sbcltr spoke to the band about their global musical journey, their inspiration and the road ahead

Ever since they hit the music scene in 2015 with their debut album Khwaab, aswekeepsearching has been gaining a loyal following that has now amassed global status. Their second album Zia has sealed their fate as India’s most promising band. Having toured Russia for Khwaab, the band now plans to take on Europe over the summer. Before they head off, sbcltr caught up with them to talk about their musical journey, inspirations and the road ahead.

Read the excerpts below.

Tell us about the genesis of the band
The band was formed in 2014 by Uddipan Sarmah and Shubham Gurung in Ahmedabad. Back then it was more of a internet project and we released a song Tattva which caught the attention of a lot of people. We played some gigs and by 2015, Bob and Gautam joined on bass and drums respectively. We released Khwaab and found a sound that the band was looking for.

What were your experiences recording your album Khwaab and the launch tour in Russia?
Every time we get in the studio, its a unique and great learning experience. Khwaab was a crowd-funded album and we learnt so much. Every song was created to fit the vibe of the album. We took it to Russia and got a great response. It’s every band’s and musician’s dream to tour outside India.

Who are your musical inspirations?
Every member of the band adds a different colour to the palette called Aswekeepsearching. Bob and Gautam come from a progressive/metal background whereas Uddipan and Shubham come from a hardcore postrock scene. Apart from that everyone in the band listens to anything from Trap,drum&bass, RnB to Hiphop to Bollywood. We are open to anything that sounds good to us. To name a few from the post rock circuit, we really like Mogwai, Tides of man, Explosions in the sky, God is an Astronaut.

Studio recording with the perfect sonic output you desire (which is so important for this multi-layered genre) v/s the pulse of live performance. What do you choose and why?
We as live musicians obviously choose the latter, that is a live performance. It’s a rush that we all live for and look forward to. It’s a much complicated situation as everything is in the moment. We obviously make fewer mistakes and do a much perfect take in a studio setting but playing our music and travelling is where our heart is.

Was it a conscious choice to write in Hindi because you felt your listeners would connect to it, or was it chance?
Hindi is something that comes naturally to us. We talk in Hindi so why shouldn’t we sing in it also?

You live in different cities. How tough is it to collaborate on a daily/weekly basis?
 It’s not really tough. It’s the internet age and most of our writing happens online, hence it actually works in our favour.

If you could collaborate with some artists, who would it be?
Mogwai, Blackstrat Blues, Anderson Paak.

How have your listeners responded to the inclusion of Indian instruments in your music? Are you thinking of including more Indian/World music instruments in your upcoming songs?
We as a band and people always want to push ourselves and add a different flavour to whatever we write. For Zia, we wanted to add some Indian instruments and take it to a different dimension. It worked for us and our fans. We do plan to add more instruments for our future songs but that completely depends on the musicians we work with. The instrument/musician has to fit the song and not overpower it which is always our concern.

What Next?
We just got done with our Hibernation tour, so we are looking forward to hibernating for four-five months from India. We are prepping for our Europe tour and we plan to write something there. Post that, we will get back into the studio to write our third album.


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