Orbitual: How the bomb was planted (Part 01)

This is a candid ‘behind the scenes’ story of a band that’s very close to my heart. A story of the problems that a young metal band in our “scene” faces. About how a band can go through so much,but still make it to the top, or at least onto that road, like we did. Hopefully all you guys that are still in high school and want to start any kind of band, are reading this and you keep going on, and become a big name in the music scene someday.

It all started about 3 years ago. I was walking down the staircase of my college to leave as soon as I could, because that’s all I wanted to do after hearing the last bell of the day.
I faintly heard some music coming from the conference hall. It was metal.
I couldn’t believe it. Metal in Jain College – that was as weird as you could possibly imagine anything to be, trust me. Even hearing someone sing a western song (other than the everyday stuff you hear on the radio, that is) with a normal accent was hard to find, so hearing a band play Master of Puppets was like an oasis in the middle of the Sahara desert. Fast forward one year, and we’d been playing in any college fest we could find. The “seniors” in the band later left college, and we had to do some rebuilding. That’s when Orbitual(Then known as Band Aid – after a Band Aid on Ayush’s finger) was formed.

I’d met Tushar through a mutual friend just before college had started, and I’d heard that he was a really good drummer, after seeing him play, I was sure.
I met Sachin during a “Western Vocals” competition that was being held in college. Any guesses on how many people took part? 5. In a college of 1500 people.
Ayush was a classmate. I had no clue he had just started to play the guitar and liked metal. We converted him from a guitarist to bassist cause we had no choice.

Band Aid played hell a lot of college gigs. I’ve lost count of how many. But in all honesty – they were only college shows. We cared in the beginning, but after realizing that these shows weren’t important, we moved on.
Around the time, we got a slot at Open Mic (Kyra, Indiranagar) which we thought was epic at that point. So did our ‘Friendly Rivals’ Tiffin Box (Bhargav, a close friend, who was previously my bandmate was in Tiffin Box).
Playing the gig was an amazing experience. We were on a proper stage which wasn’t in college, together for the first time. We met some of the most influential people in our journey from this point on. They were Rajeev (The Wayfarer’s Lyric, Rajeev’s Wolfpack), Dipali Sikand, and Prasheel. These three people gave us the confidence that we could be a decent band in the long-run and really gave us support like no other. Dipali even went on and tagged us the “Metal Beatles”, which I think has a lot to do with my hair.
Kyra became a second home to us.
We went on to play the biggest ever indoor metalfest that India has EVER seen called “Cemetery Gates” which was a tribute to Ronnie James Dio, with bands like Undying Inc, Demonic Resurrection  Infernal Wrath, Eccentric Pendulum, Escher’s Knot, etc playing. This was a dream moment for us, at the point. We’d “entered the big stage”, we would say to ourselves. Only to find out a little later that we weren’t good enough. The show wasn’t bad, but we were an amateur band playing at one of the biggest shows in Bangalore. What was in store after the show?
Disappointment.

We worked our best over the course of the next 2 months, trying to find the real music in us. To mature into our playing. Practice.
We kept playing. Almost 5-6 hours a day, with almost no breaks.
We had an idea.
We wanted to have a “Battle of the bands” at Kyra – with all the huge names in the college metal scene.
Enter Tiffin Box, Erebus and Motorhearse. These guys were a lot of fun to play with, but the adrenaline and competitive spirit was taking over all of us at the point. We were immature kids playing a fierce and energetic genre, with actual fans and followers from colleges.
Kushal (Erebus) had a horrid accident, and they could sadly not take part.
This was going to be a huge show. This was also the time Ayush and I were slowly getting into hosting shows (We later started a partnership event management company called Protogenic Productions, which will be spoken about in later episodes). 50 bucks for entry. College kids were coming in like a heard of sheep.
The judges, as far as I remember were Prasheel, Rajeev and Karthik (The Bicycle Days).
It was insane. One of my fondest memories of being on stage. Belting out Lamb of God’s Black Label with Sachin, Siddharth and Parag (Tiffin Box) and Siddharth Badri (Motorhearse) on stage with us. That was an epic night.

We’d won.
That was the start of something. Something big, in our heads.
We thought we could take this spirit and take things to the ‘next level’.
We slowly were, playing more and more shows, but final exams were around the corner, and we’d taken a small break.
The small break extended. We were in limbo. Band Aid had broken up.

But the bomb had been planted. This was all just the beginning.

 

To be continued.

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