Kolkata-based rock band Pelican Shuffles is all set to make you groove with their second EP
PELICAN Shuffles doesn’t mean anything, or does it? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s interesting, and we agree with Varun Gujadhur, vocalist and lyricist of the band, when he says it has a musical tone to it. Hear their originals Walk the Line and Break Your Stance from their first EP, All Shuffled Up, and you’ll know that their rhythm of rock grips you with its eclectic claws. The two-and-a-half-year-old city-based band is set to release their second EP. Indulge had a hearty chat with Varun and bass player Subhomoy Mitra.
Talking about the yet-to-be launched EP, Varun, who laid the foundation of the band while in college said, “While our previous EP was very raw, this one has a lot of harmony and guitar overdubs. Also, the previous EP was more about rock and punk, but this touches upon a lot of our other influences — and the five songs that we have made are very diverse.”
What’s with the name we ask? “When I formed the band, I was reading The Da Vinci Code, so I wanted to name the band The Pelicans. Also, iPod Shuffles had just come out, and one of my friends wanted to name it Shuffles, so I joined the two words. It doesn’t mean anything. But, it has a musical tone to it,” says Varun with a smile.
University mates Varun and Subhomoy started the band while in college, but with the pursuit of individual careers, they hit the pause button to their jamming sessions. However, Varun never stopped writing and that helped him build a strong base for originals. He says, “I had 70-80 songs when I returned to Kolkata after 7-8 years!” Giving more insights into how the group’s play button was pushed once again, Subhomoy said, “We reconnected again once Varun was back in the city and resumed Pelican Shuffles’ journey. We started jamming and de-stressing ourselves with music. We used to vent out in the launch pad and come out with big smiles on our faces.” He adds, “Soon we started getting shows, and we made sure to play originals — and people were appreciative of it.” With the city not having a strong rock music connect, did playing originals help? “Our love for rock is way higher than how the audience perceives us. It’s not just rock, in fact, we listen to everything, but our output is rock. Rock is just a field,” says Varun, who also works as an HR professional in a private bank, informing us that his process of writing is quite natural and unpredictable. So, while one song took 11 years to complete another took just three minutes.
Calling his first original rather silly, Varun said, “I wrote Why can’t you live in peace when I was in school. It was very childish, and I don’t sing my first original anymore. However, my second song, You wanna live, I wanna live stayed with me.” Varun also informs that he is greatly inspired by Brit rocker Noel Gallagher. Informing us about how their music has changed over the years, Subhomoy says, “The songs that we started with, they don’t sound anything like that now. They have also evolved with us. Also, our drummers kept changing. We had Zeeshan towards the start, followed by Sougata and now we have Aditya, who is extremely talented.” The three-member gang is looking forward to make videos of their new EP after it is launched this June.