Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017 | Last Update : 07:43 PM IST

All for happy faces

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRANITA JONNALAGEDDA
Published : Oct 3, 2017, 4:27 am IST
Updated : Oct 3, 2017, 4:28 am IST

Live Banned is the quirkiest band of them all — never sparing a moment to give you a dose of their entertainment, whenever they hit the stage.

(From left to right) Sridhar, Arpit, Sheerendra, Vivian and Raveesh
 (From left to right) Sridhar, Arpit, Sheerendra, Vivian and Raveesh

Flamboyant and quirky — this is what Live Banned are made of. It’s easy to find the band dressed in the weirdest of attires, and entertaining the audience with purposefully broken English and a dash of South Indian accent. But this style, coupled with a ‘we don’t give a damn’ attitude, is what defines them.

So, not surprisingly, this is what Live Banned set out to achieve in the first place. “The idea was to create confusion, which we think we have managed to achieve,” echo the  members about the band name.

Arpit Aseem Shauq is the vocalist, Raveesh Tirkey  is the bass guitarist, Vivian Christopher Rajan is the drummer, Dheerendra Doss plays the keyboard and Sridhar Varadarajan  is the lead guitarist. Their music consists of popular numbers twisted with the band’s creativity. Notably, their cover version of Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You raked in nearly a million views and in their words, made them “world famous”. So what genre does their music fall under, we wonder.

“We just call it ‘awesome’. That’s the genre of our music,” they joke, even as Vivian lists all the categories their music covers: “Psychedelic, folk, indie jazz...” The other band mates are, once again, quick to add names like “international bhajan, poetry and pop” amongst others as Vivian trails off. “We cover every genre of music that exists,” Dheerendra states.

While Live Banned does mostly covers, they occasionally produce their own music too. Their fun side makes a comeback when asked who does the lyrics for their songs. “We won’t tell you. That’s our trade secret!” says Dheerendra, adding on a serious note, “We have just had a line-up change, and we are looking to do some fun work. The kind of music we are playing on our present tour is what we plan to continue doing.”

And what’s the reason of dressing up in such a different way? “Different is too subtle a word! Awkward is the right word. We are just bored with the way bands look on stage and this is just a way to standout and we sure do. We thought why just mess up with people’s heads using music? Why not with the way we dress too?” asks Dheerendra, who does most of the talking while the others goof around and crack jokes in the background.

These young lads surely have a lot of fun creating unconventional music together, but we decide to ask them what’s their ulterior motive behind all of it. After joking about “universal dominance” and becoming the “President of India”, they answer, “We want to make people extremely happy. Across the country, across the world, wherever we play, we want people to be entertained. We want to leave them thinking about what just happened. It’s all about shocking and awing everyone.”

And what do they take home from whatever they do? “Other than the money you mean?” chuckles Raveesh as his teammates add, “The happy faces of people are the best thing ever!”

Tags: live banned, ed sheeran