Photo Courtesy: Karan Khosla and Ajinkya Vajge
Petrichor is a progressive metal band based out of Mumbai. We got talking with Akshay Gite – the bassist of the band. Read on..
How did the idea of creating a band come along? Introduce the Petrichor gang.
Akshay: The idea of creating a band was probably deep seeded within all of our minds for a long time, even before any of us had met each other. It’s just that every musician has an idealistic vision of what it is like to be in a band. You have to go through a fair number of random jams with random strangers in dingy jamrooms before you find something you truly like. The main idea behind the formation of Petrichor was that there would be no compromise in terms of what anyone can/cannot do. Our music listening (over-analysing) sessions always reveal that all our influences, likes and dislikes vary a lot but somehow still have a nostalgic connecting link. Elements of all these parts of our personalities reflect in the music in small ways but that doesn’t stop us from stepping outside our comfort zone as a unit. I think we all realized this quite early on as a part of this band that we had a very synchronised way of approaching and loving music. Haven’t really looked back since. And yeah, everyone wants to be in a band to get the ladies. Haha. So yeah, that too.
Petrichor has Archisman Dash handling the vocal duties. As the frontman, he’s also “the muscle” in the band. Akhilesh Rao and Amrit Ramakrishnan both handle lead, layered and rhythm guitars together. Akhilesh aka ‘Frodo’ is also “the talent” (read: hyperactive mascot) in our band. Ajit Singh plays drums and percussions and I, Akshay Gite, play bass (No bassist jokes please).
Just out of curiosity what does Petrichor mean? Who came up with the name?
Akshay: Petrichor, it’s the heady beautiful scent that permeates the sullen air when two antagonists, the cathartic rain greets Earth’s life-giving soil, to usher in change. The smell from the first showers? I think our drummer/bibliophile Ajit came up with it. It’s just an English word that describes something that everyone finds beautiful and since we’re all about smelling good, it just made that much sense.
What genre of music does the band usually play?
We play our own interpretation of what the-people-that-like-to-pigeon-hole-bands-using-genres might call Progressive Metal. Some people might call it “extreme” but I believe that if it’s metal it has to be extreme. Extreme music is more often than not either quite graphic, technical or progressive. We wander the progressive path more often that the others and our lyrics (so far) revolve around humanity, psychology and man’s internal struggle. Cliche as it might be, we just want to be known as a band trying to make enjoyable music.
What was the most successful point of your journey?
Akshay: I don’t think I can pick any single moment as our most successful point, yet. This is something that drives us in the band. Having said that, the genuine praise we get from anyone that likes our music, the occasional adrenaline rush and the demigod-like feeling on stage make all the effort we put into the band seem worth it. What is success anyway?
What was the name of your first composition? What does that mean to you?
Akshay: “Disownance”, originally it was just called “Dissonance”. The wordplay just stuffs more meaning than necessary into one word. Chunks of the instrumental side of the song were composed by Frodo for his old band. We dissected the song and restructured parts till we were happy with it. Up until we hit the studios, actually. And then we tweaked it some more. I think now it’s one of our favourite songs to play live and has a lot of sentimental value considering it was the first song we wrote together. Ajit started writing the lyrics for Disownance about his perspective from behind the drums about disowning silence between all the dissonance (we play a lot of dissonant chords throughout the song). Lots of finding order in chaos references and all that. But I feel the song’s lyrics are very general and open to interpretation. It can mean different things to different people, personally.
When and where was your first performance?
Akshay: Petrichor as a band was initially formed to take part in college festivals’ band competitions. We only had two original compostions and a Decapitated cover on our setlist back then. My first time on stage with Petrichor was playing “extreme metal” in a college auditorium for a battle of the bands in TSEC, Bandra. I think it was sometime back in October 2011 and we won first place. Haha. I don’t think we ever got the money from winning that battle of the bands so if anyone from TSEC is reading this, contact us immediately.
Any embarrassing or crazy moments which you would like to share?
Akshay: Haha no. I don’t think the others will appreciate me sharing their embarrassing stories.
We’ve had our share of crazy experiences in this band. Going out of our way to “cockblock” each other when we were in Goa for the launchpad finals was fun. Although we did get some extra stage time because one of us flirted with the announcer chick. Frodo and I once stole our friend’s Scooter in Pune and rode some 15 km without directions, based on instincts to find Apple Cider Beer. We do have a lot of other stupid stories too. Most of which unfortunately would be grossly inappropriate for this interview. Haha.
Tell us about your current compositions?
Akshay: We’re currently working on our next release. We’re slightly indecisive if it’s going to be a full length or an EP. Our latest single, “Parasight: Comorbid” came out a few months ago. Not everyone hated it, so that’s good. Some people actually liked it. You can hear it here: https://soundcloud.com/user6044210/parasight-comorbid
I think we try to push ourselves in terms of technicality and unconventional song structuring with every new song we write. We take longer and longer to compose with every song. We’ve just completed writing lyrics for a new single. It’s shaping up pretty well and we’re really excited about it. We might release sneak peeks soon. Stay tuned on our Facebook page.
Describe your band in one word?
Who/ What is your inspiration?
Akshay: Meshuggah, Karnivool, Gojira, Cynic, Death, Isis, E.S.T, Intronaut, Tool, Death, Divine Moments of Truth, Cheap Inebriation, Women, Fiction, The Fourth Wall, Qualia, Misanthropy and Silly Jokes. Some of these might not be names of bands.
Any special moments while performing or any unforgettable moments?
Akshay: Every moment that we share on stage and when we realize that someone is enjoying something that YOU have created with some of your best buddies, something that you love doing, is unforgettable. The energy the crowd feeds off of you and vice versa is truly hypnotic. It isn’t easy to put into words.
Come for one of our gigs and see for yourself.
What are your future plans? Where will you guys perform next?
Akshay: Future plans are ambitious. We’re looking to complete composing an entire album by early next year and hit the studios soon. We also want to play live more often. We’ve got a couple of gigs lined up in August. We are playing a gig for BOMBAY ASYLUM alongside “Atmosfear” on the 29th of August, the gig is at Club Escape in Andheri. We’re also helping in organizing and playing at Awakening Fest in Hotel Elite Ambience, Pune on the 31st of August. We’re playing at The Blue Frog in Mumbai with Reverrse Polarity and Anthracite at the Metal Nights on the 1st of September. Should be fun considering we have a bunch of new material that we have never played live before.
Anything that you would like to say to your fans?
Wish the Petrichor team all the best in the comments below and if you’re in Mumbai, do catch their upcoming gigs.