Every weekend a two-room apartment in Noida turns into a jamming pad for former corporate lawyer Karan Katiyar and his friend Jayant Bhadula. The two comprise Bloodywood, a band that produces metal parodies of popular songs. In their own words, they “make metal versions of shitty pop songs”.
Their latest, a metal version of Punjabi song Ari Ari (Bombay Rockers), has recorded more than eight million views on Facebook and almost 8 lakh on YouTube. “The idea of making metal covers is not new, but we really didn’t see anyone do it with Bollywood songs,” says Katiyar, 27. When the avid metal fans conceived the project in 2015, Katiyar had to sell his cellphone to fund his first guitar. The first number they chose to infuse metal was Sinbad the Sailor (Slayer in their version) from Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On!. The response was overwhelming and included a tweet by one of the original composers, Ehsaan Noorani. “The moment we saw that Noorani tweeted our version, we knew it had to be celebrated. We went to a bar in Khan Market and just went crazy,” says Katiyar. Since then the duo has worked on metal versions of several songs, including Ek Pal Ka Jeena by Lucky Ali, Raftaar’s Swag Mera Desi, Shape of You (Ed Sheeran), Everybody (Backstreet Boys) and Despacito (Luis Fonsi).
Bhadula, an engineering graduate from Manav Rachna college, was introduced to metal music by a cousin, who would record music from legendary bands such as Slipknot and Korn. “The moment I heard it, I was blown away. I was probably 15 then and the next two years I just worked on getting the growl right. It can really hurt your throat if you don’t do it properly,” says Bhadola, 23. Speaking about their process of working, he adds that the two usually brainstorm in the studio to give the “happy-jumpy” pop music a dreary tone by adding dark riffs and typical metal-style, fast-paced drum beats.
While their families were initially sceptical about the project, things have now changed for the better. A US tour is also in the pipeline.
This article appeared in the print edition with the headline: Sounds like Metal