The men behind Gunpowder Treason talk to Postnoon on the travails of living, breathing and making music
Making music and playing to their heart’s content is what puts together Gunpowder Treason, a band from the University of Hyderabad. What was initially a jam band in 2007 with just two people, quickly became a live performing act by 2011 that catered to the musical demands of the University. Anhad, Rahul, Along Aow and Ashwin, the young gentlemen who make up Gunpowder Treason say ‘playing music is an act of expression’.
“When we started out, we were just two people trying to learn and play. By 2009, we were four people trying to sound like a band. By 2011, we were playing gigs at malls, pubs and college festivals, much to our delight,” says Rahul, a bass player and a physics student.
While the band feels that much needs to be done to the music scene in Hyderabad, they say encouragement comes from the most unexpected corners. “It is disappointing when we are asked to churn out routine numbers as opposed to what we have to say in our own style. But, we were much surprised with the kind of overwhelming response that we have received over the past few years with parents, classmates and friends encouraging us and digging our band’s sound,” says front man and rhythm guitarist Anhad, also a sociology student.
In the age of film music, dub step and psychedelic trance, these youngsters’ journey as a band makes for an interesting read. “The cultural gap between the audience and the band needs to be bridged. Not that we have had people asking us to play Kolaveri, but we have had a few harrowing incidents of similar nature, in the past. Because it is important for us to have our own style of saying something. We do not want to play what the other person wants to hear, all the time,” says Along Aow, a student of literature.
Termed ‘progressive music’, the band’s influences range from Porcupine Tree to Audioslave to Wolfmother. One of their compositions, inspired by John Keats titled Ode to a Nightingale is the audiences favourite. “For a band to grow musically, a lot of hard work and dedication is needed. We first started out playing at freshers and farewell parties and college festivals, and did a lot to promote the band on social media forums, advertised through posters etc.
But more importantly, we have always played for ourselves,” says drummer Ashwin. “The fact that we have inspired people around us, and that they like listening to what we have to say through our music is perhaps our best achievement so far,” Rahul adds. About Hyderabad’s music, the gentlemen are positive about a change in the current trends. “There are many people playing music with utmost dedication here. Hyderabad has got a lot of talent and things might change, some good day,” they say.
As the boys curriculum comes to an end, their band’s curriculum is still looking ahead.“We want to hit the studios and record what few songs we have made so that all of this does not remain just a memory after a few years. Who knows, we might just get back together after 20 years and decide to take up what we had left behind,” says Anhad.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Tea drinker, imaginary bass player, posterchor, left liberal world planner, star gazer.. and other significant things.