The Jam Hut in Hennur is where bands — whether they play rock or Kannada metal — come to make music

Back in school, all you wanted to do was to pick up instruments and belt out your favourite tunes. The problem with this dream was that your pocket money wasn’t nearly enough for this hobby, your parents and roommates had a slight problem with the noise and there were more important things to learn — like that impossible-to-remember algebra equation (if only it were in the shape of chords and lyrics). And then you grew up.

Gerard Roy, better known to local musicians as ‘Gerry’, realised that the one-shot solution for this is, simply, space. Over a post-jam session with fellow band mate Ash, the idea of The Jam Hut came to life.

Music to your heart’s content

Gerry turned his garage into a working jam room and studio, where bands could come to practice for as long — and as loud — as they wanted to. Located in Hennur Gardens, The Jam Hut now comprises two state-of-the-art rooms and an open terrace.

Six years down the line, Gerry has no regrets for having left his IT job. The Jam Hut comes with all the equipment required for a quality practice session and for Rs. 250 an hour, you can make music to your heart’s content.

Apart from the rehearsal studios, Gerry sells new and used equipment and is also into stage gear rentals, usually to corporates, weddings and concerts. He’s laid back and easily approachable, and it’s no wonder that his studio schedules are full — bands come in all the way from Mysore and Chennai as well.

One of the most unbelievable experiences to him was when Kannada movie star Upendra walked in to his studio to watch a band play. “The band that was playing then told me that Upendra was coming to watch them play and I thought it was a joke and so played along. Imagine my surprise when I saw him get down from his car and walk into my garage.”

‘Thriving scene’

What’s changed from when Gerry started playing as a student?

“My parents thought I was crazy maybe because they weren’t exposed to the kind of music we are now. I grew up without a TV and when we did get one, the only channel we had was the Doordarshan. Nowadays, parents encourage their kids to pick up instruments at a very young age. The music scene in Bangalore is thriving. There are even Kannada metal bands and temple bands, many of whom have come to rehearse in our studio.”

I managed to catch a new band called the Hormones jamming during the long weekend — Angshu and Shishir (guitarist and drummer respectively) work in Bangalore and Sidd, also a guitarist, had come all the way from Chennai.

“We try to squeeze in as many jam sessions as we can. I played with Sidd before in Singapore but when I came back to India, I found myself locked to my job. I missed it too much and having a space like this helps me play music again” said Angshu while Shishir and Sidd nodded vehemently.

If Gerry were stuck someplace with his favourite bands and had 60 seconds to convince them to jam with him, he wouldn’t have a long spiel. “Music is its own reward and draw. All I have to do is say, ‘Man, let’s jam’ and a good musician who’s really into it for the art will bring in a six-pack and we’d be set for the day.”

(The Jam Hut is at 10, 4th Cross, Hennur Gardens, Hennur Bande. Call 25438353 or visit www.thejamhut.com).

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