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News |  06 Apr 2015 20:27 |  By IANS

Rock music in India surviving away from limelight

MUMBAI: Tunes and beats of Indian classical and Bollywood music stream through one's mind at the mention of the Indian music industry. But Yogesh Pradhan, member of heavy metal band Girish and The Chronicles, says there is an underground world of rock music flourishing at its own rhythm in India.

“Rock music is underground, but it is out there and surviving. It's away from limelight,” Yogesh, who is a bass guitarist and backs vocals for the band, told IANS.

He also feels that incorporating rock music in Hindi films can push the popularity of the genre.

“Bollywood can play an important role in getting rock music into mainstream. And Bollywood has started producing kind of rock music... for instance, 'Rock On!!' and 'Rockstar'. People are getting used to that. But we have never thought of getting into the Hindi filmdom,” he added.

The hippie culture and drug menace are some factors often attached with rock music. Admitting the stereotypical attitude, Yogesh says that “it will fade away soon”.

“These kinds of stereotypes belong to the 1970s and 1980s era and people still believe in that. But it is very different right now. I think it does not matter whether you are into rock or other kind of music or other profession -- if people are into those kind of things, they will do it.”

"But the stereotypes will fade away very soon,” said Yogesh, who is the brother of the band's frontman Girish Pradhan.

The Shillong-based band, which was formed in 2009, doles out heavy metal music, electronic and power ballads with a feel of 1970-80s era, taking influences from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Guns N Roses.

The band gave a high-voltage performance at the Rongali festival on Sunday, and Yogesh believes in the power of such fests to support the genre.

“Surviving as a musician is pretty tough with Bollywood ruling and dominating the music scene. Music festivals and more venues for such music should be there to promote it. But it is important to note that we have our own set of followers and audience, so that helps us stick to the genre,” he said.

Talking of the band's past, Yogesh said it was frequent jamming sessions that led to the formation of the band.

“My brother Girish and I started a heavy metal rock band when we were in high school. After that we met other bandmates and started jamming together. Gradually those sessions turned into a band,” he said.

The band is currently working on its second album and Yogesh says that they will blend folk elements of the country with hard rock for the new offering.

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