Headbangers India catches up with Narayanan from Analyzed Consequences- A Bangalore based progressive metal band, to talk about his music, his debut album ‘Cerebration’, the upcoming Insurrection V.3. gig and more.
HBI: You started off as a one-man project, and now Analyzed Consequences is a full-fledged band. Was this idea (of getting musicians together and playing live) part of your initial plan, or did it just happen?
Narayanan: Playing live is one of my favourite things to do. So when I’d completed a few songs, I really hoped that one day I’d be able to play them live. Luckily, finding musicians to jam with wasn’t very difficult.
HBI: So what is the involvement of the other band members like? Are they involved in the song-writing process as well?
Narayanan: Other than a few minor tweaks here and there, the guys aren’t involved in the song-writing process. I’m going to be writing the next album too, on my own. It’s most satisfying that way. However, I’ve learnt a lot in the jam room from Rahul, Madhur and Vivek and that will certainly contribute to the newer material.
HBI: Your album features a number of guest musicians as well. How did their involvement change the musical direction that you probably had when starting off the project?
Narayanan: Their involvement hasn’t changed my original musical direction at all. In fact, their involvement was very much in my mind when I wrote the songs.
HBI: How has the response been to ‘Cerebration’?
Narayanan: Not too many people have listened to it (relatively), but I get the feeling that whoever has listened to it has really liked it. I took a shot in the dark and sent the album to Ben Sharp a.k.a Cloudkicker (from whom I draw a huge chunk of inspiration). He replied saying he listened to it, and liked what he heard. Now that was very encouraging.
HBI: Interesting artwork! Who’s the person behind this, and what does this artistic representation of ‘Cerebration’ try to convey?
Narayanan: My friend Joy designed the album cover. One could probably say something deep and abstract about the artwork, but honestly, like my music, it’s not really trying to convey anything in particular. I just think it looks cool, haha.
HBI: You may have been asked this question a number of times, but is there a particular reason you chose to remain an instrumental project? Have you considered including vocals?
Narayanan: I’ve never really been the kind of person that pays attention to the lyrics in a song. I love vocals in music, but I like to think of voice as another instrument. So yeah, if I think vocals could add to my music, then there will be vocals.
HBI: I see an evident influence of Indian classical music in your brand of metal. Have you been trained in Carnatic music? Tell us a little bit about how your journey in music started off.
Narayanan: I haven’t had any significant formal training in music – classical or otherwise; only brief attempts at it. I took Tabla and Carnatic vocal lessons for about 3 months when I was really young and precisely 7 guitar lessons when I was 9, and I swore to never pick up a guitar again – and I didn’t, for a really long time. I’d say that I actually started taking music seriously when I joined college and formed a band.
My inclination towards Carnatic ‘ragas’ (although I know nothing about them in theory; only intuitively) is probably what you’ve perceived as “evident influence of Indian classical music” in my music. But then again, I wouldn’t say it is a heavy influence.
HBI: Apart from Analyzed Consequences, tell us a little about your other projects in music/ band production.
Narayanan: My friend and band mate Madhur has a full length metal album in the works. I’m very proud to be producing it, because in my opinion it’s some of the best metal music I’ve heard out of India to date. The album will be out later this year. Nothing else is happening on the band production front, although I’d love to take on mixing/mastering projects for bands.
HBI: Are you working on a follow-up to ‘Cerebration’? What’s that going to sound like?
Narayanan: Yes, I am working on my second album. Not a lot of it is complete, though. I want this one to sound darker and more structured than ‘Cerebration’, but let’s see how it shapes up.
HBI: Who are the bands you have watched/ listened to in the recent past, which you would recommend to our readers (Indian and international artists)?
Narayanan: Now that’s a really tough one. I’d rather not put up a list of bands that I’d recommend here, simply because the list would be really really long.
I watched Animals As Leaders at Bangalore Open Air last year, and they completely blew my mind. Opeth, Meshuggah, Gojira, Karnivool and Porcupine Tree are bands that I’ve always wanted to see live, and I was fortunate enough to do so.
HBI: Insurrection V.3. will be your first “proper” gig in Bangalore. Are you eager to find out how your music will be received by the critical metal crowd in this city?
Narayanan: Yes, we’re very excited to finally play a show in Bangalore. It’s been a pretty long dry spell for us.
HBI: What can the audience expect from Analyzed Consequences at the gig?
Check out Analyzed Consequences live at Insurrection V.3. in Bangalore, on 15th June 2014.