Members of Kolkata's Chronic Xorn chat about Kolkata's music scene and their first EP, which was released recently.
The Indian metal scene is slowly growing. Even Kolkata, known only for classic rock and Bangla rock, has contributed a couple of talented metal bands to the great Indian metal scene. Chronic Xorn is now the first metal band from Kolkata to release an EP successfully. The band's first EP (“Death Destruction and Sermon”) was launched recently in Bangalore. As the band readies for its Chennai gig later this week, they talk about their musical journey and influences.
How did the band start?
Chronic Xorn began its journey in late 2007 with a dream of making good music and conveying it to others. Since then, we have evolved. The band began with a different set of musicians, which included Sunny, Abhinav, Anindya, Jeet, Tamaghna and Soumyabrata. With time, some of the founding members had to leave the band. We consider ourselves lucky to have got a good bassist in Angshuman who succeeded Jeet. Anindya was later replaced by Suvam on guitars. Then Abhinav had to leave after a while and now we have our old friend Anindya back to replace him on guitars. It is a line up that we are very happy with and is quite a stable one. We have seen some tough times as well as our share of the purple patch.
Your major inspiration or influence?
Individually, we have different inspirations and draw influences from various genres and musicians. As a band we have a mix of every influence that we draw as individuals. We are influenced by various forms of music ranging from jazz to extreme metal. How can we forget the gurus of heavy metal, Iron Maiden! They are our first dose of heavy metal. Well, that was just the beginning. When Slayer arrived on our play-lists, it was all over, and no one can prevent one from banging him head to death listening to these bands. We listen to almost everything: Dream Theater; Lamb of God; All That Remains; The Black Dahlia Murder; Hate Eternal; and Nile!
What is the theme of your new album?
We have shared some of our common notions and personal experiences in this EP. We wanted it to reflect our thoughts. For instance, the title track Death.Destruction.Sermon is actually a tribute to the Indian Army who fight endlessly so as to keep us safe. This is the least we can do to pay homage to them. The EP, as a whole, represents our thoughts and the dark corners in the minds of this generation. The theme works with human psychology and fantasies.
We hope that listeners take the positives from this work and get the philosophy we are trying to convey. We don't mind criticism provided it is constructive and from the heart. We want them to keep supporting good music and lead a good life!
East India (especially Kolkata) has always been a point of attraction for Indian rock fans. Why do you think Rock music has such a fanatical following there?
Kolkata has always been a hub of classic rock music. We've had a lot of great bands for a very long time, be it Bengali or English. The overall rock music scene is pretty big. However, for some time, metal has also grown. We hope to catch up with other cities known for their big metal scenes. Kolkata has seen live rock music for more than 30 years; so people are fanatical about it.
Tell us about the transformation of different genres of music in Kolkata.
As I said earlier, the classic rock scene has always been pretty big here. Kolkata then saw the rise of some good hard rock bands – both Bengali and English. The present band scene in Kolkata consists of bands from all genres ranging from jazz to Latin to thrash and death metal. The metal bands came into the scene around 2006-07 and the metal scene has started growing for the past few years. We have a lot of metal fests happening over here now.
Despite so many talented musicians, metal bands from the east don't make it big nationally compared to bands from other parts of the country. Why?
The metal scene is not as big in Kolkata as in other cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Kolkata doesn't have big metal festivals. There's also lack of promotion; hardly any promoters or organisers.
Media coverage is another factor. Most pubs aren't that metal friendly and college festivals hardly allow metal bands to play.
So, in spite of the talent, the bands don't get the exposure needed to make it big nationally. However, things are changing pretty fast and we really hope to catch up with the other cities soon.
According to you, which is the biggest Metal Band from Eastern India and what is the specialty in their music?
There are so many great metal bands in this part of the country and it is really tough to name any in particular. But certainly there are a lot of good metal bands from Assam, Shillong, Sikkim, Nagaland and of course in West Bengal.
Are you inspired by any Indian band or musician? What do you say about current Rock scene?
As a young band, we really look upto big bands like Demonic Resurrection, Kryptos, Scribe, Bhayanak Maut and the like. We have a lot of respect for them and they have been a major influence since we started. DR in Brutal Assault and Inferno and Kryptos' European tour added a new dimension to the metal scene in India. A lot of big metal acts are coming to India very frequently now, so metal bands here are being exposed to the international metal scene.
Future plans? Any message to your fans?
We just got back after a gig at Gangtok. We are playing in Chennai on December 11 and in Guwahati sometime in late December. We also have a few other gigs lined up in Kolkata and other cities. So, I guess, this month is gonna be pretty crazy.
To all our fans, thank you all for your undying support over the years and keep looking at our updates in http://www.myspace.com/chronicxorn .
Current Line Up:
Sunny - vocals
Suvam - guitar/vocals
Anindya – guitar
Angshuman – bass
Tamaghna – drums
Soumyabrata – lyrics
Catch CHRONIC XORN in action on December 11 at Geoffrey's Pub (Radha Regent Hotel),Chennai.
Death Destruction and Sermon
“Death Destruction and Sermon” starts with 2.55 minutes of interesting atmospheric instrumental piece. “Psychic Catastrophe” is completely different from the aggression in the rest of the songs in the CD.
The actual destruction begins from the second song “Afraid of the Unseen”, which is about claustrophobia. The song starts with a catchy guitar roll and groove accompanied with aggression and melody.
“The Funeral Song” kicks up with a nice guitar hook and the powerful growling vocals express the pains and failures of a leader with sarcastic lyrucs. Sample: “protest is the name of loser’s race”.
“Death Destruction Sermon” is a tribute to the Indian soldiers who fight to keep us safe. Technical groove, guitar riff and interludes brilliantly intensify the potential of the song.
“Necropolis” displays some brilliant guitar riffs and harmony. It talks about a city of the dead, where darkness prevails. "My world is filthy, my world is stark ,Numbed soul of mine is devil’s kernel”
The last song “My Little Obsession” is about one’s dark thoughts and subconscious mind: “subconscious mind, unconsciously - takes me away to the darkened place once again, where consciously he cannot reach and beyond his capability of imagination”. This song is embedded with fast groove and very progressive guitar licks entangled with the bassline.
I feel “Death Destruction Sermon” and “Necropolis” are the best songs in the collection. This would be perfect for all those who love to explore melody through interesting time signature and smart patterns.
Nicky anlyses music and promotes upcoming bands through his project Unseen Underground.