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Aniket Waghmode (Sceptre)

  • Interview by: Vilasini Muralidhar
  • Date: May 18, 2011

Headbangers India catches up with Aniket Waghmode from Sceptre, a band every Indian metalhead must be familiar with, to talk about the band’s new music, their change in sound and much more!

HBI: Hey, it’s been a while! What has Sceptre been upto?

Aniket: Hey….Sceptre’s been really busy lately. We have just finished giving the final touches to our brand new song ‘Wrath of God’ which we will play at our next gig. Apart from that we have finished recording ‘Lest we forget’ and are gonna hit the studios again some time soon to record ‘Age of Calamity’. So that makes it, 3 fresh tracks to look forward to!

HBI: You just released a new track. Tell us about that.

Aniket: That’s right. We have released our new single ‘Lest we Forget’ a couple of weeks back on the net for free download. That was the first song we composed after our debut album ‘Now or Never’. The song talks about how incompetent our system has become which, after repeated warnings could not avoid a tragedy like 26/11.

HBI: Are we going to see a full-length album sometime soon?

Aniket: Oh yes…that has crossed our minds a lotta times and we are working towards it. By the end of this year, if things go as per the plan, you might just see the 2nd Sceptre album. Keeping fingers crossed!

HBI: In terms of sound, has there been any change since ‘Now or Never’ or are you guys still as pure and thrashy as you were earlier?

Aniket: DRASTIC change!! If you hear the tracks on the album and if you listen to ‘Lest we Forget’ or ‘Age of Calamity’ you’ll know what I’m talking about. I would describe the new tracks as ‘thrash-core’. We believe in giving our fans something new everytime. That’s why we added a tinge of metal-core to our songs still keeping in mind our thrash roots. Though I wouldn’t like being categorised in any sub-genres. We are heavy and that’s about it. These songs reflect the new Sceptre….raw,heavy but still old-school!

HBI: From 1998 to 2011… it’s been a pretty long journey for Sceptre so far! Every band goes through its highs and lows, but are there any particularly memorable events/gigs that made it all seem worthwhile for the band?

Aniket: I would recall a personal experience of mine. We played a gig in Goa 3-4 years back. After the gig, the next day, me and my then bassist Janus were loitering around the railway station waiting for our train to arrive. A woman came up to us asking if we played for some band. We said yeah….we play for Sceptre. She seemed stunned. The next thing she said filled us both with joy. She said ” Thank you so much! I recently lost my husband and my son just couldn’t come to terms with it. He was going through an all-time low. He had come for your gig yesterday and he just had a blast. When he came back home, he was ecstatic and immensely happy to have seen you perform. To see him like that was a sight for sore eyes! Thanks for bringing back a smile on his face!” That left us both completely numb. It took us both some time to understand what had hit us. That incident made us feel special.

HBI: So going back to how it all started… Tell us how Sceptre was formed.

Aniket: Sceptre was formed on 1st December 1998. Our first gig was immediately after 20 days at Mood Indigo, Powai the same month. Teemeer and me used to meet at local rock shows. He was looking forward to start a band. I was dying to get into one. We both jammed and we knew we had something going . Then we met Janus…..and the rest is history!

HBI: Lineup changes are inevitable, and Sceptre has had its share of that. Did that change the band’s sound in any way?

Aniket: Just like any other band, we’ve had loads of line-up changes. I remember, our very first lead guitarist Ajay had made it clear to us that he would help us for a while in handling lead guitars for the band. But when we jammed it was magical. That guy was amazing on leads. Then came Vispy…then Amar Negi. But with each new guy in the band we learned new things that helped us experiment with our own songs. For instance, Amar introduced us to a new world of music which we never thought we’d attempt on stage. His influences were varied and that gave an edge to the band. But until Teemeer’s departure, the sound was more or less the same.

HBI: A current topic of controversy in our circles right now are the Metal Awards. As a band that has been around for so long, tell us your views on this… Do you think awards are necessary? And are they going to help push the scene up?

Aniket: Definitely, awards give a boost to upcoming bands. Ten years back when we started, no one had a clue how these award ceremonies work. But now, with the advent of metal award ceremonies, i think it’s a new chapter in Indian metal. They will take the scene by storm.

HBI:Do you have any gigs or tours coming up anytime soon?

Aniket: We have a very special gig coming on the 22nd of this month at Blue Frog. We’ll be sharing stage with two other bands and what makes this special is that we will be putting our new tees on sale at the gig. They will be priced at 400 bucks. Apart from this, we will also play a fresh  track entitled ‘Wrath of God’ which we haven’t played before anywhere else. So all in all…..it’s going to be a wild night!

HBI: This is your space. Go ahead and put in your words to fans, friends, critics and everyone else…

Aniket: Okay….I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and fans who have stood by us over the years. Sceptre has always put their fans before everything else and it will remain that way. To our beloved critics….WE AIN’T DONE YET! We are in the best of our forms and there are some insane songs coming your way. The vibe in the band is energetic and positive. Don’t judge us by our old songs. The new Sceptre will blow you brains off! Adios………Keep the faith!!!