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Does Indore have the mettle for metal?

DNIND3926 | 10/29/2011 | Author : Nivedita Kapoor | WC :466

As Metallica embarks on its India tour, After Hrs talks to Indore’s musicians, to gauge the popularity of heavy metal with music buffs in the city

One of the very first bands of the city to gain popularity was Nicotine. “They played a lot of heavy metal and also helped popularise the genre here,” opines Ankit Prasad, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band Bliss.
“The thumping sound of this genre attracts the youth,” he adds. That does explain the popularity of metal in Indore, with Metallica topping the list of favourite bands.
“My exams are starting from soon, else I would have certainly tried to make it to a concert of theirs,” admits Rishabh Jain, drummer of Music in Me Forever and self-confessed Metallica fan.
“While Metallica might not have garnered a huge crowd if it performed here, the response would still be quite enthusiastic,” he says.
Shlok Agrawal, lead singer and guitarist of the band, feels that even though the city is at an initial stage, the genre is slowly making its presence felt.
And keyboardist Arpit Mehta, who tried his best to get his hands on the concert ticket, agrees. “But the number of metal fans is rather limited as compared to other cities,” he rues.
But even then, the popularity of the genre is more as compared to forms like jazz, blues, alternative rock or soft rock, that are hardly ever heard here in Indore, much to the consternation of these musicians, who are forced to play according to the audiences’ tastes.
“People need to diversify their tastes and try out new things,” says guitarist Rakshit Wesley who likes playing alternative rock. “Today, if I enter a local competition, six out of ten bands would be playing metal,” pitches in Rishabh.
The same has been the observation of Piyush Manker, the bassist for Blindfolds, who says most of the bands here are from the same genre. “While the number of concerts in town has gone up, most of the top bands in Indore play metal,” he reveals.
“We need more awareness regarding music, as well as more funding,” he adds, narrating how Metallica virtually single-handedly gave the genre such popularity and remained true to it forever.
“When I performed in Delhi, I realised that the bands there understood the theory behind the music they were playing. That is rare in Indore,” Ankit explains. In addition, as Shlok adds, even bands are not really ready to experiment. “Most of them play Bollywood music,” he professes.
Since the audience also wants just that, the music scene has been stuck at Bollywood, metal and a bit of alternative rock.
“If we do not try out new things and establish Indore as a place that has real music lovers of all kinds, any dreams that we have of bands like Metallica hitting our city, will remain just dreams. To get to that level, we have a long way to go,” concludes Arpit.


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