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Band of the Month: Perfect Strangers

Why the name perfect strangers? 

When the band was formed back in 2013, there were just 2 people who knew each other. All the others came through reference or through a FB ad for ‘band members required’. We jammed for the first time and things sounded really good. Since it was a perfect combination of 6 strangers, hence the name.

Who or what has been your biggest influences in the music scene?

Our music is hugely influenced by bands like Toto, Steely Dan and Eagles. I don’t think there are too many Indian bands who are into that kind of sound, but we loved Motherjane.

Tell us about your ongoing or upcoming projects / music

A Strange Connection’, our debut album, is a collection of eight songs that have been born out of personal experiences and conversations. From watching couples clicking another useless selfie to the practical challenges of working in the independent music industry and conversations with a transgender person; the songs are diverse and yet real. The music is not restricted to any genre but it’s more like rock n’ roll meets RnB and funk. Some of the songs address contemporary issues, like the cycle of abuse in toxic relationships (‘Blow-Up Doll’), or the stigmatisation of the queer community (‘Wild Side’); while others talk of the obsession with social media (‘Selfie’) or the quirks of the current music scene (‘Just for Gigs’). And there are tunes that talk of the more universal yet personal themes of love, loss and making music (‘Valerie’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Breaking Away’).

If there is something you’d like to change about the indie music scene, what would it be?

It’s silly to expect that people or ‘Aam Janta’ will stop listening to Bollywood or film music and start listening to Indie music. But there are some fantastic movies being made which are truly Indie in nature and I wish they would consider Indie bands to compose the music for them. It’s already happening in pockets and we wish it would happen more.

In a country with lots of talent and competition, how do you keep your music fresh and exciting for the listeners?

There are loads of bands who are making fantastic music. We hear stuff that sound great everyday. I think the key to that is to make more edgy music videos. Nowadays most music consumption happens through visual media (YT, FB,etc) and hence if a band invests time and money to make a music video that’s unique, they get shared and distributed much more…thanks to social media, it’s easy to spread your music if it stands out.

What’s your songwriting process?

Generally one person thinks of a mood, lays out a riff and melody structure. Then we all meet and jam on it to figure out what parts the instruments will play. We give arrangements a lot of importance and that takes quite a bit of time. Last comes the lyrics which the vocalists work on. Generally we take about a month to finish a song.

Tell us a little bit about your jam sessions and what they look like

We basically divide jam sessions into 3 types- only instruments, only vocals, and vocals with instruments. Jampads can be expensive, so we keep renting jampads to a minimum. We work out all instrumental stuff at jampad while we meet at Raphael’s place to work out all harmonies and vocal parts. Once that’s over, we get back to jampad again to put everything together. Centerstage is our preferred Jampad in Bangalore as it’s spacious and all equipment are beautifully maintained.

Music links:

‘A Strange Connection’ , debut album by Perfect Strangers is available on following platforms

Bandcamp link:

Apple link:

Amazon link:

Spotify link:

Google play link:

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