2018 looks promising for this popular Bengaluru-based experimental rock band, which will be performing live at an upcoming music, art and dance festival in Ooty...
High energy, neck-breaking groove – that's how Switcheroo, a popular city band likes to describe its music. The five member band predominantly plays experimental Nu-rock, and has rendered a series of hard-hitting hits. Despite being relatively new in the scene (the band was founded in the year 2016), Switcheroo has been able to create an impact – with the Enslave by the Establishment tour, in June last year. The tour entailed the band touring thirteen cities in India in a span of three weeks. And, is probably one of the few bands in the city to have done so. A successful debut album and two singles later; the city band is prepping for the GoMAD festival, a two day festival showcasing an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary performances crossing cultures and genres. In a candid chat, they share the inside track with us...
“A lot of groove, high energy, and material are what the crowd should be expecting from our performance at the festival. And we just have one thing to say – put your dancing shoes on!" states Kishan Hebbar, lead guitarist. While the festival is what's keeping the band on their toes, this year looks promising on other fronts, too. “We're currently working on the finer details of the songs that we're going to be putting out on our album. We shall be releasing it around the end of summer or a little after that,” adds Kishan. Speaking about the festival, Sanjit George, the festival director opines, “What is unique about the GoMAD Festival is that more than laying emphasis on headlining acts, we believe in supporting the independent scene and promoting talent – big or small irrespective of the genre. True to our passion, we are giving three deserving winners from prime college competitions a platform to feature in the line-up this year. The beauty of the festival is that it allows people to stumble upon a little-known band or artiste, performing a genre that they never knew they would like.” When quizzed about the band's expectations from the gig, vocalist Austyn Goveas informs, "To be honest, we just can't wait to be there! We're looking forward to playing to a lot of people who are okay with an unconventional concept. It feels exciting to know you are going to be gigging somewhere that promises the unusual.”
Hardly two years into the music scene and the Indie artistes have made considerable impact - through trials and tribulations, of course. Speaking of the band's evolution, Subhash Rao, guitarist, states, “This band initially started when I decided that I want to move forward in a direction of sound that hasn't been done before, and I had a bunch of song ideas that I wanted to put into development. That's when I approached Nikhil (Drummer) and Austyn (vocalist) for their extremely versatile styles! About half a year later, we added in our Bass guitarist (Akshat) and after quite a bit of gigging etc, we had a line up change as our original lead guitarist had moved on to Kolkata, which is when we added Kishan on lead! The sound and process of writing has evolved into a more mature phase of song writing especially over the last year.”
The band features Austyn Goveas on the vocals, Kishan Hebbar and Subash Rao on guitars, Nikhil Abraham on the drums and Akshat Kavidayal on the bass.
As one of the prominent bands in town, the city's largely ephemeral music scene offers a plethora of opportunities. “The city’s music scene is filled with so many unbelievably talented musicians, and with so many beautiful venues constantly coming up and supporting these artists like never before! We've always got the 'Mecca' of Indie music at what many of us consider Home - the city has two many spaces to practise and perform music. What we need more of, is more of the musicians coming out and supporting each other at all the gigs! Not only to create a sense of brotherhood, but also to learn and progress together,” believes Rao.
The festival will be hosted at the lush green locales of Ferrnhills Royale Palace, the former palace of the Mysore Maharajas, Ooty on January 26 and 27.