In conversation with Rahul Misra on RMEC’s debut album

Rahul Misra recently released his collaborative music venture Rahul Misra Enquiry Commission’s debut album ‘Conflict of interest’. We caught up with him on his latest album, the song Soul on Fire, making of the album and more.

What made you name your album Conflict of Interest? Is there a story behind it?

Conflict of Interest is a concept album centred around an individual that questions, analyses, sometimes ridicules and invariably strives to go beyond the inner and outer conflicts he perceives. This ‘individual’ is a version of me but also transcends me. The writing started as a spontaneous documentation of emotion in sound in a time of disillusionment, confusion and change. I named the album such because the story of our times, of political, economic, social and psychological conflict, does not start from the TV, or the internet, or your smartphone, or from religion, politics, news and capitalism. It starts from us, individuals trying to make sense of the world. We have to examine our own ‘Conflict of Interest’.

Your first song Soul on Fire was well received! What was the message you were trying to drive through the video?

‘Soul on Fire’ explores themes of love, conflict and resolution. The video sees an interplay between the characters of ‘Parvana’, the Moth, and ‘Jugnu’, the Firefly. The Moth’s nature is to annihilate itself in the flame. The Firefly, however, carries the flame within, without destroying itself in it. We witness the choice of the Moth, between annihilation in the flame, or union with the Firefly. The message is that the ultimate act of love may not be to burn yourself in it, but to remain lit by it instead.

Your most exciting part of making the album and why?

Making the first RMEC album has been a rewarding and cathartic experience. I particularly enjoyed the creative and collaborative aspects. Anirudh Subramaniam (producer/guitarist) and I followed a very open-ended and DIY ethic during the recording process and it was beautiful to see the songs grow. Translating the sound in a live set up was also exhilarating. A particular highlight was extending the material into the visual medium on ‘Soul on Fire’. This was a first for me, and most of the team involved! The collaboration with Amba Suhasini (director) has worked really well. We tell a beautiful little story, and manage to retain the raw and instinctive approach of the album itself.

Artists you would like to collaborate with in future.

‘Conflict of Interest’ features a sound with influences of progressive, alternative and punk rock music. I want to maintain the same experimental approach, and weave in something as diverse as folk and down-tempo, while retaining the solid rock foundation. It would be rather interesting to collaborate with artists who can bring in these influences.

When are the next track videos expected to release?

In the same vein as ‘Soul on Fire’, we are currently working on innovative visual concepts for more songs from the album. The releases will be phased over summer 2018.

Tell us a little bit about your tech set up for the album.
In most part you will hear a strong, raw sound, delivered with vocals, guitars, bass and drums. The guitar layers are particularly intricate. We used a classical Cordoba guitar with nylon strings that gives a unique flavour on the acoustic side. On the electrics we have a Gibson Les Paul Studio-T and a PRS Standard. The bass featured is an ESP. The sound was brought together using Logic

 

You can check out the video here: https://bit.ly/2J1vSQL