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Naresh and Bryden (August 2010)

  • Interview by: Ankit Baraskar
  • Date: August 5, 2010

SlainThis August, Headbangers India brings to you an exclusive double feature. Two artists, both from the band Slain, and both winners at the recently held Rolling Stone Metal Awards. Our featured artists for this month- Bryden Lewis and Naresh Nathan.

HB: Hey guys! How are you doing?

Naresh, Bryden: Doing very well thank you. Things couldn’t be any better at the moment.

HB: First of all, congratulations for the Rolling Stone Metal awards you’ve received! What does this mean to you, as musicians?

Naresh, Bryden: Thank you so much. As musicians it means that we’ve put in the right amount of hard work to be recognized and it certainly is an honour to win these awards and be nominated among such awesome artists.

HB: We’re seeing bands all over trying to be as riff heavy as possible, more or less following Lamb Of God and other metalcore/melodic metalcore bands. How did you guys end up being this mix of heavy/power metal?

Naresh, Bryden: Because we love chunky riffs as much as we love melodic overtones and we try our best to incorporate a good mix of both in our songs. In the beginning Slain was criticized for not narrowing ourselves down to a specific genre. But with time and with musical maturity setting in, we were finally able to get ourselves to that stage in our music where we could identify ourselves in a specific genre and one that would support our vision for the band. Since we all love stuff from the 80s like Toto, Petra and Whitesnake to things like Angra, Symphony x and L.O.G, we knew that the best thing to do would be to incorporate a mix of melody and thick riffing into one power packed genre called melodic-progressive metal!

HB: How does the songwriting process happen in the band? As in do you guys jam together and get a song out of it, or individually compose pieces and string them together?

Naresh, Bryden: Well first it is very important to have an open ear to any tune that one band member might bring to the table and be open-minded enough and add on to the initial idea put forth. We often have either Bryden or Judah for example come up with an idea for a tune or a melody and take it from there by adding more to it and layering it in order to give it more weightage. Each one of us throw in our ideas and we weigh them out to see if they fit in and that’s pretty much how most of our songs came to be.

HB: Naresh, any bassists out there that made you say ‘I’d rather play bass than guitar’?

Naresh: I have always been fascinated with the bass since my 8th grade even though I have never learnt how to play bass ever. What I play is purely because of the help and support that my band members give me and by the grace of God. More than any player, the instrument itself, and the sound it produces have been the key factors that literally got me obsessed with bass. It is a dream come true for me indeed to be able to play bass now.

HB: What gear do you guys use? And any differences between live/recording?

Naresh, Bryden: Bryden uses an Ibanez RG 370 with upgraded pickups, the same pickups as what Steve Vai and Michael Romeo use and also a Greg Bennett hard tail. He runs a Boss GT8. I use an Ibanez SR 505 bass with Bartolini pickups and will soon be running it through a Sansamp driver. There is absolutely no difference between live and recording.

HB: When and how did you two end up joining Slain? I tried looking up your bio, but it seems rather metaphorical!

Naresh, Bryden: Haha that’s Manek at work there with our bio! Well we joined the band in 2007 during the month of March and April when the band just came out of being a college band and decided to take music seriously. Judah knew Bryden because he used to play in a rival band back then and knew that he was the man for the job. I too was a part of another band back in college and they knew who I was and decided to give me a call when they felt the need for me.

HB: Are both of you full time musicians, or do you have any other work commitments outside the band?

Naresh, Bryden: Bryden is a music teacher at Ebenezer International School and also does freelance projects whenever he feels the need to help other projects like plays and musicals. I work with an Australian media corp. called CVC and am also a freelance columnist for Bangalore mirror.

HB: Are either of you involved in any other projects besides Slain? And is there possibility of such side projects cropping up in the near future?

Naresh, Bryden: Nothing for now. Slain is our main priority and we are directing all our energy towards it because it is a dream that all six of us share and it is absolutely worth all our blood, sweat and tears.

HB: What have been your best experiences playing live so far? Or the most interesting?

Naresh, Bryden: As a band, every show is a milestone. The huge number of competitions we’ve won during the past and the big shows we’ve been plying now all contribute to one, awesomely large cumulative experience that can only be called Slain! The best experience for me personally is hearing our first recordings of our songs in our own little studio and being able to release two EPs and now an LP.

HB: Any word of advice for the kids out there who’re rearing to play metal guitar/bass?

Naresh, Bryden: Nothing is impossible. What one needs is the right amount of faith in the one above and the right amount of passion for the instrument. Don’t play bass or guitar because it’ll make you popular but play it because it is something that helps you bring your creativity out. And enjoy playing because there is nothing like that feeling you get be it in any venue

HB: Thanks for your time! Any parting words you’d like to send out to the headbangers out there?

Naresh, Bryden: Thank you all for the support and the prayers. It is awesome to play for you guys and we would like nothing better that that. And thank you Headbangers India for supporting Indian rock and metal.