Vikram Bhat (Gruesome Malady)
Interview by: Adarsh Rajagopalbr>
How many people remember Gruesome Malady? The extremely underground gore-grind act who officially split in 2007 are now back with a complete anthology of all their hideous monstrosity. Signed to Roadcrew Records,they’ve re-released all their previous work for one final come back. We talk to Vikram Bhat,the man behind the sickness
HB: Greetings Vikram,great to have you on Headbangers India. How does it feel to make a comeback like this?
Vikram: Hello Adarsh,first off, thanks for the interview and its great to be on Headbangers India as well,Gruesome Malady dis-banded in 2007 and after 3 years this discography coming out on Roadcrew Records is indeed very special!I wont call it a comeback but would call it a re-animation of our past into the present.
HB: How did the whole deal with Road Crew Records happen? And why the decision to re-release the older stuff?
Vikram: The deal with Road Crew Records wasn’t sudden,Madhav and I have been in touch for quite sometime now and we spoke about this almost a year ago when the Rat King releases happened.What actually got me really geared up for this re-release was Madhav’s interest in doing it from the start,the professional approach he gave it and his intention to make our music available to people who couldn’t get hold of it the first time around when they came out. As for the decision to re-release the older stuff, as most of you know or didn’t we released one full length album and 2 split discs with different bands and on different labels from around the world,most of the releases are now out of print and will never be pressed again,this release on Road Crew Records,compiles all our work and serves up a sickening platter of splatter for you all!
HB: How does it feel for GxMx to be where you are now? What do you have to say when you look back?
Vikram: To be honest we never thought this music would ever leave our jam room,we made this music just for us (like all the other music we have created together) in the process we got signed,did releases,got in touch with a whole lot of people around the world who thought on similar lines and this has left us feeling good about it! We enjoyed every bit of what we did and its great that there are so many who enjoyed our madness too! We are still where we were,with our feet firmly on the ground and our heads on our shoulders,we are and always will be fans of the music we love what we created is an extension of our love for it.
HB:You are considered the grand daddy of Indian metal by many,what do you have to say about that?
Vikram: Hahahaha…now do i take it as a compliment or are you reminding me that am old? Well i am just a fan of the music like you and the others reading this,the fact is i have greyed my hairs listening to this and still haven’t wimped,chickened or sold out is what i am proud off,its the same with Jim,we will always be and stand by what we love always-METAL!
HB: Tell us about your journey so far,with GxMx and your older band Dying Embrace.
Vikram: Its been a great journey,20 odd years of listening to Metal and creating what we like and want to! We made great friends over the years,met some really fantastic people from all over,had a blast,downed gallons of alcohol,got high,trashed and wasted but still stayed the same.We got to work with very cool record labels,people from around the world bought our music and wrote to us,its something we never thought or expected and its been one fantastic journey for us!
HB: Okay,this one might be a cliche,but nevertheless,what made you choose the kind of metal you play? Any particular influence,musical or otherwise?
Vikram: Influences have been several,for Dying Embrace it was mainly Autopsy,Black Sabbath,Trouble,Candlemass,early Paradise Lost among others,for Conflicting Theories we had a lot of Grind/Hardcore and among bands like Luddite Clone and early Dillinger Escape Plan’s material inspiring us,Gruesome Malady’s music was influenced heavily and strangely to many by 80’s Horror Cinema mainly from Italy and Europe,Both myself and Jim are big horror movie buffs and a whole lot of Gore,Giallo and Exploitation cinema viewing sessions fueled with heavy alcohol binge’s and a mix of Gore/Grind and Power/Prog Metal inspirations led to the writhing,pulsating beast that was Gruesome Malady. We never choose or decided to do anything,we just created what we were obsessed and possessed with at that period in time.
HB:On a scale of one to ten,how big would you say are GxMx? Where are you guys better known?
Vikram: I don’t regard ourselves as big or small,we don’t and never will fit on any rating scale,people either like or dislike our music or us,there is no middle ground when it comes to our music,we don’t want to impress or suck up to anyone or any trend,we leave it to you the listener to decide! Like I said earlier we created this music for ourselves,in the process if somebody else likes it,great! I think people around the world have heard our music,right from the States,South America,Scandinavia,Russia,Japan and of course India!
HB: What is the kind of crowd you expect to buy your CDs as well as attend your gigs? Have you been satisfied with the kind of audience you get? Any memorable gig experience(s)?
Vikram: Gruesome Malady never played live,we always enjoyed working in the studio,recording,churning out new material,India still doesn’t have a very good gig circuit,or clubs to play at,playing competitions ,sucking up to organisers to get to play at a show,etc all such trivial things never interested us,we managed to get signed without playing a single gig,the labels look at the music you create,for us that’s all is that mattered.
HB: What next for GxMx? Which way are you guys headed now?
Vikram: GxMx is over now,we have disbanded and going to let this festering monstrosity we created to R.I.P,it was a willing decision we made,this reissue is our final epitaph, our vile,hideous swansong and thanks to Road Crew Records for making this happen.
HB: Lastly a message to all the gore grinders and everyone else reading this.
Vikram: This re-release is dead-icated to YOU! Our friends,all those who wrote to us from around the world,kept in touch,bought our discs,spread the word and kept the Metal flame alive!
Thanks a lot Vikram,we hope a lot of people buy your CDs and get a taste of the sickness you guys have created thus far. Although it’s sad that GxMx is over the legacy shall live on. Stay br00tall!