Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Interview with 1833 AD

The Indian Black Metal scene is an evergrowing one with more and more bands being formed. Leading this scene is Delhi based black metallers, 1833 A.D. Having released their full length last year, the band has been actively touring and are all set to play at the third edition of Black Metal Krieg in Mumbai. We had the opportunity to speak to the band about the event and their music. Here is what happened:

Metal Gallows: Greetings! 1833 AD has been hailed as the flag bearer of Indian Black Metal on more than one occasion. Being one of the biggest bands in the country, what are your opinions about the black metal scene and following here?

1833 AD: The metal scene itself is struggling in our country, so Black Metal certainly has a long way to go before it gets accepted. Black Metal definitely has more fans today than it did 5 years ago, so we do have potential. We’ll just have to spread the music and hope for the best.

Metal Gallows: A big part of the 1833 AD experience, other than the brilliant music, is the imagery. Everything from the stage presence of the band to the artwork in the album, have a very enthralling effect. Which comes first? Is the music based off this imagery or does the music come first, when you guys write a song?

1833 AD: I think it’s a good mix of it all. However, we did have an underlying theme we wanted to follow for ‘My Dark Symphony’ and we did just that. It did not affect our song writing. We did not go out of our way to write songs that would suit the album. Rahul and my writing just happened to be in sync and everything came together just perfectly.

Metal Gallows: When compared to other big cities like Bangalore and Mumbai, the metal scene in Delhi is just in its growing stages. More and more bands are starting to emerge from the capital. How is the development in terms of live performances in Delhi?

1833 AD: That is not entirely true. I would say that Delhi is rebuilding itself. Bands like Joint Family, Acrid Semblance, and Third Sovereign, were among the biggest bands in the country at one point. After these bands went on a hiatus, or moved to a different city, Delhi struggled to get back its metal crowd. The long curse was finally broken by Undying Inc which took the Delhi scene by storm and became a huge success. No other band has been able to captivate the Delhi audience like that ever since. Delhi, I feel has a very narrow minded approach to metal today. They do not take kindly to more extreme forms of metal, but they do love their share of metal. Whatever genre they decide to like is up to them. We cannot hate them for their choice of music. A lot of new bands have emerged and are doing quite well, just that they are yet to receive their share of outstation exposure.

Metal Gallows: You are headlining the third edition of Black Metal Krieg. You were a part of the line up back in the first edition. What does this festival mean to you? How does it feel to be a part of the final edition?

1833 AD: Firstly, I hope this is not the final edition. Secondly, all of us are looking forward to this event. BMK was one of the best shows we played and we are certain that BMK 3 will be nothing short of spectacular. It has a great line up and we are excited to be part of it.

Metal Gallows: In comparison with the first time you played at Black Metal Krieg, how far has the black metal culture developed in India?

1833 AD: The line up speaks for itself. I think we had four Black Metal bands in BMK, and one was not even from India. We have lots of Black Metal bands today, some who are yet to leave their hometowns, but they are there. I would like to see more shows like this on a regular basis. I’m sure there are lots of bands out there looking for their first chance.

Metal Gallows: You are one of the very few Black Metal bands that have shunned the use of corpse paint on stage. What are your thoughts on the tradition of sporting corpse paint? What is the reason behind 1833 AD avoiding it?

1833 AD: While I believe there is a need for bands to be dressed appropriately on stage, there is no need to be phoney and blindly follow what was before you. If you really believe in it, go for it. We do not wish to be corpse-like or demonic, we do not sing about death, there is nothing that links us to corpse paint other than the fact that our kind of music was made famous by musicians who did put on corpse paint.

Metal Gallows: Another way that 1833 AD differs from traditional black metal bands is in the use of guitar solos. Why do many black metal bands refrain from having guitar solos in their songs?

1833 AD: Guitar solos were always present in Black Metal, maybe not as much as in our songs, I agree. We love the variation it adds to our otherwise heavily lyrical style of composition. It’s very tricky and extremely challenging to solo over a Black Metal chord progression. You need to ensure the atmosphere of the song is not affected. Shredding usually adds aggression and it becomes really important to pick the right scale, which Rahul does very well. We never try and force a solo into a song, the opportunity to do so always presents itself. For example, the track 1833 AD has no solo as the natural flow of the song did not permit it, where as Inheritance Evil was an open playground for Rahul’s fingers where he goes absolutely ballistic.

Metal Gallows: The first album tackles some pagan and Vedic teachings. Will this be the same trend in future releases? Or is it just the concept for the first album alone?

1833 AD: There is always an option of continuing where we left off. However, the new material that we have written is not in sync with My Dark Symphony. If we were to release an album along the lines of what we are writing these days, then no, the MDS trend will not be continued. If we ever write material that is in sync with what we had in MDS, then definitely, I would love to continue where I left off in MDS. We still don’t know who killed that damned Emperor, now do we?

Metal Gallows: Thank you for taking the time to answer these tedious questions. Haha. This final space is yours. Anything else you would like to share with the fans?

1833 AD: If you are in or around Mumbai, then please come and support Black Metal and BMK3. We will be playing a brutal set and you would have to be way too fragile or an absolute moron to miss it!

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