Bangalore band Mad Orange Fireworks talks about turning three and the story of their lives

What happens when you put an orange and madness together and throw in a few fireworks? You get the quirky, totally insane and tripping Mad Orange Fireworks. The colourful three-piece band that has been painting Bangalore’s soundscape a bright orange recently turned three. And what better way to celebrate it but with a birthday gig.

The city band, featuring Michael Dias on vocals and guitars, Kaushik Kumar on bass and vocals and Deepak Raghu on drums and vocals, plays an ethereal blend of every popular genre and simply puts in one frame – Orange Rock. Speaking to MetroPlus after the celebrations at Counter Culture, the band shares about life, their journey and the orange of course.

Michael says the band is his baby. “I’ve been into music since I was a kid and always wanted to have a band of my own and play my music.” The Kerala lad moved to the garden city fishing for new opportunities when he found the prize catch. “The music scene in Bangalore got me hooked. I always wanted to do a three-piece act and found bassist Kaushik, who I know from bands in Kerala, and drummer Shravan, a full-blown corporate guy, and we kicked it off.

Looking back, Michael recalls that the three of them met around February in 2011 and put together 10 songs in a couple of months. “Near the end of April was the first gig which was a real crowd-puller. We put our heart and soul into it and it paid off. Since then there has been no looking back.”

Every band has its ups and downs and MOF had its share too. The three-piece act that people see now came together at the launch of our debut album with Deepak joining us,” shares Michael.

On what inspired the name and genre, Michael says right from the start he wanted it to be Mad something. “I had a little bit of a selfish motive as well since my name is Michael Antony Diaz which abbreviates as MAD. We thought of what colour our music would connect to and orange seemed to fit the profile. We play a lot of groove and there are bits of pop, lot of elements of rock, jazz influences and funk. We thought let’s call our music Orange Rock since it isn’t anywhere in particular. Fireworks seemed to round it off well.”

On turning three, Kaushik and Michael say it’s been amazing to make their dreams come true. Michael says: “The one thing I feel we will really miss is the charm of calling ourselves a new and upcoming band. We have come and are here to stay for a while now.”

MOF says their birthday celebration gig turned out to be one of their best shows. “A band turning three is no big deal but we wanted to make it special and share the platform with everyone we have met. Our set involved new material as well as old friends playing along and saw a lot of collaborations with other bands and artistes. The whole thing was a celebration.” The duo says they owe it all to their new band manager Arijeet who joined them only a few weeks back.

Their debut 10-track album Lifeline Cast was launched last year and was “quite a crazy ride”. Michael says it took them six months since they only met on Sundays but the experience was worth it. “Our songs are about simple everyday concepts. Relationships, a quarter-life crisis or a heartbreak – this is regular stuff that regular people go through and we take our own experiences and build our songs.”

On taking the leap of faith and becoming a fulltime musician, Michael says it seems to work out. “I play only with MOF and teach guitar to students. Deepak is a fulltime drummer and plays with 5-6 more bands. Only Kaushik is a freelance architect. Somehow, we have found a way to keep it going. Music is the only place where I can go to find a reason to live.”

Looking ahead, MOF dreams of sharing their music with more people and going to new places.