When Chai Met Toast talk about their new album and the joys of being on tour again

The latest album by much-loved Kochi-based band When We Feel Young is an anthology of emotions
When Chai Met Toast
When Chai Met Toast

The latest album by much-loved Kochi-based band When Chai Met Toast, When We Feel Young is an anthology of emotions like happiness, love, heartbreak and grief. The band is on tour with the new album and will perform in Bengaluru this weekend in a gig by PayTM Insider. The quartet features vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar, Achyuth Jaigopal on guitar and banjo, Palee Francis on keys and Pai Sailesh on drums. The band members tell us more about the album and upcoming gig...

Tell us about the new album When We Feel Young.
Ashwin: The album talks about emotions that you feel while growing up — from being a kid to your teen years, to your 20s. There are emotions such as infatuation, love, heartbreak and losing somebody special. These are all experiences we have had growing up. We just wanted to tell our stories honestly and I think it came out well.

Achyuth: This album has actually been in the works for two years. The initial plan was to release it in July 2020, but we were able to release it only late last year. Before the pandemic, we were in the midst of a lot of touring so we didn’t really have the time to work on the songs a lot. They were ready, but we were not entirely happy. Then the pandemic hit and we had the time to revisit the songs. 

So how different is the album now, as compared to the earlier 2020 version? Do you think the pandemic also influenced these changes?
Ashwin: More than influenced, I’d say we, as a band, were fortunate that we got time to revisit the songs. We could ponder over questions like, ‘Have we told the full story yet? Is the story incomplete? Are 
we going to add more? Are we going to change the mood of the song?’ I think that helped us a bit.
We are mostly a live band, so usually we don’t get time at home or with each other. We are on the road a lot. By being at home and having time on our hands, we learnt a lot more, musically. And we tried to incorporate new things and find a new voice for the album.

How does it feel to be on the road again?
Ashwin: We are overwhelmed, we are flattered, we are jumping with joy. We just had three beautiful shows, and we’re back on the road again. I feel alive!
Achyuth: We just had a gig in Chennai. As compared to the last time we were there, we tripled the number of tickets sold. We also recently also played NH7 Weekender. It was madness!

What can fans expect from the upcoming show in Bengaluru?
Ashwin: Bengaluru has always been like home for us. We call it our second home. The  fans always welcome us with so much joy and so many sing-alongs. This time around, we are expecting a much bigger crowd. In fact, we are expecting the largest crowd of the tour in Bengaluru and can’t wait for it. Our message to the fans is to just be yourself and enjoy the 90-minute set. It’s going to be magical. 

Rs 1,899. April 17, 8 pm. At UB City, Vittal Mallya Road

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