IN CONVERSATION (Part 3): SYSTEMHOUSE 33 Talk Future of Indian Metal Scene, History in Nagpur, and Release of ‘REGRESSION’

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Background picture by Mariel Fonseca

You’ve tracked their brutal tour with Six Feet Under in Europe. You’ve had a taste of what’s to come on their upcoming album. And now, you’re going to go deep into Mumbai-based metallers SystemHouse 33‘s very history in their unassuming hometown, as well as the ambitious mind of their vocalist Samron Jude.

In this two-part finale of our mega-interview with Samron, listen as he offers his opinion on why today’s bands in the Indian metal scene will need to invest in multimedia with their music, as well as their incredible history in their hometown of Nagpur! You can listen to both parts through our YouTube and SoundCloud channels below.

First off, Sam doesn’t feel so optimistic about bands depending solely on albums and gigs for revenue. “After what has happened in the music scene with the Internet coming in – album sales at an all-time low and making money only from gigs – I feel that the next 5 years is going to be very crucial [for the scene],” says the SystemHouse frontman. “It’s all going to change. Bands will have to look into newer sources of revenue. YouTube is one option, where you can get money from ad networks like Google. If people can’t catch you live, they’ll watch your video, and if it’s good, it’ll attract more people.

Websites and other alternatives of making money are going to boom. It can’t just be on gigs; those gigs have to create a situation where you can make something off of them. If it’s a big gig, you can make a music video out of it that people will watch. So bands will start investing in all these aspects, I feel. Once you do that, that’s when you’re gonna get paid back, and if you’re not gonna do that, you might not be a band any longer. How long can you continue with no money, unless it’s just a hobby?

Sam is especially perky when talking about the band’s start in the then almost nascent music scene of Nagpur.

Says he, “I’ve wanted to talk about this for the longest time! So there are a lot of engineering colleges in Nagpur; about 16 of them in the outskirts. One of them is VNIT, which has an annual festival organised by the students. At that point, we were a band that played the Doors and a couple of pop songs.

One day while we were hanging out in the college, a guy pulled us out from the crowd and took us to his dormitory. He sat us down in front of his computer, switched it on, and played the music video of Pantera’s “I’m Broken”. Watching Dimebag Darrell for the first time was heavy stuff, and we were like, “what just happened?!” We asked him to give us more of this music, because dial-up net connections even back in 2002 to 2003 weren’t good enough for a Google search. So we took his CD, made a hundred copies of it, and gave them to everyone we knew.

We kept asking for more and more music, and gave more and more CDs away. We didn’t mind spending 20 to 30 bucks on this because we wanted to have a small community where we could talk about this kind of music. So it started off that way, and more bands [in Nagpur] started listening to it, man. It changed the music tastes of a lot of people there, and soon, we started playing all of that stuff. It was crazy!

Be on the lookout for SystemHouse 33’s upcoming new album ‘Regression’, releasing in early 2016! Thanks for tuning in!

IN CONVERSATION (Part 3): SYSTEMHOUSE 33 Talk Future of Indian Metal Scene, History in Nagpur, and Release of ‘REGRESSION’

IN CONVERSATION (Part 2): SYSTEMHOUSE 33 Talk Sound of ‘Regression’, Release Official Album Art

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In Part 1 of our mega-interview with vocalist Samron Jude of Indian metal veterans SystemHouse 33, the band were on the verge of embarking on one of their biggest tours yet: supporting American death metallers Six Feet Under in the X-Mas in Hell tour in Europe. And now that their grueling tour will end with their last performance in Glauchau, Germany on December 12th today, it’s high time to talk about the next phase of Systemhouse: their upcoming new album ‘Regression’.

Listen below as Sam talks about the amount of effort and musical reverse-engineering that went into ‘Regression’, as well as some of his barely-concealed love for 2000’s-era Nu Metal acts like Slipknot and Disturbed. Also see if you can also catch snippets of two songs from the new album in the video…

Speaking about the sound of the ‘Regression’ album, Samron states, “We’ve kept it simple, but we’ve also put in a lot of good parts that sound good to the ears. I started playing a lot more guitar and learnt all the songs on the guitar this time. The music sounds good and melodic, but it also has years of talent and a lot of skill put into it.”

The SystemHouse frontman is also not willing to understate the amount of effort the band has put into the new album. “We’ve spent one and a half to two years on the album,” he confesses. “It’s not like we’ve spent five days on the album and then taken a month’s break; it’s been non-stop. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought about ‘Regression’ or what I’m gonna write or put into it.

“I realised at that time that when big bands do this, they come out with a good product that people want to own and go home with. This doesn’t come from spending just some amount of time on it, which is why we’ve worked very hard on the album. I feel that the [metal] crowds in any part of the world will love this.”

Oh, and here is SH33’s official album cover for ‘Regression’:

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Dark yet clean, and simple yet abstract. Also, it’s refreshing to see photo-art being used in an album cover in the Indian metal scene, as opposed to the now-popular style of drawn and illustrated covers (no slight to artists like Visual Amnesia and Acid Toad though; they’re still awesome at what they do).

If you’d like to listen to the audio-only version of Part 2, stream it here:

SystemHouse 33’s ‘Regression’ is set to release sometime in early 2016.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

IN CONVERSATION (Part 2): SYSTEMHOUSE 33 Talk Sound of ‘Regression’, Release Official Album Art

IN CONVERSATION: Samron Jude of SYSTEMHOUSE 33 (Part 1)

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Background Photo by Mariel Fonseca

Even though there’s no shortage of things to complain about when it comes to metal music and touring, one positive is that international touring seems to be on the rise for Indian metal bands. Gone are the days when bands could only rely on special competitions like the Wacken Metal Battle; they are now reaching out hard and fast to big agencies and record labels for any taste of international recognition. If you want to hear what that’s like, look no further than Samron Jude, vocalist of Mumbai-based thrash veterans SystemHouse 33.

Oh, and also because we don’t need to keep knocking on Sahil Makhija’s door for answers to questions like these.

After 12 years and 4 albums, Samron sure has a lot to talk about when it comes to SH33’s history, music and touring (and he does love to talk, bless him.) In the first part of this EPIC 45-minute interview, he goes into detail about the band’s upcoming tour with American death metal giants Six Feet Under, and the grueling recording process behind their upcoming new album ‘Regression’.

Hey, Samron! Thank you so much for approaching CoS and taking the time to talk to us!

Absolutely, man. It’s a pleasure! We’d like to spread the word about our upcoming album, and nothing better than this.

I guess those are the two biggest pieces of news surrounding SystemHouse 33 right now: your upcoming album ‘Regression’, and your much-talked about tour with Six Feet Under; which if I’m not wrong is coming this December?

That’s right. We’re leaving on the first of December, and the tour starts on the third.

How about giving us a recap of your experience and reaction to getting the invitation to tour with Six Feet Under?

It’s something we’ve been working on for the past couple of years. It’s really tough being a band in India, and almost impossible to make a career out of it since the audience here is so little. There are no organisations here that regularly do it; not as much as a band would like. We’ve thought about this situation in our country, even though we would love to be popular here.

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SystemHouse 33’s tour schedule for next month’s X-mas In Hell Tour. | Image: Courtesy of Samron Jude

Being a band for about 12 years, we’ve seen a lot of things change, which has led to a lot of bands disbanding over the years. So I personally thought that doing something internationally would be a new prospect for the band. We reached out to a lot of booking agencies and people who are connected with these big bands, and told them about how metal works in India. A lot of big bands like Iron Maiden have come to India in the past 8 years, so people know that there is a metal scene here. With all of that in the picture, we were reaching out hard and fast for offers, and we ended up with the agency that works with Six Feet Under. We were actually going to do this in April, but that got delayed while SFU were doing a tour with Suffocation in Germany, and we thought it’d be better not to do that tour. This [Xmas in Hell] tour is something that’s almost impossible for a band like India to perform.

Of course! Which is why it’s such a big deal!

Yeah! So that smaller tour was cancelled, and although we were already booked on that tour, they offered to switch us to their [Xmas in Hell] tour that they’ve been doing for nine years now. This is a tour that’s very close to them, and it’s the last set of concerts that happen in Germany before the winter takes over there. So when they told us they could give us this [slot], we were like, “wow… we didn’t expect this.” It’s actually good in a way that the tour got delayed, because we’ve been working so hard on this, as well as on the ‘Regression’ album. We actually re-recorded the album in that time.

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SystemHouse 33 in 2015. | Photo: Mariel Fonseca

Oh, really?

Yeah, this is the third time we’ve hit the studio. We’ve scrapped 3 to 4 songs, we’ve wrote 3 songs. We’ve worked so hard on this album; it’s almost like a full-time job, man! I feel like I’m working on it on a daily basis, but that’s actually when it gets more real. It’s not the second thing you do during your day, it’s the first and best thing; when you wake up and all you think about is music and ‘Regression’. It’s the best feeling of confidence that all of us in the band have right now. We’re happy to play with Six Feet Under too, because I feel we’re VERY well-prepared.

I bet! With 12 years and four albums under your belt, I guess you really feel that you can do more international tours now.

We want to! We want to be that band whose music the world can hear, because we can at this point. Even before, we thought ahead and moved to Bombay from Nagpur, which was a tough transition considering that Bombay is a tough place to live in. But we got through that, and I have a feeling we’ll get through this as well, and grow into a band that can make popular music that the people will love.

We also have an audio-only version of this interview on our new SoundCloud:

 

Stay Tuned for Part 2!

IN CONVERSATION: Samron Jude of SYSTEMHOUSE 33 (Part 1)

IN CONVERSATION: Mumbai Thrash/Groove Metallers ZYGNEMA

Untitled“There is a lack of the two most important things that make us human: feelings and emotions. The mind and heart are missing. And behind the Vitruvian Man, you see the framework of society. You’re being controlled by something you don’t know, and as a consequence, you can see the world burning behind you.”

These were the words of guitarist Sidharth Kadadi of Mumbai thrash/groove metal stalwarts Zygnema, as he explained the cover art of their new album ‘What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete’ to Centuries of Sin in this exclusive interview.

We caught up with Zygnema a few hours before their album launch gig in The Humming Tree in Bangalore. Watch our video interview with Kadadi and bassist Leon Quadros as they go into detail about ‘What Makes Us Human is Obsolete’, working with Bhayanak Maut’s R. Venkatraman on the music, the band’s upcoming Metal for Nepal charity gig, and more!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering… the gig that night was PRETTY FUCKING BRUTAL. I’m talking bruises and bleeding lips from the pit, people. We’ve got photographic evidence of the destruction caused by Zygnema right here as well!

Zygnema laying waste to The Humming Tree | See full gallery here
[Clockwise] Jimmy Bhore, Sidharth Kadadi, Mayank Sharma and Leon Quadros of Zygnema | See full gallery here
Buy ‘What Makes Us Human is Obsolete’ here:
Instamojo: https://www.instamojo.com/zygnema/zygnema/
Bandcamp: http://zygnema.bandcamp.com/releases
Transcending Obscurity: http://tometal.com/shop/cds/zygnema-india-what-makes-us-human-is-obsolete-cd/

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