How often have you heard of stories of a weekend mad-rager turning into a massive jam session? Plenty, right? Well, the next time you get together with your buddies, be prepared to exercise those vocals out, because, chances are, the “catching-up” could end up in the conjuring up of a band! In a relatively new trend that’s gaining momentum; forget partner scouring, friends with a rhythmic (and personality) sync and similar musical influences are coming out with collaborations and bands. With lesser ego clashes, no financial discrepancies and zero awkwardness in putting a point across, this arrangement is a win-win situation on many fronts. We profile popular and promising bands from the city that vouch by the trend...
“From what I understand, differences are a lot more appreciated when you already know the person. In arrangements like bands, creative differences and ego clashes are common, so it’s crucial to have a rapport and in-depth understanding with the people you play with. In our case, it’s a lot more peaceful, and there’s more transparency because you know he/she is your friend. The chemistry and the communication among the members is better and that shows in the quality of music you make and the frequency of gigs,” opines Krithika Shekhar, a 27-year-old radio professional-cum-musician, who started a city band Roulette with four of her closest friends Vani Subramaniam, a counsellor at APU, Nakul Agrawal, a software engineer and Alok Pandurangi, a music faculty.
Highlighting how individual growth is more welcome when band members are acquaintances, Krithika adds, “We all have jobs on the side, and have taken breaks and collaborated with different bands or worked individually at some point in time. Yet, when we come together as a band, we respect that as there’s a general sense of understanding that each one of us in the band would wish well for the other and not just focus on a particular band’s growth or profits.”
While the trend sees widespread popularity among newbies in the field, even seasoned musicians seem to harbour similar views. Vasu Dixit, lead vocalist of Swarathma and the hugely popular Vasu Dixit Collective, which was started by him and an old friend Abhinand Kumar, believes the idea needs a clear cut approach. “There are two ways to look at this. When you’re getting into an arrangement with friends, you need to have a great deal of commitment and also have a space for grey— one of the members will stand out, be more in the limelight and there will be personal issues that will lead to different members having different priorities. Though I started with friends, with people coming in and going, there’s a great deal of professionalism that has made the friendship take a backseat. The more serious you get about performing together, it gets more difficult and challenges do creep in. You need to be prepared for confrontations and adversaries, and have a more clear-cut approach that gives your band as much weight-age as the friendship. Otherwise, you’re going to end up losing either.”
“When with friends, have fun,” is what Akhilesh Kumar, a city musician, who is a part of bands One Girl Shy and Indi Graffiti, vouches for. “Remember it is about the fun you can have together while pursuing a common interest. Bands take time to shape up well and seeing the money coming in, one should always keep the fun factor in mind when jamming together. Money will come, but if you aren’t having fun, it becomes a chore and that’s what you’d do with any other job. Egos are useless because the other person knows you already. Don’t take the other for granted and don’t ever think of losing a friend for a lucrative deal.”