This Mumbai-based rock band blends tunes of classic rock with Carnatic music
Members of Mumbai-based band Anand Bhaskar Collective feel quite strongly about the happenings around them and that’s exactly what is reflected in the music they produce. Their lyrics talk about communal hatred (Hey Ram), pan-chewing citizens (Chewtiya) and more. “I’d like to think that everybody is an emotional being. When we (the band) have an idea, we analyse the emotion it gives birth to in our minds and hearts, and that leads to lyrics, which forms the central theme of the song,” says founder Anand Bhaskar, vocalist and acoustic guitarist. He recalls writing the band’s first song, Hey Ram, after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. “This song made me realise that I’m not as bad at writing in Hindi. Even after my previous musical project MH 04 disbanded, I kept writing new compositions and before I met the present line-up and,” the 36-year-old musician adds.
The alternative rock band, that has been stable since 2014 (after a couple of changes in the line-up before that) comprises Anand, Chandan Raina (guitar), Shravan Sridhar (violin), Neelkanth Patel (bass and backing vocals) and Shishir Tao (drums).
Known for their blend of genres like rock and Carnatic music, Anand says that when they started off half a decade ago, it was the audience who were more receptive than event organisers. “It took us a bit to assure event managers that this kind of sounds work. It is simple yet has depth and will get the audience to relate to the music. However, things are a lot better now,” he shares. Samsaara, the debut album of the band, had a mix of love, classical and message-oriented songs. On the other hand, their recently launched nine-song album, Excuse Me which traverses through darker themes than those explored in the former. “Excuse Me is more than just an album. The year 2016 was monumental to the history of this country in more ways than one – many negative and many positive. Our songs deal with a lot of topics related to that,” says Anand.
The jamming process that the band members follow is quite systematic and planned. With a belief that each person has a responsibility, the work is divided equally. “Chandan does almost all of the production. I’m responsible for writing lyrics and vocal melody of the song. Neel writes bass parts, backing vocals and harmonies. While Shishir is responsible for drums and percussions, Shravan is for all string sections and violin bits,” he adds.
The five-piece band makes its way to the city for the third time this weekend.
Tickets: Rs.749. At Hard Rock Cafe.
On February 15, 8.30 pm onwards.
Pics: Sanket Naik