Monday, April 6, 2009

Interview with Bamboo Shoots featured on UGroove Online


Who are they? : Avir Mitra (lead vocals, guitar), Karl Sukhia (backing vocals, bass and keys), Ankur Patel (percussion), Ahmed Mahmoud (guitar) and Shiv Puri (drums).

Tim: Awesome set guys, that was really cool. Where did you guys meet?

Avir: Me and Karl met when we were little kids, and we had like sleepovers and stuff like that. And then at some point we decided we wanted to play music, you know how that goes. Shiv I met when I was crashing at NYU, he cooked us a bunch of food, and then I realized he played drums and we became good friends ever since. Ankur…

Ankur: I met these guys in ’03 right? You guys had your first practice or something like that, and I walked in with this thing…

Avir: He sort of just walked in to our practice, and was like, ‘I play this’, and we’re like, ‘Alright, cool’.

Ankur: It was so random.

Avir: And Ahmed joined the band about two years ago – he sort of just showed up to one of our practices, and we needed a guitarist and he knew our songs better than we did. We’re like, ‘You’re in!’

Tim: So you’ve been together two years?

Avir: No, we’ve been together – our first show was in 2004.

Tim: There’s a cool electro-vibe in your music, where’s your influence, musically come from?

Karl: A lot of us are into the hip hop music, we like that, but we definitely like the production side of it also, and then like RnB production. All these weird flavors to bring to rock music.

Tim: And you got involved in ‘mtvU’ – you won best new talent right?

Avir: Yeah, it was like a Best Band On Campus competition, that we didn’t even realize we were signed up for… There was like 1600 bands, and we figured this out when we were in the top fifty, and they were like ‘You need to send your IDs over’, and we’re like for what?! Next thing we knew, we won, it was just really random.

Tim: And what came from winning?

Avir: We got to play on (Late Night with) Conan O’Brien…

Tim: That’s right.

Avir: And since, we have a deal with EPIC Records, and we’ve recorded our first album with Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads in California.

Tim: And when are you releasing that?

Avir: That’s a good question, I think it’s gonna be this summer. But when you’re on a major label, you’ve got to deal with like, major headaches.

Tim: The politics right?

Avir: Yeah, exactly.

Tim: So, what’s this mix tape you talked about during the show that you’re sending out?

Avir: That was just random. We ended up doing a bunch of cover songs, but doing them sort of weirdly.

Karl: It started off with the band doing a video tape version of a Kanye West song, ‘Paranoid’. And we just posted it up on Youtube, and then we started doing these other little covers, and we realized that we had a bunch of them sitting there, and we were like, ‘Let’s just put them out there.’

Avir: Yeah, it was just as simple as that. It’s going to be free, and we haven’t told the label or anything.

Tim: It’s undercover.

Ankur: But they’re not really tapes.

Avir: I wish they were tapes.

Tim: That would be cool, that would be retro.

Ankur: So nobody can play them.

Tim: So what’s on the album? Many of the songs we heard tonight?

Avir: Yeah, almost all of the songs from tonight.

Tim: Including ‘Tom Cruise’?

Avir: No, that one, no. That didn’t make the cut. We recorded it, it’s probably going to be a B-side or something.

Tim: Awesome, so more of that electro-rock style on the album?

Avir: Yeah, there’s probably a few slower songs on the record, that we usually don’t play live, just because…

Tim: The vibe?

Avir: The vibe, yeah.

Tim: And what’s your pick for the first release single?

Avir: We don’t know yet.

Karl: Yeah, I don’t know. We’re going to have to sit down with…

Tim: The label? The politics?

Karl: Exactly.

Tim: Any tours upcoming? You plan on doing the country?

Avir: Yeah, that’s the goal. We just want to be on the road for the rest of the year. So, we’re going to Virginia this weekend. But the goal is to start doing more opening slots. The grind.

Tim: Who’ve you opened for?

Avir: The Plain White T’s…

Karl: Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth

Avir: All Time Low. You can tell from the people we open for that we are like, either we fit in with everyone, or we don’t fit in with anyone.

Karl: Exactly.

Tim: Guys, thanks heaps and good luck.

Avir: Thank you man.

Tim Johnson Listen

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