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Pune Rockers Nemophilis Unveil New Single And Talk About Their Upcoming Album

interviews Apr 07, 10:06am

The band talks 'Paralyzed' and the musical journey so far

 

Pune-based trio Nemophilis has been tributing the 70s and 80s in their rock and power ballad-fuelled music since they started out in 2019. Over the next two years, they went on to release pieces of the latter like ‘Today’ and ‘Gone Away’ alongside rip-roaring, crunchy numbers like ‘Longing to Be Free’, ‘Going Down’ and ‘Born To Lose’. Their rendition of Queen’s little-known ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ then came out in 2020 to critical acclaim. However, the band disapproves of being pigeonholed into genre clichés, defining their sound as something much more, one that “encapsulates the full spectrum of all possible emotions”.

After a year-long break, they’re back with their latest single ‘Paralyzed’ from their upcoming debut full-length album. Upbeat and catchy, the song mixes old-school arena rock with new-age chops to form a soundscape that can hold its place in the contemporary music space without sounding too cliched or coming off as overtly try-hard. With Kshitij Kumar Choudhary on the guitars, Akarsh Singh on the drums, and Saurabh Lodha on the bass, here is what the band has to say about their latest single, upcoming album and making music in general.

 

You just released a new song ‘Paralyzed’ and you have a new album coming out too. Could you talk a bit about the writing process?

Saurabh: The new album is very different from anything that we have done before. We have become a bit more modern in our approach. The sound we are going for, whether that’s production or songwriting; basically, we are re-inventing ourselves in a way. What ‘Paralyzed’ as a song does is that it acts as a bridge between the old Nemophilis and the new Nemophilis. It sits somewhere in between. It’s not exactly modern rock that you would hear from newer bands and it’s not exactly old-school rock, like, from the 80s. It's kind of in the middle and that acts as a transition point to soften the blow of what’s about to come. So that’s what it is.

 

About what you said about your new album coming with a “newer sound”, how would you say that your sound has evolved and what can we expect to hear in this record?

Saurabh: We have always been self-sustained. All the songs we’ve released so far were produced and engineered by the band. Like, we recorded them ourselves, mixed them, mastered them, everything. Even this new song and the rest of the new album.

We derive a lot of influence from Linkin Park and we’ve always been hardcore fans. And the way they got a very fresh new sound in nu-metal by introducing a lot of electronic sounds, samples, SFX, and a lot of industrial sounds as well, something like that. So, rather than being a rock band or making a rock song composed of guitars, bass, drums, the usual four instruments, it’s gonna have a lot more modern production elements (which we have never done before).

Kshitij: We were known to play sappy power ballads and the occasional dad rock… like the pentatonic rock sound. But this time we are going back to our origins because we all are metalheads first, that’s how we started doing music. We thought Nemophilis would be a project where we are not too extreme and are not too sold-out. We were pretty soft in our approach initially but now we are going to go hard. It’s gonna be a lot heavier than what anybody is expecting it to be.

 

You collaborated with Kill The King and Demonic Resurrection guitarist Aditya Swaminathan on this track. How did that collaboration come about?

Saurabh: He’s the sweetest guy ever and a very good friend of the band. I also happen to play for Kill The King so he’s my bandmate from there. I play bass for the band as well. He’s one of the best guitar players in the country right now and it was an honour actually to have him play on this particular song. He has just always been there.

Kshitij: We just sent the song to him, he liked it and we asked him if he wanted to collab. He said yes to that. We were expecting something along the lines of rock. When we got the solo back and I put it in the session… like when I was mixing the song, I was just in awe.

Saurabh: And he took less than a day to get back to us. When we sent him the song, he replied within a couple of hours he was like, “There you go, guys.”

Kshitij: And that was the final touch that the song required. It was a cherry on top for sure; what Aditya Swaminathan has done is off the charts. It’s amazing. And we are very excited to have this collab out there and for people to hear and see all of that.

 

 

It seems like sonically, the album is going to be eclectic and diverse. Can you talk a little bit about the lyrical and narrative themes in this album?

Kshitij: Okay so this is the hardest question for me. Earlier, as a songwriter, I felt like I was deliberately binding myself to a certain thing. Maybe, that was what was coming out in the lyrics.

Saurabh: It was just that he was going through a breakup. He just wrote a lot of heartbreak songs. That’s it (laughs).

Kshitij: Mostly it revolved around betrayal and heartbreak and all of that, and existential crisis. But this time, it’s a little bit more diverse. ‘Paralyzed’ as a single is something explicit, I must say, and a little bit edged towards the side of sexual themes.

Saurabh: It’s an E-rated song with a mature video.

Kshitij: Other than that, I derived a lot of inspiration from Linkin Park and other bands. So, talking about depression, existential crisis, and all those “bummer” things that people want to talk about but can’t do in a normal setting. I just put those out in a song.

 

You’ve been in the music scene for the past 4-5 years now. What are some of the personal challenges that you guys have had to face as an emerging band?

Saurabh: There’s one thing that I’d like to point out, the leniency or the not-very enthusiastic and unprofessional attitude from a lot of venues, organizers, sound vendors, and others. We are not that poor of a country but when it comes to putting out a good gig, people just do the bare minimum. That’s the case with a lot of venues right now. Unless it’s a popular festival like Weekender, or Supersonic and all of those, the way they handle things for smaller venues and gigs – the way they are always running late, the way they never look at the tech rider… those are the few things that we faced as like big challenges.

Kshitij: One thing I must mention once again, is that we are a self-produced band. So, from songwriting to recording to mixing to mastering to distribution and even the video editing part and the gigs… getting everything done is all by us. It’s done by either one of us. We have realized that are stretched too thin and we would want more people on board and that’s the hardest part according to me. We want reliable, quality people on board, who believe in the vision, who share that mantra that “This is something good and we want to be associated with it. We want to be a part of the band even though we are not on the stage. Everyone helps a lot.” So that’s one of the biggest challenges – to find people we can rely on.

 

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