HRC- The Battle of the Bands
The battle lines are drawn and the top three will vie for the ultimate chance to live up for the city. The local rock talent is getting a chance to compete and then represent Pune at the Hard Rock Rising. Conducted here by Hard Rock Cafe Pune, the Pune finale is happening today and three bands have been selected from over 10,000 bands. The Pune winner will compete with winners of other cities and then the India winner will go ahead to Rome where the global finale is the world’s largest and promising battle of the bands competition. The global winner will go on an all-expense paid trip and then perform at the Hard Rock Live Rome Music Festival. The Puneri bands are Studmuffin, AntariX and RudraXsha.
While talking about the songs and music they will be playing, AntariX vocalist Ujjwal Kumar and Udbhav Kumar, the band’s keyboard player and vocalist, spoke of three songs to show at the battle. “We are into alternative rock, experimental rock and also into other kinds of rock genre like hard rock. We are playing three songs – a progressive alternative rock song, a hard rock song and a Marathi rock song. We wanted variety which will cater to the local and global audience. While the first two songs have been played before, the Marathi number has been played once,” says Ujjwal. The other members include Bhushan Sonawane (lead guitar), Subhranshu Nayak (vocals), Sunil Menhiratta (rhythm guitar), Bhaskar Jyoti Choudhury (bass guitar) and Akshay Ambekar (drums).
Studmuffin consists of Vihang on vocals and guitars, Sandip on drums, Kaustubh on lead guitar, and Arjun on keys and Omkar on bass. Omkar, who happens to be the band’s manager, reveals that Studmuffin plays Blue Rock and Rock ‘N’ Roll. “We also do funk rock a bit. We do a mix of three to four styles. Apart from one song, others have been performed before.” The third band, RudraXsha, has Gaurav Burse on vocals, Ashish Jadhav on guitar, Nitin Maurya on bass guitar, Piyush Kulkarni on keyboards and Saiprasad Nimbalkar on drums. This band got together to reinvent Hindi or Indian classical music fused with rock music elements. “We will be playing four songs today. All will be of our genre which is Hindi alternative classical rock. We are the only Hindi rock band playing at the finale,” Nitin reveals.
All three bands do not think much about competition. “All others are playing different kind of music and we cannot compare each other. Finally, the band who gets most of the attention is the winner,” Omkar expresses. Udbhav adds, “The audience enjoys the different nature of music and the different genre cannot compete with each other. It will be tough.”
If you fix a certain genre as the one for your band, Studmuffin’s Omkar happily tells that classic rock bands have been their influence. “Bands like The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd and the ones from 60s and 70s have played a major role in our music. Our keyboardist has been trained classically and so a little influence has come from there. Though he shifted later to rock, we get that flavour too.”
Nitin from RudraXsha talks about bands from all genres influencing their music. “Ashish and I are basically into metal and hard rock and we follow Ramstein, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Ac/Dc kind of bands. Gaurav listens to rock but is well trained in classical Hindi songs. Saiprasad and Piyush are music directors and so they have a heavy Bollywood base and influences.”
AntariX’s Ujjwal is expecting experienced musicians, apart from the usual crowd of working people from IT field and students. Omkar explains, “We had played at the elimination round and mostly corporate crowd had come in.” Nitin adds that in the preliminary round, their band got great support which in turn, means larger crowd and better support this time.
All three have almost similar views on the Indie music scene in the city and throughout India too. Nitin adds, “The Indie music scene does not exist as much as it used to. However, the bands that do exist are quality bands, especially in Pune. We want to be the band that revive, inspire others and bring back Indie music to the top.” Omkar finds the music scene in the city to be quite decent, though he rues about the less amount of venues to play the music. “But all over India, things are getting better with decent amounts of events happening, especially the live music scene.” Ujjwal adds that since one cannot make a stable career in this field, most band members everywhere are taking time before jumping in this full time.
What: Hard Rock Cafe Pune Hosts Hard Rock Rising – FINAL Live Performance Round
When: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Time: 8pm onwards
Where: Hard Rock Cafe Pune, Plot No. 81/82 East Main Road, Koregaon Park Extension; Calls 020 – 67258888
Visit: www.hardrock.com/Pune for additional details.