Anurag Tagat: You've just come out with what is your first official, studio-recorded single, is that fair to say?
Sujay Harthi: Yes, it is our first official release. The one where we went into the studio to record everything. The Soundcloud releases were all recorded and mixed at Tony's house and that was basically done to introduce people to our music. Now that we've been playing the songs live for over a year, we chose nine songs from our set and decided to work on our first album. ‘Roshan-E-Kaafile’ will be a part of the full length.
AT: When was ‘Roshan-E-Kaafile’ was it written? What is it about?
Praveen Biligiri: Technically, Roshan-E-Kaafile was the first Hindi song we wrote, though ‘Nayi Khushi’ was released earlier. Raveesh Tirkey, the bass player of (parody rock act) Live Banned penned down the lyrics for us. It’s about the journey of a man through ups and downs trying to find light at the end of it all.
AT: Compared to Bhoomi, how differently are you doing things such as songwriting and lyrics with Peepal Tree? Especially because it is multi-lingual. Are your lyrical influences completely different?
Willy Demoz: In Bhoomi, Sujay would write most of the lyrics. But in Peepal Tree, we have a few friends who write for us as none of us can really write poetically as well as we'd have liked to, in Kannada or in Hindi. Lyrical influences are very similar. In Bhoomi, the lyrics were about social issues that affect each one of us and it is still the same.
AT: Speaking of Bhoomi, I heard there are always gig plans every once in a while. But now with Peepal Tree taking the front seat, is Bhoomi something you do when you have the time, or for a change of scene every now and then?
Tony Das: It's definitely still harder to do metal gigs than most other kinds of gigs in this country, so they're few and far between.
AT: You guys are playing at NH7 Weekender in Pune. It's your first time that side of the woods, if I'm not wrong? What kind of set do you have planned?
Tony Das: Well, we have about 45 minutes, as opposed to our regular 1.5 hour set, so we're going to whittle it down to our most fun, loud, and in-your-face material. No ballad-y tear-jerkers for Pune, that's for sure! We also usually throw in the odd cover or 2 that we rework to fit our sound, but we're still on the fence about whether to do them at NH7 Pune, or go with a 100% original set. So we thought we'd try a couple of different sets at our rehearsals, and see which one has the most impact. But yeah we're really looking forward to a giant party in Pune!
Peepal Tree on stage with Jojo Mayer (far right)
AT: You also got to perform with the likes of Jojo Mayer at a private gig in Bangalore - it was pretty exclusive, right?
Willy: That was unreal. To be able to play on the same stage was enough of a privilege, but they came out and jammed with us on one of our songs (‘Tangi’), and it was a really humbling experience. Jojo Mayer on the drums, of course! Christian Galvez on the electric bass, and Paolo Di Sabatino on the keys. They're monsters!
AT: How is the album shaping up?
Sujay: The album has been fully recorded except for some vocals and some guitar overdubs. There will be eight songs on it, and we thought we'd call it Peepal Tree.
We don't really have a tentative date, but we want to get it out as soon as possible! As for when we're putting out new material - we've just released the video for ‘Roshan-e-Kaafile’, so we want to let that simmer for a little while. Then we'll think about the next one. But we really want to put out more material as quickly as possible!
AT: How many times are people requested Bhoomi songs at a Peepal Tree gig? And conversely - how many times have you heard people shouting out for Peepal Tree songs at the odd Bhoomi gig?
Praveen: Haha. I think I've heard a couple of shouts for ‘Deadtime Stories’ at a Peepal Tree gig. And some requests for Peepal Tree songs at a Bhoomi gig. But the hecklers are usually our buddies just having a laugh. Sometimes, they're not though. Which is when we have to do some inventive marketing and invite people to our other band's gigs.
Watch the video for 'Roshan-E-Kaafile'
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