Tuesday, April 27, 2010

theunderground.in interview with me ahead of the Albatross EP release

So these boys, Aman Bhadauria, Vaibhav Bakshi and Rishab Bhoot started this web site called http://www.theunderground.in/ to promote the underground metal scene. Do visit because it looks just awesome and is easily one of the better looking spaces on the net amid all the clutter.

Vaibhav got in touch with us at Albatross for an interview ahead of our "Dinner is You" EP release. Following is the conversation that took place between Vaibhav and yours truly...

Hey Biprorshee, with EP release just around the corner, how are things looking?

Hi Vaibhav! While we would love to say that after having wrapped up all the work in the studio, we are chilling now, it wouldn’t be very close to the truth. Albatross is excited about the material that has been produced and we really can’t wait for the release. We’ve already mailed all the stuff to Sweden, but due to the recent volcanic bullshit, the DVDs are still in transit. Having said that, there are a lot of other things that are to be taken care of. We are racking our brains over the distribution of the EP, we are thinking of live gigs, the band look etc. Yes, we are still having fun!

So when is it releasing?

We haven’t decided on a release date yet. A lot, of course, depends on when Andy sends us the mastered version. To cut a long story short, we are hoping for a May release.

Since how long have you people been working on this?

“Dining Table” was first recorded and released online as the second Albatross single after “Gigi” sometime in mid-2009 when the band was still Riju’s studio project. As the EP idea was floated, Riju furthered the concept of ‘Kuru’ writing more material. We formally entered the studio with our songs almost as soon as the steady band line up was put together; sometime around January this year.

“Dinner Is You”? It’s quite a unique name, is there any message or story behind it?

Thanks! Glad you think so. I don’t know about the message bit but sure there is a story to it. That is what we are about. Heavy metallers and story tellers with the whole EP being one “horror story”. While most of you folks who have heard our stuff before and know about the band have a broad idea of the concept, we wouldn’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet, would we?

Can you define the sound of Albatross?

I am sure this is one question that stumps most metal artists or even other musicians for that matter. Sure, we can throw fancy genre names such as “heavy metal”, “death metal”, “black metal” blah but that really wouldn’t be fair trying to slot the sound and music. We’ve been called everything from Literature metal to Avant Garde art metal; truth be told whatever floats your boat man :P

Nonetheless befitting the kind of premise we are working, the ideas we have; we have attempted to bring out the eeriness and the dark elements associated with the story we are telling in our songs. We think we have been fairly successful trying to do that. That is something, we think that will stand out and be noticed when it comes to the “Albatross sound”.

Tell us something about the line-up.

The good part about putting the line-up together is that we never really had to spend too much time deciding on whom to zero on. Every member in the band has been the first and only choice. That speaks a lot about how clear Riju has been about the whole thing.

As you’d probably know already, Albatross is Workshop and ex-Old Monk’s bassist Riju Dasgupta’s brainchild and was a studio project for long where he collaborated with various artists from the local scene. The eventual line up was formally put up only in January this year, as I’ve already told you in an earlier question.

A band concept like this needs not just good musicians but like minded ones. Riju and I know each other for a while now and are pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to our tastes in music and literature (both very important elements in Albatross).

After having done the vocals for “Gigi” and “Dining Table”, I was adamant that if the band eventually went live, I HAVE to be on vocals because Riju’s ideas thrilled me totally. I’m very glad Riju took my “threat” seriously and agreed to let me get on board.

Raj and Riju, again have worked together at length while in Workshop and while composing and recording “Dining Table”. Not just a brilliant guitarist but Raj is one of the best musicians we know with an incredible ear for all that sounds fantastic. There couldn’t have been a better dude at work when it comes to composing those killer riffs and his skills at music production are an added bonus.

Risking sounding repetitive, Jay too is somebody Riju and I know for long and know well. Since his early days with Colossus (Jay’s band), Riju wanted to eventually work with him. Needless to say, Jay brings in awesomeness on those skins. The kinda stuff he has done while we re-recorded “Dining Table” is legendary.

Jimmy is the only dude who makes Albatross seem more like a bad ass metal band and not a teary reunion of blokes who have “known each other for long”. He plays guitar for his Hindi band ‘Moksha’ and he came to Albatross highly recommended after showcasing his skills at MTV Rock On.

Not to forget, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear Mihir Joshi, of The Works’ fame who has been a huge source of support and has done some killer guest vocals on the album.

Who came up with the name of the ep?

Our good friend, Arjun Dhanraj (from Nerverek) who was Riju’s original choice to sing “Dining Table”. He was the one who thought of it while recording the song during Albatross’ studio project days. Yes, there is a Arjun version of the song and no, we will not give it to you. Let us hit it big and our fans shall bootleg that.

“Do you know of this alternate version of “Dining Table”?? :P :P :P

We all know Andy LaRocque is mastering the ep, how much difference is that gonna make?

Fucking huge, man! That’s the difference Andy is going to make. We could go on screaming how Andy LaRocque is a bloody legend and how it is an epic win for us with him being associated with our debut EP.

It’s not just us being awestruck with the King Diamond lead guitarist mastering our EP but we have and you too must check out the stuff that comes out of Sonic Train Studios. We were blown and we cannot tell you how excitedly we wait to lay our hands on “Dinner is You”.

Also, the “Andy LaRocque brand name” on the EP does Albatross a world of good. Wouldn’t you be kicked to hear an Indian band that comes approved all the way from the King Diamond family, the man who has done it all, all that we have barely begun to do.

Final words for the fans?

This one’s going to be worth the wait! We are proud of what we are about to bring to you folks and nothing would give us a greater kick when you sing along to our songs at an eventual Albatross gig coming soon near you.

Thanks a real fucking bunch for having supported Albatross since it began. Thanks for all the downloads and recommendations. Keep listening to the Master. Let Kuru infect you too!

Check out their new samples at www.myspace.com/albatrosshorror


All things bright and Biprorshee

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