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Band of the month: Bombay Bandook

When and how did Bombay Bandook come together as a band?

Bombay Bandook was officially formed in 2014. Initially, we started participating and competing in college fests. It was our last year in college and we didn’t want the progress we made to conclude abruptly.  Every single member wanted to make original music and not take the easy way out. Amalgamation, though surety of thoughts culminated into the formation of this band – ‘Bombay Bandook’.

Since then, we’ve had new members, collaborated with various Indian Classical artists and are currently planning to hit the studio to record our next. All this, just to be true to that idea that led to the formation of ‘Bandook.

How would you explain your particular style of fusion in comparison with today’s Indian music scene?

In the specific case of Bombay Bandook, we try and build a rich sonic palate for each sound, which our six member group allows us to do.

What have been some defining moments in your journey as a band?

The journey as a band has been a strange but exciting one, from members moving to different cities, to writing songs over Skype, to performing with the Wadali brothers. There have been multiple instances where our music has been appreciated by people we look up to as musicians, but we were too slow with our social media management. Then came these two wonderful people from Bohemian Live, who promised to make our lives better. We’re currently managed by Bohemian Live India.

On hindsight, this roller coaster ride has been important for the growth of the band.

What inspires your songs’ lyrics and how do you go about composing them?

Our songs are conceptual, and with odd structures, but if I can be honest, it depends a lot on the mood. But yes, irrespective of what we try, you’ll always find a hint of melancholy always attached to all our songs and we don’t know why. Luckily, our guitarist is also our lyricist, making the process a bit easier.

The fact that our grandparents and parents remember most of the songs from their times indicates how the simplicity and the beauty of the combination of music and lyrics can sprinkle various moods and get us involved involuntarily. Take any work from the past and listen to it for a couple of times you’ll be singing the tune with the correct words. That’s the greatness of Indian cinema. Works of Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi, Yogesh, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Nida Fazli and even the ones that are writing great meaningful lyrics in this day and age like Prasoon Joshi, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Varun Grover and some more have been a major influence. I think it’s this love that you have for poetry which I like to call ‘junoon’ and it will never go away.

Where do you see your music headed and what are your plans for the future?

In the last couple of months, we’ve been fortunate with the gigs, have been performing fairly regularly and have also composed for a short film – ‘Autumn Leaf’ . Beyond playing more shows, we plan on recording more singles and eventually release our album.

We’re not planning to slow down at any cost, taking every project that helps us broaden our horizon.

What kind of message would you like to give the readers of the magazine and budding musicians in the country?

Start. Something, anything.

For anyone who’s keen on music, I would tell you just one thing: start. You’ll pick on the way, you’ll grovel and grind, but that is what will make you. Don’t try and fit into a box; make another box. Be original, try new things.  It will definitely get difficult, especially when the industry is all about becoming very big, very fast; but don’t be afraid of making mistakes or failing.

Just start. Music is our way of expressing, creating and giving back. Find yours. Explore it and have fun.


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