The Delhi supergroup with the uncharacteristically low-key frontman has released another intriguingly layered piece of music titled 'Hole' (scroll to bottom of the page) from their upcoming album. We also caught up with Rahul Das (the same uncharacteristically low-key frontman) and tried to pick his brain a little.
What is the creative flow and dynamics of the band like?
R.D: The idea of doing something like this was in my mind for a long time. However, Sundog was conceived around late 2011 (it was originally supposed to be a ''one guy laptop'' scene but thankfully the fever caused by eating bad Punjabi-Italian food quickly passed). I had been doodling around with music for quite a while and around late 2011 made some demos that I thought were "complete" enough to be played live. I knew Anupam for quite a while and shared the idea of a "live project". Simultaneously around that time I saw a comment on facebook, by Shardul, about one of the songs I had made saying that it was "meaty"; not sure what he meant by it but I asked him if he would like to play drums. I knew Shardul and Sainani from the JF days (interestingly the first guy I ever contacted about Sundog and playing my songs live was Clarence actually). The final cog in the wheel was Viraj who joined in by early 2012. As far as creative flow goes (this installment of Sundog and the upcoming record) the songs are written and composed by me but that being said collaborative band efforts are a definite possibility in the future.
What are the influences that have shaped your sound?
R.D:The music derives influences from a whole lot of things actually. I am a huge fan of post punk, new wave, dark wave, industrial etc etc but those are just shades. I would like to pompously say that in its heart there’s as much influence ranging from electronic to classical to new wave to industrial to alternative to turn of the century European occultists to Bengali revolutionary poets haunted by visions (hah didn’t see that coming did ya?).
Is there a concept to the album?
R.D: Yes there is a concept and running story behind the album. No I am not going to talk about it. I would love it if whoever is listening would go a step further and try to, well not understand, but just see if they can get something from any of the layers (lyrics or music). That little nod, that little understanding that there just might be some effort to communicate to the listener is the biggest compliment that an artist gets in my opinion.
Sundog Project has been a studio project for a while now, a stage act has been a long time coming. Why the delay?
R.D: The biggest challenge is that we are all working professionals with day jobs. Also I don’t think anyone in the band is blessed with efficient time management. There is no excuse for the delay actually.
What is the most challenging aspect of taking an act like yours to the stage?
R.D: Taking an act like this to the stage is challenging indeed. First of all the songs weren't written in a traditional rock way, there are a lot of layers within it. What to play live and which layers to discard is a huge question. One of the biggest challenges is setting up the equipment needed to make live music like this a possibility. A lot of samples have to be triggered, there are tons and tons of effects on the synth, guitar, bass etc etc. The point is that we really wanted to make an electronically driven project as "live" as possible.
How does it feel to be back within the performance space? What has been the biggest challenge/hurdle during this journey back?
R.D: There is no other space except for the performance space. It feels great, even if a lot of times it’s very difficult and sometimes it blows live (which you will be accustomed to seeing very soon hah!)
How have you seen the indie music scene change? Are there any apprehensions that you may have about Sundog "fitting" in or being accepted?
R.D: Actually, interestingly, I think indie music has gotten better here. Yes there are far less shows and the scene in general seems to be more DJ friendly, but access to technology and the ease with which one can use it has given rise to some interesting and different 'acts'. Its so awesome that one can just take a laptop and become the "greatest composer of C-Block East Patel Nagar, First floor, balcony" while the outside world is up to its same age old dirty tricks. I remember when I first started out as a teenager in 2002-2003 I hated the scene, nobody knew of bands I listened to and the only way i could get my point across was if, along with my song, I played a Steve Vai solo. Those days are over and I am glad.
Yes there are apprehensions, despite of what Sundog looks and sounds like I guess the intent is honest (at least thats what was tried) and some nerves will be there as to how it’s received, I guess.
Listen to 'Hole' here:
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