Zygnema is daring to take to the road, tour India, and even step out abroad to promote their music.
After 10 years in the music circuit in India, Mumbai-based thrash-groove metal outfit Zygnema says they’ve learnt the art of marketing themselves. “There was a time when we didn’t pay any attention to promoting our music,” reveals founder and guitarist of the band, Sidharth Kadadi. “Back in the day, we were a college band that played 30 or 40 competitions a year, and won most of them. We’ve been fortunate to have music lovers as our audiences since college; audiences who have supported us even after graduation.”
Now celebrating a decade of their existence, Zygnema is daring to take to the road, tour India, and even step out abroad to promote their music. “The anniversary tour is set to be one giant celebration. In today’s day and age, if you don’t tell people you’ve lasted this long, they wouldn’t know. You may have 15 records, but you need to tell people about it,” Sidharth explains. “If people are not talking about you, you’re not the s**t anymore.”
The band is looking to extensively promote its second and latest album, What Makes Us Human is Obsolete, while on the tour, and is in no hurry until then. “See, our first album (Born of Unity) was recorded in absolute poverty. We didn’t have the money to record live drums in studios since we had just graduated and were working low-paying jobs. At one point of time, we even used plastic pipes and adhesive to fix our electric drum kit. After touring for years, we managed to build the goodwill, get the money and decided to record our second album. We want our next album to be a lot more mature and we’re taking our own sweet time.”
Besides, the band has day jobs to look at that. And no, they’re not as grim as Bollywood movies would make them seem. “Both Mayank Sharma (drums) and I have jobs relating to music; I teach and he’s associated with Furtados. Leon Quadros (bassist) has a slamming MBA degree in finance, and Jimmy Bhore (vocalist) has found his calling in making burgers,” Sidharth laughs.
Quiz him on how the scene has changed in the past decade in India, and pat comes the answer, “Initially, it was all about covers, and your band would be judged on that. Now it doesn’t matter if you’re inclined towards death metal or industrial. If the audience likes your composition, they will support you.”
Despite this, the musician says that he’s not seen a tremendous spurt in album sales, but merchandise sells well. “Since merchandising depends on the fashion industry, you need to get a good designer who’ll make a product so good, you’ll be forced to buy it.” That’s still not good enough to get music labels on board though, Sidharth says, as he rues about metal music not being enough for them. “It’s all about sales for them. Firstly, 0.1 per cent of the audience speak in English here. The math is all wrong here. If labels genuinely want to make money in this country, they should just stick to selling devotional records or Bollywood songs,” he signs off with a chortle.