Dhruv Kumar: On his latest album ‘Pieces that do not fit’

About Dhruv
Guitarist, Non-singer, Songwriter based out of Bangalore. Been in the ‘Indie scene’ since 2003.
Bands he has played gigs with and / or been part of:

  1. S.O.S
  2. Ultrasound
  3. Today’s Special
  4. Live Banned
  5. Guys and a Whale
  6. Killer’s Breed
  7. All the Fat Children 

We had an interesting chat with him about his latest album which is a mix of different genres and artists who have come together to bring this out.

How did the idea of ‘Pieces that do not fit’ come about?

To be honest, I had some pieces of music I had not used with any band I’ve been in. I was chatting with Sridhar (the super awesome dude who produced this) about making good, clean recordings of them, and then we saw that all of them have quite good song structures and potential. Hence, I went about them one by one. I also realised that I’m someone who really latches on to a sound depending on what’s running on my record player, ha ha. I guess that’s why the songs are so different from each other. But they all came from the same place so I’m quite happy with how they turned out. That’s the reason for the title as well ‘Pieces that Do Not Fit’.

The musicians you have collaborated with for the album

These are all the people who have been friends from my time in the music scene. I’ve loved their work and admired them. To be frank no song was written just to suit the vocalists. In most cases, (apart from ‘Bahar’) the songs were all fully done before I sent it to the vocalists requesting them to do their thing 🙂 It just fit when each of them came on each song, it just seemed right. We did do a little shuffling the order, verse, chorus etc. but the sound itself just set itself with each of the voices.

What are you trying to achieve through this album?

Now when I look at this, in hindsight, I realize that maybe I’ve always wanted to put out music just the way it played in my head, heart. No matter how good, bad, beautiful or ugly it was. I only concentrated on making it sound just exactly how I heard it myself. My ONLY intent is for this to reach as many ears as possible (I’m hoping you guys will help me with that, ha ha). Everyone was so kind to give me their time and genius in executing this. I just want it to reach as many people as possible!!

Can you quickly in your own words, tell us about each of the songs?

Skin – This was the first song I recorded, I remember writing to Alexis saying ‘Hey I’m sending you this track, what do you think? Do you think its okay enough for you to sing on it’ etc etc. Sh wrote back saying she LOVED it and well what she came up with, on it, was just, I mean it blew my mind. Her voice has always made my jaw drop to the floor (it’s just so special) and she just made this track everything it could be. Dark, yet alluring. Once this track was done, it kinda gave me a push to say that ‘you know what, this is possible, we can actually have like a bunch of pretty good material’.
 
Moneyshot – I think TT is the best front man there is. I remember chatting with him saying ‘Macha I have like this song, it circles around like this disco riff I have, sing on it’. This was at Arbor. He actually said, sure man, let’s do it!! I didn’t think we were even serious about it, but he heard it and came over and owned only like he could (hook machine he is) and Sridhar and I knew that’s definitely going to be the single. I remember when Digimafia spoke to me about making a video, I sent them 2-3 songs  but I just always knew this one would be the one! And the soul – selling, zombie slashing video they made just fits this like a glove!! You can check out the video of the song: http://bit.ly/2uM3QoE

Creatures of Habit – This was the last song that was recorded. I always knew there’ll be a swing / jazz whatever you want to call it kinda song in my bunch. I realized when I played bass on it that I couldn’t do justice so I stuck to all the guitars and asked Leslie to do it. He’s, in my books, with Shalini the best I’ve seen. And I’m not saying this because he played on my stuff ha ha. Mana has a lovely voice and I really like her texture and hence she fit on this. She wrote some really good words though she said it’s her first time writing words (I think she was lying)

Bahar – There really isn’t anything I can say about Khalid or his genius that anyone already doesn’t know. His voice is one in a million and his emotive abilities with that voice is one in a billion ha ha. Sachin played drums on this and he also breathed in superb life to the parts, his sense of playing only what a song needs is unmatched, to me. I honestly cannot even say anything else about Khalid cause I absolutely love, admire and am floored by Parvaaz every single time I see them. They’re all also such lovely guys, I’ve known them for quite awhile now, and I just love how ‘Bahar’ came about.

Amma – The fist time I showed Sridhar this structure and we saw that the whole orchestration fits perfectly around it, I knew this was only for Amrit. He’s a very dear friend, was with me from the first time ‘Live Banned’ ever met / jammed till the time I left the band. He has subsequently left as well but I have a feeling that any music I do, I’m definitely going to ask him to be a part of it. I just hope he’s not touring with Rahman or someone then and turns me down ha ha. Tamil is is zone, I’ve seen him sing almost all languages. The song is about a boy who has lost his mother or got separated. It conveyed the mood the music had so well, I think only he could’ve done that.

You – Matthew has the most different and unique voices I’ve heard. I think this song was very very different from what he does in White Mug. I really like this song because I wanted to make something with a million tiny bits all piling on top of each other with a big crescendo at the end! I think we managed to do that! I really love the feel of this song all through.

Sridhar was such a force and an amazing producer to work with. He is just great in the way he listens to you and what you want all the while adding so much value around it, making it all sound so good!

Upcoming projects

For now, all my attention is on ‘Pieces that Do Not Fit’. I’ve been writing some material with Venky and David (really cool singer and bass player respectively) for a concept album types. About a whale. I’ll definitely hit you guys up when there’s more clarity 🙂

To know more about this super talented, fun and quirky artist, click www.dhruvkumarmusic.com

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