Mumbai

In a Judas Priest state of mind

a new direction:The band feels the change in mood in its latest album Burn Up The Night will may split its fanbase down the middle.— photo: special arrangement  

Kryptos’s Nolan Lewis and Ganesh Krishnaswamy are the most laidback guys you will ever meet. It is a different matter that it is Sunday afternoon and we are having a drink. The duo answers all questions with the earnestness of the experienced musicians they are. And when the recorder goes off, they say, “That’s it? No controversial questions?”

Trust old-school metalheads like Kryptos to want to gleefully rattle a few chains and address everything from the travails of being a metal band (they’ve been at it for 18 years) in India to their ‘scene’ brethren, for whom everything is always served on a platter. “If we are complaining about something, let’s do something about it rather than just sit on Facebook and complain,” says Lewis. “It is good that you can show you can rant so much.”

Never ones to crib on social media, the two-member Bengaluru band have had a stellar year to look back on: from their annual European tour, which included new festivals where they performed to “more relevant crowds”, and the recent release of their new album Burn Up The Night . Their latest effort has released worldwide via the German label AFM Records and will soon be independently released by the band in India.

Lewis describes the new album as an embodiment of traditional heavy metal laced with a bit of psychedelic rock. That is a huge change from the usually dark and mythical themes they’ve built on in their previous releases. Which is why, the vocalist says, Burn Up The Night is going to “split our fanbase down the middle”. “All the guys who are into the old stuff will love it. The guys who are into the newer stuff, will probably download it,” he says with a laugh. Ask them why they’ve chosen this sort of sonic mood and Krishnaswamy says, “We are getting older as well; in a positive way.”

The most evident influence on the album is UK heavy metal legends Judas Priest. “Their earlier albums were darker, bit more progressive,” says Lewis. “As time went by, it became more about just having a good time: from British Steel onwards, for example. We are kind of in that space right now.”

As of now, there are no plans to tour, but Kryptos aren’t too hassled about it. “We hope to play around the country,” says Krishnaswamy. “We’re working for gigs, but it takes time. So we’re not sitting and complaining about it. We’re trying to talk to people and see how we can get out and play. It is tough. We all have nine-to-five jobs and we save up to leave for the European jaunt.”

In Europe, their name keeps getting bigger. Although they joke about how they’re still regularly asked about why an Indian band like theirs doesn’t have any sitar or tabla included (they’re now armed with their own witty comebacks), it has become an annual tradition for Kryptos: go to Europe, chug some beers, play some riffs and have a good show. “The tour we did was a good promo for the album,” says Krishnaswamy. “Pretty much 70 per cent of the set list was new songs. Those dudes got to listen to the new material, so the pre-orders were great, and 1,500 CDs are already off the rack.”

As for what we can expect in future. “I don’t know. We just want to play a gig and get the album out to the Indian dudes and that is about it,” says Krishnaswamy.

Burn Up The Night is priced at 13,99 €. Visit shop.afm-records.de

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 2:04:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/In-a-Judas-Priest-state-of-mind/article16670448.ece

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