One of Indias oldest bands,Bangalore-based Thermal and a Quarter,is all set to release its fifth album this September
Quintessentially a Bangalore band not only by way of staying in the city,but also because of their urban sound that encompasses styles as diverse as Carnatic classical,folk,rock and jazz funk Thermal and a Quarter (TAAQ),which was formed 16 years ago,has consistently defied being restrained by a particular genre.
This is a band that started at a time when original music by independent bands was not the in thing and according to Bruce Lee Mani (yes,thats his real name),the bands lead guitarist,If you did not play Hotel California for the beer-guzzling crowd at a gig,you were booed away.
Now,a decade with bassist Rhzude David,and four albums later,TAAQ now a three-member outfit with Mani on guitars and vocals,Rajeev Rajagopal on drums and Prakash KN on bass is ready with its fifth album titled 3 Wheels and 9 Lives,which will release as a multi-CD album in September.
The album is a result of our recent tour to the US. Majority of the tracks have been composed in the last six to eight months. We had a lot of material that had piled on after the fourth album and we wanted to compile it, says Mani about the album. Some of the tracks of the album have been mixed-mastered by the New York-based Grammy-winning guitarist and music producer,Kirk Yano,who spotted the band during its American tour.
The songs,this time,range from Cat Stevens to childrens stories and even auto-rickshaws the ultimate metaphor of urban Indian life which has been used in the bands posters. The album covers a lot of ground this time. But you will not miss the trademark TAAQ sound, says Mani about the album,which will have at least 20 tracks including soft ballads,disco,jazz funk and rock. That is why Bangalore rock; it comprises everything, adds Rajagopal. The band also performed some tracks from the album at a gig at Blue Frog on Thursday.
The band is also planning to get some interesting cover art done for the album. It is difficult to get rid of the image of a giant creepy roach which was used in the cover art of This is It TAAQs fourth album. You will definitely see something more interesting in the new one. Maybe,it will be three of us riding our favourite mode of transport the auto, says Mani. Interestingly,TAAQ,which has opened for acts such as Jethro Tull and Deep Purple in the past,has always been weary of Bollywood. Wed never fit in, adds Mani with a chuckle.