Rock band Motherjane on their latest single ‘No Contest' and their rocking journey
They started their musical journey when Indian rock was still in the nascent stage. After 12 rocking years and two albums Insane Biography and Maktub to their credit, Motherjane is back with their new single No Contest. Suraj Mani, the lead singer of the band, says, “The song echoes the current public sentiment about change and a governing system that will work and can be trusted.” Rock has always been synonymous in bringing about a social change and it is the same philosophy that drives the band. “At a gig we address thousands of people and we definitely see it as an edge and to push the ideologies we believe in and we feel that it's our duty to do so. This is the golden age and we are serving our purpose,” says drummer John Thomas.
Describing their music as ‘Indian art rock' the drummer who is one of the founding members of the band stresses, “We have already started talks with visual artists and would definitely like to be an interface for artists to collaborate and explore greater avenues.”
John Thomas recalls the initial journey: “We started off in college in 1996, the initial line up was me, Mithun, Laji, Clyde, Nirmal, Shyam and Cecil. It was essentially a semi-pro act then it changed after Suraj, Mani, Baiju, Dharmajan and Rex Vijayan stepped in by 2000.” Today, the band consists of Suraj on the vocals, John on drums, Clyde D Rozario on bass, Deepu Sashidharan and Santosh Chandran on the guitar. Narrating the story behind the name of the band John says, “The name was introduced by one of our friends called Jubin, initially we hated it but the audience liked it. Motherjane is slang for the sweet leaf and the band holds the philosophy that music is by far the best hallucinogen you can have and stay addicted.”
After years of domination by Hindi film songs, popular Indian music is finally in the mood to experiment with even Bollywood incorporating elements of rock and folk music in the their songs. “Any soul knows that rock is now big in India. I think big would be an understatement. Now international labels are keen on promoting contemporary music scene in the country which will directly enhance the rock scenario as well. Now that the legend - Metallica is also stepping in, the scene is all set to explode. We see a quantum leap in this industry real soon,” says John who feels that rock is finally getting its due in mainstream music.
With elements of Indian classical to various genres of rock, Motherjane has experimented with their sound. “We picked up tunes from the songs we grew up with as kids - Malayalam and Hindi film music in our songs. The band has diverse tastes in music which sometimes are conflicting, but always adds to the big picture. It is one factor which keeps the band in a continuous mode of evolution rather than stick to a specific genre. To name a few it would be post metal, house, Bob Marley, 80s pop, Indian classical music, flamenco etc,” explains John. The next soundtrack and a tour to the US are plans in the anvil for the group.