The Down Troddence (August 2011)
This August, we talk to The Down Troddence, a band from Kerala who are currently in the process of working on their debut album. They recently released the music video for their first single “Shiva”, and it looks like we know who’s going to be Indian metal’s next big thing! Read on for more.
HBI: Hey guys! Thanks for talking to us at Headbangers India! You’ve just returned from some studio sessions, right? Tell us about that.
DT: Hey. It’s an honor for us to be here. Yeah we have been spending some time of late in the studios. Basically we are experimenting right now with the band’s sound before we record our album full-fledged, so that we could deliver the best without compromising on the quality in production. We indeed have some big plans for our album.
HBI: When is your debut album/ E.P. likely to be released? What other details about that can you give us at this stage?
DT: As we stated earlier, we have spent some time in the studio and the song writing process is still going on and will be finished soon. Hopefully the release might happen by the end of this year. A big thanks to Pritham D’Souza for sponsoring our debut album. Vivek Thomas has produced it and yeah, we are really excited about our debut release.
HBI: Going back to how it all started off for the band… Tell us how The Down Troddence came together.
DT: It’s a long story. But I’ll make it as concise as possible. Varun and Munz started a project called “Ultimaytum” back in 2008 and didn’t really think about starting a full-fledged band as such then. But down the line met Sushin, Prayag (our ex-drummer), Rinoy and Shaib (our ex-bassist) and the Down Troddence were formed. Shaib and Prayag left for personal reasons and Nezer came in as the bassist and Ganesh came in as the drummer forming the Down Troddence in its fullest form. The funny thing is that most of us met at university festivals and almost immediately we clicked and shared similar frequencies and vibes. It’s this chemistry that we share that helps us as a band to move forward.
HBI: You recently took a little break for a while. It is good to have you back in the scene, but what happened there? Why the short hiatus?
DT: Yeah it happens with each and every band out there. We had to concentrate on our academics for some time and have finished all that stuff and are pretty much back to the scene. The jam sessions are happening in full flow and the gigging session will also happen soon.
HBI: “Shiva” is mind-blowing. And the video is pretty interesting too. It seems to have a mythological explanation to it, so do tell us more about it.
DT: “Shiva” is so far the best thing happened to us. We have been getting encores for “Shiva” in most of our gigs. We already had a plan to make a music video and decided to work on this track. “Shiva” is lyrically based on Shiva thandava sthotram – which depicts the story of Raavana’s penance for Lord Shiva’s blessing. Raavana goes to Kailasa and plays this shloka with a veena made out of his intestine.
The video also shows Pottan Theyyam (an art form which tells the story between Sankaracharya and Lord Shiva). It briefs the meeting of Lord Shiva disguised as Pulayan (down trodden) with the intention to further test Sankaracharya’s knowledge who is proud of himself and about to ascend “Sarwanjha Peedam” (throne of knowledge).
HBI: Tell us a little about the making of the video. How did you manage to pull off all the gruesome bits that we see in the video?
DT: All credits must go to the people behind the screen. Our director, Saju K Salam, Cinematographers – Jayesh Mohan and Clint Soman have done an excellent job in depicting all the ideas we had in our mind in the video. They have worked hard shooting the video in a dense forest area and the shoot happened all through the night and we didn’t even sleep till we finished all the parts. It was days of pure mayhem indeed.
HBI: Are all your songs based on mythology? What else are your song themes based on?
DT: Can’t really say that “Shiva” is purely based on mythology alone. We as a band share and represent certain philosophies, politics and ideologies. It’s the idea of inequality that triggered the composition of Shiva. And our native place (Kannur) has an Art form (Pottan Theyyam) which speaks about inequality and we decided to incorporate that and certain mythical examples of voices against inequality (Shiva disguised as pulayan(down trodden) who questions shankaracharya). Most of our songs carry messages of social and political relevance. Because each one of us, individually and as a group believes in such “pro-lower-class” social outlooks.
HBI: Of late, we’ve been seeing quite a few metal bands coming out of Kerala. Give us an insider’s take on that. Is the metal scene growing there?
DT: Kerala always had immense musical talent but all the bands suffer promotion and a proper platform to showcase their talent. Being just a jam band and not getting a stage for gigging, the bands suffer to get exposure and growth. But off late they are trying to get into the real scene and play quite amount of outstation gigs. We have bands like Purple Blood, Warhorse Chained, Chaos, Rocksault, Darkest Red, In Dying Days to name a few who have come up.
HBI: Name some of your influences… musical and otherwise.
DT: Each member has their own music influence. But the band as a whole is influenced by old school thrash metal, death metal and prog/psychedelic rock. Apart from music, our influences come from our roots and we proudly showcase it in our music.
HBI: What can we expect from the band in the next couple of months? Apart from the album, will you also be touring? Any more videos?
DT: In the next couple of months, we will be hitting the studio for recording our debut album. We are currently planning to play some outstation gigs and have already confirmed some shows. Once we are done with the album, we will be doing a nationwide tour promoting the album. And yes, planning to release one more Music Video along with the album
HBI: Lastly, any words to fans and friends? This is your space… go on and say all that you want!
DT: We would like to thank Headbangers India for giving this opportunity. We owe a lot to our fans and friends who have shown a lot of support and helped us reach where we are in our musical endeavors. Also keep supporting the scene and buy our album when we release it :D. Hails from The Down Troddence.