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In conversation with Warren Mendonsa ahead of Jazz India Circuit

What has surprised you most in 2018?

When I was a kid in the 1980s, I naively thought that as a human race we’d have figured out a lot of our problems by 2020: greed, hunger, hate, polluting the planet. The advance of technology has not really helped much, but probably served to fuel them further.

Tell us about what has been keeping you busy.

Trying to find a balance between playing music professionally and being a good dad to my 2 year old 🙂

The extent of change that the Indian indie scene has undergone is a thing of  part of beauty. As one of the old guard, what do you feel? Pride that you were part of making this possible?

Funilly enough, I don’t really see myself as having contributed a lot – there have been other people, from the musicians themselves to those behind the scenes that have done a lot more. As with everything there has been a lot of change, some for the better and some not.

As a musician, what, to you, is the significance of silence?

Silence is space between the notes, and is as significant (if not more) than the notes themselves. I grew up in Mumbai which is a very noisy city by nature, and when I was 25 I moved to Auckland which was the polar opposite. The effect this had on my musicality was extremely significant, and I think it allowed my ears to open up quite a bit.

What is on your playlist right now? 

Some classic stuff like Steely Dan, Queen, Dire Straits, Ray Charles & Albert King to newer albums by Doyle Bramhall II and The Marcus King Band.

What is the most destructive thing to your art? What hurts it most

The most destructive thing to music is ego. Just like rasing a child, it only hurts the song if you impose too much of your own expectations and demands. While writing and producing music, you need to know when to take a step back and let the song tell you where it wants to go. While playing with other musicians, one needs to learn how to listen to the bigger picture and what everyone else is doing, and how to fit in best. These are all things I’ve learned from experience and by making mistakes 🙂

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