• Thu, Sep 20, 2018
Features

Pentagram: The Mental Heroes

features Sep 26, 11:00am

(Photo by Naman Saraiya) Pentagram return to Delhi after what seems like forever (almost a year, to be more precise) to play at Blue Frog on September 27

(Photo by Naman Saraiya)

Pentagram return to Delhi after what seems like forever (almost a year, to be more precise) to play at Blue Frog on September 27 as part of the Gig Week. They’ve been keeping a low profile of late, but all that’s going to change very soon. We catch up with their vocalist, Vishal Dadlani, and guitarist, Randolph Correia, as they bring us up to date with what’s been happening with the band and what’s in the pipeline. Hint, hint: They’re about to start working on a new album.

AKHIL SOOD

Pentagram have been MIA for a while now; they haven’t been touring much, and their last release, Bloodywood, came out in 2011. “Calm before the storm, I reckon,” explains Vishal Dadlani, their vocalist. “You can expect to see a LOT more of us, soon. Some mad things [are] coming,” he adds. Pentagram hit the capital on September 27, playing at Blue Frog, Delhi, the closing gig at this year’s Gig Week, where they will be joined by Shaa’ir Func, Lightyears Explode, and Drawing Short Straws.

Randolph Correia, the guitar-player for both Pentagram and Shaa’ir Func, is “bloody excited” about the gig, and he warns us: “My hair has grown and is out of control and it’s making my guitar sound a bit rude.” He has been touring with Shaa’ir Func of late – “Randolph was gone for a couple of months; he spent time in Berlin, exploring his head and his music. So the rest of us took some time off, too,” Vishal tells us – but now he’s back, and the bandwagon is about to start rolling very soon. “We are always active,” Randolph says, dismissing any notions of a ‘hiatus’ or a ‘break’, “more than required sometimes; just that we are picky about what we want people to see and hear.”

He’s been writing music, as has Vishal, and the plan is to put everything together in October, once they return to Bombay. “Sometimes you need to live a little before you can write new music,” says Vishal. And Randolph does reveal that the new material is “sounding insane already”. He mentions how it’s totally different to anything he’s done with the band before. “Hang in there, guys.”

(Photo by Naman Saraiya)

Pentagram have been together since the mid-90s, reinventing themselves and discovering and adding new elements to their sound over the years. Naturally, there has to be a synchronicity to their approach and attitude – “Was, is and will always be there,” Randolph says. “It’s an unexplainable connection us four have; we’ve only had to adapt to the world changing around us.”

And naturally, fights would be frequent too. But, as Vishal says, “We’ve come to a point where the ‘fights’ have become discussions, and most of the talking happens in our heads. Everyone knows each other’s views, so we jump straight to the conclusion of the argument, and get a move on.” Seemingly on cue, even though the interviews happened separately, Randolph adds: “We fight telepathically these days so when we meet, it’s all good and clear – just music, chai and shit jokes. We’ve gone a bit too old for fights, you see.”

Nevertheless, a dynamic as sound as theirs does require a certain perspective, and Randolph explains how they’ve all loved music passionately, which has served them well over the years, and they’ve “left each other the fuck alone. There aren’t every any rules or plans – we’ve just been. These days, I’m driven by the fact that people need to chill the fuck out and lose the bullshit.”

All the band members have been doing their own thing in addition to Pentagram for years now, but Vishal doesn’t think it’s ever been a problem: “I have a clear line. Pentagram is who I am. Everything else is stuff I do.

“Of course, other commitments take up a lot of time, and of course it takes some doing to make the Pentagram thing happen, but I don’t think we think about that stuff too much. Everyone’s learnt to take it as it comes, and to make space for each other back each other up.”--

Their gig at Blue Frog will be their first ever at the Delhi venue, and they’re looking forward to it. “All the other bands – Shaa’ir Func, The Lightyears Explode and Drawing Short Straws – are gonna be mad. I have a feeling this is going to be like a little festival stage!” says Vishal. Randolph will be playing with both Pentagram and Shaai’ir Func, but there’s going to be none of that energy saving crap. It’s rock ‘n’ roll after all. “With all of us,” says Vishal, “it’s always maximum energy, all the time! Randolph, the beast, is going to pull off two sets with two bands, each of which is a powerhouse. It’s gotta be rough, but then, I’ve seen him do it far too often to even begin to doubt. The man is insane!”

Read more about The Gig Week here
 

(Designed by Anish Sundaran)

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