Kolkata's progressive metal band What Escapes Me's new single based on life and death of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington.
One of the most prolific names in the Indian prog metal circuit, What Escapes Me, has come up with a new single, that too on their 10th anniversary. The band had their start in 2009, and since then What Escapes Me has acquired an almost cult-like following owing to its experimental approach to progressive metal. They self-financed their debut 10-track album Egress Point in 2016, which went on to become one of the best metal releases of the year.
That same year they performed at NH7 Weekender (Shillong) and also shared the stage with the Indian/American band Skyharbor in Kolkata. Fans claim their live gigs have an indescribable energy, and are obviously always sold out. The Kolkata-based band, consists of Shourav Kumar Dey (vocals), Arindam Sen (guitar), Sayan Ghosh (guitar), Pradyumna Laskar (bass) and Sambit Chatterjee (drums).
“Wow, it just hit me that we are about to complete 10 years. It’s been quite an adventure. Ten years is a long time for a band to stay together and our music has definitely changed over time. Just the fact that we, as people have changed and moved to a place of more responsibility, and are at an age where we have learnt to fend for ourselves, also reflects in our music,” Arindam Sen, tell us.
What Escapes Me’s new single is titled In Insanity and its lyrics are inspired by the life and death of the iconic Linkin Park rocker Chester Bennington.
“Everyone in the band, especially our vocalist Shourav was heavily influenced by Chester, and his suicide led him to write the lyrics for In Insanity. It’s different from our debut album Egress Point, as it is vocally more intense, and also the way we have approached the recording of this song is unique in many ways,” adds Sen.
Besides Bennington, Sen credits bands like Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Dream Theater, Textures, and the ever-growing modern progressive/metalcore movement for sustaining the band for a decade. “When it comes to Indian metal bands, everyone in the band unanimously loves Scribe. Other than that we love Skyharbor, Zygnema, Undying Inc, Bhayanak Maut , Noiseware, Yonsample and many more,” says the 29-year-old.
Sen also confirms that the band is releasing an animated video, along with the new single. And the song will be available on all the regular streaming platforms along with the merchandise made specifically for the release.
What Escapes Me has in a way, re-defined prog metal, especially in terms of the energy and vocals. Their debut album received rave reviews for its usage of fusion elements, and because it went against the populist metal norms.
“The most challenging thing about self-financing our first album was the fact that this genre of music would never pay our bills. But we were also aiming for a quality that would require substantial financial investments . After going through all the rigours of trying to put together the album, and then for it to have received the amount of love and recognition that it has, nationally and internationally, it’s extremely gratifying,” says Sen, who has been a part of the band since 2010.
Though Kolkata has been home to some of the most groundbreaking underground acts, Sen agrees that the indie scene today, lacks a culture where metal bands can figure out their potentials.
“We need more good bands that know their craft and want to play this kind of music, rather than aping the lifestyle. Secondly, Kolkata lacks a proper venue to host a metal gig. Thirdly, audiences just need to turn up for shows. I know for a fact that there is a thriving old school underground metal scene thriving in the city right now, but if people don’t get out of their houses and attend these shows then there is no way out,” Sen tells us.
What Escapes Me also has something spectacular planned for their fans. “We are also approaching the 3 year anniversary of Egress Point. The entire album was performed in its entirety by us at our album launch show in ICCR Kolkata, which we are planning to present our fans as a live DVD and a live audio album,” Sen confirms. And he also adds, that the band is working on new songs, which they plan to bring out periodically, while they work on a new album or EP.