Antariksh collaborates with former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman. We speak to the artistes...
FOR VARUN RAJPUT, the man behind the rock outfit Antariksh, working with legendary guitarist Mar ty Friedman was a dream come true. The Delhi-based band’s latest track, Quest, features the former Megadeth musician, and is a fusion of progressive rock and Indian contemporary sounds. “It all came together in one of the most bizarre ways possible,” Varun tells us.
After performing at the 2019 edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Shillong, Varun bumped into Marty at the Delhi airport. “I went up to him, introduced myself and spoke about how he’d been such a huge inspiration. After thinking about it more than a hundred times, I finally went ahead and asked him if he’d be up for playing a guitar solo on our upcoming song, Quest.” Once Marty returned to his home base, Japan, Varun sent him some of his music. “Something about Varun gave me the idea that he was the real deal... and once I heard the song, I was in. The song was really well thought out and I could see that Varun and his band put a lot of energy and care into the details,” Marty tells us.
Quest is a prog rock song that has influences of funk, metal, Carnatic and Hindustani music. It features high energy distortion guitar riffs, dark melodies, and a sitar solo. Of course, Marty’s well-constructed guitar solo elevates the song to a whole other level. “The song is about how we feel we are in control of our situations and decisions but in reality, there are very few moments in life when we are truly in control. At all the other times, we’re only responding to stimuli around us,” says Varun, who has been a lifelong fan of Marty’s and learnt how to play the guitar through Marty’s guitar instructional DVD called Melodic Control back in 2006. He adds that working with Marty was a breeze and he’s a thorough professional, but also humble.
Winner takes it all
Antariksh is also just wrapping up its second studio album titled, Kaisi Ye Jeet?, that will have nine songs including, Quest. It is a concept album that follows a protagonist in various stages of his life. Some of the themes and emotions that are reflected through the songs are disillusionment, passion, falsehood, helplessness, struggle and freedom. “For most of the lyrics, I derive a lot of inspiration from one of my favourite philosophers Alan Watts as well as experiences and learnings from a meditation technique called Vipassana,” Varun adds.
Antariksh is known for incorporating and layering different styles of music, and this album is no exception. If everything falls into place, fans can expect the album to be out in late March or early April.
Quest is available on online streaming platforms