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Band of the Month: The Fanculos

What’s the story behind the name The Fanculos?

RAMON: Our made-up band name is derived from “vaffancul” which is a very rude expression in Italian (just google it!) My mother is Italian and she hated the name when I first told her, I still don’t think she is very keen on it, but she does like the music!

What got you to playing music in these particular genres?

RAMON: Our main style is SKA or the slower reggae, but we play any Caribbean influenced music mixed in with funk and punk. SKA and reggae just feel so good to play and to dance to. They’re very organic and infectious – people can’t help grooving to that skank (the off-beat accent that make ska and reggae distinctive). I love the energy of punk or hard rock and when you put live horns on top of that with hi speed guitar skanking, it’s going to sound just brilliant. Also, my father was from Guyana in the Caribbean and we grew up with music like calypso and soca being played in the house, there was also Jim Reeves, Verdi and Abba (maybe all on the same day!) but that’s another story…

SAURABH: I am naturally inclined towards music that makes me move and is groovy.  I spend a lot of time listening to RnB and soul music which makes your body move a certain way and then when you listen to reggae you tend to move your body in another way .You listen to Ska, you might want to start jumping. I love the effect each genre has on us. What I feel is that as a band we want people to live these different experiences and shake a leg in many different ways through the gig. We want them to celebrate.

At your live performances, you don’t fail to keep the audience on their toes. Which has been your best and most exciting live performance till date and why?

RAMON: I’d say it was our first gig in Pune back in 2016. I’d been writing the songs and living with them for a while, and although we had rehearsed them, it was the first time I got to hear ourselves play the set properly to a live audience, and that was extremely satisfying for me! Quite unforgettable! The gig we did on Reunion Island in August this year was fantastic too, the whole week was magical.

SAURABH: I have had the most fun at a performance we did in a place called “The Electric Room”. It was exciting for me because there was a moment where while playing a solo I was jumping up and down and at the same time the whole crowd decided to do the same with me  , we all jumped together to the music, it was a lot of fun .

What do you think needs to change in the current scheme of things in the Indie scene?

SAURABH: The indie scene is getting better and better every year, more indie artists are coming up, more music festivals are coming up. I am actually quite happy with the way it is functioning currently.

RAMON: Good question! I came to Mumbai 7 years ago and I’m now seeing a lot of things that I had wanted to happen actually happening now. For example, proper music festivals are here to stay which is amazing for Indie musicians. There are also many more places to perform locally which gives new talent a chance to hone their skills, and established bands a chance to get in front of their fans more often. I’d like to see bigger sponsors getting behind bands and artists. As an Indie band, we put most of our profits (if any!) back into the band for studio and rehearsal time, artwork, outfits, etc. Basically, the more we earn, the better we can be! This has got to be a win-win for audiences and performers. And as indie audiences grow, our marketing potential for prospective sponsors grows too.

One change that I might like to see is for there to be more live music on stage. Typically Indie is a predominantly live genre but when it leans too heavily on backing tracks it misses the whole point, just my opinion.

As a band, what would you like to do outside music that contributes to your musicality?

SAURABH: As a band, I would like us to go for holidays together. It really effects the energy you have as a unit on stage when you know each other better.

If there is a band/ artist you would like to collaborate, who would it be and why?

RAMON: It had always been a dream of mine to play trombone with Rico Rodriguez (The Specials, Jools Holland orchestra, etc). But he passed away in 2015. His trombone playing (Message to You Rudy) was what kept me fascinated with the trombone as a kid. How cool would it be to have Ranking Roger of The Beat to collaborate with! Again, their sound is one of my big influences.

SAURABH:  I would like us to collaborate with a rapper from Mumbai, his name is “Illastraight”. I have played with him a couple of times. I would love to hear that rap element sit with our sound.

How was your latest EP Gansta TV received? Tell us a bit more about it.

RAMON: It’s been received very well! People who have never heard SKA (or our brand of SKA) before are really liking it. I love it when people say it sounds like the band is playing live right in front of you because that was exactly our intention. We’re also getting positive messages from Colombia and other Latin American countries where SKA is very big. It’s really cool to be out in the big, wide world!

Your favorite genres of music as a band?

RAMON: Outside of The Fanculos, we are all full time, professional musicians and as such we listen to a huge variety of music. As a band, I think we like the same songs or artists that we listen to even though the genres may be different. We all have very good but varied taste in music is what I’m trying to say.

SAURABH:  I think as a band we all like Rnb, soul, old school disco, Reggae, Jazz, Pop and of course Ska.

What are the hobbies that you would turn into to rejuvenate to improve your creativity?

RAMON: For me personally, any kind of working-out or physical activity is good. Our gigs require quite a bit of physical stamina and I can really feel the difference on stage if I haven’t worked out enough before. Apart from that, I’m not sure if Netflix counts as a hobby! But, ah well.

SAURABH: I love working out, it really is the most uplifting thing for me and helps me be more creative, productive and efficient.

Upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

RAMON: Our album! Aiming to have it done early next year. If you like the EP, you are going to absolutely LOVE the album!

This interview was featured in our December 2017 issue:


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