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Zygnema: A Decade of Thrash

The Mumbai thrash/
groove metallers mark
their 10th anniversary
with a multi-city tour
starting this month

Anurag Tagat Feb 07, 2017
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Zygnema commemorate 10 years as a band with a nationwide tour. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

They’re a few weeks away from kicking off a tour to commemorate 10 years as a band, but Mumbai thrash/groove band Zygnema are still involved in the fine art of balancing music with other commitments. When asked how the preparations are coming along for their six-city tour, guitarist Sidharth Kadadi says, “Nothing is going on. We still have to jam. I have my lessons since I teach Trinity College courses, Jimmy [Bhore, vocalist] has just moved [his burger restaurant Jimi’s Burger] to a bigger store, Mayank [Sharma, drummer] is busy with sessions work and Leon [Quadros, bassist] has got hubby duties.”

The Decade of Existence tour, which kicks off in Pune on February 7th and runs until March 9th in Hyderabad, is a long time coming for a band like Zygnema. When Indian metal’s longstanding home, the club venue Razzberry Rhinoceros shut down in 2007, Zygnema started out playing as many college competitions as possible to find a new way to make their name. Kadadi recalls December 2006, saying, “I think there was the same drive to play the same music. We were all bad with our instruments, but it was just a place to get together and jam some Sepultura and Pantera tunes, wearing out black T-shirts and camo pants.”

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Their college shows would often get interrupted, a misfortune that’s followed them all the way to club gigs as recently as 2015. But Kadadi says, “At the most, we’d have a fight [with the organizers], but that doesn’t solve anything. We’ve seen videos of people abusing the management [for not letting the band play] uploaded instead. I think the people who strongly support us always come out to the gigs every time.”

On the heels of a tour like this, Kadadi does mention how difficult it has been to set up shows. Thankfully, band hunts have always helped. It’s something they’ll never shy away from participating in even today. The guitarist says, “If there was a band contest that paid Rs 10 lakhs, we will shamelessly enter. No gig for metal bands pay like that. We’ve been turned down by Hornbill [International Rock Contest, Nagaland] a few times because they’ve told us, ”˜You’re too professional a band to compete!’”

Kadadi later jokes about how they’ll probably need to latch on to DJs to get sponsors, but he seems quite happy about the current run of shows, sone that includes a (sort of) historic stop in Nashik. “I just made that call to [local organizer] Akash Watekar and I told Roydon [Bangera, Zygnema’s manager] that I’ll sort out a Nashik gig.” Turns out Zygnema were the last metal band to give the city a night of heavy music back in 2013.

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The plan, as with any tour, is to promote their most recent album, 2015’s What Makes Us Human is Obsolete. Says Kadadi, “With the first album [Born of Unity, 2010], people know the lyrics in and out. I don’t know how, though. But I want to reach that stage with the second album as well and then we know we’ve done justice to it.”

The other agenda is to expand the tour so that Zygnema can step foot in the NorthEast, an area that’s remained unexplored for the band. “We’ve been to Germany, Dubai”¦ but we’ve never gone to Shillong or Guwahati. For me, it’s the metal capital of the country.”

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