Telling sonic stories, globally

Every band that visits the music capital of India aims to leave its mark on the city’s vibrant soundscape. But when it comes to WorldService Project, they hope to not just create an impact here, but also take back some of Bengaluru’s rich music treasures.

Ahead of their performance at BFlat, Dave Morecroft, the frontman of the London, UK, band, is in the city and loving it. “I’ve been exploring Bangalore and having a great time. I love Indian food so I’ve been sampling Meghana Biriyani and Nagarjuna’s spicy meals while dabbling with Western fusion food joints in Indiranagar. I’m also a big fan of Indian music and intrigued by the raga concept. This is the band’s first performance in India so we’re really excited to see how the response is. There’s a deep understanding between our two nations. We know a lot about each other with the rich culture and history we share. It’s a very interesting place to visit.”

Featuring Dave Morecroft on keyboards, vocals and compositions, Tim Ower on saxophone, Raphael Clarkson on trombone, Arthur O’Hara on bass and Harry Pope on drums, WorldService Project are the frontrunners of Brit punk-jazz. Known to produce music that speaks through dark, playful passages, complex rhythmic manipulation and unpredictable madness, the epic and anthemic sound of WorldService Project is one that needs to be experienced live to get the full theatrical measure of their performance.

Pointing out that they don’t do commercial music, Dave says: “We don’t do it merely for entertainment. Or to sell out massive stadiums; though we might do that someday,” he quips and laughs.

“We do it because we believe in pushing the musical substance that we’re making. Ours is a combination of many different traditions – from jazz traditions to heavier rock metal traditions along with psychedelic, progressive and alternative influences. Musically, when I’m writing, I’m trying to be very true to myself and my voice, push the envelope a bit and find a new sound or zone that hasn’t been explored before.”

Will there be an Indian touch to their music in the future? Dave replies: “That happens naturally in life anyway. When you spend time in another place and meet people, you take in everything and it changes you as a person. And when you change as a person, your music changes; how you write, your art, your language changes. I would love to spend more time studying the Indian Classical tradition. Maybe we can come back later and do something collaborative with the musicians here.”

When people listen to the WorldService Project, Dave hopes they see the purity and honesty of it. “We try to project that because we care about what we’re doing. It’s personal and honest music. I hope people also feel they are part of the experience. We believe in inclusivity. When we play a gig, the audience and the musicians create something together. One cannot exist without the other. Whether our show is theatrical, funny, stupid, sombre or solemn, it remains something where the crowd is very central to what’s going on.”

What inspired the name? Dave says that’s an easy one. “My father worked for the BBC World Service for 26 years. The first time we ever did a kind of demo EP in 2007 was when he took us to the World Service studio on a Sunday morning, snuck us in through the back door and we recorded our first songs there. So it became a project that came out of the World Service. The name stuck. Here we are 10 years later. Somehow, it’s come to mean something else now. We’ve played in a lot of countries – we want to export ourselves, explore new places, meet new people and take our sounds into new territories. Now the WorldService Project goes around making the world a better place; it’s an easy mission,” he laughs.

Their music has changed a lot from the time they first started out, affirms Dave. “We had a strong jazz sound and there were conventional solos in our songs. Now the structure of the tunes is more complex and the focus is on the overall piece. We’ve also become a lot heavier and complex as we’ve grown. It’s a very crowded market in the music scene and I guess we’re trying to shout the loudest! We’ve become more aggressive and we’ve grown up to become more men than boys.”

Where is their music taking them? A thoughtful Dave says they want to continue on the same path. “Right now we are working with a good record label. We hope it’s a long-term relationship and we can do a whole set of albums. It’s a very clear journey. I also hope to challenge myself as a composer and us as a band to continue to develop our sound.”

To aspiring musicians, Dave says, obviously, be prepared to work hard. “Music is one of the toughest industries. You need to work really hard, not just musically, but also learn to be collaborative and open. That is really important in music. Be willing to listen, be challenged and challenge others.” The eclectic musician goes on to say that unfortunately, the world is breaking apart instead of coming together. “Coming together is important since there is strength in numbers. And because there is such a huge music community in Bangalore, there is an amazing potential to have a really vibrant scene. There are so many gigs and opportunities in this untapped scene ready to go. The community needs to come together and grow.”

Catch the WorldService Project live at BFlat, Indiranagar, on November 24 from 9 p.m. onwards, Entry at Rs. 400 on bookmyshow and venue. The concert is hosted in association with Gatecrash and Match&Fuse. Call 25278361.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:38:37 AM |

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