Members of Doors of Perception talk about the pros and cons of being tribute and independent musicians

Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the American rock band, The Doors, died at age 27, but his music surpassed generations and nations. It’s the love for his music and charismatic persona that brings Chintan Kalra, Rohit Kulkarni, Aveleon Giles Vaz and Anindo Bose together to form a Jim Morrison tribute band named Doors of Perception.

They performed at a recent event held at Manhattan, The Craft Brewery, Gurgaon. As they made their earnest attempt to recreate and relive the still relevant, paranormal magic of the psychedelic 60s, the place got packed as people gathered to attend the homage to the legendary artist.

“It is always great to pay tribute to artists you have grown listening to and people who have inspired you,” said Chintan Kalra, vocalist and bassist who was also one of the founding members of Parikrama. Explaining the orientation of the band, he clarified that Doors of Perception better identifies with the term ‘production’ than ‘band’. The artists have also previously paid tributes to Pink Floyd as Think Floyd and many other bands from all over the world and ages.

Usually there are bands doing covers and tributes but still it happens to be a very rare phenomenon in the Indian music scene. The artists, who also have their own independent bands and original compositions, sail on two boats by being a part of a tribute production.

As they strive to create an aura of the period to which the honoured artist belonged, they also work on their costumes and gestures in an attempt to capture every nuance of the imitated artist. “We don't blindly play exactly the same music that the former artist used to; we improvise on it to give it a contemporary touch which makes it relate to the current era. Also, we don't mould it to such an extent that it becomes something else,” said Rohit Kulkarni, guitarist and vocalist on being asked about the changes they make to their covers.

However, there are certain pros and cons of being tribute acts. “A tribute production can never get us famous because the music we play is already famous. The only benefit that comes to our hands is in monetary terms which makes it more like a job whereas playing original music makes us feel more like an artist,” said the quartet. “However, the fact that tribute gigs help us get projects for our independent bands cannot be denied.”

Asked about their take on doing such productions despite its limitations, Rohit said, “You can roam around the whole world but ultimately you have to return home. When we're done composing our tunes, we return to our gods who inspired us.” On a light note, they expressed their wish to be the objects of a different band, some day.