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Pocket-sized gigs, monster jams

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published : Mar 4, 2018, 12:19 am IST
Updated : Mar 4, 2018, 12:20 am IST

The idea is to host an intimate gathering of just 25 people, who get to witness metal bands jamming live, but in a studio.

Metal giants Primitiv, Bloodkill and Carnage INC will be participating in the first show, to put up a headbanging performance.
 Metal giants Primitiv, Bloodkill and Carnage INC will be participating in the first show, to put up a headbanging performance.

The city is teeming with live shows, music gigs and concerts every few days. However, the blast of pop music and indie jams have ensured that the genre of metal, already a rather niche musical type, has very few takers.

Where once venues like Rang Bhawan and Razzberry Rhinoceros would be teeming with homegrown bands and their fans, who would hobnob with each other, they now have to be satisfied with a rare two-odd shows a month.

Noting this drop in the number of shows — even for the likes of heavy-metal behemoths Demonic Resurrection — Biprorshee Das thought it was time to take things into his own hands. And the corporate slave by day and metal musician by night floated the idea of Jampacked! then.

“There have been gigs, but the number of audiences has decreased,” sighs the singer. “I did a show with my band Albatross in November last year. And since then, we haven’t done much. People barely attend big gigs.”

Irked by the lack of participation, and not wanting bands to get lethargic, the singer started the Jampacked! platform late last year. The idea is to host an intimate gathering of just 25 people, who will get to witness metal bands jamming live, but in a studio atmosphere.

With its first edition kickstarting on March 10 at Benchmark Studios, the organisers have brought on board bands from within the city, giving each of them an hour to play for. Metal giants Primitiv, Bloodkill and Carnage INC will be participating in the first show, to put up a headbanging performance.

But how did Biprorshee come up with the idea? The vocalist explains that musicians often have family or friends come over to see them practice. The basic idea was to take these jams forward. While they may not amount to much to the untrained eye, the rawness of sound from the bands coming across in studios is a treat for metal lovers.

The fact that studios provide state-of-the-art equipment to bands for jam sessions is an added benefit. “We have divided the rehearsal studio into two parts — on one side, bands will be free to do their thing, and the other half is for the audience,” he adds.

But Biprorshee wouldn’t want to call Jampacked! a platform; he says he just doesn’t want bands to get dull. “It’s an effort to keep them on their toes when there are no gigs. At the same time, we’re giving the audience something that they’ve never been a part of before,” smiles the musician.

Kaushik Ramachandran, the manager of Benchmark Studios in Thane, says that this is a great way to acquaint people to how bands write and jam. “I know how it feels to be behind the scenes with a band. And that’s exactly what we’re offering. It could be an upcoming band or an independent artiste, but at the end of the day, you get to interact with the band,” he smiles.

With work on an April edition already underway, Biprorshee plans to host at least two sessions a month from now on. And as word has started to spread about Jampacked! established bands have approached him for gigs too.

“Sceptre is excited about the whole idea and has shown keen interest. I would also want my own band Albatross to be a part of it in the future,” says Biprorshee.

Kaushik adds that he doesn’t want this concept to remain limited to metal bands. “We want to do more genres like alt-rock, electronic, pop, singer-songwriters and even comedians. We simply want the entertainment aspect to get more intimate than it already is,” he smiles.

Tags: music, pop music