College mates get back together after years as band mates of one of Chennai’s popular rock groups — Rusty Moe. Drummer Divyan Varghese gives us the details.

You thought Classic Rock was a thing of the past? Well, think again. Rusty Moe is giving Classic Rock it’s rightful place. Their rock n’ roll style of music makes this genre relevant to a generation that missed out on greats like Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. Rusty Moe comes as a breath of fresh air in the otherwise, rock and metal driven English music scene in the city.

How did you come together as a band?

We’ve been playing together since college, from 1997, under different names. Once we graduated, we went our separate ways for a brief time. Eventually we returned to Chennai and found ourselves longing to get back together again and relive our college days. One jam session together was enough to confirm that we still gelled and shared the same love for the music that we did in college.

How did the first song take shape?

The first two songs were written way back in 1998. We came up with ‘Squeeze’ and ‘Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am’ almost at the same time. ‘Wham Bam…’ has a classic rock feel while ‘Squeeze’ is heavy on funk. Both songs touch on women and sex trying to reflect the rock ‘n’ roll stereotype but minus the drugs. These were to be the beginning of an album, but it did not progress further since that is when we graduated and went our separate ways.

How would you describe your sound/genre?

We like to classify our genre as rock or power rock, or may be even link it to classic rock. Our bassist is heavily influenced by funk so that reflects in a few songs. Otherwise, classic rock has been the major influence. On stage, we try to keep our sound as raw as possible. We do not mess around and tweak the tones according to the songs we play, but tweak the songs to fit the kind of tones we use.

How is it performing to a live audience?

Playing live is an experience, provided the band can keep the crowd going. It is very easy to lose a crowd if the band is low on energy. That is one of our strong points. Most of us unleash the energy on stage and pass it on to the audience; while they in return pass on their energy to us. It is a two-way process. The most responsive audience we have encountered were for two gigs we played at MCC few years back. What also helped was that we all belonged to MCC too.

Where is the band headed?

As far as age is concerned, we have a few years more than most other active bands. Our aim is to keep playing till the day we die. Since we got back together few years ago and, in spite of our busy schedules, full-time jobs, families, children…we have managed to pen seven songs, three of which we have already finished recording. In the not-so-distant future, we hope to have at least 10 tracks released on a CD.

GENRE: Power Rock/Classic Rock

FOUNDED: 2008 (under the present name)

CURRENT LINE UP: Aakash Jacob (vocals), Timmy Elliot (guitars), Jonathan (Bass), Kevin (Keyboard), Divyan Varghese (Drums)

BIG MOMENT: One opportunity we got to play in MCC was because we were winners of a Channel [V] and Sprite-organised competition. That was a big moment for us, not only because we were winners, but because we got to perform at the place where it all started. That is where our roots are.