Indian Doom sludge masters Dirge Interview up
1.Tell us a bit about Dirge as this is a new project to my readers?
Ashish - Hey! We're a Doom/Sludge band from Mumbai,India formed in 2014. Few months back, we released our debut album called 'Ah puch'
2. I hear a sludgy , Crusty Doom like EyeyHateGod ,Cavity, Noothgrush, Primitive Man, Khanate and Grief . Is this what drove you to style?
Ashish - Yes definitely! We really dig the bands that you've mentioned. Initially when we started out, the grim atmosphere of bands like Acid bath,Black Sabbath,Neurosis,Pallbearer (to name a few) is what sucked us in. There's something really special about how the whole 'Doom' sound has evolved over the years and branched out into so many interesting directions. All of us in the band are avid music listeners in the first place and we keep exploring bands all the time. Also ,the chaotic & overwhelming surroundings in a city like Mumbai does influence our writing in a lot of ways.
3. What is it like being a Doom band in India is there a scene any bands we should know about?
Ashish - Well there's hardly any scene for Stoner/Doom/Sludge. Just a handful of bands doing this kind of stuff here in India. Its still a very unexplored sub genre even in the metal community here. Nevertheless, the audience has been really receptive of our music and they seem to be digging it. Our good friends from bands like Bevar sea, Shepherd, Djinn & miskatonic , Primitiv , Diarchy have all released some killer albums in the recent past. You should definitely check them out
4. I read you that albums themes are about Central an South Amercian legends from Inca's ,Mayans and Aztecs. How did this theme come to be?
Harshad - The concept of the album was derived as a interpretation of the music. We composed the riffs of our first song ‘invoking the demigod’ without setting any creative constraints to ourselves. On listening to the recordings from the jam room we brainstormed a conceptual outline of ‘Reincarnation of ancient gods’ for the songs. On doing a lot of research on ancient gods, we came across the history of the Yucatan peninsula and the culture of the civilisations of the region. The mythology of the Mayan civilisation, we felt, captured the feel of our composition well. So we decided our concept to be - the reincarnation of a Mayan god in the body of the king Montezuma during the Spanish conquest.
5. You released Ah Puch independent was there a reason for this is good PR and Digital metal all an extreme metal band needs in 2019?
Tabish - Yes, we released Ah Puch independently because the vision of all the band members was the same when we took that decision. Independent releases also gives you full control of all your music and all the decisions that need to be taken for the album as well. Plus it made more sense to release the album ourselves rather than wait for a record label to show up. Every extreme metal band doesn't just need good PR and a digital team but great music to go with it. If the base of everything is not strong enough no PR or Digital agency can help you with it.
6. How does the album cover play into the teme of story as it is very interesting?
Harshad - Once we had finalised the concept of our album, we tailored a story around this concept though the lyrics. Scenes from this story are put forth with the help of the album artwork.
7.If you could make a proper video for any track off of AH Puch which would it be and why?
Harshad - It would be great to make an animated video of invoking the demigod with acid toad (who made the artwork) and really capture the image of the Mayan god Ah Puch in King montezuma’s body. Apart from that, we've put out a video for Corpse of Cortez from the footage of our album launch gig in Bangalore.
8. What if a Bigger label like Season of Mist or Peaceville came to you would you be interested?
Tabish - Ofcourse, A lot of our favorite artists are on these labels. If they come to us we would definitely be interested.
9. I know of Indian label Transcending Obscurity are they the best know label in India and are there others to talk about?
Tabish - TO is one of the biggest and oldest underground metal label in the country. Kunal has done a lot over the years to grow it and also helped a lot of bands over the years with it.
10. Do you get to perform live often or is there no real venues were you are?
Tabish - We do perform live but its not so often that you expect. The touring culture in the country for metal in India is very different from Europe or America. All the major cities and venues in these cities that can host a metal band are quite far from each other, so we can't just get our gear into a van and tour the country. Its not that easy. But there are promoters and venues who do what they can to make it happen and we are glad for it.
11. 4 words describe Dirge sound?
Melancholic,Mournful,Bleak & Heavy as fuck!
12.If the members weren't making music what would you be doing?
Ashish - Well it's just me and varun who are actually doing music full time. I'm a guitar teacher at a music school & a session musician. Varun works in a studio and mixes/produces independent bands,jingles,movie scores etc. Harshad is an architect and initially he's the one who was extremely fascinated by Mayan architecture & culture and wrote the entire storyline/concept for the album. Tabish works in event management.
13. DO the members of Dirge play in other projects you like to tell us about?
Ashish - Tabish is the vocalist for a hardcore band called Death by Fungi. They've put out a couple of insane EPs and you should definitely give it a spin. I recently joined a band called Pacifist (Post hardcore) and we'll be putting out our debut EP in a couple of months. Vineet plays drums in a black metal band called stark denial and even they released an album last year.
14. Has Bandcamp , Reverbnation and Youtube changed the way extreme music is presented worldwide?
Tabish - Absolutely. Because of these platform the music can reach the masses. You don't have to rely on anyone else to make it happen for you. Made things really easy to share with people as well. Not just for extreme music but across all genre's.
15. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here
Ashish - Thanks a lot for interviewing us. Do check out our music and support us by buying the album/merch if you like what we're doing.
Cheers and stay HEAVY!