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Dormant Inferno (May 2011)

  • Interview by: Adarsh Rajagopal
  • Date: May 10, 2011

For the month of May we bring you a trio from Mumbai who have chosen to walk quite a different path as compared to their counterparts. Dormant Inferno are one of the flagbearers of doom metal in India, who have been the topic of discussion everywhere since the release of their EP In Sanity. Here we talk to frontman Gautam Shankar.

HB: Hey there,how’s it going?
Gautam
: Hey. Thank you so much for the interview. Everything is going just great. Been very busy with studies. But cant complain.

HB: Tell me a little something about the band,the inception and the journey so far.
Gautam
: Well, as for the inception, it was always a dream of mine to be a part of a doom metal band with funeral doom, death doom and drone being among my most preferred sub-genres. The band was started by me on vocals and Sunny on guitars. Basically, in early 2009, Sunny contacted me through a social networking site. He was looking for someone who could share his dream of playing death doom and do justice to the music. We jammed together and asked Aurko to join us to play keyboards, as we felt the sound was incomplete without it. And Bhaskar joined us at the same time for live/session drums. The current lineup of Dormant Inferno is Gautam on vocals, Sunny on guitars, Aurko on keys and bass and Bhaskar on live/session drums.

It has been an incredible journey so far. A lot of highs and lows as is to be expected, but something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. And everything has paid off with the release of our debut EP, ‘In Sanity’. The response has been fantastic and I am grateful to everybody for that.

HB: Congrats on your EP. How did that come about? What are the things that went into making it possible?
Gautam:
Thanks a lot. The EP has been a long time coming actually. Initially, we never decided on recording any music. The band was just for us and was just meant to be a portal through which we could express what we were feeling at that time. We never actually expected our songs to gather an audience. Sunny and me were always focussed on making originals instead of any covers. We jammed heavily and were done with ‘Failed Experiments’ and ‘Total Negation’ in late 2009. Once Aurko joined us in 2010, the sound was complete and we decided to record one of them. We actually decided to come up with a 3 track release after being encouraged by the response we received after people heard ‘Failed Experiments’.

We were supposed to print a few copies of the EP and release it just before I left to the US for my education. But due to numerous delays and a lack of funds for getting the CDs printed, we decided to release it online. Its been very late, but I am very glad it finally worked out.

HB: What made you choose the genre you play? Any influences/inspirations you’d like to cite? What is it that makes doom metal stand out among the rest?
Gautam
: Doom for me has always been more than music. It has always been the music I could relate to the most. The simplicity, atmosphere, the lyrical content and the execution of the music always gives me goosebumps if done right. I find it insanely beautiful, dark and full of despair. In my opinion, it is perfection. What better music to play than the music that you can relate to the most? My influences have always been funeral doom, death doom, drone, sludge and some noise. Collectively, our influences are My Dying Bride, Desire, Skepticism, Solitude Aeturnus, Novembers Doom, Remembrance, Morgion, Evoken, Thergothon etc. and we hope we did some justice to them with our music.

HB: What’s your take on the Indian metal scene? Do you like what you see? Or is there something you wish changes?
Gautam:
The Indian metal scene is very promising. Initially there were a lot of mallcore bands in the scene, but nowadays, we seem to have a lot of good promising bands all over the country. Bands are also getting a lot more exposure, with gigs all over. There are a lot of people willing to promote and play this form of music, which was unheard of till a few years back. The number of international bands playing in the country has increased too, and it is no longer surprising to hear some big international band express their wish to play in India. Personally, I am also thrilled that doom metal is finding an audience in India. Dying Embrace reuniting and bands such as Bevar Sea make me glad to be a part of the scene at this time. I would not want anything to change. Hopefully things continue in the same vein.

HB: You see a lot of bands,the likes of Bhayanak Maut,Scribe,Gutslit,etc getting a chance to play abroad. What’s your take on that? Is that something you fancy doing yourself?
Gautam:
I am really glad Indian bands are getting a chance to play abroad. The indian metal scene is still very miniscule when compared to the European countries and most countries in North and South America. So, it is absolutely brilliant that bands from here are able to play in huge festivals abroad and make people realize that there is some good music coming from this country. A few years back, people used to get surprised when you told them about the good music coming out of India. That view is changing slowly. People are more aware of the Indian bands and that can only be a good thing.

I would love for a chance to play abroad. I would be lying if I told you I would pass up an opportunity to share stage with some huge bands and play in front of different crowds.

HB: As of now you (Gautam) have relocated to the States,where does that leave things with the band?
Gautam:
Things with the band remain the same to a large extent. Thanks to the internet, we are still able to continue making music. Although its not the same as practicing with the band, it is better than nothing. But understandably, progress has been slow. Sunny has a job, due to which he is not able to dedicate as much time as he would like to the band either. But we have no deadlines. So, things are going perfectly fine. As for playing live, that was never an issue for us. Dormant Inferno was started as a studio band, and although we played one gig in June 2010 in the Meatfeast, it was never a priority for us. We are happy making music and releasing studio albums.

HB: If there was one international band you could share the stage with,who would it be and where?
Gautam:
There are so many bands. So many influences who we could only dream of sharing a stage with. I don’t know if I could choose one band, but if I have to, I dream of Thergothon reuniting and us sharing stage with them.

HB: I wish you all the luck with everything you’re doing. This is your space,share your thoughts with the readers.
Gautam:
Thanks a lot for the interview. It is an honour. Thanks a lot to everybody for the support. It has completely overwhelmed us. Please spread the word if you enjoyed our music.

HB: Thanks for doing the interview. Cheers!