Govind P Menon needs no introduction. One of the names synonymous with the famous indigenous rock band Thaikkudam Bridge, the composer/violinist/vocalist has recently turned actor for Bejoy Nambiar’s Solo which also stars Dulquer Salmaan. “Bejoy is a close friend,” said Govind. “He told me that I will be composing music for one or two movies and also will be doing a ‘small’ role. I can’t act, I don’t know acting and I don’t even look good. But he said I look perfect for that character,” the composer said. “He told me that it would be just a minute, one to two scenes. So I agreed, but when I got the script, he had changed the entire thing and had made me one of the main characters,” Govind disclosed. The experience however was scary said the musician. “It was bloody different and very difficult. I could relate to my stage performance experience, when we shoot ourselves live. But I am pretty sure Solo will be my first and last movie as an actor,” laughed Govind.
Govind who is a vocalist, singer and a composer has scored two songs for Solo’s World of Siva. He also has a couple of projects in Tamil — the delayed Oru Pakka Kadhai, 96 and Seethakathi. Two of those movies (Oru Pakka Kadhai and Seethakathi) have been directed by Balaji Tharaneetharan, who shot to fame with Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanom. 96 is directed by his cinematographer Prem Kumar. “Balaji is a friend of mine,” said Govind, adding that he agreed because the projects are interesting as well. “It is very easy to work in such projects as I know the script in and out. I know everything that’s happening in the movie. I love to work in such a space where you are too involved in the movie and then you know what they need,” explained Govind. “That was also the reason I took a break from films. I wasn’t getting much pleasure from movies. I was getting to do things I wished with the band while there are limitations with films,” reasoned Govind. Given a choice between independent music and films, Govind picked the former. An interesting turnaround considering that he was assisting music directors before Thaikkudam Bridge, the happy accident. “The primary motive back then was to make it in films, yes. But Thaikkudam Bridge has been my priority after our first album,” said Govind to indianexpress.com. He further added, “I like composing for films, but I will do it when I get time off from the band. I am pretty busy with the new album Namah and touring that every weekend of mine is occupied until January. I can work only on the weekends. Thus, I am not going to commit to movies if I don’t find it very compelling.”
Another fascinating tidbit is that Govind, known for his violin solos, didn’t like the instrument when he was younger. In fact, the young composer hadn’t even played the violin for some time before Thaikkudam Bridge. Has he made peace with the instrument now? “Yes, I definitely have. It is addictive”, laughed Govind. However, he doesn’t call himself a good violinist. “I have got my basic techniques wrong, even now. I don’t even hold my violin properly, I hold it in a very weird way. The thing is I know my limitations and strengths. I make violin solos that suit me. Composing is my strongest trait,” revealed Govind.
The band’s second album “Namah” will see them collaborate with international artistes such as Marco Minneman and Guthrie Govan, as a tribute to some of the greatest names of the industry. The album which was planned to be released on September 20 got pushed due to the band’s ‘greediness’ as Govind puts it. “We are expanding the album as we are greedy and we want to collaborate with more people. There will be one more new song. Hence the album launch has been pushed,” said the “Fish Rock” singer.
Check out Solo – World of Siva’s teaser here
The band is also famous for some remarkable covers and medleys they have done in the past, apart from their original compositions. In an earlier interview, Govind had said that they don’t receive much support from other independent musicians, due to their covers. Has the scene changed now? “Not really,” answered Govind. “If you check Facebook, nobody would have shared posts about Namah — not even when Marco Minneman and Guthrie Govan or other stalwarts became part of it. Greater musicians have shared about the project but not our contemporaries. I wouldn’t say everyone is the same, there are a few exceptions. But around 80% of the musicians down south don’t share. I don’t know about the north,” said Govind. But he also added that it doesn’t matter. “It isn’t about the musicians, it is more about the music lovers. Music lovers are the target of the album, not musicians. So it’s okay,” said the musician.