While most classical musicians their age group seem to really like their music, band members of Project MishraM smile that they get criticism from both Carnatic as well as Metal purists. “I think at the end of the day, we have always wanted to make our own music by incorporating diverse elements. Frankly, we are not here to re-define Carnatic or metal music, or anything of that sort,” said Shivaraj Nataraj, the lead vocalist of the Bengaluru-based band that means ‘mix’ in Sanskrit and also denotes the number seven.
The band members, who first met in college lament that it has never been easy to survive as an independent music band considering all the monetary and logistics issues that crop up over and over again.
The biggest challenge however is mental — you have to keep putting out content consistently or at least keep working on it when the drive to do so can fluctuate owing to financial issues etc., they said.
While the recent lockdown was a dry period for the progressive Carnatic fusion band infusing various genres of music from western and eastern styles, and bringing out a unique sound, in terms of live gigs, but they did manage to make the period productive. “Well, we managed to focus on our debut album, ‘Meso’ and completed it in a short span. But yes, the pandemic has certainly raised dire situations for artists in India, with many facing some dead-ends. We told ourselves that no one’s really going to help us here, and that we need to do something productive if we’re to see the light of day,” said Nataraj.
Though online performances were a rage during the lockdown, the band members insist that they missed the magic live. “It really hits you when you complete a song and only silence echoes in response, considering one does not get to hear the audience in a digital performance. Being on stage and getting ‘carried’ by the energy of the crowd is what makes a live performance magical for us, especially since most of our set is heavy and energetic.”
The lead singer of the band, which will be performing during HCL Concerts Soundscapes on Friday, feels such initiatives are instrumental in exposing the audiences to new types of music. “We think it’s definitely something which more corporates should take a lead on, and it’s mutually beneficial to both industries,” the lead vocalist concludes.
(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at email@example.com)