• Mon, Apr 15, 2024

We got the Pop remnants of what was Grunge: Amrit Mohan

Oct 01, 04:25pm

Mocaine's lead member Amrit Mohan sheds light on the band's recent release and elaborates on why they insist on calling themsevles a 'blues-grunge' outfit.

One of the publications recently reviewed Mocaine's 'Portrait of Dali' effort as something that "sends across the message very clearly," and although as difficult it is to agree with the sentiment, it also comes as quite a non-grunge way to look at the entire Mocaine sonic set-up. Grunge has been, naturally and historically, complicated. In India, it has even a weirder relationship for the lack of its acknowledgment and outreach. So, we decided to sit down with one of the relevant and evolving Grunge songwriter and understand where does the sound currently stand and what does it represent in the Indian context. 


With what is happening around you in the live music scene, what do you think can grunge (or similar genres with scattered following) bands do in order to stay relevant and noticed?


Well, we don't feel like we have to fight for relevance, we're as relevant any contemporary artist, perhaps a lot more so than some. But with this kinda music, the most effective way to get noticed is inherently to play live. One gig gets us more fans than a month of social media BS. Strangely, some things never change.


How has your EP done since its release? What are the early notes that you have noted down that gave you a much different perspective?


EP's done quite well since it's release. Some of the feedback we've gotten has reaffirmed our  confidence in our decision to track everything live, and shun the 'modern' approach of tedious, machine-perfect tracking.


Personal fav track from the EP is Waiting, a song that i think sounds more from The Remainder than the Portrait of Dali considering the overall sound of the two records. What other similarities do you see in the two studio efforts?


Glad to know you have a favorite. Apart from our general recording philosophy, another similarity between the two is they lyrical themes, which aren't exactly sunshine and butterflies. 


Do you think grunge never really arrived in Asia/India ? Or do you think it requires more than arrival of any western sound to connect to the audience? It needs a story, a journey that grunge possibly lacked in the Indian context?


Grunge did not arrive in India. We completely missed the bus on that one. We got the pop remnants of what was grunge, and that too a decade after it was dead. Which is why we keep getting labeled as out and out grunge. We're not. But people lack the frame of reference to fully understand that, and it's often a quick jump to 'oh, that's so Cobain!'. It gets irritating pretty quickly, to he honest. 


What should we expect from Mocaine for the remaining part of the year? 


We plan to travel to at least 3 cities before the end of this year, and a couple of rather unexpected releases *wink wink*.


Your songwriting, esp lyrically, returns the listener almost always to the good old grunge days. But there's something more to Mocaine's sound than the grunge. You call yourselves blues-grunge. Can you explain how that works? 


Yes! Finally, an opportunity to explain. We are as heavily influenced by the blues as we are by the grunge. The two invariably leak into each other, and we decided pretty early on to embrace this amalgamation. What we've ended up with (so far) is a tight mix of white-boy blues and the Seattle sound. Think Chuck Berry meets Jack White, while Buzz Osborne looms in the background.


What would you like to tell the people of the 'scene' in order to bring this sound back to the attention?


Go watch more live shows. Not only to "support the scene". It is genuinely an experience to cherish. Music like this is best enjoyed live. Your favorite grunge band (the 'N' word) reached the heights it did because of  legendary live shows, not because of MTv. MTv was what killed it. Don't be the MTv to your favorite, credible local acts

Listen to 'Portriats of Dali' here

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