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Verses - Band Interview



Q. What ’s the story behind the name VERSES?
A. When people first hear our band name, they immediately get the impression that we might be a religious band and when they listen to our music they think its satanic or anti religious or whatever. But we do not have any religious or satanic content in our music. When we decide to pen down the lyrics we look to touch upon all aspects that are affecting the world today. If you carefully observe our lyrical content you will see that it’s all about our hypocritical world, end of days or judgment day if you like to call it. So hence it is for all you fans out there to decide what Verses is for you.

Q. And the current line-up of the band is?
A. Roshan D’Souza – Lead Vocals
     Sagar Gururaj – Keys/Backing Vocals
     Vinod James Issac – Rhythm Guitar
     Suraj Dutt – Lead Guitar/ Backing vocals
     Amith Kumar – Bass Guitar
     Yadhunandan Nagaraj - Drums


Q. Where did you guys meet? How long have you know each other ?
A. Roshan, Sagar and Vinod know each other from their days in college. But it was the Sandeep(ex guitarist), Sagar and Vinod who started the band. It was purely co incidental that the concept of starting a band came along. Sagar was in conversation with Sandeep about getting his Bass guitar repaired, Vinod over heard the conversation and was like ‘Bro I didn’t know you play the bass, let’s jam sometime!!’. One thing led to another and “Verses” was formed. Roshan who was also a good friend to everyone joined in later to carry on the vox duties. Then Verses saw a lot of lineup changes with Amith taking over the bass duties when Sagar decided to switch to Keys. Suraj (ex Innerskin and Velvet Trap) replaced Karthik (ex guitarist who took over from Sandeep) on the lead guitar. Our ex drummer Bitupan also had to leave due to some personal reasons who was replaced by Yadhunandan. With the current line up the band has touched upon another dimension and has won various accolades for our achievements all over the country.

Q. If you had to pick a genre for you music,what would it be? Who are your major influences?
A. ‘Verses’ plays Melodic Death Metal, a genre which is unique on its own because of the melancholic touch to it and a genre which is mostly untouched in India. Our International influences are Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Behemoth, Between the Buried and Me, The Absence, Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy, Kalmah etc. The Indian bands that we like are Kryptos, Acrid Semblence, Demonic Resurrection, Guillotine etc.

Q. When did you finally decide to form a band?
A. What inspires you to make music together? Our band was formed way back in late 2008. Most of the band members are from the same college who used to share a common interest in music and decided to do something about it. The like mindedness of these friends was the reason for the birth of ‘Verses’. What inspired us was to introduce Bangalore and rest of the country to something that they have never come across and the touch upon the genre which many have left untouched which was Melodic Death.

Q. How do you go about writing & composing songs?
A. Song writing/composing mostly happens when everyone sits together in the jam room and comes up with different ideas and patterns for the song. When the song writing is in process, everyone in the band just knows what they are supposed to do and all the ideas just fits in with no nonsense and just music taking over. Sagar always makes sure there are melancholic passages in the song, Suraj and Vinod come up with out of the world riffs and rhythm patterns, Amith comes up with innovative bass lines that always blends in perfectly, Yadhu comes up with some amazing complex drumming patterns and are always well structured and hard to keep up to, Roshan comes up with the vocal structure with his amazing range in screams and screeches thus completing the process of song writing/composing. Lyrics which is an integral part of our song writing process, are always written by Roshan and he decides the themes for all the songs.

Q. Are there any main themes to your songs ?
A. Our world is filled with so much of hypocrisy with people fighting over which religion is superior to the other. Take our very own country for example where there’s almost no room for people of different religions getting together. People still live by their own pre conceived notion and always try to prove its right when the whole world can see that there is no one who’s more wrong. People live in constant fear and there’s always the question of war lurking around. We need a change, a big change hence these are some of the issues we try to address and choose as topics to our songs. Our recently released EP ‘Threshold’ is filled with songs that addresses our hypocritical world and for a change waiting to happen.

Q. Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? We as a band started off playing covers like most bands did when started playing and then decided we will not be playing anymore covers.
A. That is when we decided to write our own material and have stuck to it till today. Our setlist includes the songs from our EP which are Threshold, Call for Salvation, Damnation, Under the cursed moon and A Broken tale. The songs Threshold, Call for Salvation and Damnation are the ones that we frequently perform. 

Q. How do you guys rehearse and practice ?
A. When we enter the jam room first we set up our equipments, we check the sound and make sure everyone is sounding fine and properly audible. We pay a lot of importance to how we sound so we never start playing until the sound is set to our liking which is also the case at our gigs. We always make sure we play all of our songs at the jam room first and then work on the newer materials.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge as an upcoming band in India ?
A. The biggest challenge was during the initial days when we had just gotten into the scene. Winning over the audience was the hardest thing to do as we had very little idea about how we are supposed to sound as a band. The scene was dominated with some amazing bands here in Bangalore and hence for a new entrant like us it was extremely difficult. But we stuck to our task and kept on playing gigs after gigs and not bothered about anything else. It was a learning curve for us. We did not want to win any gigs but wanted to learn from other bands and that is what we did. After that winning just became a part of our learning curve. We started winning a lot of gigs, headlined a couple of fests and before we know it we had already established a pretty good fan base. We started exploring the scene outside Bangalore and played a lot of gigs at places like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Goa etc, and now we are proud to say that we have a very strong fan base across the country.

Q. How long have each of you been playing your respective instruments ? (leave the vocalist :P)
A. Well our keyboardist Sagar, we can say that he was born with the keyboards in his hand as he’s been playing the keys from the past 12 years. Suraj picked up the guitar when all the cool kids were playing the WWF card games, which is from the past 10 years and Vinod has been shredding the guitar from the day he got into engineering, from 8 years ago. Amith has been playing bass since cargo jeans went out of fashion (lol) which is from the past 10 years, again a pretty long time. Yadhunandan has been playing the drums since he could hold a pair of sticks in his hand, from the past 7 to 8 years. 

Q. What is your take on the western music scene in India ? And by take, we mean literally TAKE.
A. Interesting question. Western music scene in India is still at a development phase but quickly
catching up with the trend. Rock and Metal is starting to show its face here in our country. Many international acts have toured India and have gone back home knowing that people actually know who they are and what kinda music they play. It still isn’t good enough to say ‘yes its happening here’ but can easily say that it can only get better and better from here on provided Bollywood continues to make shit music like they are now.





Q. What do you have to say about the rise of “easy sweet mix music” or Pop ? Do you think it is fine, as long as the person who is listening to it is comforted by it ?
A. To be frank we are not against any genre of music as everyone would have listened to pop quite a lot in their life (so have we). So as long as the person listening to it is comforted by it good enough. Just make sure you don’t go around blaring it out on people’s faces.

Q. Finding one’s own sound is a long gone-by thing in today’s genre-plagued scene. Do you guys think you have your own sound? What does it take to find your own sound?
A. Yes we do. And that is what makes our band so unique. We did take a lot of time to find our sound and figure out what ‘Verses’ sound like and trust me it wasn’t an easy task. It’s not always the genre you pick that makes your band unique, it’s how innovative you can get with that genre that makes you stand out.

Q. Any last words ?
A. We want to thank for interviewing our band. We would also like to thank all our fans who have been with us from so long and supporting us through thick and thin. Hope you stay with us until we last. Please do buy our EP entitled ‘Threshold’. You can send us an e mail at verses.india@gmail.com and order a copy. Keep supporting the Indian Metal Scene \m/

 

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