SUBIR MALIK of Parikrama reveals the joys of the band's recent gigsBruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden loves their music. There can be no equal compliment for India's veteran rock group. Parikrama recently opened for Iron Maiden (the definitive heavy metal group) in Palace grounds, Bangalore. Speaking at the Jack Daniel's Backstage Tennessee Rock Awards, at Elevate, Noida, Subir Malik describes the thrill of the show. Malik recounts, "Iron Maiden was standing in the wings enjoying themselves. It was so humbling for us. I didn't recognise Bruce with his cut hair." Bruce told them, "Maiden is loving your music, please play on." Their entire collection of CDs was distributed amongst Maiden. Though hugely excited about opening for Maiden, they were a tad sceptical of their reception. "It was a heavy metal crowd," Malik explains, "They were all in black T-shirts... and we have numbers with a piano and violin... " But the roar of the audience at their entry banished their doubts. They played their trademark "But it rained" and other original tracks. Parikrama has been a pioneer in music and marketing in India. They don't just sell CDs, instead they encourage free downloads of their songs. "We support piracy," he asserts, "of our music." They realised the power of the Internet more than 10 years ago when they launched their first website on the IIT server. Malik himself speed-posts one hundred CDs to fans every month. Parikrama has travelled and sung to the country. But few know that their lead Nitin Malik has been phobic of flying for nine years! While the band criss-crossed the country by air, Nitin would follow by train. But their recent 11-city tour broke Nitin's phobia, reveals Malik with twinkling eyes, through the band's trickery! The tour took them from Siliguri to Kolkata to Dhanbad.
Saif tooSaif Ali Khan also recently performed with the band. The band and he have similar musical preferences: both love AC/DC. Malik gives an honest assessment of Saif's performance, "He is first an actor and then a guitarist. But he is a very nice rhythm guitarist." He was impressed at Saif's knowledge of music and lyrics. They recently performed "Super Hero" for Bill Gates who told them their music reminds him of the Rolling Stones. At the Jack Daniel's award ceremony, the best of Indian rock was showcased and appreciated. Malik won Keyboard Player of the Year. The other big winners included Pentagram's "Voice" for Song of the Year and Oritus for Album of the Year.