A rock band without a bass guitar player is like considering The Beatles without Paul McCartney, The Police without Sting and Thin Lizzy without Phil Lynott.
In Hyderabad’s music circuit, top music acts know whom to turn to for their bass guitar needs, its the unpretentious and soft spoken Suresh Beck.
Born in Rourkela, Odisha, this most sought-after bass guitar player in the city actually moved to Hyderabad in 2007. “I started to play music in school when I was in the sixth standard.” He taught himself to play the guitar by listening and putting in no less than six hours of practice every day. “There was no YouTube then, we used to have audio cassettes.” By the time he reached Class X, Suresh was already playing covers of Deep Purple, The Beatles, Def Leppard and Guns N Roses with his friends from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela.
In Hyderabad, Suresh’s first band was Peace Frog in which he also played lead guitar. Then Zeppera, a Led Zeppelin tribute band followed; after that band disbanded, Suresh took up freelancing and played with plethora of acts crossing over a number of genres.
The Arpit Chourey Project, an Indie/Alternative rock outfit, with whom he has recorded two EPs and has been playing with for three years now, Sreerama Chandra Mynampati, winner of Indian Idol 5 , blues rocker Shiv Menon and Telugu/Sufi Rock act Mounira Express. Although he can play every genre in the book including metal, jazz or even indie, his raison d’etre is classic rock.
“I’m famous for playing classic rock,” he quips.
Suresh cites Guns N Roses, John Paul Jones, Marcus Miller, Dire Straits, The Beatles among his major influences. The gig he played at Piano Man Jazz Club, Delhi with Arpit Chourey is his most treasured one. When he was part of Zeppera, they opened for Michael Angelo Batio, the American Heavy Metal guitar virtuoso at The House of Bluez. He is the main stay in venues like Broadway, Tabula Rasa, Prost Brew pub, Free Flow, Hard Rock Café, Heart Cup Café and Air Live.
However, being a musician is not an easy street. “To survive as a musician you need to play all kinds of music,” he says. He is of the belief that from an economical perspective, in his case, freelancing has served him better than playing with a particular band. For a live musician like him, opportunities have proliferated hugely in the city. “Some venues now have live music seven days a week,” he adds. Suresh also delights in teaching guitar in a couple of schools in the city.
He has many forthcoming projects, including the one with Arpit Chourey. On Sundays you can spot him playing acoustic sets at the Hard Rock Café with Shiv Menon. On June 12, Suresh is scheduled to play the Simon and Garfunkel Tribute with the band ‘Freebies’ at Secunderabad Club.
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