Live Banned is flamboyant, spunky and so full of life that it is deliciously addictive. Lead vocalist Amrit Rao talks to Rehna Abdul Kareem about their unique blend of music and their we-don’t-really-care-how-we-look-if-you’re-listening- to-our-music attitude.
How did Live Banned start?
We knew all the South Indian languages! So we thought why not incorporate all genres and make something different! Something entertaining that caters to everyone. So we started putting popular riffs together and selected the songs to fit into one really awesome track!
What genre does Live Banned fall into?
Oh, we found this word for our music. It’s called “Awesome” (laughs). But really, it’s Indo-International Mass Music. It’s not just parody, so it’s challenging. The songs have to have a proper flow. Our original tracks and medleys are humorous, sometimes intelligent and other times atrocious! (laughs)
When was your first stage performance?
We first played on stage in June 2011 when nobody had heard of us. We didn’t have a Facebook page. So we had to be careful. Live Banned could either be a super hit or a super flop!
Your costumes are loud and bright, replete with Afro wigs and crazy shades. Why?
We were performing at the Big Junction Jam Festival and we tried the costumes for the first time. That drew everyone’s attention and soon they were wondering what our music would be like. So our costumes really help that way.
Will you release an album?
We don’t know whether we’d do an album. We’re not the kind of band who’d churn out albums. We’re more of a visual band. You have to watch us live, or watch our videos to understand our music. Not pop a CD into a music player.
How do you feel when you perform to a live audience?
Like all other artistes, we live to play live. As musicians, there is nothing that can match the feeling of being on stage in front of a packed crowd. We get entertained by entertaining our fans. Turning first time listeners into fans is a fantastic feeling.
The band is headed wherever there is an audience; which is everywhere. Grander live shows, quirky merchandise and quirkier webisodes. A big project by the band will be announced soon.
GENRE: Indo-International Mass Music
FOUNDED: June 2011
CURRENT LINEUP: Amrit Rao – Vocals, Dheerendra Doss – Drums, Sridhar Varadarajan – Guitars, Siddhart Kamath - Keyboard/Guitars, Raveesh Tirkey – Bass
BIG MOMENT: The biggest moment has to be 'The Auto Tune' video release. We organised a gig for that in Bangalore and the response we received from the crowd when the video was played on the big screen was fantastic. Every show is a big moment for us. Every time the crowd has fun and gets entertained, it's a big moment for us