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News |  20 Jan 2015 20:03 |  By RnMTeam

Avial's Tony John: We inspired many Malayali bands to emerge from Kerala

MUMBAI: Even though Thiruvananthapuram-based band 'Avial' is still waiting for inspiration to write its next album, there is one thing that it has continued to do. The four-piece unit has continued to inspire other Malayali bands coming from Kerala.

Avial's lead vocalist Tony John admitted that the band has inspired many other Malayali bands to emerge from the state of Kerala. "We are beginners and we started the genre and now there are whole lot of bands that have taken this up. We paved a way for many bands who wanted to take up alternative music in Kerala," claimed John. This claim can been supported to some level when yet another Kerala-based band 'The Down Troddence' referred to 'Avial' as their main influence and inspiration. He also revealed that there are some bands that would send Avial their tracks, and request their opinions. "We always give other bands our feedback as we are a close knit community," stated John.

The band has a history of breaking the language barrier, by playing in regions that do not understand the language. "We have broken the language barrier, and we are proud of it. We have fans who know nothing about Malayalam, but they love our musical vibe." Despite having no Malayali population, the band has played in places like Mauritius and Réunion Islands. Avial has also featured on a radio show for BBC UK called 'World Music'.

The four member band includes Rex Vijayan (lead guitar and synthesiser), John (vocals, turntables and synthesiser), Mithun Puthenveetil (Drums) and Binny Isaac (Bass), who replaced original bassist Naresh Kamath. The band has added a guest female vocalist for live acts.

The band has composed music for Malayalam films like Salt N' Pepper (2011) and 22 Female Kottayam (2012). However, John feels that composing music for films is not their cup of tea, but at the same time, does not deny taking up future film-based projects. John stated that "We have no idea what we will do, as things just happen for the band."

In 2008, Avial released its self titled debut album, five years after the band originally formed. Since then, it has not released another album. John terms himself and the band as "lazy", which is why they are talking so long to release their second album.  He said, "In two or three years, we might release our other album or single. We do not know what we will come out with. We do not plan things, it just happens."

Various reasons can be cited for not having a new album, with one being regular travel for gigs across the country and around the globe. Avial will be seen playing at blueFROG Pune and Mumbai later this month, and in a few Gulf countries next month. "Before playing at blueFROG, we will play at Cochin. We rarely get to play in Kerala and we are playing in Cochin after very long. We mostly play outside Kerala," he concluded.