Bevar Sea from Bangalore recently revealed that they are part of the line-up at the esteemed Maryland Deathfest in 2015. We spoke to guitarist Srikanth Panaman about their journey as a band, their upcoming gigs, and new material, among other things. Read on for more.
HBI: Congratulations on being included in the line-up for Maryland Deathfest! How did this fall into place?
Srikanth: Thank you. We were talking to A389 Recordings, a label based out of Maryland for a while about pushing us a bit in the States. This is the first step, and we have a whole lot of other things to do in the next few months to pull this off. This is a dream come true for us, so we hope we manage to snag the pesky visas.
HBI: When you look back now, do you think Bevar Sea has reached a place you aspired for some years ago? Did you think you’d get this far, this soon?
Srikanth: We’ve done pretty good for a band with no label support, being in a country with no scene for this kind of music when we started out. This started out as a hobby project in 2008 with no proper line-up, and considering my horrible case of stage fright, we never wanted to play live.
HBI: This will be your first major international gig! Apart from the excitement of getting your music out to foreign audiences, you must also be pretty kicked about watching some of the bands on that line-up, right? Which are the acts you are most keen to watch?
Srikanth: The day we play is filled with doom gems. The main three days have at least 20 to 25 bands that I must see. I think it’s great that we’re kicking off the entire festival, and are free to check out this crazy line up of bands.
HBI: You also have Dark Days of December coming up later this year. That must be pretty special to you, since it’s self-organized. Tell us a little about the show.
Srikanth: I told Vikram and Sandesh that it was about time we stepped up our shows and tried to do a two day festival. We did the math and decided that this was worth a shot. Sandy then rounded up Nafarmaan from Bangladesh, Funeral in Heaven and Dhishti from SriLanka, and we had Manzer from France coming down too. We also brought together our favourite local bands like Shepherd, Dhwesha, and of course Kryptos as the headliner for one of the days. At this point the line-up was so fantastic, we had to have both Dying Embrace and Bevar Sea on the bill to make this a weekend to remember for anyone into underground metal
HBI: You announced that the band will stop playing material from the older album in upcoming gigs. Fans must be quite disappointed about that. Are you worried it might affect the turnout in any way?
Srikanth: We had to have some kind of closure with those songs and move on with the second album. We will pull out the odd Abishtu every now and then though. The crowd at this point won’t let us leave the stage without playing this even if it’s a tribute set to Sabbath.
HBI: Bevar Sea has always been big in the merchandise section. With these huge shows lined up, are you going to be releasing any new designs and collectibles?
Srikanth: Nothing new this year! We want to give it all to finishing our second album recording and Chacko will be working on a lot of new art for the album as well. All the new merch will be based on those.
HBI: You can’t deny that Bevar Sea and Dying Embrace have together brought about a change in the Bangalore (if not Indian) metal scene. Let’s put the animosity aside, and focus on the fact that niche sub-genres did start to emerge after the Bangalore Doom Syndicate created this channel within the metal fraternity. Do you see this growing in the coming years?
Srikanth: The sub-cultures exist separately in most evolved scenes, so we’ve always worked towards building a following for styles that have fundamental things in common – dirty, old fashioned, obscure, dark, and most often very extreme. We like mixed subgenre shows as of now, and hope to grow this so the bands start seeing better money, and more importantly we want to be able to bring down more underground bands from abroad.
HBI: You have also moved into event organizing with The Mighty Riff, and studio recording and production with the Doom Cave. What’s next in your plan of expanding your business laterals?!
Srikanth: TMR (The Mighty Riff) is being transformed into a label and distro this year. The cave just had two of its works released – The Dhwesha album, and the Dying Embrace split. But I’m not taking up anything new because I want to work on the Bevar Sea album and we’re also moving to a new place and I need some time to set up stuff.
HBI: What’s coming up next for Bevar Sea? Any updates on your newer material and possibly, an album release?
Srikanth: Just finishing up a new song that sounds like proper heavy metal gone doom. There’s another one I want to finish in the next few days and then we can start doing pre-production work for the second album. The recordings are scheduled for November and then we start the mixes. Busy times ahead. We’re also taking a break from the album work and playing a couple of shows in October, so watch out!