International metal act Gone in April and Bangalore-based Indian metal outfit Jagged Surge both have an eclectic mix of older and younger generations of musicians, with each feeding off the other’s influences

That Bangalore is metal haven is no new discovery and with The Great Indian October Fest ready to kick start today, it sure looks like the metal gods are here to favour our city again. Among the host of artistes that will be performing at this mega event are international act, Gone in April (GIA), and Bangalore-based Indian metal outfit Jagged Surge.

Eagerly looking forward to their first trip to India, Yanic Bercier, drummer of GIA, in a telephonic interview from New York says: “We expect to meet a lot of great people, and we’re anticipating an awesome festival that we’ve heard so much about. I’ve worked with a lot of Indians and know that the metal scene is heating up there so we expect to perform for an energetic audience.”

Jagged Surge have performed at last year’s edition of the festival and front man and vocalist of the band, Neil Rego says: “We know this year is going to be even better. In terms of what we have in store for our fans, there’s been a line-up change since last year. Also, we’re going to be performing three new tracks and we hope to be able to assess the response to them. What we love about concerts like this is that we get to connect with other artistes and bands too.”

GIA, who released their album We Are But Human that has received rave reviews have also experienced a line-up change. “Not all those who’ve been a part of the album are going to be in India to perform live. We’ve had to rope in a few new (to the band) but experienced artistes. What remains the same though is our signature sound,” informs Yanic.

GIA’s known to be categorised differently by different people. “And you can’t really blame anybody for that,” quips Yanic who adds: “Ours is a diverse type of music that is essentially metal. While some tracks are characterised by lots of strings, we also do slow numbers, fast ones, critically acclaimed pieces, the more commercial type, and since ours is a female-fronted band with Julie Belanger Roy as the vocalist, some call it symphonic, while others prefer to think our music is more Gothic.”

Both bands seem to have similar musical influences and Neil elaborates: “We are majorly influenced by Iron Maiden, Pantera, Judas Priest, and the like and while we don’t confine ourselves in terms of our creativity, we are invariably a trash/power metal band that also surprisingly has a tinge of modern edginess.”

Despite the fact that youngsters today still bow down to metal artistes of yore, finding a fan following has not been difficult for either of the bands. Yanic says: “Half the band has classical training background but the music on our album was written by those in the 25 to 41 age group, which makes for a good mix of classic and contemporary influences and styles.”

Adds Neil: “Jagged Surge has pretty much the same story. Ours is an eclectic mix of older and younger generations of musicians where both groups feed off each other’s influences. There sure are different degrees of thought but when it comes to composing we’re on the right track.”

Jagged Surge has been playing at a host of renowned clubs around the country. Neil states: “Playing in clubs has it perks. It is the people who are very passionate about the band and its music that show up.

At a concert, you feel a greater energy but it is the umpteen performances at clubs that prepare us for concerts as big as this. Here’s where you can analyse how you sound, the quality of the band’s showmanship, etc”

Looking ahead, this Indian powerhouse of metal talent is working towards releasing an EP in January 2013. In the meanwhile, GIA is keen on visiting India again.

“We’ve heard about the thriving landscape of metal in India, especially over the couple of years. Till about a decade ago, the metal music scene was big only in North America and Europe. But I feel India is definitely making a statement on the metal map of the world,” Yanic signs off.

Gone In April performs on October 12 and Jagged Surge will unleash their talent on October 13 at The Great India October Fest in Jayamahal Palace.