Rock update: Thermal and a Quarter announces new album, World Gone Mad, set to release soon
EVER-POPULAR Bengaluru-based band Thermal and a Quarter (TAAQ), which has long established its unique genre of music, inculcating a mix of rock, funk, blues, jazz, progressive and soul, made their name on the college rock circuit, way back in 1996.
The next 23 years saw a steady line of albums including Jupiter Café, the three-disc epic release of 3 Wheels and 9 Lives, and No Wall Too High, apart from once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to open for bands like Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses, and Jethro Tull. The band has survived through thick and thin, at times juggling full-time jobs and gigs, and now, they also run a full-fledged music academy, named Taaqademy, with four branches spread across their home city.
TAAQ, featuring Bruce Lee Mani on guitar, Rajeev Rajagopal on drums, Leslie Charles on bass guitar, and Tony Das on guitars and backing vocals, is now set to release another new album, World Gone Mad, sometime this year. They recently released Leaders of the Men, a classic blues-rock number, taking a dig at politicians or leaders who happen to be in positions of power, not just in India, but all over the world.
The coming few months will also see them releasing more new singles, such as Where Do We Gotta Go Now and Stone Circle. “The album, World Gone Mad, is pretty dark. Unlike any of our previous works, which were funny, upbeat and cheerful, with some tongue-in-cheek humour. Comparatively, it was difficult to work on this album, as it has some dark, brooding and very reflective numbers,” reflects Bruce, the band’s lead guitarist, and frontman. The title track of the album was released last year.
“The new single, Leaders of the Men, is very relevant in the current scenario. The song does not deal with politics as much as it does with people of questionable merit, who have been given roles to lead, at different powerful positions all over the world,” he informs. “The song tells people to be smart, go out and participate in the world, and vote to make the change happen, instead of complaining,” he offers.
“While Where Do We Gotta Go Now (releasing in May) mirrors the state of confusion that our generation is struggling through, Stone Circle (releasing in June) is about people who keep you sane, among all the madness and confusion in, and around us,” says Mani. Look out for their other songs, like Believe it All, Lopsided and Saved by the Last, which will be released with the album sometime around August this year. Before that, the band will head out on a multi-city tour.