Art & Music

ACOUSTIC MAYA: Stay True. Stay Acoustic.

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They say that music is food for the soul. Not that I did not agree to this popular statement. But it sure was more than reassuring after the quick rendezvous with the band members from ‘Acoustic Maya’. Professionally, Avash Niroula is a consultant, Avinash Pradhan an entrepreneur, Gaurav Basnyat a dentist, and Pravin Bhattarai an ex-deputy manager of an international airline. So when put together, a musical band is probably the last expected outcome of this varied combination. However, in spite of their professional commitments, the hunger for music was more than enough for this group of four men to come together and form a musical band back in 2009. With a strong belief that making music shouldn’t be just for the sake of earning fortune or fame, they are a bunch of aspiring musicians. Music for them is truly the coming together of mind, body and soul. With Avash on Vocals, Avinash on Bass, Gaurav on Guitars/Back Vocals/ Keys and Pravin on Percussions, they have been wooing crowds with their live performances at various locations around town. Currently though, Tsewang (FULL NAME) handles the percussion duties as Pravin is based out of the country. So here’s what these passionate men of music had to say more on their ‘maya’ or love for music.

1. How did you come up with the name of your band?

As we were certain that we would not be making the use of drums in our performance, Avash and Gaurav had initially decided on the name Acoustix. Then after some further brainstorming, the original name transformed to Acoustic Maya.

2. What genre of music is the band focused on? Who are your major influences?

Our genre ranges from Rock to Funk & Blues. So we cannot really pin down a single genre. In other words, we play from Acoustic Maya to Electronic Mess. Major influences for the band members includes Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, The Who, Doors and basically the music from 60’s and 70’s. Apart from them it would be Incubus, The Killers and Coldplay among others.

3. Tell us more about the musical instruments that the band uses? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/colour preference?

Our instruments range from locally made percussions to internationally famed guitars. The current instruments on our inventory include a Fender Telecaster Guitar, Yamaha Acoustic Guitar, Yamaha Pacifica Electric Guitar, Ibanez Bass Guitar, Yamaha Keyboard, a Harmonica, some egg shakers and a locally made Djembe and Cajon. Wow! Isn’t that actually quite a lot of instruments?

4. Where and when did you first perform together? Name your favourite venue for live performances? Do you have any upcoming shows?

We don’t exactly remember the dates. But our first show was at the Lakhey Restro Bar sometime in 2010. It was for this show that had us frantically deciding upon a band name. No such favourite venue so far, but our show at Attic was very much liked by all present and we are planning a show there once again. A few places have been talking with us too and we are planning to do a few more gigs in the coming months.

5. How do you define your success?

First of all, success for us isn’t really about making an impact as mainstream musicians. Right now, success for us is just making sure that we make some music and nothing else. So as far as that is concerned, we guess we are quite there already.

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The ultimate goal should be to bring everyone together with music.

6. We hear that Acoustic Maya has been working on their first album. So what kind of compositions are we looking forward to?

Yes, we have a long list of upcoming songs for the new album sometime this year. Our songs will be very relative to the current trends and situations. Of course, there will be the usual songs that relate to love and tragedy too.

7. How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

Well, we are always experimenting with our music. So we keep learning new things every other day as we move along. But over the years, we definitely have become more refined with our performances. And it sure still is a long way to the top if you wanna rock & roll!

8. As a music band, what has been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for the band would be making the time to rehearse together. All of us are working professionals and at times it gets difficult to have all of us present under one roof.

9. Your advice to all those looking forward to forming their own music bands?

First of all, do it only if you truly love and enjoy your time with music. Don’t try too hard in replicating the exact original song. Be creative and rather give it your personal touch. Connect with each other and connect with the crowd. The ultimate goal should be to bring everyone together with music.

PHOTO: AYUSH BAJRACHARYA

WORDS: ADITYA MALLA

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