Music

Sky Rabbit: From Industrial to Indie

Story and photos by Dev Ambardekar - devavrata.a@gmail.com
Photo © Dev Ambardekar

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

1. When and how was Sky rabbit formed?

With the current line up, it’s been four years. I guess if you had to go back to when Medusa was formed, it’d be almost a decade now. Raxit, Siddharth and I met in our first year of college and started writing some music pretty soon. I guess it was just one of those things that fall into place without really trying. Our music was very different back then, but in the last four-five years, I think we’ve found the kind of sounds we really want to work with and won’t outgrow.

2. You were called Medusa for eight whole years. How come the sudden change after such a long time?

If I think about it from our perspective, it wasn’t sudden at all. We were thinking of changing the name right from the time our sound and line up began to change. But, for some reason or the other, we never got around to doing it. We just got lazy, I guess. And, finally, with the first album due to release, we thought it would be the best time to change the name and take it forward. Medusa just didn’t fit anymore. Nothing about it related to what we are doing. We needed a name that we could live with in the end. After a point, the name Medusa was just really disconnected from the present. So we decided on a new name and went with it.

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

3. The band was initially known for industrial rock. What made you decide to shift into electro pop rock?

I think it happened quite naturally. We were always interested in working with different sounds when we started off, and a couple of years down the line we were messing around with fruity loops and reason and cubase; basically anything that let us play around and experiment with what we were doing. This is where it all opened up. We picked up sound cards and started doing scratch recordings at home and slowly drifted to the kind of music we play today. The brand of industrial rock that we were playing before this got duller with time. As much fun as it was, somewhere I think we were always heading towards a different expression.

4. How did Soundpad happen?

This was a pretty random episode in our lives. We got a call the night before the Soundpad auditions from a friend of ours saying that we should go down there and play. He said that the Radiohead producer was here scouting bands for some project he didn’t know too much about. So we got there and, like all the other bands auditioning, played two of our songs for him. A few months later we got a call saying that we were one of the four bands selected from across the country, and that we’d be getting to produce two songs with John Leckie in this massive Bollywood studio here in Bombay. That’s when we started sending him scratches of our tracks that we were putting down with our little recording setups at home. He chose “Hilltop” and “I Become I” for the cd and it was just smooth from there. We got into the studio with him and in three days, we had two very cool mixes of the songs. Then of course there was the tour, which took us to five cities across the UK. I don’t know where to start with that, it was perfect really, can’t ask for much else.

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

5. How was the experience recording with John Leckie?

It was a ton a fun being in that studio with John and Dan. We hadn’t been in a properly grand recording studio to do recordings before. Three days felt a little too little by the end of it.

6. In 2009, you guys performed at The Great Escape Festival and later went on to tour the UK. How was it?

Travelling in a bus, being on a tour like that is quite a movie-like experience, for bands around here don’t really do bus tours. It was all quite memorable without any “Almost Famous” type occurrences.

7. The band qualifies itself as an Indie/Electronic/Post-Punk band. From where do you draw such varied influences?

Don’t know. Maybe it reminds people of such sounds. Maybe SoundCloud asked us this on a drunken night :), or maybe it helps people understand our music before they listen to it.

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

8. You guys were part of The Music Project by Tehelka. Tell us a little more about it.

The jam we did for Tehelka was quite spontaneous. We literally landed at a music store right outside this place we were supposed to play a gig at. The guys there were kind enough to give us some of their great equipment. Tehelka has a lovely way of going about recording and shooting these jams. It was quite a lot of unexpected fun.

9. Most of your songs from the album Sky Rabbit have titles and lyrics that seem to be references that are not very distinct, care to elaborate?

They’re all just captured moments in essence. Collected over three years, not really trying to make judgments. More about keeping ears and eyes peeled, being aware, understanding.

10. “Anti-Coke Ganpati” is a very controversial title for a song coming from a band based in Maharashtra. The song also has references of politics. What exactly has the band tried to reflect?

It’s a fun song I think. Just poking fun at how things work/don’t work and how blame gets passed around like a soggy bag of chips.

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

Photo © Dev Ambardekar

11. During a live show in Bangalore, the band played a song called “Who’s your Daddy?”. Is it just a single or part of the upcoming album?

“Who’s your Daddy?” is a song we made a whole while back. It keeps raising its hand and asking questions every once in a while at gigs. There are no plans of recording it as of now. But then again, never say never :).

12. It has been quoted that Raxit Tewari, the band’s vocalist, has a voice that comes across as that of “James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem or Ian Curtis of Joy Division”’ Does the band draw influences from these or any other artists?

Yea, LCD Soundsystem and Joy Division are two bands that we really like, but we listen to a whole lot of music, so its hard to say what comes from where. A few off the top of my head are Radiohead, Boards of Canada, Gorillaz and Smashing Pumpkins.

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