The Local Train
Independent music is still not considered a secure career in India, how did you deal with the conventional thought process?
As of today independent music is not a career!! If anything it’s a small business house with a lottery ticket attached to it that takes into account your talent. :-D
Honestly when we were getting into the mould of becoming full time musicians we didn’t know what to expect and how will it all play out but we kept learning along the way and kept growing as much and as fast as we could. We realized soon enough that we’ll have to take care of all aspects from the creative to the financial to the marketing ends ourselves and that’s what we’re learning and getting better at.
What is the inspiration behind your music?
Our songs are inspired from everything we see in our daily lives. Love, life, lies, politics etc. Since all of us live together, we get the chance to get inspired from each other’s lives too. The aim is to create a sound that stands out in it’s own uniqueness and we feel that we’re pretty close to achieving it!
Who are some of the artists who have inspired your style of music?
All four of us come from different musical influences/backgrounds. Since we all grew up being influenced by different artists, the music that we make together is bound to have a lot of different influences. Our music is an influence of everything we heard growing up from Lata Rafi and Kishore to Nirvana, Aerosmith, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Lucky Ali,Periphery and many more.
Which are some of the most memorable performances of yours so far?
You know when we started out playing shows we didnít look at the audience as fans.Youíre a bit nervous and more concerned about giving a good show.Itís normally after the show that the fans come and that makes it all worth it. Part of our first tour in 2011 was Pondicherry. After an amazing show we got such a warm response from our fans who’ve now become friends! Infact we had an entire cab full of fans tag along for the next leg of the tour in Bangalore 8 hours away!! Its gotten a lot better (or worse) what with Paras getting mobbed at the Lady Hardinge fest and photographs of his torn jacket showing up on facebook the next day! But thatís something weíll never forget. It ís the fans who make us who we are.
What do you think about the changing scenario of Independent music in India.
Thanks to the internet and the social media, Independent artists now are able to reach bigger audiences. We’re glad to see television finally catching up to the rend too. Shows like Mtv Roots and The Dewarists now give a chance to the independent musicians to showcase their original material. But the Music Industry is an entirely different ball game. Although there is a huge huge market in India but there’s also huge competition. The band members are all full time musicians and we are dedicating our lives to enter one of the most capitalist industries in the world. (I’m quoting Richard Branson right now) Either you’re at the top or you’re not.
People sometimes forget that music is also our bread and butter. And with music labels not pushing artists and pumping money into the industry anymore it has become a D-I-Y(Do-it-yourself) business at the end of the day. So most of the challenges we’re facing are the same challenges faced by any startup.
Making good music is also what we want to focus on so the other things get neglected but we’re getting there steadily. :-D
What are some of the changes/ developments
Developments! The Local Train’s debut single, Aaoge Tum Kabhi will be released very soon! We’ve finished recording our album under the guidance of our awesome producer Mr.Ashish Manchanda! The man behind Coke Studio and Mtv Unplugged and countless bollywood hits. Other than that a lot of things are in the pipeline, the website, the merchandise etc.
What gives you more satisfaction as a musician- creating new music or performing or jamming?
As a musician you cannot pick any one of these. Creating music and performing music both are essential. Whenever the creativity kicks in you have to sit down with you instrument till you come up with something. Once your create something together as band which everyone is happy with, you can’t wait to perform it live in front of thousands of people! There’s nothing like it! You need both to be satisfied as a musician, one thing is incomplete without the other.
What is your practice regime? How much do you practice on daily basis?
Honestly, we don’t practice as much as we would like to. Being an independent band, there’s a lot of time that goes into packaging the product and marketing it. We do jam before every gig to warm up which is essential to be able to perform the way we do! Individually we try and practice playing our instruments everyday, be it only for half an hour. Can’t afford to get rusty!
What would you like to say to some of the young , budding artists/bands who want aspire to become a musician like you?
Patience! Nothing happens over night.
A lot of people try this profession for fame and attention. That cannot be your prime focus. Nothing will bring you more attention than your music! So work hard to be able to make brilliant music. This is not an easy industry to break into, be prepared for some major grind. Most importantly, find the right people to share your dream with. No one can make it alone