Pentagram talks about shifting music styles and how to encourage more Indian bands to come up
They began their career as an out-and-out Rock band in 1994, and have evolved to a more electronica-influenced sound today. Consisting of vocalist Vishal Dadlani, Randolph Correia on the guitar, Papal Mane on bass and Shiraz Bhattacharya on drums, Pentagram is one of the most famous and instantly recognisable bands in the country today
Talking about this shift in musical genres, Dadlani says, “Electronica was something Clyde D’Souza (ex-band member) and Randolph were into and brought that to the band, and Shiraz and I dug it. It was just a natural progression for us.”
However, the band loves experimenting with different music styles — they flinch at being confined to one particular genre. Talking about it further, Dadlani says, “There’s been two interesting things for us this year — one is an upcoming Reggae album, and the other is our MTV Unplugged gig this year — its Pentagram in two brand new avatars which we’ve never done before — Reggae and Acoustic.”
Pentagram has seen a success, rare for an Indian band. They have released four albums when most bands struggle to release even a single.
Dadlani explains, “The secret is to focus on the music and nothing else. We’ve left each other alone, to do other things — there isn’t much interference. All of us take refuge in Pentagram. It’s also the rollercoaster ride you get addicted to — you learn a lot from everything and a lot from mistakes as well. It’s the need to get better, to play on bigger stages and to travel more that pushes you.”
The band is excited about performing at the Adidas Collision Festival in Delhi today particularly because it promotes street art — Mumbai streets have been a heavy influence for them. Dadlani says, “Street culture is real culture. It’s how you define a city and a place — it’s what makes a city. If you want to try out the music, you go to the street. It is important for everyone to support that, and not by building malls everywhere. Our music is meant to boost people, to get them to wake up and enjoy life and see what’s around them. Our influences come from what’s in life, and around us.”
However, Dadlani, speaking for the band, shows dismay at the struggle Indian bands have to go through to get recognition.
He says, “Our own Rock culture hasn’t encouraged Indian artistes. For example, with the Rolling Stone awards, they’ll have a Bollywood actor who will give out the awards. You need to support your own scene, and not use Bollywood to promote it. I believe the musicians and everyone who has been through the Indian music struggle are awesome. They know exactly what it’s like to be a part of something.”
Pentagram is in Delhi to perform at the Adidas Originals Collisions concert today at the Garden of Five Senses, 2 p.m. onwards.