Remember rock on, the critically acclaimed star of Farhan Akhtar who captivated audiences with his intricate storyline set against the backdrop of Indian band culture and some scintillating songs? The film was released in 2008, a time when rock music was gaining prominence in India, and bands like Euphoria, Pentagram and Parikrama were a common name on music playlists.
While “rock bands” are basically seen as an offshoot of American culture which gained worldwide recognition and fame in the 80s and 90s, India over the past two decades has made significant contributions to the world of rock music. Bands like Indian Ocean (founded in 1990), Parikrama (1991), Pentagram (1994), Skiny Ally (1999), Soulmate (2003), Gingerfeet (2012) and Girish and the Chronicles (GATC) (2009) have time and again time and again proven the universality of rock music by uniting the world.
Among them, the leader of the GATC, Girish Pradhan can boast of having lent his voice to a project led by drummer Chris Adler, founding member of the legendary metal band “Lamb of God” who also played drums for the Megadeath’s Grammy-winning album, dystopia.
(LR: James LoMenzo, Chris Adler, Girish Pradhan, Myrone; Image: @firstborneofficial/Facebook)
As GATC released their third album, Salute to the heroesearlier this month with Frontiers Music Srl, who have been associated with bands such as Mr. Big, Whitesnake and Toto, Republic contacted Girish Pradhan to discuss the past, present and future of rock music in India.
“The scene has changed a lot”
“The (rock) scene has changed a lot,” says Girish, recalling his and his friends’ days headbanging with bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but acknowledges there’s a whole community out there. who is still dedicated to hard-hitting riffs, fast guitar shreds, breakdowns, and insanely powerful vocals.
“A band like Iron Maiden is always doing well at the same time, you know. Their last album, Senjutsu (released in 2021), caused a stir all over the world. There are so many people who want (the) old school sound and a lot of people who grew up with that kind of sound…they miss that scene,” Girish said.
“Over the last 5-6 years there have been some really good old school sounding bands all over Europe, especially in Europe, you know, and labels like Frontier Records, which we’ve signed with, they have those kind of bands,” he added.
Rolling Stone India described Girish and the Chronicles’ second album, Rock the Highway, as “pure mayhem for any fan of 80s rock and metal”. The song Rock n’ roll is here to stay, taken from the album, immediately caught the attention of metal fans around the world. The music video garnered over 836,000 views and over 23,000 likes.
“The song ‘Rock n’ roll is here to stay‘ immediately took off. It kind of spread like wildfire around that time in the melodic rock and heavy metal community,” Girish recalled.
While Girish’s band GATC are known for their old-school sound, closer to classic rock legends like Def Leppard and Iron Maiden, the singer-songwriter says they try to incorporate other elements. , including progressive lines in their music.
“We introduce one or two songs in our albums that have a different feel. Some of them are more progressive. Like An endless road we wrote a few years ago, Identity crisis… we had that song, you know, but yeah… We love that music… We’ve always been in love with that old school sound.”
Firstborne: Girish joins Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler for new project
According to Girish, one of the reasons that saw Rock n’ roll is here to stay being celebrated, a heavy metal magazine picked it up at Myrone’s suggestion.
“It was also a big thank you to Myrone because I have a side project, Firstborne, with Chris Adler, and Myrone is the guitarist. He just passed on the song…I guess, and I immediately got a email from Frontiers. ‘We’re completely hooked on your new song and video, let’s start talking,'” Girish said.
(Girish and The Chronicles perform at the UrRock Festival in Switzerland; Image: @girishandthechronicles/Facebook)
After teaming up with former White Lion and Megadeath bassist James LoMenzo and guitarist Myrone, Adler said in a previous media interaction that he “hit gold” hearing Girish, and 2020, Firstborne released their debut EP. Girish promises something exciting from the project this summer.
“The dawn of nostalgic music”
Asked that the hard rock and heavy metal genre is rapidly losing popularity, Girish thinks that’s not really the case. “There are shows like Cobra Kai and you know they use old school tunes. I can see the dawn of some kind of nostalgic music. Most bands think in those terms. I want to introduce something new to the world but I think for me it was just the love of music. The love I have for this kind of music. It’s my way of life,” he says.
popular show, Cobra Kaiindeed gives rock fans a reason to party with tracks like Leo Brenberg and Zack Robinson Hellscape Corridor and degenerate ace.
Girish still fondly remembers the days of college festivals when he performed live with his band, consisting of Suraz Karki (leader), Yogesh Pradhan (bass) and Nagen Mongranti (drums).
“Releasing the album was like a 10-year journey in the making. We already had a lot of music in us,” he said.
Recalling the IIT Guwahati festival, where the band was among the famous artists, Girish said, “The scene was pretty cool. Everyone was either into something more experimental or into the groove metal genre. We were the only ones band doing this classic metal.”
From their first single, angelsin 2009, at Salute to the heroeswhich also has a song featuring Adler and the band, Girish and the Chronicles has come a long way and promises to delight fans with rockier songs blending an 80s nostalgia with the modern world of YouTube.
Salute to the heroes was released worldwide under the giant label Frontiers Music Srl. The album has 12 tracks released worldwide and a 13th bonus track available for special release in Japan.
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