“They remind us of the 80′s which is gone,
They rhyme the ballads heard but ignored.
They sing for the glory which was ours,
When rock wasn’t still, it rolled”.
I remember the day i saw them, they offered me a ride in their time machine and i hopped in. It was a gut busting performance, powerful, You get what i mean by that ?! right ? I went home with an open face, as if someone punched the crap out of me.
They had cracked out of the local scene, represented the nation in the Montenegro – The Suncane Festival and are excited about the Honkong tour and talk about their un-released album ‘Locked and Loaded’. They are ‘GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES’, hailing from Gangtok, Sikkim. When the rest of the members were busy to fly HONGKONG, i was lucky to get hold of Girish Pradhan [ vocals and rythms ], who was in HONGKONG, he was kind to spare his time for us. He speaks about Girish and The Chronicles, [ side project Silver tears ] Family background, Inspirations and many things which shaped his journey.
*How did the Chronicles meet Girish or vice – versa ?
GIRISH PRADHAN – G n C was always there since, the past six years from the day I dropped my college and met Suraz and Nagen, six years ago. However, with different names, which even changed the band mates as I ventured into Nepal for some time. Finally, I returned back to India and started doing acoustic sessions in Cafe live and loud, Gangtok, with Yogesh (search for Girish Pradhan, “Rock and Roll”, “Pink’ acoustic covers in You tube). Thanks to the owner of that place, who also gifted me the very guitar that I still use (in our OC, “A new beginning” and some of my Youtube vids). Finally, Yogesh had to leave for Mumbai for his different projects and that very day, I was approached by Nagen and our ex-Bassist, Noel. But before he left, we did something that really took us to places. That was recording our first single “Angel”. The poster outside mentioned “Girish- live unplugged” and I already had a band name in my mind. Actually I had formed a band named “Chronicles” with some of the well know musicians in Kathmandu, one of them being Sharad Shreshta from the “Axe” band. Within a few weeks we disbanded as we all had different plans and also headed back towards home for sometime, where Yogesh had come for a vacation, hence we started our acoustic sessions. Back to the same point, I asked the band member for the band name and they were all ok with it. So began “Girish and The Chronicles”. We started playing as a house band in Live and Loud.
*How about the jam sessions ?
GIRISH PRADHAN - I don’t remember the exact year, but it started with us in Kalimpong for a vacation where our cousin was strumming a guitar. Before that, it may sound funny, but I was completely, not at all into music. I thought I wanted to be a cricketer. I saw Yogesh very interested though. He tried it out and strummed a few chords and everyone were clapping and I was amazed myself. everyone told me to try it out too, but I denied, trying to show off that I was not at all interested. However I was truly amazed because of the instrument and it was inevitable that I would try it out. A year went by and The setting for the room was completely different. Enter the room and you would see a drum kit made up of buckets, with a kick drums made of a suitcase, which went under the feet. Yogesh was the expert. The first song we tried out was “take it easy” by the eagles. Thus my first band was formed. We would jam for hours and hours and record each and every stuff until we felt satisfied. About another year went by and there were a few changes in the kit. We had a broken Cymbal set, a foot pedal and a snare. The guitar was a 25 year old “Hobner” jumbo guitar with a chain towards the end of the strings for distortion like sound. I didn’t even know there was something called a processor. We would be jamming Black Sabbath, Bonjovi and even sepultura! Yogesh had mastered that “Symptom of the universe” roll perfectly. I’m dead sure that there was no other drummer of his age in the country who could do that and I had already become a singer without even realizing it. I never thought singing would be the most important thing in my life! Well that’s only a summary. May be I’ll write a book about it one day (smile).
* Many bands are born and break out everyday, very few [ Who all actually make music ] bands in the local scene survive today, wasn’t it hard to find real members who can read your mind before you speak ?
GIRISH PRADHAN - I think its all about having the same musical taste to form the perfect band. I have been having a great time with G n C, mostly because of the open mindedness and versatility of the musicians we have and I did not chose Heavy Metal/Thrash this time as I wanted something for a global audience and something that would fall to the taste of everyone. This band is more about having versatile, skilled musicians. However, it took about two years for Me, Suraz and Nagen to blend with each other. We three had very different musical taste. It was like Suraz would sometimes say, “Yeah bro I can play pain killer by Judas priest, but will it go with “Crazy – Aerosmith?”. We were so confused as to what we should be playing on stage. Then we finally decided, that we would play all the music we ever loved, with blues in its very heart. Well, now, though we don’t perform much blues songs, but all the songs we play now , have blues in its very heart, in a way that not much people realize it. However, we jam the blues day and night. every single day.
* Tell us some thing about your family ? Not every one is encouraged [ Sad truth, which no one digests ] to have long hair and go gaga on stage [ kidding ], Did your family support your musical passion ?
GIRISH PRADHAN - Well I come from a multi-talented family, my mom, Mrs. Bimla Pradhan, being a legendary singer herself. She was one of the most celebrated singers in the Nepali film playback singing back in the ’80s and here I am in Hong Kong today, hearing tales about how popular her songs used to be. Its really a small world! There always have been times when I would be listening to a slayer or a megadeth track and my mom would suddenly come to my room and tell me under which ragaas the song would fall into. Once, She even sang the perfect notes of the guitar solo of “Symphony of destruction” to me. My dad, Mr. Shyam Pradhan, too had a great influence towards music, but he is widely known in our state a a great speaker, the person who gave the concept of local media and promoting talents through it. Wouldn’t have mentioned their names, but they are simply widely known in our state (Smiles). Last but not the least, the one with whom I started learning music with and shared my own dreams, my own brother, Yogesh Pradhan. Its an honor in a way to work with your own brother, who has excelled you in most of the music instruments. My parents always encouraged me when it came to music and I think that was the most important factor in shaping me up as a musician. they always believed in me, though I have always been a troublesome kid, I still manage to live up to them somehow. I believe parents are the most important factor in shaping one’s attitude and approach towards life. If it wasn’t for that factor, I would have no courage to follow my heart.
* First stage show experience? good or bad, do share it with us…
GIRISH PRADHAN - Lets take it short now. My first stage show was in my school when I was in my sixth standard. It had a funny incident to it. I was to sing the most popular song in my school and everybody suggested it had to be “where do you go”, by a pop group named No mercy. One of my cousin was supposed to play the guitar, for me and the performance had to start exactly at 12 o’ clock. He did not show up for about 5 minutes. There I was alone on the stage standing like a fool and everyone looking at me. Man! That feeling. I looked at the guitar and I thought it was now or never. I held it and played the whole song alone. Everyone loved it and I simply fell in love with stage. Soon after, my friends, one of them being Siddhartha Gurung (Damage era) encouraged me to start a band. Then, we formed a band named “Anarchy” and the band did great (Search for Anarchy Trooper, Girish Pradhan in youtube).
* On cracking the local scene ?
GIRISH PRADHAN - Well, talking about GnC, by that time I was already a known artist in Sikkim. But as to how I cracked into the local scene in my “Anarchy” days. It was all my dad’s dream to see our dream come true bit by bit. He took the band in his hands, not that we were rich or something. It was courage. Surprisingly, with Dad’s managing skills, we were a High School band, doing the biggest shows in all of Sikkim. No one else had a mind even close to the concepts that our manager/dad had. And no one could sing and perform songs by bands like Manowar, Sepultura, Iron maiden, Judas Priest, Pantera, Slayer, atleast regarding vocals and drums at that time and we were too young for college fests outside the state. I think we were far ahead of our time. Well, that’s history. He still is the Media manager of G n C in Sikkim.
* Tell us about the Montenegro Festival ?
GIRISH PRADHAN – The Montenegro episode was something that I’d say, highlighted our band more in the music scene. We were the first band from India to take part in the competition and we also came up with good results (2nd position – Silver Trophy, amongst 26 nations). It was a good experience. Montenegro, a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. It was great to witness their culture, their music. How we got into the Suncane Skale fest is again another story. We had to compete in Guwahati for the Suncane Skale and we stood as winners. We were selected to register in the festival, but we had to send an original number especially made and freshly composed for the Suncane Skale festival. We did not have enough time for that. I came up with a tune and elaborated it to write a complete song. With the help of Mausami Khusboo Rai who wrote the lyrics, the tune and lyrics was ready for “Yester Years”. The music was yet to be given. I sent a rough recording immediately to Yogesh, who was in Pune then. The next day Yogesh completed the music and arrangement for the song. He mailed across the done music, and to that Suraz added the guitar parts and with the addition of bass too, the song was complete. The song was finally liked and selected for the Suncane Skale festival. This is how we entered the festival. Then later is history. All in all, a fun trip. Something that we’d remember all of our lives.
* Enlighten us about ‘SILVER TEARS’ [ side project ]
GIRISH PRADHAN – Well it started as me joining the band for one gig- the auditions for Wakken Metal fest. We succeeded and headed for Bangalore very soon. Though we did not get any good result, I personally made it a point that I would want to work in a band which has a totally different style of music. It was a very new experience for me where experimentation was the prime factor. Very soon we recorded the three songs and released an EP, “Ensnared”. We recorded it in the Lucid Recess studio. It was more like a demo, however worked for us in a lot of upcoming ventures, the latest being the Yamaha Asian Beats.;).
* The Asian Beat Talent hunt, You guys gave everyone else a tough time [ in Seoul ]
GIRISH PRADHAN – It was an awesome experience, especially in Bangalore. The audience was rocking! The winning part was ofcourse very refreshing. Our trip to Seoul was a memorable one. We actually met in Seoul only as I was in HK. I was a bit disappointed on hearing the results but then I thought the band was already above such things and we had a freakin’ good time. We even had a mini-gig in one of the renowned pubs out there. Overall, it was a great experience and ofcourse, what a beautiful country, with a beautiful culture. Not to mention the beautiful ladies of course (smiles).. We would love to be there and perform again. We are certainly not done.
* Finally tell us about the HONG-KONG TOUR and about your Un-released album
GIRISH PRADHAN - Yes we (Girish and The Chronicles) are performing live in HongKong on the12th of February. The band is scheduled to reach HK on 5th. We will be doing jam sessions in a chain of clubs out here before the main gig. We will be performing the songs from our unreleased album – “Locked and Loaded”, starting with the song “Loaded” (www.reverbnation.com/girishpradhan). We are very excited about it as we already have a lot of following since quite sometime. Other bands such as Jukator (winners – Yamaha Asian Beats 2011) will share the stage with us. We want to give the audience out there the best of what we have and spread our music as far as we can. This is another stepping stone for the band ever since Europe. We are getting more global as time is passing by, along with Silver Tears and I personally feel like its the dawn of a new era for the bands from our region.
Blown away me, Girish Pradhan signs off. ^_^ \m/ ahhhhh \m/
Special thanks to Sreemoyee Raina Sharma,
The above interview was taken before the honkong tour,the band is now back after that tour.