Saturday, November 1, 2008



going somewhere


tight rope riding



Edge, Manipal
So the tour is over. Disconnecting from it is a long way away though. Everyone's retreated to where they come from and trying to return to normalness. Pilani came and went in a haze of sleep deprivation, we hadn't slept before we left for Pilani, we hardly slept before we played there and we certainly didn't sleep after the show either. We just came back to Bombay and passed out till the next morning. Woke up slowly and decided to leave towards Manipal. By this point we'd all gotten comfy with the bus, and long journeys didn't scare no one. We left around lunch time and decided to keep going until we reached Gokarna, which we did early the next morning. Kudle beach was inviting as usual, and we all relaxed ourselves for a well-deserved break on Saturday. Apart from an idiot working at our shack (I think we all know about the India vs rest-of-the-world scenes on these beaches), and Bounce almost drowning (dangerous currents this time around...), all was well and we were in good shape to leave next morning. Or afternoon or whenever it was that we left. Reached Manipal little late. The sound situation was a little scary but the folks in Manipal always manage to get people through the door so just like the last time, it was a fun show. Emotion also in the end as we realised we'd wrapped up the tour. The next morning, we played football as usual before boarding the bus and eventually left the joint for our last drive back. We reached Cooke Town around 9 in the night, unloaded everything, and it was really strange to watch the bus leave without us for the first time in the tour. And the last time. It was hectic, it was superb, it was awful, it was exciting, it was up and down and all around, and everything we hoped it would be. Big thanks to everyone who helped us make it happen. Now we have an album on our hands and need to figure out what to do with it. But first some relaxation.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

North and West Frontiers

BITS backstage

one more BITS backstage

between Pune and Mumbai

Hard Rock Mumbai, sound check

Hard Rock

somewhere near Mumbai

Science experiment before Pilani

Rahul and friend


Shadowplay, Pilani

Rohan, Pilani

Amps, Pilani
So the Mumbai gig did happen evetually. But Hitler's arrest did not come cheap. The Bandra court decided to keep him in the lockup for a few more days and Mumbaikars with any sense in their head knew that could spell trouble. The city was like a ghost town that night. Cabs and rickshaws were not running and everybody generally tried to stay indoors. Except us and The Hard Rock Cafe. Although we'd been expecting a big crowd to show up, the incidents of the day ensured that only a moderate amount of people walked through the door that night. Nevertheless a decent gig I think. Post gig packing up took forever and by the time we were out of there it was past 2am and by the time we all got to where we were supposed to sleep it was past 3am. And we had a 6am flight to catch. We slept half an hour and we were up again running towards the airport on our trust steed - the Going Nowhere tour bus :) By this point everyone had figured out their favourite seats and their own ways of being comfortable on the bus on a long journey. This was a short journey to the airport though. A couple of hours later our flight landed in Jaipur and we were on cabs heading towards Pilani, about 5 hours north of Jaipur. Those who could, slept intermittently. Parathas for breakfast. Definitely north India. We reached BITS by about 2 or 3 in the afternoon and after the usual set of unpredictable obstacles, eventually got a couple of rooms at the hotel and crashed for a few hours. It took a lot of effort on our part and that of the organisers to make the BITS gig possible for Lounge Piranha. Between a fickle set of people organising finances to sponsors backing out just days before the show, there were compromises made and tears shed, but I guess the important thing is that the gig happened. Thank you Varun Ramesh. The surprises never ended though. Euphoria, who were supposed to play till 11 and then make way for us went on and on till a quarter past 1. Eventually after they were done with their one million oncores (summer of 69, bon jovi etc) and rockstar exits, we got on and soundchecked - a really good soundcheck, the sound guy knew exactly what he was doing, and light checked - Archana using a multi projector setup as she often did on this tour. At 3.30am we were on. And wonder of wonders, inspite of Euphoria's carnage from a few hours ago, there was actually an audience and they actually liked what they were seeing. Super enthusiasm levels for that time of the night. It turned out to be one of the best gigs of the tour and judging by the audience reactions, we hope we'll be back there again sometime soon. By the time stuff got packed, and George had finished painting their backstage wall, the sun was up and we ate some chaat and omlettes for breakfast on the college lawns. An hour of sleep and we were back in our cabs heading for the airport for a flight to Mumbai to continue on the bus towards our last gig of the tour...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Photo Story

We're on the road. Everything we've been dreaming of for months now. It hasn't even been a week but it's so tiring. Again, everything we've been dreaming of. Bangalore at the Alliance was a really nice start, a big thank-you to the fans and friends for turning out and supporting us. On the road to Hyderabad and suddenly it was raining. Our assumption of 60kmph as an average speed were immediately thwarted. This is a mid-size bus that neither has the compact power of an SUV nor the sheer force that a Volvo can muster. 45kmph as an average speed is tops. And we don't want to push the driver either. Safety first. So we reached Hyderabad at 4am and slept a few hours before heading for lunch and a sound check. Power problems and delays. Then the management pulled one deadly stunt and decided to charge a grand at the door as cover. I talked to them, George talked to them, Vandana talked to them but they decided to stick to their guns. Not much we could do about it. The phone was ringing off the hook, fans were coming to the door and leaving. Eventually we played to like 20 or 30 people. But they stayed till the end and I think that's what counts. Why didn't the management get it? It's not about making money tonight that's important. It's about making an event a success. THAT is what's good for their pub and for the scene. Depressions and more rains. Bright and early next morning we were off to Chennai. Another late night. We showed up at 2am or more and eventually got some sleep. The next day was much nicer. Political rallies and more delays. But the show at the Unwind was AWESOME!! Big thank you to the Chennai audience for coming out like that! Back home at 3am, 3 hours of sleep and 6am we were off to pick up the band scattered around the city. Missing projector and phone calls confusion and eventually we found it and left Chennai at 11am. But now with the delay things were looking dicey. We could never reach Bombay the next night like we planned unless we did something drastic. Bansi finally had his ambitions satisfied. We drove without a stop all the way, all the way and all the way to Mumbai. 40 hours later we reached the city last night. This morning Hitler has been arrested and city is in chaos. There's some panic, some mobs, and such things. But we're gonna brave it to sound check now and hope all goes well. And I thought once the tour actually started the pressure would come down. So much for that. :) - absent

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

All Our Eggs

So this is it. We started fantasizing about it in 2007. Back then we thought we'd book ourselves at various venues all over the country and travel everywhere in a train drinking chai. When 2008 came we started talking about it seriously. By then we'd already done a few train journeys and as far as doing them to play a show went, the charm was all but lost. Then we thought of driving. Then we thought about our own tour bus and that put a ssssmile on our face! We got a plan together. We talked to other people who might be able to help us. They talked and talked and talked. Budgets skyrocketed into numbers I had never heard of before. The plan expanded like a big helium balloon which simply floated off towards the sun never to be seen again. By then we were already in the studio and too busy to do anything about it. One warm August evening in Chennai, we had an album in our hands. That was the half moon whisky night. That's when we started thinking about the tour again. We went straight back to Plan A. Do it ourselves, steer clear of sponsorships, and make sure it happens this time. I always knew that planning this on our own would be a logistical nightmare and tonight I know I had it spot on. I have a headache which has been getting worse every day of the last two weeks and tonight I believe I have a temperature. Hope it's worth it. :)

- absent

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The new album 'Going Nowhere' releases Oct 14th

Monday, September 22, 2008

Notam Project

So it's official. The album will be called Going Nowhere afterall :)

Coming back to Bangalore from Chennai after the studio sessions was like landing on Earth after a ride around the Milky Way. Everyone spaced out phased out suspended mid-air and retreating to their respective corners of Bangalore, truth be told just normal human interaction was difficult for me for a few days. So eventually we all came closer to ground level, and to each other, and started listening to the mixes we had in hand and evaluating them. It was very roughly mastered by Noam but only for the purpose of making it easy to listen to for us. Mastering is the process which comes last in the making of a record. After all the individual songs are mixed satisfactorily, this is the process where all the songs are brought up to a good listening level using special EQs and compressors, and made to sound more together - like they all belong together on the same album. This was the point where we should have been making minimal changes if any at all to the mix. We did have a couple of small changes, which we conveyed to Noam over the phone and he made them nicely. At the moment I'd say everyone's happy with the mixes and we're waiting for Yotam to return from Israel to do the final mastering of the record. Hopefully by the end of this week. After that starts the duplication printing packaging circus to get our first thousand copies or so in hand. George meanwhile is cooped up in his pen with his pen churning out a sykotic universe of characters for the album art.

So when album release? Mid-October. And some big plans too, we're all working hard to make them happen. Don't want to jinx them before they start coming together though so I'm not going to say anymore for now. But expect some announcements by next week...

- absenteshwara

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Half Moon Whisky

We have a record on our hands. It'll take a few weeks to sort out the mastering, duplication, and art work and have the first batch of cds with us but the studio process is over.

Last Saturday, right on scehdule, Noam put a fully mixed (and temporarily mastered) copy of our 7-song album into our hands, we all hugged and left Clementine studio in a strangely elevated, exhausted, giggly, quiet sort of mood. We played the cd all the way through once while driving towards a barbeque the guys from Junkyard Groove had invited us our for and we all thought it sounded really good. I decided not to listen to anything Lounge Piranha for at least one week before I could listen to it again and be anywhere close to objective in my assesment. The party, as expected, was completely sykotic. Having not had a drink for three weeks I proceeded to get hammered as quickly as possible and apparently so did everyone else. There was music, whisky, solitary walks around the neighbouhood under a beautiful half moon, jumping off rooftops, climbing a trees to the roof, Tron bunny hopping around the terrace, me not mood to discuss any music band situations but Kamal and Junkyard's Ameet had the longest bizarrest conversation in the history of Chennai rooftops and in the end I got alcohol poisoned and was out of commission for the whole of the next day. Eventually we got into the cars on Monday, drove to Auroville to return the tube amp and cabinet and back to Bangalore. I'm going to relax like a butterfly for a few days now. Nobody knows where George is. - absinth

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wind Up Bird Chronicle

And into the last week of our sessions. Roles are reversed now. The previous two weeks we'd play our parts and Noam would give us feedback and ask us to re-record parts which he thought weren't tight. Wise old Yotam has stepped into the control room now, for the mix with Noam. He wasn't around while we were tracking and this is a good thing. Losing persepective is the biggest problem when you get too involved in the process of creating a record so I'm happy Yotam is coming in with a pair of fresh ears and a new approach. We're spending our time listening to their mixes on various sound systems and analysing them critically. Between Runtun's sausages and eggs breakfasts and Kamalinger's favourite chair in which he philosophises, we're lucky if we wake up and get here by noon to deliver our verdicts on the last mix they created for us. There's still opinions and accidents galore but now it's them doing the work and us that's giving them feedback and asking for changes when we need them. I've been nominated to deliver band judgements to the court of Clemetine. It was nerve wracking and the last weekend was tense but now that we've gotten through a few songs, we all understand each other better and the mixes are starting to sound good. Touch wood. Tron's in town too and he's here to add a touch of electro fizz to a couple of tracks. Stoner days are back for me. And we're playing a gig this weekend. For those of you that live in Chennai, it's at the Unwind Centre on Friday the 22nd. Come. - absentation

Friday, August 15, 2008

I like... birds

"And since this is the last day of recording, I know where we're going for lunch...", says Noam. That posh little Thai restaurant down the road that I've been eyeing since we got here. And I'm going to eat a duck. Ya, we're running right on schedule, probably a day early in fact. As usual we had some hiccups at the beginning of the week with guitar amps and tones and all such things. But it got sorted eventually or at least so we think. My ebow, always the wild card in the mix has not been behaving well, chumma screaming whenever it feels like and all. We got done with guitar takes yesterday and finished the vocals fataak dish dhoom. Also heard that bands & booze got banned in Bangalore again along with dancing and late nights and all, so now I guess my financial situation will improve since I have nothing to spend money on. So when Noam asked us whether we'd like to work on the 15th of August, we just laughed and said yes of course. After Rohan comes in this afternoon (he's gone to belt some quails) and puts in some "explaode justify make knaown testify..." we'll be ready to start mixing up this cocktail. - absenteshwara

Friday, August 8, 2008


So the band has been thinking about an album laaang time. Waiting for the right record label to come and sign us started becoming one impatience so we decided to do it on our own. And at the best place we could think of. The Chennai sessions for our 7-song EP started on Monday and will go on for three weeks at Clemetine Studio ( Mister Yotam I already know, he's the reason we're here - but at the helm for our sessions is one more deadly fellow from Tel Aviv, the new kid on the block, Noam. He had us clicking and clacking the whole of this week and made life very difficult for George the first couple of days. But after the jetlag wore off and we got used to the scrubs and a couple of well rolled ones in the balcony, George gave him some soopaar takes. Today is Runtun day and he's in there right now laying down some bass parts to complete the rhythm section - in fact it sounds like Snakes and Lotuses? George says yes. Next week Kamal and me puttings guitars and vocals. Pervez and Tron are also planning to show up at some point. We got one lowe of a tube amp from Auroville for our guitar parts, one flowerchild named Roy makes very beautiful ones and he's loaned this one to us for our sessions. This little trip is full focus only so far, no mood for afterparty madness. But by god of the napumsakalinga, recording an album is one emotion nuclear bomb. All previously undiscussed arrangement issues are crawling out of the woodwork and slapping us in the face like a thunderbird. But very required also I think... - absenticus