Art & MusicCareer & RadarHow Stuffs Works

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE IN A BAND

band1

Many of us have gone through that phase where all we wanted to do was put together a band with our mates and play shows in front of a roaring crowd and chill out with the groupies in the backstage. Sadly, for some of us, this dream shattered to a million pieces the day we realized that we can’t strum a guitar or that people cried whenever we sang. That dream has been reduced to air guitars and futile harmonizations in the shower. In Nepal, music is deeply rooted in our culture but not taken as seriously in terms of a professional career. The bitter truth is, the majority of us are still following the trend of “daktarenginir” and a career in music is a subject of either hooliganism or “it’s not a real thing, man. Get a real job.”

But yes, a career in music is a legitimate career. We tend to overlook the fact that we may not have known the name Narayangopal Guruachrya if he had not let the world know that he’s a unicorn on the vocals.

There are so many people in Nepal who are immensely talented but are scare to take that leap of faith. Scared of what society might say, that’s one; but above all, we don’t really know what life is like when you’re a musician. That’s what we’re going to help you out with this time. To know something, it’s best to know about it from someone who credible knowledge on the subject matter. So we band together three musicians who have been in the field for a considerable amount of time.

We have Jimi Blues who is the guitarist for the band The Midnight Riders. Essentially a cover band, they have recently come up with a debut album, and is a favorite jam in our office here. Jimi is influential and charismatic and a very chill person to be around. He has been in the scene for a long time and knows his way around the industry.

Sudhanshu Acharya is the bassist for a metal outfit named Trianka. Inspired heavily by the likes of Megadeth, the band recently released their first song called Kaichi and it’s mad fire. Fresh out of the election, it’s a heavy critic on the current Nepalese political situation. He has a lively stage presence and hypes the crowd like no other. Might we also add that the man has a tasteful appreciation for dark humor.

Sarah Maharjan is the drummer for an all-girl band called the JOTs. The band has recently acquired a lot of attention after touring and playing in various locations in the country with Women in Concert. She, herself, is a very talented drummer and judging by her video for Drum like a Girl, she might be adept in some form of Kung Fu. Also, if you tell her what your star sign is, she can literally spill out your past, present and future accurately and will even throw in an educated guess about your personality.

jimi

Jimi Blues – THE MIDNIGHT RIDERS

What got you into music?

I was a music lover since my childhood. When I got my first guitar, I started to really get into it.

Do you remember your first gig?

It was during my school days. It was also the first time that I had actually plugged my guitar into an amp. It was back in 1996 or 1997. I remember that I was completely shaking before I went up! But once I started playing, I was fine. It was a blast!

What’s your current setup?

My current setup consists of my American Fender Deluxe Stratocaster, a Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner, a Boss BD-2 Blues Drive, a Vox 847 A Wah, an MXR MC 401 Booster/Line Driver, a Boss RV-5 Reverb, and a Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Analogue Delay. I run all of these through my Lanney amp.

Who do you look up to as your inspiration?

For me it’d be Jimi Hendrix, SRV, Eric Clapton, and Mukti Dai from Mukti and Revival.

Would you say that your talent was given or achieved?

I believe that everyone is born with a talent. One just has to realize it and earn it. Such was my case.

With whom do you click the most in your band?

I tend to click with the drummer the most.

Is your band a full time commitment for you, or is it a side hustle? If latter, what else do you do?

For the time being, the band and my own music is a 50/50 kind of thing. Apart from it, I have an event company and also teach guitar classes.

How many hours do you clock in for the band in a day for practice and performance?

From 2 to 3 hours a day.

What is the best thing about being in a band?

In my case, the best thing for me is that I’m making a living with my music. And of course, nothing beats the feeling when you’re up on stage in front of a live crowd. I really do love playing for different audiences in different places.

What is the worst thing about being in a band?

I don’t want to say “worst” but sometimes playing for a bunch of people who don’t have respect for live music is unpalatable.

What drives you to keep doing this?

My love and passion for the art form.

What would you say is the most difficult part about being a musician?

I’d say that sometimes, you just have to take up things or have to do things you don’t want to.

Name 5 things needed to make it into the scene.

  • Explore the music you like the most
  • Regular practice
  • Know your sound
  • Be your original self
  • Learn as much as you can.

What would your dream gig be?

Playing my own music in Dasarath Stadium for my own audience who love and respect my art.

 

sudhanshu

Sudhanshu Acharya- TRIANKA

What got you into music?

I would have to thank my uncle for that. He taught me the joy of playing the guitar when I was 10 years old. I didn’t have a guitar as a 10 year old but at 16, as soon as I got my first guitar I went to his place to jam. We ended up jamming until 1 A.M. And I had developed this attachment to my guitar at one point before I switched to bass. It was that, and how music has always been my solace, even when I didn’t know how to play any instrument.

Do you remember your first gig? When and how was it?

Yes, I do, it was back in 2009/10 when I was just learning to play the guitar. We were 5 members and they made me play the bass on “Yo Mann ta Mero Nepali ho” by 1974 AD. It was an art exhibition of one of my friend’s relatives. Put together we were five 14-year-old kids just learning to play our instruments, and as imagined, it was not very good. But the crowd sang along anyways, so that was something! It was also at this point in time that I started to like playing the bass.

What’s your current setup?

Currently I use a Dean E09 series. I’ve used it for three years and even though it has a single passive pickup, it has always given me the power and the tone I need for live set ups.

Who do you look up to as your inspiration?

My inspiration has always been my grandfather, who is a writer himself. Musically, there are a lot, but the story of Dave Mustaine has inspired me a lot to do what I do today.

Would you say that your talent was a given or achieved?

I’d say it’s both because to play music you have to have a sense of rhythm and timing and to learn how to play an instrument you have to train and enhance these two skills through practice.

With whom do you click the most in your band?

After working together for almost 2 years in a band, it is imperative that all the members “click” with each other. But if I HAVE to point a finger, then it has to be Subarna Chauhan, our lead guitarist, because I had been working with him before Trianka even started in two other bands almost 2 years prior.

Is your band a full time thing for you, or is it a side hustle? If latter, what else do you do?

The band has never been a “side hustle”. While I do work as an English teacher at a school, I never let the two interfere with each other.

How many hours do you clock in for the band in a day for practice and performance?

It depends. Band rehearsals are usually on alternate days for 2-3 hours and personally, it’s the same for me although it depends upon a lot of factors. 

What is the best thing about being in a band?

The best thing about being in a band is the teamwork and the bonding between the members while working.

What is the worst thing about being in a band?

The worst thing about being in a band is changes in the line up. We have a constant line up now but when a band is in it’s embryonic stage, it’s really hard to find good band members.

What drives you to keep doing this?

It is basically my love for making and performing music.

What would you say is the most difficult part about being a musician?

The most difficult part about being a musician is the battle you keep having with yourself. No matter what people say, there’s no way of satisfying yourself with your playing.

Name 5 things needed to make it into the scene.

  • Dedication
  • Ability to stand back up if something goes wrong
  • Talent
  • Creativity
  • Mutual respect

What would be your dream gig?

It would be at the Wembley stadium in front of thousands of people with the current line up as the headliner of the show.

 

band4

Sarah Maharjan- JOTs

What got you into music?

Drumming.

Do you remember your first gig?

Yes, it was on 20.5.2017 at NMC (Nepal Music Centre) for an event called “Music for All”. It was a wonderful experience.

What’s your current setup?

It’s nothing special in all honest. It’s just (she puts it modestly) a Stagg drum set. I use Sabian B8Pro cmbals, beat the bass with Dixon Double Pedals and wield a pair of Vic Firth 5B’s and 5A’s.

Who do you look up to as your inspiration?

The drums itself! It wasn’t a specific person. Acknowledging the vigorous sound that could be created while playing the drums really did inspire me. 

Would you say that your talent was given or achieved?

Both! I believe everyone has unique talents and I’m no exception. With proper recognition of my talent I showed enthusiasm to learn and committed myself to achieve it.

With whom do you click the most in your band?

I know it’s cliche to say that I sync up with everyone, but I must say it because it’s true. We’ve been playing together for quite some time, so we’re like a family now. We coordinate with each other pretty well and know each other’s limitations, and constantly encourage one another to go beyond it.

Is your band a full time for you, or is it a side hustle? If latter, what else do you do?

I’d say I’m fully committed to the band and besides it I’m doing BASW at St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar.

How many hours do you clock in for the band in a day for practice and performance?

There is no time limit. Some days I can go on and on for hours until I am satisfied with my playing and the other times it is just a light practice. Talking about the band, we have practice thrice a week for two hours. And before some events, it could be a whole week’s worth of practice.

What is the best thing about being in a band?

Putting in various ideas and perceptions and creating something beautiful out of it, which is music.

What is the worst thing about being in a band?

Not being able to attend various other things that you’re invited to and wanted to go to because of jam sessions!

What drives you to keep doing this?

My love for drumming!

What would you say is the most difficult part about being a musician?

Being constantly reminded verbally, and if not verbally then through body gestures, tone of voice and facial expressions, that I’m incapable and not competent among other professions to gain heights just cause I opted to be a musician. That too a “female” musician.

Name 5 things needed to make it into the scene.

  • Practice
  • Patience
  • Originality
  • Self realization
  • Confidence

What would your dream gig be?

I’ve never had a dream gig because as long as I have my bandmates supporting and building each other, I’m optimistic that we will definitely be going places and performing in various parts of the world. However, as a young teenager I had got really into drumming because of our local Nepalese metal scene. So performing at Silence Fest is surely on my to do list.

 

WORDS: NIRVEEK PPJ SHAH | PHOTOS: PRITAM CHHETRI

702 Total Views 1 Views Today
THUMB
Previous post

EVOKE CAFÉ AND BISTRO: CREATING SPACE EVOKING INSPIRATION WITH PRAKESH SHRESTHA

Astikthumb
Next post

THE LUXE AFFAIR: WITH ASTIK SHERCHAN

TNM Team

TNM Team

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."

For more than 2 years, TNM has been the premiere men’s magazine providing complete coverage of inspirational stories, fashion and culture from across Nepal. With its unique and powerful design, work from the finest photographer, spectacular writers and a pro- active Marketing team TNM reaches thousands of leading men each month. We are team that believes in giving its readers a thought-provoking experience each and every month.