• Blakc
Blakc is about two things – the music and the people
Starting out as Shawn’s vehicle to being a artist and a rockstar following idols like Steven Tyler, Eddie Vedder he simmered a singe minded vision to create art that moved people. He met Anish who wanted to be a corporate suit, make money and live the high life – playing in a band was one of many experiences he thought would be fun to try. He sure knew how to play guitar, and Shawn saw an able recruit. Within days of meeting, they found band-members, a jam-pad and entered their first college competition. Armed with 3 cover songs, Shawn went to register the band, only to realize one small detail, they had no name. The organizer saw the first song they had chosen – a track by Pearl Jam, arguably Blakc’s biggest ideological influence – and said OK, you guys be Black!
Blakc didn’t win that competition, but there was a spark, a connect with the audience who after the show thronged the newly formed band because of their explosive live performance. By 2008 the band was pulling in regular gigs in the form of opening performances for bigger bands, club shows and the occasional headlining show
In 2009. Blakc had a bunch of originals they were playing around at shows and decided to put out its first album, entitled ‘Choking On A Dream’. The album spoke of the bands youth, hopes, dreams and the difficulty of being an indie band in India. In particular, Blakc (changed from Black) had signed with a label, which didn’t work out. The band bought their music back, and at an average age of 20, this meant getting jobs. The band sold 500 copies of the album, but gained enough street cred to start getting more offers for better paying gigs. The juggernaut had begun…..
2010-2012 were golden years. In this time, Blakc racked up over 100 gigs playing colleges, clubs and music festivals across India. An almost milestone was Blakc opening for Metallica, but the show got canned rather dramatically. This could be seen as a sign, nothing was ever going to come easy to this band. In 2012, the band released their 2nd full length album, ‘Motheredland’. This album exposed the anti-establishment leanings of the band, while also taking the sound into a more progressive space. Recorded in Yashraj Studios, and mastered in New York by Mr. Chris Athens who worked with AC/DC and Pearl jam Nickleback, the album had very high expectations. It also had Blakc’s first music video which went straight onto VH1
The reaction was thanda. Maybe it was the timing, maybe it was the band-members themselves. But by 2013, the band had descended into a sullen chaos, with in-fighting being the only constant. The band wanted more, but it wasn’t getting any. The only thing the band could do was to start from scratch, which meant different music, sounds, beliefs. And different people. In 2013, after 6 years of being together, Shishir Tao parted ways with Blakc
2013 saw the introduction of Varun Sood. A Delhi based drummer, a Financial Analyst from IIT Roorkee and IIM Bangalore, Varun had played with over 10 metal bands and could not have been more different from the band. But just days into jamming and the pieces started to fit. Varun was the quintessential, hard-hitting rock drummer; the band was writing new music and Rein found a partner in Varun to craft the new sound of the band
The next two years saw the band wandering the wilderness. What seemed to be working had
failed, and no one had a clue where to go. If the fighting was bad before, it got worse with
blame and idelogical breakdowns aplenty. Blakc turned to the one thing it had left – the new
album. Days turned into hours into weeks, months and years and the band just kept working on
the tracks. Blakc stuck its neck out along side bands like Zygnema, Coshish, Daira to organize and
inspire the now-legendary Party LaLaLa, a DIY gig that was done by the bands for the fans.
Pulling 600 people for the gig, the band knew the audience was very much still around. It was
just upto them to get the music in place. Along the way, it became clear the each musician
would have to personally reinvent themselves to have any hope of success. The band members
were now a long ways from their teenage days, and the band was not a luxury that all could
afford. In 2017, Roop became the 2nd member to leave Blakc, and pursue a successful career as
a professional musician
Sourya Mukherjee, another IIT product was working a Consulting job and playing in a jazz band
with drummer Varun on the side. He thought about joining, the band thought about him and
things clicked. Again, just days into jamming and the pieces started to fit. The album had been
recorded at Yashraj in 2017 but with Sourya coming on board, it got rerecorded. Vocals quickly
got recorded and the band took its next big decision. Reinhardt had been working on producing
music and the band entrusted him with the responsibility to mix and master the album. The DIY
ethos was now present in the most core way
The band is set to release its third full-length studio album in 2018, titled ‘The Consequence Of
Feeling’. With over a decade, that’s a lot of experiences, a lot of feelings, and a ton of
consequences. The whole band had changed, some literally and some personally. The sound of
the band has changed. The context is totally different, because as far as the world is concerned,
Rock is dead. Where the band goes from here, is not part of this story
Blakc is about two things – the music and the people. The band has been taken and taken itself
on a whirlwind journey which few musicians in this country have been on. All these musicians
will speak of the wonderful experiences they have had, and the trials they had had to endure.
Blakc’s music reflects the emotions felt by all band members in this journey to make and share
their art with the fans
Blakc has one common ground for the band members, and their fans. A dislike for settling, a
virulent dissatisfaction which is a daily itch but a long term gift. This feeling has driven the band
through 3 albums, 250 shows, 16 cities in India, 2 music videos and thousands of fans. Through
lakhs of debt, addiction, depression and blame
This feeling is a a burning desire
A hedonistic desire
To be more, know more, experience more
The desire to Live……..Alive
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