Blood Meridian are a technical/brutal death metal band from Bombay. Very impressive and not very well-known. They recentky released their debut EP titled Elements of Brutality. Here I talk to Pushkar, Aurko and Ashwin.
1. Hey guys,how’s the band doing?
BM: Hey man, how you doing? First of all,thanks for this interview,means a lot to us. The band’s doing good.We’ve been writing new material and working on our compositions. We haven’t really been jamming off late as we’re busy with our own shit. We’ll resume jamming full-fledged, probably post March.
2. Blood Meridian is not the most well-known band in the circuit. Tell me something about how guys fit in and who your target audience is (if at all you have one).
Ashwin: We don’t really have a “target audience”as such. We play our stuff at gigs and if people like the music, well and good. And we avoid playing at college competitions because of the bad sound and not many people listen to death metal at such gigs. Unfortunately we haven’t played any outstation gigs till now, really looking forward to that.
Pushkar: The reason for not being ‘well-known’ in the scene is probably because we’ve been dormant for a while,especially since we released our EP in February,2011. I personally think we should’ve played more after releasing the EP and should’ve targeted some outstation venues, which we plan to do in the near future. There’s no target audience as such,we don’t mind if you get your
grandparents/watchman/neighbor or whomsoever listen to what we play. Just get us shows man. 😛
Aurko: I don’t believe in the whole ‘not being known’ in the scene thing. I’m happy with the music we’re making, that’s all.
3. What do you have to say about the scene in Mumbai? Do you like the way things are going or would you like to see something change?
Ashwin: We’re not really involved with the “scene in Mumbai”. But I would definitely like to see a few things change in the scene like increase in the number of death metal bands and death metal gigs. And organizers should really consider paying such bands a fair amount of money for their performance. Because they deserve it and its the bands who bear all the jam room expenses and etc just to give them a good show after all. But we really enjoy playing gigs in which the line-up is death metal, like the last gig that we played at B69 (Deathfest2).
Pushkar: I think Ashwin mentioned most of the things I’d like to say. I think the scene out here is growing with an ever-growing number of bands entering the scene, bands investing time and money in releasing their respective EPs and Albums, releasing videos and the likes.
Aurko: I think the scene can be better. You don’t want me to elaborate on this.
4. What are some of the Indian bands you like? Is there a gig/festival you’d like to play at?
Pushkar: One of My personal favourites being Infernal Wrath (sad that they’ve disbanded),Devoid, Zygnema (one of the tightest acts I’ve seen), Gutslit, IIIrd Sovereign, Demonic Resurrection, Scribe, Undying Inc and the list goes on. We’d love to play at the GIR and something like the NH7 Weekender.
Ashwin: Infernal Wrath, Narsil, Demonic Resurrection, Scribe are some of the bands I really like listening to.. Would be great to share the stage with either of the mentioned bands. GIR would be an awesome gig to play.
Aurko: Infernal Wrath (by far the best Indian Metal Band), Narsil, Devoid, Atmosfear etc.
5. Coming to BM, what have you been doing of late? Your EP was quite awesome, is there anything to follow it up with?
BM: Thanks for the kind words man. It’s been just over a year since we’ve released our EP, followed by our decision to go 4 piece. Since then we’ve played some 2 or 3 shows and have been working on our compositions and our sound. We played at Powerchords in December and at the Death Fest in early January at B69 and haven’t really done anything as such after that. Aurko and Ashwin have been writing some new material, Bhaskar has been busy with College and Pushkar has been busy with his exams. The Band plans to resume jamming post March. At the moment, we’re writing stuff with plans of a full-length release in mind,though we can’t really say when, as this is still at the preliminary stage.
6. Quite a lot of bands change their musical direction after a point,for varying reasons. What are your thoughts on that? And would you ever see BM changing direction too?
Ashwin: When a band evolves, with time the composing skills and the musical tastes of the musicians also may evolve/change and they might decide to try something new with every album they make. That’s a really good thing for a band if its done right rather than being predictable and churning out the same repetitive shit all the time. But the change in the direction shouldn’t be too drastic if you get what I’m saying. A brutal death metal band shifting genres to deathcore would not really be appreciated by the
Aurko: The musical direction of the band changing is pretty normal, you never know. As time passes on,you get exposed and influenced by different kinds of music. Sometimes you might even learn new things from different music you’ve been listening to, so I think the change we’re talking about over here is pretty much natural and in the flow.
7. Something that is discussed constantly – how difficult is it being a metal band in India? What are the challenges you’ve faced as a band and what would changes would you like to see?
Ashwin: It’s not really easy in being in a death metal band in India. First of all, very few people listen to the genre and
secondly there’s no money in this music. So, recording an album and promoting it isn’t easy at all. We cant entirely depend on gigs to save up for the album recording. We do it just because of our love for the music.
Pushkar: We feel the pinch when the band doesn’t have the money to record our stuff,and we end up shelling money from our own pockets.That sucks pretty much. And probably the only reason behind a Death Metal Band not getting shows is because of the small section of our population who actually listen to/support the genre.
Aurko: We need a larger section of the crowd to support the genre,a larger number of gigs,gigs which pay us well.
8. Coming to your music,how do you guys compose? Talk me through the whole process of writing/composing a song.
Pushkar: It’s usually Aurko who writes the song. He comes up with all the riffs,followed by me and Ashwin adding our parts to it. We keep on jamming to the song, making structural changes till we’re satisfied with it. I think Aurko would explain it in a better manner.
Aurko: I usually start the songwriting process for the band. I don’t really plan out what I want the song to sound like, just come up with riffs and try to shape them up. The guys do their parts and then we structure the song together and then keep on jamming to the song.
9. What do you guys do when you’re not playing death metal?
Ashwin: Well we get busy with our “normal lives” like going to college, studying for exams, blah blah when we’re not doing any of the above mentioned stuff. Pushkar and I play for other bands as well and that’s what keeps us busy when we’re not playing. Like now.
Pushkar: What’s that?
10. Now that Ashwin has joined DR,how does that change the dynamics of the band? And Ashwin, how does it feel to play for a band like DR? Will we see a change in the way things work with you and BM?
Ashwin: Its feels great to play with a band like DR which is internationally known, looking forward to playing gigs with DR. And no, things are gonna be just the same as before.
10. Final words for the readers?
Ashwin: Keep supporting the bands. Buy their CD’s. Come for the gigs. That’s what keep the bands going! And may the force be with you.
Aurko: Support real fucking death metal.
Pushkar: Buy CDs,Buy our CDs,Attend all the shows. Support the scene.