A college project that evolved into something more, Dark Project is back to gigging in the city

Bangalore is not just the rock capital because of the number of international bands who stop by to perform in the city, but also partly because it has been looked upon as the best new gigging circuit by bands from all over India. Dark Project was formed in 2003 while members were studying at IIT, Kharagpur. Following a decade’s worth of music and line-up changes, Dark Project is back to actively gigging on the Bangalore scene. Says the band, “The transition story is just like a miracle, when we think about it now. When you look forward to something which has a common interest, it sort of keeps you motivated to achieve it.”

The story behind the band…

Dark Project was just like another college project during our under graduation that was aimed to form a music band to play some music. The idea of making a band was conceived in the year 2003 by Sauvik (guitars, sampling) and Sudipto Biswas (guitars, vocals) as they co-wrote a six-song self-titled EP using the music instruments generously provided by the IIT Kharagpur’s music hall. It started off as a studio project that led to the release of the first Dark Project album titled Chaos Sessions in 2007. After gigging in Kolkata, Sudipto moved to Bangalore and the band started having issues with split geographies. We released our second album Liberty & Entropy in 2009.

It was getting harder to play live music as each band member were in different parts of India and hence we decided to take some time off to figure out that problem. The band went on a hiatus for two years. In these two years Sauvik, Ugyal (keyboards/guitars) and Korak (drums) transitioned from being in Kolkata to find an alternative living in the city of Bangalore, a city that had a lot of promise for musicians. We found Anant on bass guitar here and started playing live gigs in the city since September 2011.

The bass guitarist of the band kept changing. Daryl replaced Anant and we did a couple of gigs together. Daryl also tracked for us on the new album but soon after, due to his personal commitments he has to now share his duties with Kailash Suresh. Kailash is relatively new to the band but we hope to have a great 2014 with him going forward.

You guys play music because…

Asking why we want to play music is possibly like asking why you wanted to live this life. Like most musicians would say: “We can’t really do without it.”

You’ll still remember the time when…

Playing our first show in Bangalore at Opus in the year 2009 – was like stepping out of your own backyard and playing a show in a different city. Playing in the Hard Rock Cafes are always very special. Each show brings with a set of new people, who hear you for the first time. It makes it all the more special when you meet that bunch who hum along all your tunes and remember the words of your song to the dot. That’s the time you feel special and recognised at the same time.

The toughest part about being a young band…

Totally depends on how you would define “young”. We feel we are still new, learning new stuff every day. Yes we have experience and we are certainly on the wrong side of our 20s now but that doesn’t make us not young right?

Looking at the latest trends in the music circuits we see people slowly losing interest in Rock music, as the inclination is tending towards DJs and EDMs and what not, so maybe the toughest part right now is to still keep that niche in your music to engage your listeners and build a set of people who follow you religiously. This can only come if you stay true to yourself and be very honest about your music.

Story behind the name

There’s no single answer to this question. The definition has changed over the years too. We call ourselves Dark Project because we wanted to bring together two simple words and make some sense out of it.

We didn’t want the listener to find it hard to figure what the name is or how it is pronounced. At the same time we didn’t want to give away the kind of music we make with the name.

Musicians that inspire you

We started off in school with all sorts of Pop music boy bands. Savage Garden used to be one of Sauvik and Sudipto’s favourite. Korak has had the experience of playing a lot of genres himself but his favourites started off with Glam Rock bands and evolved into the progressive one. Ugyal listens to anything from Bollywood music to progressive metal. Eventually the band comes together with a set of overlapping musicians like Porcupine Tree, Rush, Tool, Dream Theater, Incubus etc.

Compositions over covers

In our formative years till today, that’s one debate that we had to face from time to time. There’s no clear answer to it but we think it’s very important to play original music. Eventually you are identified with the music you make and not with someone else’s music that you cover. With that being said, if you are a new band doing a show with a set of people who don’t have an exposure to your music yet – you might want to give them a taste of something that they know. But we strongly feel that it should be practiced with caution.

Follow Dark Project on Facebook.com/darkprojectband