Interviewed by: Nabill Phukan
Arseniic, a progressive metal outfit from Guwahati, Assam have recently released their single ‘Maraud’. Since its inception in 2015, the band has come a long way. They swept away the rock competitions held in the city in early 2020 and bagged the top spots of Rock o Phonix(Alcheringa) and Pyrokinesis(AEC), 2020. The band comprises of Rick Singha(guitars), Sam Konjham Singha(vocals), Debanuj Rajkhowa(bass guitar) and Kushal Singh(drums).
Here’s a one on one with the metallers..
- The year 2019 was very successful for Arseniic. What was your mantra for making it a reality?
2019 was really very blissful to Arseniic’s latest line up. There’s not much like a mantra really for us to get to a point where we want. In fact its a long journey which we’ve just begun. By time we were already devoting ourselves to discussions regarding the bands we’ve been watching lately. We watched live shows as much as we can. Got inspired together. Keeping notes in mind we started jamming almost everyday. We had a light jam setup in Rick’s place where the band kept jamming daily. All these days where we saw, learned and improvised was the core base for what we’re upto. Plans started to pop up. Watching bands live like Extreme in Ukhrul, Manipur made all our stage fright issues go away. We really started to converse with the crowd during our live set for which the crowd has always been nothing but generous to us in all possible ways. So basically we’re just learners and we’ll keep on learning from the amazingly sick and skillful bands in the future to keep ourselves intact like we do today. Maybe that was our mantra all this time.
- How was your experience playing in one of the biggest battle of the bands held in the country i.e. ShiRock festival?
Shirock Festival in Ukhrul, was the turning point in our journey be it our sound, performance or discipline. Starting from the beginning, after we qualified for the finals we were really excited and just seeing the number of tough and professional bands, we were a bit intimidated. Moving on, the day of the competition arrived and man, it was one nervous performance we did back there. We weren’t satisfied with ourselves but the magnificent experience of playing in that kind of a big stage and crowd was something we never did before which was amazing but overwhelming at the same time. The level of competition, the proficiency of all the bands and everyone’s dedication put us in a place of a big self realisation. We knew what we lacked and after that experience it made us practice and play at a better level the reason for which we have improved in one year and we will try continuing to do so. Apart from all the lessons we learned we also had an amazing time there. Glad we made the trip. Again, just being around so many good artists from all over the Northeast was a privilege in itself. Adding to that watching the legendary bands Nazareth and Extreme made us forget all our woes and we fully enjoyed ourselves. So much more to talk about, the food, the natural beauty, the beautiful people, the music, and it still won’t be enough. All in all, playing there made us evolve into better artists today and it’s not just the competition which makes Shirock special but it also is the full package of cherishing memories and challenges you get in the way which definitely will be a great memory in years to come.
- Studio recorded “Maraud” is finally out and it was already quite popular with the crowd..what are your plans for the near future?
Maraud was supposed to be released few months before but thanks to the recent covid 19 pandemic crisis, we’re behind the schedule but its not discouraging at all. Glad to have this song released. Maraud is taken from our upcoming EP consisting of 4 songs which we might end up releasing by the fall of this year. Fingers crossed for this pandemic to get over soon. Till then we want the people to listen, share and also vibe along with the latest release. Maraud is out on all major streaming platforms as well.
- Arseniic started quite early but it lay dormant for quite awhile. What got you guys back together? By the way, cheers to that!
Arseniic was fun since the beginning. Rick joined the band along with the former members and started composing few songs. We were fine in the beginning since we weren’t into college yet. Sometimes college messes up a musicians timeline, especially when he studies far away from home. There were similar situations for us. Rick had to stay aback for his course in Kokrajhar and Kushal had his exams which is why the band couldn’t find a way to get back to the stage since the late 2016. Later Mintu Mushahary and Amlan Dutta had to leave for their further studies as well. By the grace of god, finally by the fall 2018 , things started going good for us at a very gradual pace. Sam, Rick and Kushal were just being ready and were lacking a bassist whose vacancy was filled by our guy Debanuj Rajkhowa at the early 2019. Thanks to the lord we could never be more happier than this. We really started to give more time to this project since we had everything in hand to start over but gradually. And now here we are, planning on an EP for the crowd who never ceased to show support for the local bands here in india. Everything, everyone is connected it seems now.
- There are quite a lot of sub genres in metal music nowadays. Describe your sound..have you found it or keen on experimenting more?
Yes people believe this fact of having sub genres in music. But we believe in a different kind of fact. Every metal band has a different kind of sound. So we can’t precisely classify them. For us, the more the metal bands , the more vast the variety of metal sound gets. Rick uses his ibanez rg8 at standard 8 string low E tuning (EADGCFAD), While Debanuj uses his ibanez GSR206B at BEADGC And uses the exact standard E for a tight bass tone to blend with Rick’s low distorted E and on top of that Kushal always manages to come up with a modern and matured drum sounds, and fills in with some adult grooves on the song structures. Also there is Sam with his consistent inhales at the right moments and his suitably sustained syllable durations along the songs. So basically, inspite of the kinds of progressive polyrhythms we play, we still like to consider ourselves as a simply a metal band trying to achieve something with our own kind of sounds.
- Due to the Covid 19 crisis the entire music industry is in a fix. Any message for the metal community on how to keep it together and move forward..
Covid 19 has really put the daily lives on halt. Especially, the musicians are having a hard time looking for bread and butter since there are no gigs happening to carry out social distancing. But let’s not forget that content can still be created. Songs can still be composed. Nowadays the home studio concept has made all the independent musicians work flawlessly at their homes. Its just that the materials are needed to be made easily accessible to the audience sitting at home, looking for more entertainment to get indulged into. So at this point of time, we and a lot other bands want the people to not lose hopes after all. We convey our heartiest thanks to all the people especially the metal music scene. They can still watch us play at any time, thanks to the latest streaming technologies. Do not forget, we stay safe today, we stay alive tomorrow and a day will come when we’ll all be back to that one ground where we all bang our heads and bounce along the breakdowns. Thanks to the people for all their support in the release of “Maraud”. We’ll try to keep on reaching them back with more and more songs to jump on. That is how we’re gonna stay together and hope for the best. Thank you.
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Watch MARAUD (Lyric Video)