It was a trick! Yes it was. This little Cupacafé tucked in one far corner of the city on Sarjapur Road had turned into a haven for rock musicians on the inside at Rock Circuit’s first event Jamit on June 23, 2012!
The quiet & pleasant Saturday evening opened on a relatively low note with not too many in the audience. (Duh! The bigger shows with their bigger crowds were happening elsewhere in Bangalore celebrating World Music Day). But guess who got Agam and Swarathma to join them for the evening? None other than Rock Circuit. But that was just the beginning. Anyway, the point of the evening of course went beyond having big bands as speakers or having a houseful crowd.
Jamit: The Agenda
Rock Circuit had got together three bands – Aks, Indus Valley Project and Welwet Roses, with their unique styles of music to jam and produce three new tracks in just about a few hours. Not just that, the best track out of the three, chosen by the audience would be recorded at Resonance Studios!
Indus Valley Project took a lot of stage time making themselves a little (only a little) monotonous after a point. While Welwet Rose was the almost new bee in the house and seemingly lost, Aks stole the evening with the least stage time of all. The track that was eventually chosen was the one by Aks and Welwet Rose while Indus Valley Project’s vocalist, Akshay, received rave reviews.
Ranjon Ghoshal, from India’s first band – Moheener Ghoraguli and first speaker for the evening, answered that one pretty clearly – “Bands after a point stop learning from each other. When they stop throwing aside their ego and learning, they break up. There are many reasons for bands to break up but this is one of the key reasons at least I have found out from research. And every time a new band comes out, I ask myself, ‘How long? How long will this one last?’ and I think that is the point of a platform like Jamit that gives musicians an opportunity to just meet and jam to create new and good music. We need to tell funders that we don’t need money for gigs. We want more platforms like this.”
Rock Circuit: The Birth & Beginnings
Rock Circuit was started asking a few simple questions with a few friends in a coffee shop:
Why is it that Indian Indie and rock music are not as popular or welcomed as foreign bands touring India?
Why do Indian rock musicians still have day jobs while the Indian Indie music scene is still not sustainable?
After asking all these serious and quite necessary questions, Arindam Biswas, founder of Rock Circuit also decided to do something about it (which usually isn’t the case with all who speak).
Agreeing with Arindam, Jishnu Dasgupta of Swarathma shared his experience with Swarathma on sustenance and being a full time musician. His best suggestion to the musicians in the audience was “The music you make should smell of the earth you walk on. It should have the native flavours of where you come from. If you are a great band who sounds like another well-known band then people don’t want to hear. Can you sound like yourself?”
He also went on to discuss the difference between a music industry like Bollywood and the music scene like the Indian rock scene which, is not really an industry (Now we know why we need our day jobs.)
Taking that forward Agam’s band members, Swami and Ganesh, shared their experiences stating all their practical problems of keeping a band together including their IT day jobs and the travel their percussionist, Shiva does from Chennai to Bangalore for every rehearsal. While bands shared their experiences, Arulnathan from Arul Guitars and Mahadevan from Radio Floate shared some interesting stuff to create and promote good music. Arul being a professional guitar maker shared some of his expertise on guitar and Mahadevan informed musicians about their interesting new mobile app to exclusively promote Indian rock music.
Please Don’t Stop The Music!
So you think it was all talk and no music? Far from it! Firstly, true to the spirit of the evening, Trident (a band that was formed that evening during the event) made their debut performance.
Then there was Dhruv, a member of the audience who joined in to jam with the boys from Indus Valley Project
Not to forget the totally fun impromptu audience jam with Aks singing ‘Marenge Peetenge Jamke Dushmanon Ko’. But what really stole the show was the finishing act with pretty much all the good musicians in the house.
Aks went on stage for a final jam as the closing act with Jishnu (Swarathma) on the bass guitar, Sikanth (Radio Floate) on the lead guitar and Ganesh (Agam) on the acoustic drums. And for the first and the last time that evening, both the drums were used for a final finishing act between the drummers Ganesh (Agam) on the acoustic drums and Dheerendra (Aks) on the electronic drums.
From low key to high key, the quiet evening broke loose into being one hell of a night witnessing a one of its kind musical gathering.