In Conversation with Vineet Alurkar of Yoga Logik

A fun chat with folk rock band Yoga Logik’s Vineet Alurkar!

Yoga Logik is an Austrian/Indian band that melts Indian classical and folk with western contemporary music into their unique style. Most lyrics are based on poems by Sufi saints like Sant Kabir and Amir Khusro. I caught up with their Pune-based band member Vineet Alurkar for a quick chat!
What is Folk Rock?
It is a very open term to interpret but the basic meaning of the genre is simple really. Folk music is music of any given land and we mustn’t confuse it with classical music. Classical music is derived music; something that is learnt and has evolved. Add a dash of rock elements to the Folk Rock genre and you’ll get Folk Rock.
Take me back to when it all started..
It all started when one of our members, acclaimed Western Classical and Jazz musician Wolfgang Sambs and Bernard Schimpelsberger came to Pune. They were invited by Suresh Talwarkar to learn more about Indian rhythms and tabla bols. Bernard is one of the very few students of Trilok Gurtu. I was with the band ‘The Blackbirds’ at the time. I caught up with them and invited them over to my place for a jam session. We had a fabulous time! They were to leave in 4 days but we decided to get together again whenever we got a chance next. That’s the gist of how Yoga Logik was formed. Our first-ever performance was in ABC Farms, at a place called Soul. That was in the year 2006. We received a great response and our music was much appreciated. Today, the band comprises Martin Berauer, Wolfgang Sambs, Sebastian Weiss, Michael Leibetseder, Bhupal Limaye and myself.
How did you come up with the name Yoga Logik?
I know this probably sounds clichéd but we really wanted the name to represent what our music is all about. I was playing around with words one day and came up with Yoga Logik. Whenever one thinks of Yoga, the word is immediately connected with India. And, in German, the word ‘Logic’ is spelt as ‘Logik’. So, we like the name and it just stuck.
Which bands do you follow?
The band that influenced me the most as a teenager/young adult was The Beetles. I don’t think I’d have been a musician had I not heard and followed them at the time. Other than that, it has to be Bob Dylan and Gulam Ali.
What do you fear the most during a performance?
I don’t really fear anything. Yes, I get wary of people socialising while we are performing. I’m a little sensitive to that.
What do you love most during a performance?
You know, everyone says that one must live in the moment and that’s far from as easy as it sounds. But, during a performance, due to the sheer energy and positivity, we have to do just that. While I’m performing, I cannot be thinking of the past or the future. It’s the most fantastic feeling. I don’t think any other feeling can be compared to it. You’re one with yourself in those moments. Music forces you to be so. It’s beyond anything one can experience in daily lives. Pure ecstasy!
Describe your personality..
I am extremely instinctive and usually go by my gut feelings. I don’t think too much and go with my core beliefs. I do get introspective but that comes later.
What’s next for you?
None of us have made any long-term plans. We consciously make an effort to not give it our all. None of us wants that kind of pressure and we don’t to disturb our personal commitments. We take 6 months at a time and see how things go. Yes, we do make tentative plans; for example, we plan to undergo a studio recording in August next year in a beautiful wine-production county in Australia. But, like I said, they’re just plans. We’ll see where they take us.