Category Archives: Interactions / Interviews

Solar Deity’s Aditya Mehta: “Exhumation is nowhere on my priority list”

solar deity band logoSoaked completely in black metal, Indian band Solar Deity started off as a studio project. Besides being a full-time live band now, Solar Deity is the only Indian metal act whose propensity for Satanism cannot be ignored. Clad in black robes the members take the stage not only with their instruments but also a clay pot, to quench their thirst. In short, they mean business.

I sat down with my pal Aditya – vocalist/guitarist of Solar Deity to discuss the Indian metal scene in general, Laveyan Satanism, Exhumation, the upcoming Black Metal Krieg gig and of course Solar Deity! Let’s proceed with the interview already, shall we?

  • Yo, Mehta! I’ve known you for years now. Why do you think I’m excited about interviewing you at this point in time.

Aditya – Because you know I’m going to say controversial stuff! I’m very cheery these days because the new EP is doing so well, and in general everything’s going great. Life is good, man. But I won’t disappoint you, old friend, so go ahead and hit me with the rest of your questions. I place my hand on the e-book version of the Satanic Bible and promise to tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Now that’s what I call creative relief. Alright, moving on…

solar deity band

  • You bash the Indian metal scene and many of the bands at the drop of a hat. It clearly shows that you, as an artist, are either uneasy or unhappy about the scene progressing or regressing in a particular direction. What, according to you, would be an ideal Indian metal scenario, where you don’t see yourself blasting, be it in interviews or conversations.

Aditya – Oh, balls to everyone! The scene is filled with poseurs and ass-kissers who are dying to be liked and accepted. Anyway, if these bands want to jack each other off it’s none of my business… but this underground scene is a fucking joke. There are very few bands that are actually worth something. The rest can die in a plane crash or get crushed under a bus.

So there is no ideal Indian metal scenario. You’ve clearly given up…

  • aditya mehta pot solar deityLet’s skip everything about how and why Solar Deity was formed. Tell me what does black metal mean to you, and how much of your ideologies could Solar Deity successfully imbibe.

Aditya – Black metal is music for the soul. I still love death metal the same way, of course, but black metal is what touches my spirit. Death metal is craft, black metal is art. I’m doing everything in and with Solar Deity that I couldn’t do before; I don’t have to hesitate at all. My vision is clear, the others in the band share it and and we are achieving it together.

  • You keep saying you are a Laveyan Satanist. I, myself support what Anton Lavey had to impart because it is logical. But, apart from the obvious, what do you mean when you say you are a Laveyan Satanist. How different your life would’ve been had you not known who Lavey is.

Aditya – Oh, come on, this is like asking Muslims what they would be if they hadn’t been born into Islam. I don’t know… I would’ve been a trendcore poseur, I guess… ahaha! Okay, seriously – I wouldn’t have been this strong mentally, I wouldn’t have been this focused, and I certainly wouldn’t have had this drive. My whole life changed the day I realized I was a Satanist… everything became very clear. There is total clarity in my life, and zero bullshit. It gets better as I grow older, it gets even more powerful with time. Around two years back the change in me was very noticeable: I realized nothing was happening with Exhumation and that I would have start another band to make extreme music… That was a fucking moment. I gave up drinking for almost a year, and the focus and drive came right back and I embraced the anger and hatred that was in me. I accepted it completely. It’s beautiful, y’know… the things anger and hate can drive you to do… it’s fucking amazing.

The right question pumps you up!

aditya mehta animesh das solar deity

  • Your jam sessions are a tribute to the devil, and your live shows are rituals. What’s the deal.

Aditya – Eh! I make a big deal out of everything. Eating muskmelon ice cream is a ritual, and when we eat aam-ras and the works in the summer I behave like there’s a grand ceremony taking place. It adds fun to my life.

  • Am I forgetting the band that put you into the Indian metal history books in the first place. No, I’m not. No news about Exhumation, no shows, and a lot of rumors. Put an end to it.

Aditya – Exhumation is nowhere on my priority list. Solar Deity is my main band and I have a few other projects waiting to happen: Spirit (death metal), Angry Dwarf (avant-garde noise), Heretic Magus (death/doom and funeral doom) and Bludgeoned Sociopath (goregrind). Apart from all this, I have a book of short stories to complete (I haven’t written a story in four years), more books to write, cats to take care of, and a life to live. If anything more needs to happen with Exhumation, it will – but I’m not exactly bathing in anticipation. Also, I’m fucking sick of being asked about Exhumation, so if anybody really wants me to talk about it they can first buy me a quarter of whisky.

OKAY, now that clears the air…

solar deity devil worship artwork

  • Solar Deity facts: 3 Eps, 1 single and an on-going three city tour. How receptive/supportive has the Indian metal scene and the non-existent metal media been to the group. You might want to add what more is in store.

Aditya – Pretty much the whole scene was stunned when we released In The Name Of Satan. Nobody really expected me to do anything after Exhumation started fizzling out, but I’m me, y’know? It’s so much fun when people forget what I am because I love reminding them. Then we released Snowless, and then The Darkness Of Being and now Devil Worship… we still have so much more to do, and we’re looking forward to it.

A few websites gave flimsy reasons for not writing about us, but they either disappeared into oblivion or came around eventually, when they realized we weren’t a random band that had come to pass time. The websites that did help us, however, really helped us – and they are responsible for spreading our music in a big way, and I’m very grateful to them.

  • Are you excited about this landmark all-black metal event Black Metal Krieg 3 that Solar Deity is part of. The audience is aware that Solar Deity would be unleashing their stuff at the gig. Tell them why exactly should they be present during your set.

Aditya – Of course I’m excited about Black Metal Krieg 3! Any extreme-metal fan will fucking come in his pants at the gig… I mean, look at the fucking lineup! I think this show is going to be great for Solar Deity because Mumbai and Thane will get to see our all-new lineup, and we’ll be playing a long set with stuff from all the EPs… and we’re getting to share the stage with these awesome bands. Kunal Choksi and Kunal Gonsalves are pulling off some mad shit here… every metalhead worth his/her favourite black t-shirt is going to be at BMK3… fuck yeah!

Solar Deity is:

Aditya Mehta on Guitars / Vocals
Animesh Das on Bass
Amogh Sharma on Drums
Niraj Singh Chauhan on Lead Guitar

solar deity band live

To stay updated about the band join their page here: https://www.facebook.com/SolarDeityIndia

Website: http://solardeityindia.com/

Aspire to be a groupie? Drop an email to: solardeityindia@gmail.com.

[ Black Metal Krieg 3 (featuring 1833 ADStark DenialSolar DeityCosmic InfusionWinter GateDark DesolationWinter ProphecyDormant Inferno and Spiked Crib) is the only event in India that pays tribute to black metal. The event is going to demolish a venue in Bombay on the 8th of December, 2013. Stay updated here: https://www.facebook.com/events/626388167400031/ . ]

Must read:

Interview with 1833 AD ahead of their headlining gig in Bombay (December 8th, 2013)

Album / Ep / Demo / Teaser Reviews

2010 article about the Indian Black Metal Scene

gig review : Black Metal Krieg (December, 2010)

Gig / Concert / Festival Reviews

Diverse Articles

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1833 AD’s Nishant Abraham: “The usage of chord progressions that typically define Black Metal, come to me naturally”

1833 ad band logoAhead of 1833 AD‘s headlining gig in Bombay, Nishant Abraham – frontman of Indian black metal act 1833 AD talks about the challenges faced by the band, their 2012 debut record ‘My Dark Symphony‘, why they love playing in Bombay and tackles a few other questions that need a credible black metal band’s opinion.

Read on…

Imagine a world completely devoid of black metal. There is no reference point and such a genre doesn’t exist. Would 1833 AD still have existed.

NishantTo a certain extent, yes, but I wouldn’t have been so creative to term it Black Metal. I would have gone with something cheesy; Dark Metal, at best. The darkness that Black Metal creates, like any other form of music, is because of the arrangement of notes. And the usage of such chord progressions that typically define Black Metal, come to me naturally. Instrumentally, would we have sounded similar? Definitely. In terms of vocals? No chance in hell. I came from a very mellow vocal background and wouldn’t have considered screaming into a microphone even in my wildest dreams.

Three members in Delhi, and one member in Bangalore. Two different cities. Considering the obvious issues of management and lesser jamming sessions you guys still manage to pull off a tight gig. What does it take to make that happen.

Nishant – It is tough. With the distance, we have to practice regularly on our own to ensure we know our parts like the back of our hand so that it all comes together as one fluid piece when we perform. We feel it’s important to jam together at least once before a show. For this, we usually try and reach the city a day before. Sometimes it’s on the day of the show. Once, all we had time for was on-stage sound check. It was the biggest challenge we ever faced but we pulled through and were extremely proud of ourselves.

1833 ad black metal

A band wants to cover obscure underground songs that they truly believe in. And often it is overheard that the choice should’ve been a mass favorite. Your thoughts.

Nishant – Hmm, interesting question. Maybe it comes down to the band’s ideology. Are they trying to win points with the crowd? Or are they showcasing their music and influence? Personally, I wouldn’t mind either and we have done both in the past. We would do a song that no one knows if we feel the audience could use a good lesson in Old School Black Metal, but we would never play a song that we don’t believe in just to please the audience.

I’m aware of the staggering numbers that went into the production of ‘My Dark Symphony’. Resulting in a product that is top notch. No compromises there. What was going through the band’s mind when it came to the financial aspects of recording the album.

nishant abraham 1833 adNishant – How are you aware of that?

I know everything (laughs). Anyway…

Nishant – We had spent a lot of money just to get the music ready. But the concept we went with was incomplete without the artwork. Did we really have to spend so much on artwork? Maybe. Maybe not. Why settle? We wanted to create something that was never done before. The artwork has a vague storyline going on which is a mystery in itself. Trying to understand what each page means, how it possibly relates to a song, division of the chapters, et cetera are some of the alluring things My Dark Symphony has to offer. Something our fans could buy and feel that they got their money’s worth. And I think we did that with My Dark Symphony. If you are reading this and have no idea what we’re talking about, shame on you!

Alright, there are people who take 1833 AD’s music seriously, and that’s where the true fanbase comes into picture. Any upcoming gigs these people should know about.

Nishant – We love our fans! We get emails from our fans asking us for lyrics, tabs, minus tracks, etc. Everything we do, every penny we’ve ever spent, it all seems worth it with each of these emails.

We are playing two shows at the end of this week. Chandigarh on the 26th and Delhi on the 27th. We are also talking to few organizers in Jaipur and Pune. If something materializes, we’ll announce it on Facebook.

Bombay is going to play host to the third edition of Black Metal Krieg (BMK) event on the 8th of December, 2013. Sign-off the interview by telling us how do you plan to captivate your audience at BMK 3.

Nishant – We love playing Mumbai. The fact that it’s BMK just makes it more special. Getting to share the stage with so many other Indian Black Metal bands is a great privilege and we look forward to it. The Mumbai crowd returns the passion with which we perform. We will be throwing in a few surprises, some of the unforgotten classics perhaps? It’s gonna be wild!

1833 ad band live

1833 AD is:

Nishant Abraham on Vocals/Guitars
Rahul Mehalwal on Guitars
Sushmit Mazumdar on Bass
Raghav Sehgal on Drums

http://www.1833ad.com/

https://www.facebook.com/1833ad

If you want to contact the band directly, shoot an email to: 1833ad@gmail.com.

[ Black Metal Krieg 3 (featuring 1833 AD, Stark Denial, Solar Deity, Cosmic Infusion, Winter Gate, Dark Desolation, Winter Prophecy, Dormant Inferno and Spiked Crib) is the only event in India that pays tribute to black metal. The event is going to demolish a venue in Bombay on the 8th of December, 2013. Stay updated here: https://www.facebook.com/events/626388167400031/ . ]

Also read:

In-depth review of 1833 AD’s debut album ‘My Dark Symphony’

Dormant Inferno’s debut demo ‘In Sanity’ reviewed

2010 article about the Indian Black Metal Scene

gig review : Black Metal Krieg (December, 2010)

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Bangalore Open Air 2013 : Introduction, announcements and a chat with the organizers

In a bid to broaden India’s metal horizons, Infinite Dreams founder Salman Syed and his team have taken up the arduous task of doing what seemed like a distant dream just a few years ago.

bangalore open air 2013 logo

Such is the trappings of our mundane life that escaping the daily routine and hating the unreasonable comes easy. After a long bout of gigs, festivals and metal parties across the United Kingdom in 2012, the last thing I wanted was to not have a festival back home. That culture is zealously and emphatically addictive. All the celebrations and mammoth gatherings of like-minded, carefree, metal-loving population across the globe is something that is looked forward to. All year round.

For starters let’s not forget we did not even have local gigs happening in India. There was no such thing called live metal gig for us. Just over a decade ago, the sonic boom that causes your ears to bleed was a craving. I remember being present at gigs where the total attendance was not more than 30 people including the playing bands. Shame. Today, after Iron Maiden ventured into our territory in 2007, the penetration of international acts is seen as an overdose by many. The question remains unanswered and the answer lies within. Not hard to figure out, as the answer goes something like – Pack your bags and attend.

2012 was a game changer. Heavy metal aficionado and manager of Bangalore-based band Kryptos, Salman Syed decided to break the barrels and open the gates for all of us to be able to experience something massive. Brought to life by Infinite Dreams, in association with Wacken Open Air (Germany), Bangalore Open Air aided us maniacs to bring out our black accoutrements and witness real bands that have made their way to the top through sweat and only that.

bangalore open air 2013 line up poster

When quizzed about why exactly did he take this initiative, a very tied up Salman replies, “Having inspired by Wacken Open Air I wanted to create something along the same lines in India, and hence the idea was born and BOA is here“. In terms of the challenges faced in putting together a line-up like this one the man takes a very nonchalant approach. “After the first edition bands were excited to see the response and wanted to play at BOA so it wasn’t difficult to get them on board“.

The onus of handling the media section of BOA is on Bangalore-based Samarpita Samaddar. A short tête-à-tête with her provided me an insight into what is going through the minds of the organizers. And this is what Samarpita had to say, “We started BOA festival last year with just two international bands Suidakra and Kreator. It received a big response and was really successful. This year, it’s bigger and better with an unbelievable line-up“.

Going further, I wanted to know how exactly did the mainstream media welcome this concept of hosting such a humongous metal festival in India. “Though for mainstream media, heavy metal is a very niche genre so it is challenging but I have to say that we have got a very good response from the media as of now. A festival of this stature is never an easy game, it takes a lot for organizing it well, to make sure everything goes smoothly. The metal scene in India is changing widely across the country. With platforms like Wacken Metal Battle, India is seeing a steady growth in popularity and with festivals like BOA, we can see a mix of international and Indian bands playing more and more in India“, says Samarpita, who is also an independent publicist.

ihsahn live at bangalore open air 2013

One year old and still going strong (which is surprising for a festival in India that has only metal on the menu), BOA has managed to rope in some of the biggest names for the 2013 edition. Surprisingly there is variety which directly implies the turnout should be gigantic. In no particular order here’s what our retinas and eardrums would be subjected to this year:

1. Ihsahn (Norway) – Extreme Progressive Metal

2. Sodom (Germany) – Speed/Thrash Metal

3. Iced Earth (United States) – Power/Thrash Metal

4. Dark Tranquillity (Sweden) – Melodic Death Metal

5. Animals As Leaders (United States) – Instrumental Progressive

6. Leprous (Norway) – Progressive Metal

7. Demonic Resurrection (India) – Progressive Death/Black Metal

And, what kind of reception is expected this year, to which Salman signs off by saying, “I hope more and more people understand the importance of festivals, and I’m confident that this year it will be bigger and better at BOA“.

Do not let go of this unadulterated metal fest. Show your support because otherwise you would not have anywhere or anyone to run to for any kinda grievances and all your complaints would fall on deaf ears. Life waits for no one. Let your hair down and be a part of Bangalore Open Air.

[ Visit the official website here : Bangalore Open Air official website for details pertaining to the venue and ticket outlets. The tickets are priced at Rs. 2499. ]

Oh, and there is a poll as well:


P. Emerson Williams – an interaction

Alright as was said, here’s the interview that is just the beginning of a lot more to come.

emerson williams

Loosening up right now is P. Emerson Williams. Emerson is a musician, artist and an illustrator who grew up in Norway and is currently working in London. Known for his blackened industrial band Choronzon for which he plays all instruments, Emerson is part of two other bands Veil of Thorns and Kkoagulaa, add to that many other collaborations. Emerson is an artist and has worked with Katatonia and Primordial and very recently he did the artwork for Indian band Rat King (who are with Roadcrew Records, India) for their 2009 offering Larva. He has come a long way as a visionary artist and an illustrator, and his work is collected in the books Enshroud and Panic Pandemic. Also a chaos magick practitioner, his knowledge includes a lot of stuff that would require going beyond the usual. Here’s the conversation.

Hey Emerson, hows it going?

Emerson – Roiling chaos and uncertainty surrounds, as is usual.

Metal. What does it mean to you?

Emerson – A vast country, comprised of rotting, primitive structures to Wagnerian grandeur and creepy soundscapes. I always come back to metal.

choronzon cover

Artists you look up to…

Emerson – I spent many hours gazing at art books of Albrect Dürer, Hans Baldung and other late Gothic artists as a young’un. The surrealists were an obsession in my teens, and photographers like Imogen Cunningham and Joel-Peter Witkin have probably been more influential on my imagery than any other form of visual artist.

Some metal bands that excite you at this moment…

Emerson – Rat King blow my mind every time I listen, and hearing Rose Kemp makes me want to pull together a three-piece and see what kinds of unholy noises she could make. Blackdeath from Russia and the new Burzum.

Whats on your playlist right now…

Emerson – I’ve gone back to Mordor (Swiss version), off late. I find myself missing the raw, lo-fi aesthetic of early underground metal of days gone by.

veil of thorns cover

Black metal is…

Emerson – In its on parallel universe away from market conventions.

When you hit the bar you look for…

Emerson – First choice ould be an mid 20th century Armagnac, but a ’77 vintage port is never to be resisted. I tend to like to be able to taste the dirt in which the grapes were grown. Or a well aged single-barrel bourbon.

Your bands and collaborations…

Emerson – Main bands are Choronzon, Veil of Thorns and Kkoagulaa. Recent collaborations are with FoolishPeople on their last four productions, Manes on the How the World Came to an End album and John Zewizz of Sleep Chamber fame on his new solo album 2012.

Band you wish you were part of…

Emerson Killing Joke.

Your opinion on the Indian scene…

Emerson – There is real quality coming out of India. I’m seeing a lot of activity all the way around, with labels and event organizers making things happen. This DIY ethic is precisely what is needed to create fertile ground for creativity and gives everyone reason to be excited about being involved. I wonder if there’s as healthy a scene for Industrial and Goth in India as there seems to be for Metal…

Kkoagulaa cover

How is the Indian metal scene perceived around you…

Emerson – Well, most US/Euro people around me have been introduced to Indian metal by my playing Rat King to them, which has awakened a great deal of interest. Blind Image are definitely making a name for themselves all over the place. I’m distributing their album More Than Human at Veil Of Thorns store along with both Rat King albums and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding both artists.

Your opinion on…

God – Anthropomorphising the ineffable.

Religion – Should never involve more than one human.

Satan – Every good propaganda effort needs a bogeyman. Creating one out of the gods of the vanquished peoples is, well, diabolical…

Your Indian connections…

Emerson – Brilliant and wonderful people.

Few words for Roadcrew Records…

Emerson – They’re doing a wonderful job, the dedication to their artists and quality of releases is inspiring. I see great things coming from Madhav and Roadcrew in the future.

Any Indian trip (work or pleasure) in the pipeline…

Emerson – That will require the right circumstances. I would love to bring a band and full theatrical production and collaborate with Indian musicians/visual artists/theatre troupes/multimedia artists and do something different. Just putting that out there and we’ll see.

life blood

Your views on Burzum’s comeback Belus…

Emerson – A breath of fresh air from an ancient forest…

Releases this year you are looking forward to…

Emerson – Well, since I’ve been wrapped up in a million projects, I haven’t had time to keep up on what’s coming down the pike. Two releases I’ve had a hand in are 2012, John Zewizz’ (Sleep Chamber) solo album is due out this spring as is the Sleep Chamber classic Satanic Sanction – remastered and expanded. I did the cover layouts and art for both and had the honour of playing cello on 2012. Trev has another Midnight Configuration album cooking and it’s shaping up to be amazing and there’s the return of Killing Joke‘s original lineup with Feast of Fools late in the year.

When I say absurd history, first thing that comes to your mind…

Emerson – Wide-ranging, society, travel, photos – Metal!

There are only 1411 tigers left in India (or thats what we are told), your views/does it matter..

Emerson – There are too damn many of us. From the time of the first migration of humans from Africa, the arrival of homo sapiens has been accompanied by mass extinction of other species. We can’t expand into the stars soon enough.

Life is a bitch, is it?

Emerson – Life is pure joy. Reality tunnels we construct in ever narrower dimensions mask this fact.

Do you miss Chuck Schuldiner…

Emerson – Yes. Funny about Florida’s death metal guitarists and brain cancer…

emerson on cello and maynard la paz playing berimbao

Lamb of God playing in India on 15th May. You want to say anything on this…

Emerson – Good fortune for Lamb of God. I have no doubt they’ll get a thundering reception.

Details about any of your work that has released recently or is going to release…

Emerson – Latest releases are Veil of ThornsSalon Apocalypse and Necrofuturist, available from Inner-XMusickSoleilmoon, Market Apocalypse and Roadcrew, as well as Manifestation Objective which can be found on iTunes. Released just this month is KkoagulaaAurum Nostrum Non Est Aurum Vulgi with members of Manes, 3rd and the Mortal, Atrox, Chton, Shining (Swe) and more, and KkoagulaaImpressions of Ardour digi-EP on iTunes. There is much more to come from Kkoagulaa. And then there’s a continuous experiment from FoolishPeople

Quickies…

Primordial or Katatonia
Primordial.

Kkoagulaa or Manes
– Can never be an either/or proposition.

Rat King or King Diamond
Rat King, hands down.

Port or Bourbon
Port.

Black or Death
Black.

Iron Maiden or Dio
Dio.

Melodic or Brutal
– Strange.

Burzum or Irgum Burgum
Burzum.

Last Words…

Emerson – Gjev meg gamalost!

mountainman

To know Emerson more than what you know about him now you could visit Choronzon.org, Alterati.com and Greylodge.org

also read :

album review : Ihsahn – After (2010)

album review : Burzum – Belus (2010)


Interaction section – a little something

Always wanted this, was just waiting for the right time. Beginning tomorrow I am going to have this new section where I would be talking to people I would want to have here. Call it interacting, interviewing or flirting I am already liking every bit of it. Idea is to keep it completely informal, laid back and relaxed.

So there has to be someone who cuts the ribbon. Yes the first guest on this section is a friend and an international artist. And  most of you have atleast heard of him. If not then you will know him tomorrow. Until then, ha det bra.


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