As Pune hosts yet another NH7 Weekender, music lovers are in for a weekend lined up with various genre of music. One band that has become a regular over the years and a crowd favourite is Indian Ocean, the rock band. Amit Kilam, (drums, percussion and vocals), tells Audita Bhattacharya about the band’s experience over the years .
What do you think about NH7 Weekender?
We just love performing at NH7. Wherever it goes, it brings a lot of joy to the people. If there ever was a music festival for independent music and bands as well as singer-songwriters, in our country, NH7 is the name that comes to mind. We absolutely love Pune, it is one of the best cities to play music in the country, it has an audience for all kinds of music…
What are some of your most favorite songs to perform live?
It depends on the venue – if it’s a sit-down auditorium, we play slow and more contemplative songs like Bhor. When we perform in the open, we like to play songs like Nam Myo Ho and some of our older songs. By and large, we’ve been trying to play music from our latest albums like Tandanu, and now newer stuff is being played. Of course, we love playing old favorites like Kandisa and Bandeh.
You will complete 30 years in the industry next year. What do you think about the current scene?
I knew a little bit till two years back but now NH7 will hopefully jog my memory with new talent… but I am very happy with how it’s progressing in India as there is a lot more talent that gets a chance now to play at newer venues. Young Indian musicians have more opportunities regardless of where they come from and I am so glad they don’t shy away in borrowing from their roots yet staying contemporary.
If you were to create a song about present day India, what would it be about?
India, since time immemorial, has been a bunch of many things, people and culture. With the passage of time, there’s always good and bad stuff happening as diversity is the backbone of India. If one had to take a snapshot of India over any brief period of time, diversity would be the binding factor and I think that’s what we’d write a song about. I tend to look at the good stuff as it never gets told, never makes headlines. So my basic instinct would be to pinpoint the great stuff that’s happened over the years.
What do you think about the argument that a lot of traditional/folk music and musicians are lost in this age of fusion and Bollywood?
It will not be a truthful answer if you look at it as just black and white. Music will only survive if it keeps evolving. Over a period of time, we went from basic instruments to now electronic instruments. For any music to survive, it must evolve. Due to the visibility of the internet, a lot of people identify folk artists through collaborations and look them up and in turn become open to it. In the current consumption of music, it is all short format, lesser than 4 minutes. We’ve become impatient but at the same time, there’s a lot more presented. I think musicians will come up but we can’t expect folk musicians to not have aspirations of their own, we can’t expect them to not grow and evolve. Log jakad jaayenge, if we bind them down.