15 Metal Musicians & Their Dual Talents That Allow Them To Pursue Multiple Passions

15 Metal Musicians & Their Dual Talents That Allow Them To Pursue Multiple Passions

[On 16th-19th January, 2019, Homegrown is throwing a first-of-its-kind music festival in Mumbai designed to celebrate the city’s vast and diverse music culture. Dive deep into a wide variety of dynamic workshops, exhibitions, curated tours, panels, pop-ups, performances and parties that promise to be inclusive of all kinds of tastes and people.

There’s something for everyone, click here to find what’s perfect for you.]

[Duality is a theme that has long caught our fancy - which was really the main drive behind the publishing of Duality Vol I and Vol II, as a part of which we showcased individuals who lead double lives professionally. In this special metal edition, we now zoom in on the metchul to handpick artists and survey their respective dual existences - those who tear up the stage with their doom/death/hardcore/heavy metal sounds by night while daylight finds them hard at work in an impressively diverse range of fields.]

Since pursuing a full-time career in metal music is close to impossible in India, many of these musicians have found a way to juggle their passion for one of the most phenomenal genres that has changed the independent Indian soundscape, while balancing it out with the pursuit of their other inclinations that are often more effective at raking in the green. We must say, the duality in this list is more prominent than ever, a testament to their versatile range of influences and talents; you’re as likely to find them working up the rage in a circle/moshpit with their death growls as you are to find them excelling in an office or workspace.

Here are 15 metalheads who have left an indelible impact on the metal scene in the country, while pulling off a successful career alongside:

I. Aaron Pinto - Leonardo. Sonic. Homer.

Who: 26-year-old Aaron Pinto is the drummer for 2 Bombay-based metal bands, Providence and Gutslit. Having played the drums for close to 7 years now, Aaron learnt his chops from the great Irvin Vaz, who is a huge influence on his style till date. “I started off playing college competitions with my band Bloodshed and after a while, when the band dissolved, I got picked up by Shezan Shaikh and formed Providence and eventually joined Gutslit, after their drummer quit the band.” Opening for Megadeth with Providence and playing at the Obscene extreme festival in Czech Republic with Gutslit are some of the highlights that he says have really stood out along the way.
As for his ‘other side’, he currently works for MTV India as a Graphic designer and illustrator. “It all started with an internship, learning the ropes of media and then finally finding my calling in design and joining the MTV design team. I also work closely with artists from the Metal and the Indie scene; Creating Album art, T­shirt designs, merchandise, etc.”

“Duality is... organised chaos.”

His thoughts on a full time career with metal music?
”It’s a good time to be in a metal band right now, because the Indian metal scene is on the cusp of exploding globally and eventually people will recognise metal in India for the force that it is. That being said, it’s hard to sustain a metal band abroad as well; it’s only if you are the Megadeths and Lamb of Gods of the world that you can have a full-time career in metal.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“Yup, they do. I walk a very thin line between balance and complete pandemonium. Luckily, both my jobs feed off of each other and tend to work in harmony most of the times.”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in one day…
“New pedals, bitch!”
One thing you’d like to eradicate from the face of this planet?
“Selfie sticks and the people attached to it. Also people who ask you to paint or play for exposure. The list goes on, too much hate. (laughs)”
And this is Aaron being inspiring...
“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

 Follow Aaron on Instagram

II. Abhishek Kamdar - Friendly. Enormous. Fun­-loving.

Who: 25-year-old Abhishek Kamdar has been playing bass guitar for a death/thrash metal band called Devoid for about 4 years now. “I started off right after Junior College playing covers at Hard Rock Café’s and what not. Went on to meet Shubham in SIES, where most of Devoid went to college, and eventually went on to join Devoid.”
As for the ‘other side’ of him, it was interestingly was born out of him playing in Devoid, and is involved in shooting and editing video content. “In 2012, one of my best friends was down from LA (where he was then studying in film school) and while he was here, we somehow managed to pull off a music video shoot. At the end of the shoot, he handed me 200GB of footage and said good luck and went back to the states. This left me trying to find an editor who could do justice to a metal music video. Eventually, after some futile searching, I decided to give it a shot myself, and one thing led to another. The video content that I now sort of specialize in, is music videos and live footage of bands and events.”

“Duality is opposite values and situations being complementary.”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music? 
“Absolutely not possible. It is imperative for metal musicians to find work that allows them to pursue their goals musically. For me, a bunch of the work is project-based, which helps me allocate my time easily and allows me to focus my attention where it’s needed.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“Since one side was born out of the other, I definitely think they feed off of each other, especially when it comes to working and dealing with music oriented video content. This could be music videos with intense stories or just a simple playthrough. The fact that a musician is in charge of the content coming out puts everyone at ease.”
If he had to spend 50000 rupees in a day:
“Man, camera gear in general is expensive. With 50,000 you’d barely get a second hand lens. (laughs) With 5,00,000 though, there’s a lot you could do. But if I HAD to spend 50k today? I’d probably buy a second hand guitar or a bunch of pedals to mess around with. Or maybe spend the money on a RAM and a cooling sync for my editing setup.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
This is Abhishek being inspiring...
“Keep doing the stuff that inspires you and keeps you motivated. There are always bigger and better goals to achieve.”

 Check out his website and follow Devoid on Facebook

III. Abijith Rao - Traveler. Musician. Nature Enthusiast

Who: 26-year-old Abijith is the vocalist of a progressive metal band Escher’s Knot and has been associated with this band for 6 years now. “So I got into the music scene almost 11 years ago playing for a small band back then,” he explains. “In 2005, I started this metal band called ‘Ston’d’ with which my musical journey began on a serious note in the metal circuit.”
As for his ‘other side’, Abijith confesses that he loves travelling and each journey he’s embarked upon on roads less travelled have been inspiring and humbling. Also a motorcycle enthusiast, he is captivated by the unique sights, smells, sounds and feel of each new place he visits. “Mostly, you will be amazed at how much you discover about yourself, especially on a motorcycle. I’m a freelance sound engineer by profession. Skrat, Live Banned, Tails On Fire have been the main bands that I’m associated closely with along with Chaos, Eccentric Pendulum, Coshish being the other acts I work with. So when I’m not gigging or handling any corporate shows you can find me exploring new places somewhere up in the mountains or along the coast hunting trails.”
Abijith, along with two of his friends, has also started an adventure/offbeat motorcycle tour company called ‘Trailbug and Wanderlust’, a company in its nascent stages which plans to offer experience-based tours.

“Duality is… where the body and mind are considered to be irreducibly distinct and intersect at infinity, but might just be short of infinity in real life.”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music?
“Though the metal scene in India is growing slowly, unfortunately, no metal band in India is making their living out of it. They’re all doing it for the passion and dedication towards it. As long as they stick together and do what they do, there might just be a sustainable career to be made out of playing metal.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“No, never.”
On inspiration:
“Travel. Love. Share. Live. Inspire.”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“I’d get on a motorcycle with my tent and head out till I run out of that money.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?

 Follow Abijith on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram­. Also check out his blog

IV. Advaith Mohan - Curious. Intuitive. Open.

Who: 24-­year-­old Advaith heads the Search Engine Marketing team at Flipkart by day and moonlights as guitarist for the metal band ‘The Down Troddence’.
Advaith joined e­commerce behemoth 3 years ago fresh out of college with a B.Tech from IIT Madras and initially started out working on Flyte, Flipkart’s digital music service. Advaith found Flyte ‘a rewarding experience’ but, as an entity, it had limited success in India and was eventually shut down, after which he joined the Digital Marketing team and has worked on an array of things since, including marketing analytics, performance marketing, app installs, app engagement, social marketing , data visualization etc. “People here know me as a pretty laidback fellow, with a very good handle on numbers and data driven technology,” he summarises easily. “For me, its not really as cut and dried as the ‘other’ side. But music has been a huge part of my off­work life over the last few years.”
Before joining ‘The Down Troddence’ as a guitarist, he played for a metal band from Chennai called ‘Iterate’ and he shares that it’s a hugely satisfying experience making music with a bunch of people one loves and respects, and expressing the same in front of fans who love the music. He concedes that it’s been a gratifying 9 years playing the guitar. “It has allowed me to find an avenue of expression which I never though possible before, completely changing the way I view and live my life,” he says.

“Duality is two sides of the same coin.”

Do both these sides feed off of each other? 
“I believe that any human being can have as many sides to him/her as he/she wants. The way to make these conflicting sides reside within the same self, is to approach both with the same fundamental core principles, whatever the context. Personally, any interest I get, whether professional or personal, I try to cultivate and grow with the same level of commitment and desire.”
On inspiration:
”Life is waaay too short not to be doing the things that really matter.”

One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
”Selfie sticks.” 

V. Aman Virdi – Unplanned. Outgoing. Creative.

Who: Aman Virdi does vocals for a Pune-based experimental band Noiseware, which has been active for the past 5 years. Aman’s immersion in metal music started way back in college, when he played for his college band and happened to win at the Annual City Music Festival. From then on, he’s been at it on and off. Prior to Noiseware, he was on vocal duties for a Melodic Death metal band Vyzasa, active 2008-2010.
Aman joined his father’s business after Engineering, and subsequently formed his own company after a year. “I was always intrigued with business focused around energy monitoring, conservation and green technology,” he shares. “As a company, we build platforms and hardware to enable monitoring and control of energy. I am still exploring the scene, frankly, and my work enables me to network, communicate with all kinds of people from CEOs, to technicians. I enjoy the business aspect of things and that’s the reason I am pushing forth with it. It pays my bills and lets me enjoy a decent life.”

“Duality is … a fine balance of things, tough to achieve and sustain. Like yin and yang.”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music…
“To be honest, as a band, if you happen to a) be within the micro-minority of the folks who get noticed, and are lucky enough to get support and backing by a record label, and b) are sorted by a good artist management agency, c) are able to sustain yourselves for a good amount of time, and d) gig regularly, then one can explore the band as a full time thing. There aren’t many such opportunities in India as far as metal is concerned, though. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but then that’s that.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“My day job allows me to sustain a lifestyle, and music allows me to sustain my soul. I don’t know how else to put it.”
On inspiration:
“Smell the coffee, get up and kickass! Don’t bother if it’s a weekend, though.”
If he had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“I’d top it off with some more dough and buy myself a bike. Then ride into the sunset.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
“Insecurity and confusion.”

VI. Chintan Chinnappa –  Practical, methodical but misunderstood.

Who: 28-year-old Chintan Chinnappa is the lead guitarist of Inner Sanctum, a death metal band based out of Bangalore, formed in 2006. They have two releases ‘Provenance’ (2009) and ‘Legions Awake’ (2015).
As for his ‘other side’, Chintan also happens to be a lawyer. Yes, you heard us right – he’s a litigation attorney and appears regularly in various courts in Bangalore. “I am a partner of a full service law firm called Spectrum Legal,” he says.

“Duality is… extremely gratifying! I love the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde life.”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music.
“Absolutely! In fact, I think it’s a necessity. Bands hardly make anything out of playing metal music. Further, music for me is just an inflated hobby. I don’t think I would enjoy it as much if I depended on it for my livelihood.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“Actually, no. The reason I have been able to make it work is because I have kept the two sides independent of one another. My clients wouldn’t want to risk their lives or their business by getting advice from a metalhead. PS: Metalheads are such a misunderstood lot! We actually are supremely intelligent.”
On inspiration:
“Buy the new Inner Sanctum album Legions Awake now!”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in one day:
“Return tickets to the next edition of Wacken Open Air.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?

VII. Gaurav Basu - Short. Fat. Hairy.

Who: 28-year-old Gaurav Basu has been known to barf, burp, snort, spit into a microphone, on behalf of Bangalore-based metal band Inner Sanctum. “Been carrying this sore burden of a task for the past 8 years and counting,” he tells us. “It started with a bunch of guys just wanting to play heavy music for kicks ...you know, raising the dead, Satan, animal and virgin sacrifices...that sort of stuff. Just harmless fun really.”
Gaurav was actually a very shy kid growing up; reclusive and imaginative, he used to dwell in an alternate universe. He grew very fond of drawing eventually, and his childhood was filled with spooky ghost and demon folklore that used to be narrated by my mom and grandma, which in turn influenced me to draw things that ‘a bit unconventional’. “I am glad I get to do so for a living now,” he confesses. “I have been working as a freelance illustrator for the past 3 years doodling all kinds of obscenities to send you on a regurgitative run. I still remember the day my folks saw me on stage for the first time and thought...hm, split personality disorder (laughs).”

“Duality.. is a Slipknot song. No, really!”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music.
“In this day and age No. There are loads of complexities that have developed over the past decade  economically, technologically and in turn socially which has stunted the music industry as a whole. Metal has always catered to a niche crowd, and its imagery and sonic ‘horrificness’ are not qualities that would merit mainstream coverage. I would love to be a metal musician full time, but its not sustainable.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“Yep, it’s sort of a grotesque sync nexus. Two different expressions but the same morbid energy.”
On inspiration:
“Legal cannabis and LSD.”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“My European Schengen Visa is still valid so...yup, I am buying myself a ticket to Spain. So where is this great treasure you speak of?”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?

­ Follow Acid Toad on Facebook.  

VIII. Gurdip Singh - Whiskey. Kukkad. Metal.

Who: 27-year-old Gurdip Singh Narang is known as Brutal Sardar by his band and those who know him in the metal scene. “It’s probably cause of the artwork that Aaron Pinto, our Drummer from Gutslit did,” he accedes. “A Turban clad skull; a joke which later turned into a Tshirt design which sold world over.”
“I started learning to play the guitar in school. Got gifted a few Joe Satriani and Steve Vai cassettes by my guitar tutor and mentor Claver Menezes. And it was no looking back from then. The love for music came spontaneously and the date with the bass happened incidentally.” Gurdip formed his first band Gutslit while he was in college, studying Hospitality and Hotel Management. “So the balance between Brutality and Hospitality was right since the start,” he chuckles. He went on to form an Indian Classical / Western Fusion band called Agnya, and considers every day ‘a different mood, different song’.
As for his other side, he’s always nurtured a love for cooking and since his dad is into hotels and farms, running the business was always in the cards for him. “On an annual basis, we plant at least a 100 trees apart from the cultivation of crops. It’s where I find my true peace.” Gurdip also started investing in shares, and decided to embark on another adventure and got married. “Since then I’ve become a pretty good listener too,” he laughs.

“Duality is individuality.”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music?
“Yes, maybe, not. All depends on what are your basic demands in life. I have bigger bills to pay, thus I’d stick to business for the money and keep my music purely for the love.”
Do these two sides feed off of each other?
“It’s what I am today. I would be a completely different person if any one of the above is taken out of my life.”
On inspiration:
“Always mix your whiskey with some more whiskey.”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“I’d finally try to save some. I never understand where all my money goes.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
“The whole concept of God and religion. Humanity and more forests are what we need.”

 Follow Gutslit and Agnya India on Facebook.

IX. Mithun Raj - Fat. Loud. Smart.

Who: 26-year-old Mithun Raj aka Munz jams and performs as the lead vocalist for ‘The Down Troddence’ by night, and by day, is a photographer, and a senior visualizer at Flipkart.
Mithun kicked off his career as photographer 7 years ago and got into graphic designing along the way. “I’m pretty sure very few people know that I have a day job,” he ponders nonchalantly. He believes staunchly that as long as all of these roles are balanced and not clashing with each other, he’s quite happy. So how does he manage to strike this balance? “It’s simple. Don’t mix up everything. And focus in the moment.”

“Duality is staying focused on the task at hand & trying not to multitask or getting distracted.”


On inspiration:
“Whose life is it? Get it? See it? Feel it? Eat it.” – Slipknot, ‘People=Sh**’.”

X. Nitin Rajan - Passionate. Maverick. Innovator.

Who: 37-year-old Nitin Rajan is an extreme metal vocalist currently fronting Death Doom band Primitiv based out of Bombay, and he also promotes underground metal gigs. The co­founder of Domination – The Deathfest, India’s oldest extreme metal festival founded in 2000, he has played for Morticide, Sledge and Reptilian Death in the past. Having been associated with the extreme metal scene for the past 17 years, he has also been on the panel of judges for Rolling Stone Metal Awards for the past 6 years, and been a part of the jury for the prestigious Wacken Metal Battle – West in the past.
On the other hand, Nitin is the Product Head – Digital Media & New Business at Radio City 91.1FM. “It is my full time day job where I am responsible for content, programming and creative for several web radio stations and the website. We pioneered online radio in India and have even launched 3 stations promoting independent music from the country. I have been a digital media professional for a decade and half now, dabbling in content creation, product development and digital marketing.”

“Duality is... two sides of the same coin. Your intrinsic experiences maybe different but it is essentially what you are as a person.”

His thoughts on a full-time career in metal music.
“Metal music in India and to an extent globally does not pay you enough to pursue it full time. Hence you need a day job. Speaking for me, I have been passionate about how digital media has impacted music and chose to pursue that as a career long time ago. Hence I get to dabble in both my passion areas which is extremely rare.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“Massively. I am in business of creating good music experience for an audience both as a digital media professional and as a metal musician. So the skills I acquire interacting and cultivating an audience for my band helps me in designing and producing compelling content for the online medium. Case in point - Radio City Freedom and Radio City Metal (online radios promoting homegrown independent music).”
On inspiration:
“Be yourself, listen to yourself and follow your calling. Do not give up.”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“Use it as a down payment for good quality speakers.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
“Temporary tattoos.”

Follow Nitin on Twitter & Soundcloud and Primitiv and Domination - The Death Fest on Facebook.

XI. Prashant Shah - Impulsive. Dreamer. Time traveller (mostly 1800’s-­1940’s)

Who: Prashant Shah spent most of his formative years focusing on two things - listening to music and watching movies. Music was a passion for his parents as well, and they encouraged him to play the keyboard, which he did for a while before getting serious about playing the guitar during his adolescent rebellious years. “A friend from school, Siddharth Khare, introduced me to the instrument and the band, Metallica. From then on, the only thing I wanted to do when I was awake was to play the guitar as well as my heroes,” he says. In 2002, he started a band called Exhumation, with Aditya Mehta and a couple of years later, talks of forming a hardcore band kicked off with college mate Srinivas Sunderrajan. “The lineup consisted of equally enthusiastic musicians from other upcoming bands and that’s how Scribe was born. This year marks a decade for me with Scribe. In my 17 years of playing the guitar, I’ve co­written 2 albums and an E.P with Exhumation and 2 E.P’s and 3 albums with Scribe. We’re currently writing the 4th Scribe album now, which should be out this year­end.”
By day however, Prashant is a VFX specialist, digital environment supervisor, lighting supervisor or ‘whatever role they would like me to play at redchillies.vfx on that day’. He admits this takes up a major chunk of his time, and his job essentially involves me creating 3D landscapes or environments (stuff like Pandora in Avatar) on a computer and lighting and shading 3D assets (Interior/exterior sets, digital doubles, monsters, vehicles...anything the director can’t shoot in real life) to blend them seamlessly with live action shots or create an entirely digital shot. Prashant has been working in the industry for 10 years now.

“Duality is Planetary. The faceless fans would know.”

Image Credit: Kunal Kakodkar (left)

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music?
“Depends on the individual. There is always the commercial v/s artistic debate when it comes to the creative sector. It’s your choice and you need to accept the pros and cons that come with it. If there is a chance, it’s only if you think globally, the music industry is cutthroat everywhere else, and in today’s time, the competition is fierce. If music became my only source of livelihood it wouldn’t be as enjoyable for me. I’m glad that I don’t have to deal with that kind of pressure and ideological compromise. Besides, I feel very lucky that I have a day job that I love as much as music.”
Do both these of yourself feed off of each other?
“I listen to music while I work on visuals and watch films while practising exercises on the guitar. That is the extent to which they are symbiotic. However, I’m working on a project where what I do at work will coalesce with my music.”
On inspiration:
”One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do… do it now.” ­ -Paulo Coelho
If he had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“Go to Chor Bazaar in town, and buy some vintage goodies from old Bombay.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
“Rose syrup/water/ice cream.”

XII. Reuben Bhattacharya - Destroy. Erase. Improve.

Who: 35-year-old Reuben plays bass with Undying Inc., which started out in 2004 as a metal band in the thrash/death and groove metal space. “In the past decade of experience with the band, I have not only seen us grow both musically and individually, but also seen this homegrown metal scene develop to where it is today,” he shares. “It’s great to see those kids that used to hang out backstage are now in bands themselves and have more facial hair.”
“Like an old Lucifer coin with a pointy tail on one side and a goat head on the other,” is how he describes his existence, while clarifying that ‘the other side of’ him ‘is still the same side’ of him. “For many years I struggled with the duality of existence as a metal musician. Working day jobs in the design industry, I have worked with military clothing construction and export to designing jeans and jackets to hundreds of prints with brands like Quicksilver, Lee Cooper, Rifle Italy, Disney and others.”
Reuben went on to publishing design and re­designing rock and metal magazine Rock Street Journal in 2007 to working in communication design and advertising agency as an art director. He realized that ‘the system with large corporate clients’ was slowly ‘turning him into a drone’, and since he detested working under someone’s control he threw his long resume and design school gold medals into a trunk and went full time with Visual Amnesia. “Now I use my design background and experience to create Art for start-ups, merchandise labels and metal bands from across the world. So the effort has been to negate the duality or at least bring it closer together.”

“Duality is... definitely one of my favourite Slipknot tracks! (laughs) But on a more serious note, it does help shape the people we are or are yet to become. Everyone is really a work in progress. There will always be duality in life, the trick is in balancing on the tightrope of that duality and staying focused.”

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music…
“Not unless you are in the top billing 2% of huge touring bands supported by a major label and playing all the major festivals. Thing is, only 2% of the people playing metal music actually get there. The rest are betting their lives on that dream, with day jobs as a producer, designer, tour manager, or other aspects of the metal industry.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“Like I said before with the coin, both my sides may be different but are rooted in the same ethic. Both my expressions via art or metal music are an extension from the same root thought. Creativity or imagination are not controlled substances, so it may pour forth from whatever orifice it finds open.”
On inspiration:
Something his dad once told him, “Shut up, keep your head down and keep at it. If you want anything bad enough and are willing to work really hard towards it, it will come to you at least once in your lifetime. Everything else is a trend, a cycle, a pattern, a trap.”
If he had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“No contest. Buy more gear.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?

XIII. R.Venkatraman - Hardwork. Kindness. Hungry to learn.

Who: 31-year-old R. Venkatraman, known as Venky, first started playing music with his college band, Barfcake. Around the time Barfcake abruptly came to a halt, Bhayanak Maut was taking flight. “I joined as one of founding members of the band after a brief audition inside a local train (pays to carry your guitar everywhere!). Rahul Hariharan was a part of this set up as well. What started off as a comedy band slowly turned into a serious metal act as Rahul and I realised that we were enjoying the daily 3­4 hour jams. Vinay, Aditya, Sunny and very recently, Ishaan joined us, and over time the band turned out to be a great way to express our collective creativity.”
“Apart from playing for Bhayanak Maut, I take great interest in writing score for films, ads and making music that is not metal at all. This interest saw me quit my day job as a creative director at an advertising agency just recently.”
Venky used to love humour writing and designing, and that led him to advertising where he ended up working on Appy Fizz, Frooti, Café Coffee Day, Nissan, Google, and a bucketload of other brands. “I couldn’t see myself writing emailers for the rest of my life, so I quit. I now freelance as a creative consultant for Ad Agencies and Clients, design t-shirts for VoxpopClothing, and work on deploying my own IPs and ideas close to my heart. I really believe in involving myself with meaningful work that makes a difference to at least one life.”
”The musician, the writer, the designer, the strategist, the film­maker, the illustrator, the photographer ; all fight together to get to one goal ­ to express what’s within in the best possible way. And then, one of them chooses to lead.”

“Duality is...you only live once. So, live twice.”

His thoughts on a full-time career in metal music:
“It is feasible to be a musician, but not as a part of a metal band alone. Although, with the current marketplaces, metal, its many subgenres, and its loyal set of fans can maybe really bring the music they want to a greater set of audience. It’s a do or DIY situation, really, for metal bands.
“If you are not elitist, you may have many other musical interests that might open doors for you in terms of money and that in turn can support your love for metal. Life always finds a way.”
On inspiration:
“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.” – Frank Herbert in Dune.
If he had to spend 50000 rupees in a day:
“I would buy the Korg MS20 mini in a blink of an eye and spend what remains on Sushi.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
“The Indian Crab Mentality.”

Follow Venky on Twitter and Instagram and check out his Twitter-­based music project here.  

XIV. Srinivas Sunderrajan - Cunning, Evil, Dangerous

Who: 30-year-old Srinivas Sunderrajan is known as ‘Vaas’, bass player of Mumbai based hardcore band Scribe. “Music, as an art form, has existed in my family for a while,” he shares. “So it was natural for me to get inspired to pick up/learn an instrument. Post completing college, a bunch of us decided to form a band and I used to play a bit of guitar back then, just simple chords and the popular Mission Impossible theme. But the band already had 2 guitarists, so I picked up the bass and played in a couple of bands post-college before forming SCRIBE with ex­drummer, Niraj Trivedi. With SCRIBE, we tried to experiment with genres and along with playing our own songs we also played covers of (then) obscure bands like Hatebreed, Sick Of It All, Earth Crisis, Dillinger Escape Plan etc. Soon, the indie music scene changed gears from ‘all covers scene’ to ‘all originals’.” Srinivas explains that he listens to all genres ranging from jazz, techno, metal to Bollywood ­ but metal has always been something he could always relate to. “Not for the anger/rebellion vibes, but just the positivity that the genre actually exudes.”
On the ‘other side’, Srinivas is an independent filmmaker running an indie production house called ‘Enter Guerrilla’. “I’ve made two feature films, half a dozen short films, directed music videos for bands like Demonic Resurrection/Scribe/Pentagram and also directed the third season of ‘The Dewarists’. The best way to describe this ‘other side’ would be to visualize the yin and yang symbol. Metaphorically, if BLACK represents the ‘Metal/heavy music/aggression’ side of me, the WHITE represents the ‘calmer/creative/happier’ side. Though, in reality, it’s the other way around. I’m much more calmer in the music sphere and more aggressive in the film sphere.”

“Duality is... nature. Nature exists in duality, and hence one constantly needs to be (or find oneself) in such a state because that’s the best way to live your life.”

Image Credit: Parizad D (left) / Prashin Jagger (right)

His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music.
“Well, I can safely say that it is not. Metal as a genre is not widely accepted. It’s always associated with the dark, dingy confines of an underground club or the grime of an industrial warehouse. In a country like India where Bollywood films & music are the staple diet of the masses, it’s difficult to reach a critical mass, where one can think of being a full­time metal musician.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“It definitely does. These two sides have been an integral part of my growing years and have been instrumental in my evolution so far (as a musician and filmmaker).”
If you had to spend 50000 rupees in a day…
“My first feature film was made on a budget of 40k, over a span of a year, back in 2010. If I adjust inflation, I can probably make the sequel today in 50k.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?
“Homo sapiens.”

Follow Srinivas on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterVimeo.

XV.             Vinay Venkatesh – That Bearded Guy.

Who: 38-year-old Vinay Venkatesh is one half of Bhayanak Maut’s Guttural vocal assault, and has been with the band since December, 2003. He is known as the official keeper of the beard.
As long as we’ve known Vinay, we’ve always assumed Bhayanak Maut was a full-time thing. Turns out, he’s been playing everyone all along because he insists people don’t believe him when he says he actually works for a living. If we didn’t know better we wouldn’t be able to vouch for it but aside from being a bon a fide comedian, he’s one of the leading creative directors in the country having racked up a whopping 15 years’ worth of experience in many of India’s top agencies. “It pays the bills,” he hits the nail on its head. Since 2003, he’s also been a vocalist with Bhayanak Maut and the band’s manager. They released their 3rd full-length album in October, 2014.

“Duality is... something I don’t think about.”


His thoughts on a full-time career with metal music?
“I wouldn’t know, I’ve never tried it.”
Do both these sides feed off of each other?
“They’re really not different.”
On inspiration:
“Live less out of habit, and more out of intent.”
If you had to spend 50,000 rupees in a day…
“I’d book piano lessons for the year.”
One thing you’d like to eradicate off the face of this planet?

Check out Bhayank Maut’s website.

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