Thursday, April 2, 2009

Featured in Mumbai Mirror!

A lucky catch

Bamboo Shoots, a rock band from the States, came to India for a marriage but have ended up with their first ever International tour

By Kevin lobo
Posted On Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dance rock, is an unheard genre in music. A five-member band from the US called Bamboo Shoots is ready to carve its niche in rock with the aid of synthesizers, samplers and other gizmos with dance rock. Shiv, the drummer of the band sheds light on the genre, "We love playing in clubs and re-creating a house party like atmosphere, with people dancing all around us. At the same time our sound is typically rock. So, dance rock is the best term to define our music."

The band brings this new flavour of music to town with a performance today which will be followed by a nation-wide tour over the next two weeks. Bamboo Shoots is made up of Avir (lead vocals, guitar) and Karl (backup vocals, bass and keyboards), Shiv (drums), Ankur (percussion) and Ahmed (guitar). Four out of the five members of the band are of Indian origin, but have been born and bred in the US.

The Indian influence in their music is subtle. "Our sound is like INXS meets Michael Jackson meets Jay Z. Our music has the global rock sound like INXS, the dance-feel of Michael Jackson's tracks and we compose music like rappers. We use dhols and other percussive instruments, but if you don't pay close attention you just might just miss it," says Shiv.

The band's trip to India originally, was not to perform, but to attend Shiv's marriage which was held last Sunday. Shiv has worked in India for a year, after completing his degree in micro finance from NYU. This is another Indian trait the band shares, all of them are well educated, or at least they have tried to be. Avir has done his pre-med from Brown University, Karl has majored in political science from the University of Maryland while Ankur started off with civil engineering, but didn't really see it through.

All of them now though have given up their careers for the band. Shiv has had an interesting heart-to-heart talk with his parents when he told them that he was going to give up a Wall Street career to pursue music. Shiv says, "They came to the States to make money and it seemed like I was doing just the opposite. They asked if I knew what I'm getting into and I said, ‘No’. But they have supported me and I suppose everything starts with a dream."

This is their first tour outside USA and Shiv believes it's just the beginning. They want to start travelling the world with their music. The band's sets are unique because they read a crowd before coming on stage. Shiv says, "I remember when we were playing with Plain White T’s, the entire crowd was made up of 13-15 year olds. We couldn't possibly play sensual tracks for kids who are still wearing their braces, I think its really important to read a crowd. You can also expect a lot of live impromptu stuff at the gig."

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