Q. How much does public relations matter for a Musician?
It matters significantly. A good musician could play all day in their bedroom, but if they want listeners to take notice, they'll have to get word of their music out to everyone who could be interested. It's crucial if you're serious about your music.
Q. We have seen AbraXas performing back then at competitive platforms and now at big stages. What is it that kept you playing consistently with the same band till date?
We kept winning those competitions, and we kept playing happily thereafter! It's been a crazy ride from nervously sound-checking in under 10 minutes, ripping through 3 songs in 15 minute time-lines in competitions to judging and headlining shows all over, and we still have a long way to go!
I've played with the same band because we were very 'competitive' in our early days and pretty tight-knit as a unit, even offstage. All of us also have a good understanding, musically and otherwise, so that's reason enough. Oh, and it's fun playing with these guys, they're all kick-ass musicians so that's a bonus!
Q. Abhimanyu, tell us something about what you do in your Daily Life?
I work and play the guitar, after work-hours almost every day. I jam with Abraxas on the weekends. I also stay online mostly all the time, listen to music, and watch a lot of concerts and comedies for recreational purposes! It sounds boring but that's how it is haha!
Q. How much does it matter to hold up to founding members of the band and continuing with their replacements?
A founding member leaving does feel like a loss. It matters every time, but we've managed to bounce back each time.
All the musicians who've been a part of Abraxas have brought a different dynamic to our sound and approach and all our members have left on a good note. It's never really been due to fights and arguments, though we've all had plenty of those too haha!
I'd say we've been a bit lucky to have had good musicians interested in Abraxas' music, who've shown a keen interest, and have the chops to play with us too!
Q. Usually it is observed that people with versatile musical capabilities play with multiple genre bands. Is it really hard for a Metal Player to stick with Metal forever?
It really depends on the people who play what they play. I've seen and heard metal musicians create and/or play Marathi music too, sometimes it is done to pay the bills, and sometimes people play across genres for their love of different genres, pure and simple. I used to also listen and play a lot of rock, pop and shred-guitar music along with Metal before I started playing only Metal, thanks in part to our sound and identity as a metal band. I'd love to play across genres too, but for now it's all out METAL!
Q. With Evolution of New sound, Technologies and Art; Metal has evolved and developed many ways expressing various emotions. Have you observed Metal element somewhere other than Metal?
Yeah, any time I hear Metal in an unexpected place, I sit up and take notice. It's like an instant connection, I've heard metal songs in Bollywood and Hollywood movies, and jumped in my seat, sharing the excitement with all my non-metal friends, trying to tell them this is what it's all about haha!
So many new genres have come up in the past decade, it's easy to add double-bass and distorted guitars to almost anything for that metal element - it's a double-edged sword, because it could help popularize metal but not in it's truest form (?) I'd personally rather have it popularized than criticize the manner of promotion. Anything that's a gateway to metal music is appreciable, honestly.
Q. Answer to stereotype - "How do you say Metal Enthusiasts are a peace loving community, if so much anger, destruction, hatred is being expressed through Music?"
Most metal enthusiasts are peaceful because their anger is let-out in mosh pits and in their bedrooms with their speakers blaring! I think it evens out the intense, negative emotions and lets them be 'normal' again. This is just an observation though, and also the problem with stereotyping - I mean metalheads could be douchebags too, and folk-music listeners could be great human beings, and vice versa.
Q. Would you prefer a Metal Motivation Lecture over Gig for Metal Community's development?
I'd prefer a gig any day - lectures are good for discussions and chalking out new ideas but nothing beats a real, live, breathing beast of a gig!
Q. How's AbraXas doing? Give us something to bitch about!
Abraxas is doing fine, don't bitch about anything! Instead, we have a gig in Mumbai at Hard Rock Cafe, Worli, on Sunday, 17 April, with SystemHouse33 and Asylum, so bitch all you want and come for the show!
Q. Jokes Apart. Any motivational words for your fans?
Yeah, you guys are our motivation to get out there and rip it, so there's a lot of motivation to go around for us all! Keep at it, guys!
Interview by Niranjan Deshpande