. For years, journalists and fans alike struggled to find the right peg to hang our rambling mix of genres on. This is it.
Since TAAQ are ambassadors for Bangalore indie, we thought we’d ask you a few questions about the city you call home.
Bangalore’s Most Glorious Music Institution:
TAAQ: Mr. Sukumar’s drum school in Basavanagudi. Also, Taaqademy!
Bangalore’s Best Record Store:
TAAQ: Habitat, Church St. Still around, still eclectic and unmindful of the mainstream.
Bangalore’s Best Live Music Venue:
TAAQ: The Cubbon Park Bandstand ”“ bring it back! Bflat is our favourite local bar
Bangalore’s Best Pub For Beer And Music:
TAAQ: Best Beer ”“ the Biere Club, Dublin. Best music ”“ Windsor Pub.
TAAQ’s Favourite Place To Shop In Bangalore:
Madiwala santhe, Gandhi bazaar.
TAAQ’s Three Quintessential Bangalore Experiences:
TAAQ: Brahmin’s Coffee Bar idlis and coffee. A Lazy afternoon snooze in one of our parks.
The Ranga Shankara theatre.
Three Bangalore legends:
TAAQ: Rahul Dravid, Sir M Vishweshwaraiah and Shankar Nag.
Three Bangalore Insider Secrets
TAAQ:Â Meter Mele One-and-a-half. Solpa Adjust Maadi. Yaake Cool Drink?
The Three Wheels Nine Lives Tour
15-16 March: Mosaic Festival, Singapore
21 March: La Bella Artist Showcase, New York
23 March: Granville Arts Centre, Dallas
25 March: The King Cat Theatre, Seattl
29 March: R Bar, New York
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