• Fri, May 24, 2024

Introducing: The Library (A Collaboration between Siddharth Basrur and Vishal J Singh)

features Nov 13, 02:56pm

Siddharth Basrur is the owner of one of the most recognizable voices in the indie circuit these days - from Goddess Gagged to his solo stuff to his work in films and advertisements to the tons of collaborations and guest appearances he happens to do. Vishal J Singh founded the cult Amogh Symphony, and is one of the most naturally gifted metal guitar players in the country, with phenomenal chops matched by an innate ability to craft songs and transcend stylistic restrictions at ease. Naturally, the two decided to get together to form The Library, an instrumental alternative/post-rock band where they're sharing all instrumental duties.

(Selfie Courtesy The Library)


"He's a child," says Siddharth Basrur in mock-exasperation, talking about his new band mate and temporary flatmate, Vishal J Singh. "I'm constantly picking up after him." Just the other day, Vishal, hungry, decided to heat up some food in the microwave. Of course, he forgot to remove the foil. Thankfully, Basrur was there to shut the thing before it burnt the house down. Notwithstanding that, the two have formed a very cool new band, currently a studio thing, called The Library - "A library is just a wealth of information across different subjects," says Basrur. "We're trying to be as open minded as possible." "It's an entire room filled with books and a very hot lady who's the librarian," adds Vishal.

As of now, they're writing aggressive high-energy music that falls vaguely under the post-rock bracket, with considerable punk and alternative undertones. "It's all very progressive, but if we want to write a pop album tomorrow, we will." That's not happening anytime soon though - they've put out 'In the Library', their first official release, on SoundCloud and Bandcamp, and they've written two more songs, one of which is a real cracker of a piece, although they're still working on them so we'll have to wait for an official release. "It's very textural," says Basrur, "it's stuff that you can put to a film; that's what we're looking at. You should be able to listen to the album and dream up a sequence." Oh, and there's an album in the pipeline too - they plan to record all the music at Basrur's home studio setup in Yaari Road, Mumbai, before eventually re-recording all the songs and putting out a proper release.  

"I'm kind of like his wife," says Vishal. "I need to be pampered a lot; I like being in a homely environment, and he does that." The Library happened almost spontaneously - they'd both been working on some random stuff, and one riff led to another. They sat all night, working till six in the morning, and ended up recording and programming 'In the Library'. The next night, they worked on another track - they were on a roll and they're already done with almost three complete songs. 

Stream 'In the Library' by The Library below:


The plan is to take the project live eventually, with Basrur playing the bass and Vishal on the guitars - "I actually want to play drums," he quips from behind, though. "A lot of people don't know that before I got into metal, I was actually a blues guitarist." And before that, he was playing drums in his family band with his brother on the guitar. His proficiency on the instrument has been well documented, but this is a fairly new side to him, at least for Amogh Symphony fans who associate Vishal with technical metal guitar-playing.  Here, though, he keeps aside all chugs and palm-mutes, opting for a more open and fluid alternative style of playing. "I don't know what direction we'll take - we still don't know. From my own vision, I would like to call it instrumental post-rock, with punk elements, grunge elements, progressive passages." The works, basically. The whole point of the experiment, of The Library, is that they looked at each other and said, 'Let's not think of anything.'

And while everyone knows Basrur as this tremendous vocalist, not a lot of people are aware of his skills as a competent instrumentalist. "I can play the guitar too. And the bass! I'm not that good though; I can just about manage," he says. Vishal, though, reveals that he's a "damn good guitar player and a very decent bass player" as well. It all started very randomly, but he cites the experience, and the music, to be very "positive", and while we can expect the two guys to be ever-present in their regular avatars, The Library is a platform that showcases a very different, although equally hard-hitting and insistent side of their musical identities.

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