Is it possible to resist kids’ TV and advertising these days? Is it possible to avert your child’s eyes from the glut of sanitized, product placement-riddled cartoons and “sitcoms” from seemingly benign behemoths like Disney in favour of something more meaningful… and perhaps, heavy? Well, Symphonic Eternity are here to deliver the heavy to your ears (with a little bit of prog on the side) and prove to you that “the kids are alright.”
Consisting of (now former member as of February 11, 2016) Rohan Raveesh on vocals and guitar, Anish Mukund on guitar, Vijay Ganesan on bass and Anagh Nayak on drums, these dudes are starting to blow the roofs (as well as our minds) off venues in and around Bangalore with their prog-tinged alternative metal. After catching a gig of theirs at the Indigo Live Music Bar in the city recently, Centuries of Sin just had to catch up with these boys to find out more about the band and how they function, especially at such a young age. Our conversation follows below:
Hey, guys! Thanks a lot for talking to Centuries of Sin.
First, just to satisfy a quirk in my mind; why name the band “Symphonic” Eternity? Your music sounds more like a mix of prog-rock and alternative metal to me. Plus, I don’t see any keyboards in the lineup for the “symphonic” part, haha.
Anish: “Symphonic Eternity” basically means “music forever”, and that’s what we intended it to be.
Rohan: “Symphonic” here refers to music in general and not any specific genre.
To start off, what attracted you guys to heavy and progressive metal music? Especially considering that the kind of music aimed at your age group is mostly kiddie pop and Bollywood songs…
Rohan: I feel that these kinds of music are more realistic than the usual programmed music we hear.
Anish: And a lot more challenging.
Anagh: I like it because it’s complex, heavy and not easy to design and play.
Vijay: I like listening to all types of music, and I like Symphonic Eternity’s music because it’s unique. One also requires a lot of skill to play this kind of music.
From what I’ve seen in your gigs, the metal crowd in Bangalore and other cities have received the band very enthusiastically. But have there been times where metalheads HAVEN’T taken you seriously, or have somehow dismissed you as a sort of “bachchu band”, pardon the expression?
Anish: This used to happen before we went up on stage.
Rohan: We started off as a band, when not many people knew of us, other bands used to look at us strangely, wondering what these kids are doing here.
Anagh: After we played on stage though, people would be shocked by our performance because they didn’t expect kids like us to play like that…
Vijay: Well, yeah, what they say is true… but it makes it a lot of fun, seeing their reactions!
Your songs at this point are mostly about “kid stuff” ranging from basketball to bullying. Do you hope to explore deeper subjects and lyrics as you get older? Or have you already started doing so?
Anagh: I think our topics are not really kid stuff or deep either.
Anish: I’m not sure we think about this consciously. We have a new song called ‘Time’ which is about how time is persistent and ‘in-your-face’ constantly. We never planned it as a topic for kids or adults.
Rohan: We’re also working on a lot more songs on different topics, so we’re not really thinking about whether they are “kiddie” topics or not.
Vijay: Our lyrics depict who & what we are and what matters to us. In fact, people of all ages play basketball, so it doesn’t really count as kid stuff.
How do you divide your time between jamming and school? I hope the band hasn’t intruded too much into your academics!
Vijay: Hahaha… that we leave to our parents, actually. Moreover, our schools are supportive. We’ve all been doing well in school so there are no problems. We manage to jam at least twice a week most of the time.
Have you had a chance to introduce friends of your age group to metal through the band? I say that more young blood and fresh fans in the scene are always welcome!
Rohan: Yes, I’ve introduced a lot of friends, classmates, neighbours and relatives to this form of music. Many get scared, but some have turned into metal heads!
Anish: I’ve introduced a lot of my friends to metal, including our own bassist Vijay!!
Vijay: That’s true, and I’ve done the same with a lot of my friends ever since.
Anagh: I’m still in 6th Grade. My classmates think that metal music means all instruments used by the band are ‘made of metal’, hahaha! I’m not having any luck converting friends of my age to metal, but I’ve converted my Mum somewhat!
If you’ll allow me to get a little serious here: it’s brutally hard to keep a rock or metal band going in this climate of digital downloads, piracy, lesser gig locations, etc. Plus, to be honest, very few bands here enjoy the family support that you guys have from your (incredibly cool) parents. Have you ever thought about this in terms of the band’s future? Or are you just enjoying your gigs and music as they come?
All: We’re just enjoying the gigs & music as they come. We’re just focusing on making more and more original music.
On to some lighter stuff, how has the response been so far to your debut EP ‘Diffusion’ (which if I’m not wrong was also the earlier name of the band before bassist Vijay joined)?
All: Yes, it was the name of the band before Vijay joined us. The response has been great, we think; people who hear the EP have told us that they love it. And at gigs, when we play our songs from it, we see the audience head-banging and grooving!
Give us an idea of some of the challenges you had with recording this EP, especially at such a young age.
Anish: For me, the hardest part was controlling the sound from my guitar and keeping it clean for the sections that we were recording as continuous takes!
Vijay: Controlling the tone of the electric bass was a bit tough as I was playing with a plectrum at that time.
Anagh: Making sure my sticks don’t collide or fall when I was recording, and some fast double bass sections were the difficult parts.
Rohan: Getting the right tone for my guitar and recording my voice without the band backing me live took a little getting used to. We’re based at Octavium and all our jams and recording happen at the pro-studio there. Cyril Prince, founder & frontman of ‘Grail of Destruction’, produced our EP and helped us through the whole process, making it easier.
Finally, what has been your favourite gig till date? Strawberry Fields, Saarang, IIM-B Unmaad? Give us a little recollection.
Rohan: Without a doubt, our gig during the World Music Day celebrations at Alliance Francaise on June 21st 2015.
Vijay: Well yeah, it was a very special gig because we were introduced by Bruce Lee Mani, and our EP was released by him & Jeoraj George!
Anish: We had a full house audience that was rocking with us for every song. It was awesome!
Anagh: Even after the gig, so many people came and congratulated us. Many musicians and members of other bands playing there came and took pictures with us too. It was so much fun.
Thanks once again for talking to CoS, you guys. I think I speak for most of the metal scene when we say we wish you good luck with your future endeavours!
All: Thank you so much!
Check out Symphonic Eternity’s EP ‘Diffusion’ here: https://www.oklisten.com/album/diffusion
Symphonic Eternity’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/symphonic.eternity/
Also browse CoS’ photo album of their performance: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1653213881617712.1073741863.1495988187340283&type=3