Warhorse Chained (April 2011)
For the month of April, we have Warhorse Chained, a Cochin based brutal death metal band who have been gathering a lot of attention of late. Kerala is a place known for it’s rock acts like Motherjane and Avial and one would find it quite interesting to see a death metal band hailing from there. Here we talk to frontman Vivek Chiramel about the band, the Kerala scene and more.
HB: Hey guys, congrats on the success of Sounds of Underground held recently. How is everything going?
Vivek: Thank you so much for interviewing us, first of all. Everything’s going great. Sounds of Underground was indeed a great success and a good experience for us. The energy we as well as the other band members experienced was just out of the world. We are proud that Warhorse Chained was part of the first Extreme Metal Festival of Kerala. Sharing the stage with bands from all over India was a great experience. I am also happy that Moshpit Concerts which I started with three of my friends was in the organising team and the festival also gave a new life to the group Extreme Metal Underground Kerala. We hope to make this event happen every year and planning to do the same in Cochin as well.
HB: The band is not as well known as other death metal acts, especially since you guys hail from Cochin. Tell us about the band in general, the members, the music and the history.
Vivek: Warhorse chained, known widely among the metalheads in short as WHC was formed as a death metal band in 2004 by Fredrich ‘Black’ Vivek and drummer Arun (currently in a rock act named Kaav). The first death metal band formed in the state, we are reckoned as the pioneers of extreme metal scene in Kerala. Since the inception, the band has gone through a lot of line up changes, musical diversions, good times and bad times and the end of the day, WHC is still here! Current members include Vivek on vocals, Bipin on guitars, David Liveiro on bass and Tinoy on drums, a line up that has been continuing since early 2010. This year, our former lead guitarist Divin who is currently abroad, is going to join the band.
It’s true, we are not well known outside the Kerala but we have a good fan following in our home state. The experience at Undergrind ’11 was a good one and we’d like to play more gigs in many more places.
HB: What do you have to say about the metal scene in Kerala?
Vivek: Kerala has always contributed some of the best rock acts to the Indian rock scene, like 13AD, Motherjane, Dark Crucifix, Avial to name a few. Though metal scene is at its infant stage in Kerala it’s growing at a good pace. 5 years ago people only knew WHC as an extreme metal act but now there other promising bands coming up like Bestial Murder from Cochin, Decaying Humanity from Trivandrum and Darkfrost from Palghatt. Everyone’s contributing their part to the metal scene as a whole and gigs like Sounds of Underground is really going to change the metal scene here. There are more real metalheads now who are looking forward to have more gigs in the state, form bands and be part of the entire metal community here. We’re all supporting each other and growing together.
HB: What makes you choose the kind of music you play? And what/who would be your influences, musically and otherwise.
Vivek: We believe in playing death metal which in our opinion is the right genre to express aggression and rebellion. The themes which we put forward in our original songs are related to war and its gory aftermath, the evil and the dark side of human life and so on. We are heavily influenced by Deicide, in fact the first song we tried to cover as a band was ‘When Satan Rules’ by Deicide, and once we had around 7 Deicide covers in our set list. Other influences include Nile, Obituary, Morbid Angel Cryptopsy, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Old Sepultura, Hate Eternal and all those great bands that fall under the similar category.
HB: What is it like to come from a place like Cochin, one which is not very prominent in the metal scene?
Vivek: It has always been hard here to survive as a death metal act in Cochin. Since the formation, the band has gone through a lot of line up changes. Every time someone left the band, it was very hard to find the right guy to fill the vacant position. That was the biggest difficulty we ever faced. Second would be the lack of gigs. We used to play at some rock competitions in the beginning where there would be 10 bands including WHC and 9 out of them played hard rock or other genres. So most of our real gigs happened in secluded places like buildings which were being still constructed and some secluded islands around Cochin. These underground gigs were exclusively organised for some die hard metal fans numbering from 30 to 50. But as we told you, the scene in Cochin is changing now. We launched a festival called ‘Gathering Storm’ last year which was a grand success and we are hoping to have more metal gigs in future which will eventually mark Cochin also as a prime spot in the national metal map.
HB: What’s the etymology behind the name Warhorse Chained?
Vivek: The name was given by our friend Hari. As per the bands concept, the life itself is a Warfield where we have to fight to survive or to die and loose. We’re all warhorses that are trained for wars but chained by society, its practices and beliefs. When you free yourself from the chains, you choose your destiny that is to fight in war. For us every stage is a Warfield to kill! And then a Warhorse is also a symbol of great energy and we believe that when a warhorse chained till the start of a war is let free, the energy that will be unleashed by the animal will be beyond anyone’s imagination.
HB: Looking back at your history, where is Warhorse Chained now? Is there something you wish you’d done but haven’t?
Vivek: From a bunch of unknown guys who wanted to have a death metal band but struggled with no place to practice, and no good instruments, we’re here being interviewed by Headbangers India. This is definitely an achievement for us. WHC was there and we are still here and we will be there! For us, being together as a band itself is a big thing. We have had our hardships and short hiatus but we got over all those hiccups and we are still continuing united. We’ve grown a lot musically as well. The only thing we wish we’d done would be to record our album, which we are going to do this year. We are looking forward to play more gigs at home and outside Kerala and contribute to the Indian metal scene.
HB: And what is next for the band? An EP or an album perhaps?
Vivek: An album which we plan to record and release this year. We have 5 originals which we are still reworking and spicing up and two more which will be completed before hitting studio.
HB: Great talking to you guys and this is your space, so say what you wish to the fans out there.
Vivek: Thank you so much for giving us the space to express our opinions!! Keep supporting Extreme Metal! Mosh safe and bleed less.. See you guys in the warfield! Hail Metal \m/!…. GRRRRRAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!
Thank you for the interview, Vivek and we wish you all the best and hope to see you on stage more often!