Each song has a story that strings together the whole plot, each band member is interconnected in what they call the Skrat Universe or Skratverse with unique characters, villains and heroes. TT Sriram, lead singer of the Chennai-based hard rock band Skrat believes that experiencing a live gig should be just as good as listening to a story through music and that’s how their latest album Bison happened. Since the inception of the band in 2006, this garage rock band with a happy and groovy sound has evolved into heavier riffs, edgier guitar work and darker lyrics.
We catch TT Sriram in a candid chat before a recent gig in Coorg. The frontman talks about the latest album Bison that is all about the story of an amoral character General Bison along with his army neutralising a troubled population.
The 10-track album has General Bison as the central comic character, who is set out to ‘cleanse the world’.
“In our pursuit to tell the story of General Bison, we steer clear of explaining the plot separately while performing on stage. The story is in the lyrics of the songs. And, as for the story, the biggest influences are Queens of the Stone Age, the Foo Fighters, the Raconteurs, the Hives, the Vines etc. Most of these music bands today, especially the rock n roll ones get very preachy with their lyrics. We try and put all that angst in our characters and tell their story,” he says.
The three piece team — lead singer TT Sriram, Tapass Naresh on drums and Jhanu Chanthar on Bass are currently on an All India tour since their latest album got released last September. Starting with the unique name ‘Skrat’ to sticking together for the past 11 years, the trio has a lot of things unique to flaunt about.
“Skrat is that thing from ice age, but not quite. We didn’t think the band would really go anywhere, so we are stuck with the name. I’ve known Tapass the drummer since kindergarten and Jhanu the bassist was a man I looked up to (and still do) as a senior musician when we were coming up,’’ he says.
Sriram who is an ardent fan of curd vada with boondi sprinkled, admits that his habit of hyper-imagination from childhood and the eccentricity of the trio is what helped him buoy up the characters in the Skrat universe. “We all sit together and come up with the songs. Sometimes I bring the lyrics or an idea to start and sometimes it’s the other way round. But it’s always a combination of all our eccentricities. We put all what we have into characters with a storyline. All our albums have many characters that are interlinked and connected to each other,’’ he says.
— Skrat will be performing at the Smoke Company on January 13 as part of the Bison tour.