Snaring Mynds Abroad
Formed in 2004, Myndsnare made rapid strides in the local Bangalore circuit with its fresh brand of originals and skillfully rabid sound. The band came into national prominence after they released their first full-length album, ‘Conditioned: Human’, showcasing their popular song ‘Layers of Hypocrisy’. Besides being labeled as one of the tightest acts in the country, the band has been featured in a number of international compilations, a few being- 10 ways to split thy skull( a collection of extreme metal from over 10 countries and Deeper underground#2( an initiative from Sonnengott Music, Indonesia). Currently in Uncle sam’s territory, the band enlightens Kaushik about their radical craze for ‘Death’ and ‘Subway’ and their strict dislike for Reality T.V….
How has 2010 been treating the band?
2010 is looking to be one of the best years in all our lives, till now, and has been filled with new experiences from the get go. Beginning with the whole move to the US to join the Musicians’ Institute, and playing in front of completely new people, to learning whole worlds of music, it’s looking like quite a trip for all of us.
The band shifted base from India to the United States to study music. How and when did that happen? How has the experience been so far?
The move to the US was something that we had been talking about for quite a while before it actually happened. Initially, it was just a “good idea”, and we had absolutely no concrete plan as to how we were going to make it happen. Once we chose to actually do it and make it reality, though, things started falling into place as if by magic – I would still be hard put to explain how it all managed to work out!
The experience has been quite incredible so far. MI, the school we’re going to, is one of the best on the planet, and has a whole bunch of talented, crazy, amazing players both studying and teaching at the school. We’ve also managed to play a few times, both at the school, and in school-sponsored venues, to very good response. This was gratifying, to say the least, and showed us that our music was relevant to a much larger audience than we thought possible.
Do you guys plan on coming back to India?
This is a hard question to answer. We will, of course, come back to India because our families, friends and all that we love is there. But in the long term, we’d rather go where the gigs are. That may not necessarily be in the US – it may be Europe or anywhere else, really. What we intend to do while we are in the US, however, is to try our best to spread our music as far as we can, and take it from there.
Out of the blues question-Any plans for world domination?
Yes. But if we tell you, we’ll have to kill you.
Has the migration, in any way, contributed to the way you guys sound? If yes, how would you describe your sound, right now?
I’d say that the main difference in the way we sound now is that we are noticeably tighter and our playing has improved quite a bit since coming here. We haven’t started working on new material as a band yet, but the kind of stuff we’re coming up with individually ought to make for quite a different sound, while retaining the same energy, technicality and feel that we formed the band to create
You were recently complimented by Drummer Ray Luzier (of Korn fame). Tell us more on what exactly happened.
Korn drummer, Ray Luzier came to watch us play at one of the performances at school. He was invited by one of the faculty, and was nice enough to come all the way and check us out. He gave us a proper listen, and critiqued us later as well. It was pretty cool to actually meet someone like that, and have HIM come and listen to US – not something that happens every day! These are the things that come out of a school like MI, and that’s why we chose to come here.
Do you have any involvements other than music? I mean, do you guys have Jobs?
Right now none of us are working – firstly, you are not allowed to work when you’re a student in the US, other than on-campus part-time jobs. But frankly, for me, after working a regular 9-5 job for the past decade, it’s a welcome relief to be able to concentrate on music the whole time!
We will be looking to work – within the music field – after graduating from school. During school, though, we probably don’t intend to work.
Individually, are any of the members involved in any other projects, other than Myndsnare?
Yes, we are, quite a few projects here, actually. Sandy and me are in this band we started here called Infinite Entropy, which is a technical death metal band with influences from the likes of Meshuggah etc. We play extended range guitars in that band, which significantly alters the kind of sound the band has, from what is expected of MyndSnare. It’s pretty refreshing to work with a whole new bunch of people and new ideas.
Yas and Sandy are also in another couple of bands – including StrangleHold, which existed before we came here.
Tell us about your pact with Grey and Saurian. Give us an insight into the process and what it means for Myndsnare to be with them?
Our link with Grey & Saurian was something that started before we left India, for promotion within India, primarily. We are continuing to work with them, but the shift to the US has slightly complicated things. As soon as we figure out a new modality of how we are going to work together, we will do so. Right now, though, we are concentrating on school and the stuff we are doing here.
Can you talk us through the evolution of your music from the release of Mindsnare: 1 right through Conditioned: Human?
Well… during MyndSnare: 1, I was trying my best to create a style of music that reflected who I was (at that point), and to express the concepts contained within the lyrics with as honest a feel as I could produce. Of course, due to lack of good production and limitations in my playing, there was only a certain distance I could travel towards that goal… not to mention using MIDI drums on the record. Programs such as Drumkit From Hell etc. were just not available at that point in time.
After the band got together, the musical style changed to take into account preferences of the other band members, and also due to the overall quality control being applied by everyone in the band to the kind of riffs and structures that we played in our songs.
With each song, we have tried to create music that stays firmly within the overall genre and style that we choose to play, while not necessarily adhering to norms within that genre all the time, especially in terms of lyrical content and song structures. The evolution of the music is more organic than thought-out, and the songs more or less end up writing themselves, and sound quite different from the collection of riffs that each song starts out as.
Are you guys planning on a new album, or rather releasing one- any time sooner?
We are definitely planning a new album, but that is going to take second priority behind getting ourselves established here in the US, and also school work. Since we have a limited amount of time here, we need to prioritize that. Of course, we are working on new material, and that will continue, but we have no concrete dates as to when we intend to start recording our next album.
The music that inspires us is probably pretty evident in our songs themselves – we are major fan of Death, Cynic, Sadus and bands in that general vein, so that does show through at some level.
A MyndSnare song generally starts off as a collection of riffs I put together and loosely structure on my laptop. This then goes through a quality-control session by Yasmin and Sandesh where riffs that aren’t too great are weeded out. Then, new riffs are added as needed.
We then take the riffs into the jam room and put the song together with bass and drum parts. Vocals and solos are composed after the basic song has been structured. Vocals are mainly composed by Yasmin, even though I sing them, because she’s got an amazing ear and is very creative when it comes to vocal ideas.
Out of the blues question (2) – Is the food in U.S any good? Tell us about a few of your favorite eat-outs.
Well, to Indians I guess the food in most other parts of the world just does not compare to what we can get back home – the blandness is universal, it appears! We do eat at Subway quite a bit, since Sandy and me are vegetarian. But otherwise, when eating out, there are quite a few good places in and around Los Angeles. The US is an extremely cosmopolitan country, and finding Indian food within walking distance is pretty easy in most major cities, especially in California.
But being students right now, food is cooked at home most of the time, and works out way cheaper and tastes way better as well!
Any plans of auditioning for American Idol or America’s Got Talent? (:P)
A definite no. We do NOT subscribe to any shows where the participants are milked for their “human interest” and humiliated in the process, more often than not. Indian TV is fast getting filled with similar knock-off shows as well, and I’m sure we’ve all seen participants being put into situations that are just sick.
Do you guys miss home?
With Skype, VoIP and video chat it’s pretty easy to keep in touch nowadays! But yeah, we do definitely miss home once in a while… but we’re so busy doing stuff here that it’s not often we have the luxury to wax wistful.
I DO miss my Royal Enfield, though.
This is your space. Go blab!
I guess there’s not much more to be said here, except – keep the metal faith alive! The honesty and directness of a style of music such as metal is something that allows people to be themselves in entirety. Any such space, no matter what creates it, is something to be treasured.
It’s our privilege to be in a place where a few people have been good enough to listen to us, like what they hear, and to allow us to communicate with them.
You can keep up with what’s happening with us at facebook – we regularly post updates, and keep in touch.
Courtesy: eclectic VIBES