1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
A. The band has been playing a lot of shows, ever since we returned from our 3 city Australian tour. We're practically playing a show every weekend, and we have visited a lot of cities within India that we've never been to previously. Our last Mumbai show, the Mumbai Zonal leg of the Mood Indigo Festival, was filmed for what will be a special DVD entitled 'Hell at D'Bell'. We're going to hit the studio very soon, and will soon be releasing our first full length album- Fear from the Skies. It's been a busy season, and will only get heavier.
2.how would you describe the musical sound of the newer material and also how does it differ from your older music?
A. Well, it's a lot more heavy metal than Kissing Flies was, but then again, if you know Albatross...the songs will end up sounding anything but traditional heavy metal. The songs are much shorter, since the music was written first, and the lyrics added later, to fit the song...unlike Kissing Flies. The songs are a lot more ambitious, more eccentric and more left-of-centre...but they're rooted in traditional heavy metal.
3.Your song lyrics cover Horror stories, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
A. When I started Albatross, my idea was basically to rip off King Diamond's 2nd album Abigail...so, in essence, write original horror stories told through music. I've been a Poe and Lovecraft fan ever since I was a kid, and Stephen King fan later on, so horror stories came naturally to me. Biprorshee, the vocalist, Jay, the drummer, and Vignesh, the guitarist of Albatross are huge movie fans, and hence horror is something everyone's fond of. I love the supernatural, and the idea of campfire tales being told through metal has always held a very high appeal for me!
4.The band originally started out as a solo project but evolved into a full band, what was the decision behind hiring a full line up?
A. I was in a band called Workshop at that point, and the then Workshop guitarist Rajarshi suggested that the songs we were writing as solo compositions, deserved better and hence, a full fledged band had to be formed. I loved the idea, and Albatross was born.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Albatross?
A. The Albatross is a seabird, which features prominently in a poem called 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. My brother Rono suggested the name to me. The bird is seen both as a sign of good luck, and more often, a sign of bad luck...a bad omen, a hex. Of course, Iron Maiden made a song around the poem, and since we're all influenced by Maiden, this name stuck.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
A. Too many to count, really. Sharing the stage with Kreator in Bangalore Open Air was intense; and Wolf (Sweden), my favourite new band and us played a festival (again in Bangalore) last November. I guess the show we played in Melbourne was very special to me, as it was our first overseas visit, and yet the response was fabulous. Sydney was pretty cool as well. Haha, too many to choose.
Our stage performance is very energetic, like any metal band should be; and also very eccentric like few metal bands are :). There are soaring vocals, blistering leads, pounding drums, thunderous basslines and crushing riffs on stage, and an army of metal warriors pounding their fists in the air offstage. </Exit Manowar Mode>
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
A. We just conclude our 'Cannibals on the Road' India tour this saturday (the 14th of December, 2013) in Pune, India. This tour was put together to promote our new range of 'Among the Cannibals' tshirts, released by our label Transcending Obscurity. We have a one off show in February, in our home city- Mumbai, in February next year, and are working on a few outstation shows as well...so let's see how that goes.
8.A year back you released a split album with Vestal Claret, what are your thoughts on the other band that participated?
A. It was a huge honour when Phil Swanson approached me for that Split, because to me Phil is the Ozzy Osbourne of the heavy/doom underground. I've been a huge fan of a lot of his bands over the years, and of course Simon has become a very good friend online. I think Black Priest is a monumental piece of art, and we're privileged to have had been a part of doom metal history with this release. I just wish Simon would get the band on the road, because music this good deserves to go live, in my honest opinion.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal?
A. Fantastic. We can't believe how we have fans in far flung countries we've never even been to. When we arrived in Australia, there were people who knew our music beforehand. We have fans calling us to Europe, and South America, and Japan, and everywhere else. Members of Mercyful Fate, Wolf, Judas Priest and Manilla Road have had nice things to say about our music. It's like living in a dream, really.
10.Are there any other musical projects besides this band?
A. I play bass for a band called Primitiv, and we make our live debut this Saturday. Nishith plays for Reptilian Death, a very popular death metal band. Vignesh is the vocalist and guitarist of Orion, a progressive metal band. Bipro and Jay also make regular guest appearances with bands from the scene.
11.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?A. What has kept us fresh, in my mind, is heading to the jamroom without any preconceived idea about the music that's going to be written within. I'd always like this to be the mantra for Albatross. If we're all excited about the song, I believe the audience will like it too. At the same time, the overall Albatross sound will never change, because if one has to experiment, he has other projects for it.
12.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A. Hell- Curse & Chapter and the new Avatarium EP. Can't get enough of both these releases. I've been listening to both a lot. I guess both Vignesh and Nishith, the two guitarists, are writing the bulk of the new material, and together they're writing some incredibly shreddalicious music. Biprorshee is widening his horizons both as a vocalist, and an entertainer too...he's been owning every stage we ever play at. Jay's become a monster on drums, and he's bringing it consistently, show after show. I've taken on a more supporting role as a bassist, and I just let these maestros make the music. The new music sounds like Iron Maiden, Nevermore, King Diamond, Slayer, Candlemass and Iced Earth; and yet, nothing like anything you've ever heard before.
13.Outside of music what are some of your interests?A. Just books, I guess. I am an avid fantasy buff, and love to devour fantasy collections. Music is my primary passion though. When I'm off work, I love to attend concerts and listen to new music.
14.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?