PA System the band, founded by KM Conservatory students, just launched their debut EP
The five-member alternative pop outfit produced the album remotely during the lockdown
When you come across a band with the name PA Systems, chances are that you will second-guess multiple theories about its origin. It so happens, the answer is rather simple. It is a result of joining the first letters of the names of founders Pratyush Shankar and Ashwin Iyer, both graduates of KM Music Conservatory. While the former is the vocalist from Mumbai, the latter is a Chennai keyboardist, and they were later joined by Chennaiite Hrday Sunil (guitarist), Bengalurean Prashanth Venkat (bassist) and drummer Arvind Krishnan from Coimbatore to make up the present quintet.
“When the rest of us joined, we decided to keep the name because we thought it had a nice ring to it,” says Pratyush, who describes themselves as an alternative pop outfit that’s rooted in a traditional soundscape. Influenced by the likes of Oasis, John Mayer, The Beatles, U2 and Coldplay, the band launched its debut EP a few weeks ago. As they prepare to launch an album next year, we speak with them to find out more about the songs in the new EP and how they feel the pandemic has changed the scene for indie bands. Excerpts:
What’s your new EP all about?
On Days Like This is a three-track EP and it’s extremely special to us. As the title states, we have tried to talk about feelings that we may have come to terms with at certain points in our lives. Songs like Save Me and She are about getting out of a place where you don’t fit in, because of a toxic environment. The third one, Fair Weathered, is about the people who stay with you as long it suits them, but later, turn out to be the ones we miss the most after they leave. We hope this EP would serve to act as a source of comfort during tough times.
How would you describe its soundscape?
Credit should largely be given to Pratyush’s meticulously crafted lyrics that form the backbone of our music. The rest of us chime in to enhance it. The production of our EP echoes our love for performing live as we’ve tried to recreate the atmosphere, emotions and the vibe that comes into play when we perform live.
Lastly, how do you think the pandemic has changed the game for bands in general?
The pandemic has definitely forced all of us to adapt to the constraints of the prevailing situation. A lot of bands have been releasing and performing their music online through live streams and broadcasting pre-recorded performances. On the positive side, since we’re now all indoors and have a lot of time for ourselves, it gives us an incentive to be more productive. Even though the pandemic brought everything to a standstill, we decided to not let the miles between us stop the music. So we finished recording and producing the EP while being located in different cities across the country. Though we miss performing on stage together, we believe that we can still put our music out and share it with the world in a way that stays true to the vibe of our live shows.
Listen to PA System on Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play.