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Rock on The name harks back to the group’s college days
Rock on The name harks back to the group’s college days

Galeej Gurus, who played at History Rocks concert recently are ready to take on the world

The Galeej Gurus were recently in the news for winning Shamal — an international Battle of the Bands held in Dubai — which serves as a gateway to open the headlining acts at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival.

Such international acclaim was long overdue for the Galeej Gurus as they now look to woo crowds at the Phuton Rock Festival in Thailand, followed by tours of Singapore, China and the U.S.

Formed in early 2000, the name Galeej Gurus comes from a Christ College mad-ads team of the same name that the members were part of. “The name sounded really cool so we decided to stick to it,” says lead guitarist Ananth Menon. Initially, the Gurus started out as a three-piece band with lead singer Nathan Harris doubling as vocalist and drummer. But soon they transformed themselves into a five-member band in search of more power.

The band, which believes their genre is beyond any classification, is well-known for their Indie approach. However they have also proved their mettle in various other forms like alternative, progressive-funk, and blues-rock. One can see that the influences of the Galeej Gurus range from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple to Eric Clapton and Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Our personal influences are poles apart from our influences as a band. But I guess at the end of the day we gel well as a band and everything just comes together for us,” says bassist Matthew Harris, Nathan’s twin.

The Gurus, who shot to fame on the Bangalore rock scene alongside bands like Thermal and a Quarter and Zebediah Plush, feel the rock ’n’ roll community is slowly becoming a dying breed not only in Bangalore, but across the country. “The current situation is quite lamentable. The audience exists but there are very few ways of reaching out to them. There should be more corporate involvement. Moreover, the ban on live music is a bane on the entire music community of Bangalore. We hope it’s lifted as soon as possible,” adds Matthew.

Widely recognised for their own compositions like “Full meals by the wayside” and “Physiological breakdown”, Galeej Gurus are counsellors of original music. They feel every band should try and play their own music from the word go.

In fact they recently played at two rock fests supporting original music. The one held in Bangalore was named ‘Rock Ethos’ featuring bands from Bangalore and the other one in Delhi named ‘Eastwind’ and saw 60 bands from all across the country playing out their original sets. “These kind of rock fests are very essential for the overall development of the rock scene in our country. Bands can help their fans catch up with their own compositions — that way both the fans and the band is happy. We think it’s high time that bands start slipping covers,” says Ananth. Having opened the act during Deep Purple’s gig in the city, the band thinks Bangalore is slowly becoming a favourite destination of world-famous bands.

But what is becoming even more popular is bands from round the country setting the tone for the international acts by opening for them. “It’s a dream come true for any rocker to open for a band he has grown up listening to. But it is also important that the crowd supports the band,” says Matthew.

These rockers are currently working on their first studio album, and are also planning their first music video. They are probably the only band in India with insurmountable international exposure. Their style of play has earned them critical appreciation time and again. They recently rocked the house at a famous pub in Bangalore, kick starting the musical series “History Rocks” organised by the History Channel.

DEBAYAN DEB

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