Deepak Raghu (August 2011)
Our Featured Artist for August is Deepak Raghu, a well known name associated with a number of acts including Rat King, Bevar Sea, Dying Embrace among others. In this exclusive session of Q and A, he talks to Headbangers India about Rat King’s upcoming project, Dying Embrace’s vinyl release, Pillbox 666, his artwork and more.
HBI: Hey Deepak! Thanks for this interview with Headbangers India! How’ve you been?
Deepak: No sweat. I’ve been good, a bit busier than I’d like but it’s all good.
HBI: We’ll keep it cliché (partly because we have to) and ask you the usual question- Tell us how it all began for you. When did you first get into music, drumming and of course, how did you discover metal?
Deepak: The facts are a bit hazy up in there, but the first band that I really got into was U2. I must have been 11 or 12. I’ve probably been air drumming for longer than I know, but the defining moment, if there is such a thing, was watching Cunning Stunts.
HBI: Give us details on the equipment you use.
Deepak: Paiste Traditional 22″ Light Ride, Zildjian K Custom 21″ Dark Ride and for hi-hats I use an old Izmir 16″ Crash/Ride and a Sabian Pro-Sonix 16″ Crash.
HBI: What’s happening with Fall of Reason? You released some music a while ago and said a debut album would be out in 2011. What’s the progress with that?
Deepak: Well, we’ve been busy with lives outside of the band for a while, but we’re slowly getting back to writing more stuff. We have a lot more songs now. I think by the end of the year we should have a finished product. Let’s see.
HBI: Rat King brought a new brand of metal into the scene, and both albums were killer. When are we going to hear some new material from that project?
Deepak: Thanks! We have some material ready but it needs to sit in the oven a little longer.
HBI: Give us details on your new label Larval Transmission. Why did you feel the need to come up with this? And what have you envisioned for the label in the coming years?
Deepak: The music we’re putting out is all cut from the same cloth, so to speak. It’s an exploration of noise. We’re all in it for the same reasons and it just made sense to have a platform to facilitate the same.
HBI: How are things going with Bevar Sea? The band has attracted quite a lot of attention in such a short span of time!
Deepak: It’s going great! I don’t really know what the hype is about and I don’t care, honestly. We’re getting better each time we play and that’s what it’s about.
HBI: Apart from being a drummer, you also are into art and design. Tell us a little more about that. Have you been trained in that and what is the kind of stuff you like working with?
Deepak: I’ve been doing artwork, logos etc since I started playing in bands, so I have gotten better over the years. But it’s mostly just by doing it over and over. I like working on duotone illustrations quite a bit.
HBI: You’re primarily known as a metal drummer, but you also play for Allegro Fudge (It’s a good band of course, so no offence intended). Are you doing this to experiment with your style or does it give you an outlet for all the other (i.e. non metal) musical talent that you’ve got?
Deepak: It’s a gig and I have very few reasons to say no to playing drums. Especially when it’s with musicians like Joey and Leslie.
HBI: Any updates from Dying Embrace? What new stuff can we expect from that camp?
Deepak: There’s a new vinyl release coming out later this year called ‘Era of Tribulation’ on Legion of Death. It’ll feature all Dying Embrace material that’s been recorded from 1991-2001, including the ‘Dying Embrace’ Demo, ‘Grotesque’ EP, ‘Serenades of Depravity’ Mini-LP and ‘Misanthrope’ EP. I’m psyched, man. Looking forward to hearing the songs on wax.
HBI: A special mention here for Pillbox 666… that’s a killer super-group of sorts! You mainly do covers at gigs, but are you planning to take this on as a more serious project and work on some originals as well?
Deepak: We have been talking about this for a while. And yes, we are going to be writing soon.
HBI: Most of the bands and members in our circles are either self-taught or have learnt to play from friends and local instructors. But of late, the interest in formal training has been on the rise. Since you studied at LA Music Academy for a year, give us your take on how training helps give artists an edge over the others.
Deepak: I’ve personally had to re-learn a lot of fundamentals because of bad technique. But it was great! There aren’t a lot of people out there who are as qualified to teach you this stuff than the drum department at LAMA. The knowledge they have to offer is invaluable. Might be little tough on the wallet, though.
HBI: What else do you do, apart from music? Any other run of the mill jobs or hobbies?
Deepak: Mostly just listen to music. If I’m not listening to music or boiling fish for the cats, I’ll be watching the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louis C.K or some Fu Manchu movies.
HBI: Are there any other bands or projects that you have been working on/ with that you’d like to share with us?
Deepak: There is something heavy brewing up, but I’ll save that for next time.
HBI: Finally, some words of inspiration or advice to all your fans, friends and band members out there. This is your space… say anything you want!
Deepak: Thanks for having me on here. Sorry had to keep things brief, I’ll get more into it next time. Gotta go. Cheers!
Photo: Spriha Gupta