Bengaluru prog rock band Coma Rossi is creating waves in the country's post-rock scene
Bengaluru-based prog rock band Coma Rossi has been around for almost five years now, and has managed to carve a niche in the post-rock scene with it’s moody, ambient and emotive soundscape. Lead guitarist Gaurav Govilkar, who started the band in 2014, tells us that the band’s sound is the metaphorical equivalent of ‘collecting colourful, beautiful, smooth and fascinating pebbles on the seashore.’ The band is all set to embark on a North East tour this May, and performed in Kolkata for the first time ever.
“North East India, for us, still has some of the best music consumers in the country. Kolkata had the best musicians, and we always hear stories of how Shillong just loves rock ’n’ roll. We think, this trip is going to be a party!” enthuses Gaurav. The band, which consists of Tom Borah (vocals), Udayan Kashalikar (bass and vocals), Juby Thomas (keyboards), Anupam Panda (drums), and of course, Gaurav, performed at Hard Rock Cafe, Kolkata on May 16. They will also play at Guwahati’s Café Hendrix on May 17, and at Shillong’s The Evening Club on May 18.
Coma Rossi’s self-titled eight-track debut album, which came out last year, garnered some incredible reviews, and also earned them a Freedom Awards 2019 (People’s Choice) for Best Rock Artist, hosted by a prominent radio station. The band has been touring the country for the past few weeks, with stops in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Mysore. Gaurav tells us that the tour helped people discover and understand their sound. “The album was ready and set to go two months before its actual release in December 2018. We decided to take our time to promote it as much as we could, before its release,” explains Gaurav.
“We listed all the progressive rock-related digital and print magazines throughout the world, and sent them our music for reviews and opinions. We were lucky that the album picked good reviews, majorly from the UK, Europe, and the USA.” Coma Rossi’s brand of ambient, prog-rock has quickly become the talk of the industry. Gaurav tells us that the band’s soundscape is hugely based on feel and melody. “Each composition has a strong emotion attached, and it takes listeners on a journey. Though there are progressive elements, they are not linked with technicality, but rather experimentation of genres such as psychedelic, ambient, post rock, trance, pop and electronic music, which convey the right emotion,” adds Gaurav.
The guitarist, incidentally, shares the band’s varied influences from alternative/progressive bands like Tool, Porcupine Tree, Red Hot Chilli Peppers to heavy metal icons like Chris Cornell, Trivium and Metallica. While the post-rock scene in India is in a very interesting space, and artistes are consistently bringing in a range of distinct elements to diversify their sound, Gaurav thinks there is always room for better reach. “This country has great talent. But, the mediums to showcase this talent to local audiences, and to the world, is currently missing,” he states.
The musician elaborates, “Furthermore, there are only a few limited genres of music that are commercially viable, and can give artistes a chance to choose music as a career. There is a need for a catalyst. That being said, we also believe that this country is slowly opening up to indie music, and the scene is transforming for the better.” He signs off saying, “Live venues should take more chances on new, upcoming bands and be a part of the system that promotes good music for the world stage,” adds the guitarist.