Skrat’s General Bison comes on tour to Chennai
Experiencing a live gig of city-based hard rock band Skrat is as good as listening to a story through music. That’s how their guitarist and lead vocalist TT Sriram describes their ongoing promotional tour for their newest album, Bison (released on September 23). The ten-track album, the theme of which was first conceptualised in the year 2006, has General Bison as the central humanoid comic character, out to ‘cleanse the world’. Sriram corrects me when I ask if General Bison can be compared to the Dark Knight (Batman). “Not at all. Batman protects the people, Bison kills instead!” he says with a laugh, adding that he is more of an anti-hero like Ra’s al Ghul, who, along with his cronies, wipes out failed sections of the population and disappears.
Compared to the last album, The Queen, the songs in Bison are heavier, darker and more dramatic and operatic, according to Sriram, who adds that instead of the band sounding ‘preachy’, he would rather if his fictional characters do the ‘talking’. “In our pursuit to tell the story of General Bison, we steer clear of explaining the plot separately while performing on stage. The story is in the lyrics of the songs,” explains Sriram, adding that fans so far have loved Raptor and Red Ox Hide, the second and seventh tracks in the album.
“The writing process was greatly helped by the arrival of Jhanu Chanthar, our new bassist on tour, who contributed a lot to how we structured the songs, whilst bringing in his own musical style and flavour. Bison is the first album that we have released after he came on board, and his involvement has been a great boon,” shares Sriram, who also has Tapass Naresh on drums to give him company.
The tour, which opened at The Humming Tree in Bengaluru, comes to Chennai, followed by NH7 Weekender gigs at Kochi and Pune. “The response has been marvellous, and we are happy to see that those who attend the gigs do not mind if we stick to just songs from Bison,” he adds. “Whenever we have
composed new songs, we make a conscious effort to reinvent our sound, knowing fully well that our fans may find it hard to like them. But then, that’s how we’d like to be perceived, and they seem to accept the fact.” With a tour that’s only half over, and day jobs to take care of, the Skrat boys seem to have their hands full, we think. That’s until Sriram reveals that they have already started writing for their next album. Do you guys sleep at all? I ask, to which he replies, “Not exactly. I would say, we stay awake!”
December 1. At Bay 146. Cover charge at Rs. 500 (before 9 pm) and Rs. 700 (after 9 pm). Details: 30853877