My iPod has more than 2,000 songs on it — mostly folk, pop, and classical. I have always loved music that I can easily sing along. But I do not mind headbanging once a while at the heavy metal music concerts, yes, I have attended a few! There’re times when our body crave music — the beating, the pulsing, the thumping … all of it. And a bit of punk music gives me the adrenaline and energy boost. Although, I do not understand this genre, but what I love about it is the raw emotion and punch.
Few days back, a friend introduced me to a Bangalore-based band called The Black Regiment (TBR) featuring Abhi Jain on vocal, Darshan Hegde on guitar/backing vocal, Akshun Kumar on guitar, Gopal Krishna on bass, and Sharath U Holla on drums. As the name says, the band is all about standing against evils in the society. I listened to some of their numbers, and realised the potential they have got. Just a year-old-band and it is already delivering amazing stuffs.
Out of curiosity to know more about them, I approached Darshan for a quick chat. This young boy with energy and passion for music flowing in his blood had a lot to say about their baby TBR, and here I present you the excerpts. Read on.
- How did you conceive the idea of forming the band? And why this name? Share in detail.
Well, it all started when Darshan who was playing for another band really wanted to form a heavy metal band with a righteous theme and not just going commercial. The idea was to be heavy, fast and loud with a concept and a message through the music and lyrics. The name has Black, being a symbol of revolt, in-acceptance, protest and regiment being the battalion to fight against. Music is an art, and art is all about expression. Our music mainly conveys standing strong against injustice, and revolting with righteous brutality against brutal order on a mass level and also reflecting the same on an individual perspective on the fights against one’s own devil. Remember, once a brave man said “Behro ko sunane ke liye dhamake ki jarurat hoti hai”.
And, so TBR started jamming then with ex drummer Amar. Soon Abhi who responded got along Akshun, and Gitu joined in to do the bass duties. After several line-up changes we hooked up with Gopal and Sharath. We eventually developed this proper understanding and urge to proceed towards common goal that helped keep the band continue making music. Since then we’ve constantly been aiming on improving together and making music.
- Your Facebook description says, the band strongly stands against the country’s corrupt system. So, does your music convey your stand?
One of our song starts with Sri Bhagavad Gita shloka on the consequence of a corrupted system. We tend to have shlokas integrated in our tracks to give an impactful insight and obtain the connection with the theme. We also got killer quotes aligning the concepts.
Plus the fast paced guitar riffs and extremely alarming lead parts builds the urge to protest against the flawed and corrupted way of system. So yes, we believe the music conveys our stand and we stand strong with it.
- How do you see your journey so far?
The journey so far has been like a bitter sweet symphony. That’s life, isn’t it? … wait, that’s a song. Nevertheless, there’s been a lot of learning, meeting talented folks around and constant scope for innovating.
We’ve also strived to keep improving and it only happens when the weakness is exposed and worked upon. The biggest obstacle is sticking together and keeping up the momentum.
- Define your style of music. Languages you are fluent in?
We mainly play Heavy metal / Thrash metal. The music includes brutal neo styled heavy riffs often blended with melodic touch and fast tempo with rebellious lyrics perfect enough to let the rage all out. Our lyrics are mainly English, but also involve Sanskrit shlokas. The tracks often have varied arrangement unlike the traditional way of verse chorus. We’ve a song which is around 7 minutes.
- What genre of music appeals to you?
We don’t often like to categorise music and hence listen to a varied range, with exception of a few really annoying and ignorant work of few heavily earning people, they call music.
But we listen more to bands such as Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Lamb of God, Overkill, Disturbed etc. We also love Indian and western Classical music.
- How do you keep the group intact? Were your friends before forming the band?
None of us were friends before. It’s really an uphill task to keep everyone and everything together. In this era of constant drastic change, it’s hard to tell what’s next. But I guess the band members’ passion and vision have been a major factor working towards the same goal —making some heavy music.
- What inspires you when you’re composing?
I feel it’s helpful and sometimes essential to get the proper mindset and suitable environment to start with. Say for instance, if I’m having a day out, and you ask me to compose some badass riffs in the night, I wouldn’t probably come up with something impressive. It often involves a certain amount of … darkness to come up with some inspiring work. Cause it is for the darkness that weaves up for the light.
- People you look up to for motivation?
There’re lot of people who inspire our gut. To name a few are Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Nelson Mandela from non-music background. And Dimebag Darrel, Bruce Dickinson, Chris Adler, John Lenon, Cliff Burton from music background.
- What TBR song are you most proud of?
All of them. Each of our songs has a significant impact of their own.
- What do you wish people think of when they hear “The Black Regiment”?
It would be — OMG! There’re so cool. I wanna join TBR army and buy them some mango and cream.
- What’s your opinion on the current music scene in the Hindi film industry?
Bollywood has become too commercialised. It’s not music anymore. Hindi film industry copies a lot of stuff and there’s no originality. Everyone sounds the same. There’re only few artists who’re still keeping it real, and we respect that. All it needs is renovation.
- Projects you are currently working on?
Currently, working on the production of our debut EP album. It’s coming out awesome and more than what we expected. In other words IT’S COMING OUT BIG TO GET YA!
- What do you think is the biggest threat to the music industry?
Stereotyping. There’s been an overwhelming amount of groupism going around the world related to music. People are stereotyping based on the music. Whatever happens to music is universal. United we’re strong! I feel people should forget the differences and just chill out!
Now get ready to bang your head or tap your foot, if your doctor has not advised to, as TBR is performing live on January 9 at 1522 – The Pub, Bangalore, starting 6.00pm!
Note: The blog first appeared on GoYaNo