Anubhav Misra (May 2010)
He’s the Janne Wirman of the Indian metal scene, and the man behind one of India’s biggest melodic metal bands. Meet Anubhav Misra from Acrid Semblance, our Featured Artist this May on Headbangers India. Read on to find out more about the band’s new album, his plans for the coming months, and a little bit about Bryan Adams as well! More in this exclusive interview…
HB: Let’s start with the usual stuff… tell us how you got into metal.
Anubhav: It was in my school. We were preparing a song to bid farewell to our senior batch. A few of us got together and started playing some music. A few mix tapes were exchanged. Next thing I remember is me practicing a Children of Bodom song to play with Vikas and Kshitish.
HB: Metal is stereotypically associated with the loud guitars or the double bass drums. Why did you choose the keyboards?
Anubhav: I was a guitar player early on (since the age of 6). But we had too many guitar players to have in a band. I was persuaded to learn keyboards. I really like the fun of learning a new instrument. Plus back then there was not one metal keyboard player in India who would play leads. I was so kicked about being the first! Or so I thought…
HB: Tell us a little about the Anubhav Misra when he’s not in Acrid Semblance. Are you stuck in a run-of-the-mill job during the day? What are your hobbies, apart from music of course.
Anubhav: I am an IT consultant but recently quit my job to try my hands at entrepreneurship. I hate the feel of a 9-6 job. Although I am a strong believer in self-discipline, I think conventional work environments kill creativity and dynamism that bring inner-harmony. Especially for the young.
I love going out on random walks and trips around the city, chatting up random people. I get a kick out of playing first person shooter games. Whenever I get a chance, I target practice with almost any gun or even a bow and arrow. I play cricket with my friends every weekend.
HB: What’s your practice regime like? Do you also practice your vocals?
Anubhav: I started out with 8-12 hours of practice a day. I had to gradually reduce it due to work commitments.
But over a period of time, I have developed a technique to listen to increase my playing vocabulary. I listen to songs and pieces over and over and over to get every note in my head. And then when I get a chance to play. I try to play it without any tabs or notes.
Over the years, it has proven to be an effective technique in musical expression.
I only manage a few hours every week now.
For vocals I try to keep my lungs in top shape by staying as fit as I can. I also do breathing exercises and sing/growl-along to my favorite tracks.
HB: Give us the details about the gear/ equipment you use…
Anubhav: Korg-TR 61 keys keyboard, TC-Electronic Konnect 8 soundcard, SM-58 mic, Sony Mdr-7506 , Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones.
I love the feel of a grand piano. I grab every opportunity I can to play one in a store, hotel lobbies, etc . It’s a dream to own one someday.
HB: We sure hope you will too! Moving on… What would you say are your musical influences?
Anubhav: Right now my biggest musical influence is Fredric Chopin. I listen to his pieces all day long.
HB: Everyone goes through a stage of being obsessed about the Backstreet Boys, the Spice Girls etc. Any of these musical confessions you’d like to make now? (Don’t worry, we won’t judge you!)
The first ‘English’ artist I ever heard was Bryan Adams. It was the most awesome thing ever back then.
I do not feel ashamed in admitting that some of the pop music is in fact fun to listen to. As long as there is quality in production and a sense of musical integrity, I am up for it.
HB: Ever had a totally special rockstar moment that you’ll never forget? Confess, again!
Anubhav: A few actually! But I remember this one vividly:
I had gone to attend GIR (not playing that year). When a group of guys approached me from the crowd and told me that they are huge fans of the band and want to play like us someday. They took out this big piece of cloth with Acrid Semblance on it and asked me to sign it.
It was really awesome!
The ones with women are also fun, but they aren’t really hard to imagine.
HB: Acrid Semblance is coming up with a new album sometime soon, right? Tell us more. What’s it called, when does it release, how much of it is done…?
Anubhav: Yes. Right now we are keeping it tightly under the wraps. The production is about 35% complete with most of the Rhythm guitars and drums done already. Once we hit the 80% mark. We’ll start to talk about it.
What I can tell you is that we have experimented with our standard songwriting ways and tried something new again. I am really excited about the songs and their live potential.
HB: What are your plans for the future? Where do you envision yourself ten years down the lane?
Anubhav: I have no freakin’ idea! If you would have asked this question 10 years ago, I would have answered with great confidence. Age taught me (of course, the harsh way) that most of my long term plans are useless. The only thing to do is to prepare for the opportunity that presents itself.
What I do know is that I want to see my music out there. I know it is getting there slowly with the friend requests from remote parts of US and Europe.
Only thing I am I am sure is that I want to release the new Acrid Semblance album this year and do a country wide tour promoting it.
Apart from that I’ve always wanted to do something with my guitar playing and cleaner vocals. Something on the lighter side…
HB: Time for your celebrity moment! Any words to fans, metalheads and poseurs out there?
Anubhav: No thanks J haha!