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Bhayanak Maut: Silkworms and Eating Disorders

By Arun Kale | July 3, 2006

Bhayanak MautSplit Magazine caught up with Vinay Venkatesh, frontman of one of India’s best new metal outfits, Bhayanak Maut, for an exclusive interview about their new songs, their upcoming split CD release, Indian rock competitions, and ‘lava cooled over centuries’ amongst other things.

What has Bhayanak Maut been up to in these past few months? I’ve been told that you’ve just finished recording four songs for an upcoming album?

Hi, Arun. Bhayanak Maut have been busy recording with The Demonstealer for an upcoming split CD called ‘Fine Tuned Disasters’. The album will be released on August 6th, 2006. The album will showcase close to 20 songs. The CD contains the following Bhayanak Maut tracks (three of which are brand new) — “Boiled. Unwound. Filatured”, “Pica”, “Phlegm Blot Technik” and “Elcit Set Nois Rot”. The release will coincide with a launch gig on the same day. We also plan to play a gig in Pune sometime in July and then head on to Delhi in August. What I’m looking forward to the most is a tour of the south. Can’t wait to get back to Bangalore.

When do you think that tour of the south’s going to happen?

When someone has enough money to get us down there!

(Smiles) Speaking of your upcoming split CD release, what was the recording experience like for you, personally, as well as for the band?

It was amazing, Arun. The last time around, it was at a friend’s home and the band was not too happy with the outcome (so are 500 + other furious people who bought our EP). This time around it’s much better — we are very particular about people getting their money’s worth.

That’s what makes a good album great, isn’t it? Attention to detail?

Yeah, true.

How long did it take for you to record the songs?

Guitars and bass were recorded in a couple of sessions — most of the band is busy pretending to be employed, you see. The drums were programmed by Rahul and Venky. Vocals were done in one session on a very rainy, damp afternoon.

A lot of bands in Bombay are making the switch from programmed to live drums for their albums.

This [recording] is part of a split CD that The Demonstealer is producing. He had planned on having live drums for all the bands, but financial constraints shot down that idea. We plan on having live drums on our debut album. That will be a fucking bomb.

When Bhayanak Maut started off, it was merely viewed as a novelty project — most people didn’t really take it very seriously. But all that changed after you joined the band.

I think it was the trip to IIT Madras in January 2004 that made us realise that we were capable of being a good band. We reached the finals of the IIT Saarang competition — it was a brilliant feeling. Here was a three-week old band that really kicked ass. Internally, we realised that we could do quite a bit with whatever talent we had.

IIT Saarang was definitely the start of a new era for the band, wasn’t it? You’ve been winning a lot of competitions since then.

Yes. Winning competitions was one thing — that kept us motivated enough to keep doing what we were doing. The other thing was that the three of us (Jaison excluded) felt that we needed to keep improving on what we were doing. Jaison’s exit from Bhayanak Maut helped tremendously. Vinit came on board and finally provided this intense commitment to realising a dream that the rest of us thought would never happen.

Most people would agree with me when I say that your being the frontman is a major part of what makes Bhayanak Maut so great.

I respect that, but I would not be anything without the band. I really mean that. Frontmen get a lot of the credit for what the band does — they are the face of the band, after all. But this band is bigger than me. If it wasn’t for the music that Venky, Rahul and Vinit write, what would we be? I’m in awe of the other three in the band — they are a great source of inspirartion to me — in life, and musically.

Looking back at your time in the band until now, what would you pick as your three best and worst moments so far?

1. Our road trips to Bangalore (and the wonderful times we had with the MyndSnare people and Mrinal of course!).
2. Our wins in Bangalore — IIM-B and NLS Strawberry Fields.
3. All our eating/drinking parties Being asked to play at I-Rock in October 2005.

Nothing, actually. I have enjoyed every moment with the band.

Talking about I-Rock, many thought that the winners of the competition would either be Bhayanak Maut or Joint Family. I was rather shocked at the final outcome.

In all honesty, I thought we were good on that day. I don’t know about winning, though.

Are you going to send your demo for this year’s competition as well?

We already have.

Oh, cool.

And wonder of wonders — it’s being organised by Farhad himself. I wouldn’t want anybody else to do it.

What do you think of rock competitions in general? One of our writers recently commented that rock competitions are quite pointless, as there are a lot of styles of music on display. He said, “It’s like trying to objectively judge between The Beatles and Slayer. It simply doesn’t make sense.”

Good question — everyone is entitled to their opinion. And yes, he has a point. But then the band that played Slayer — were they any good? And the band that played the Beatles — were they any good? How did the bands cover each song? Did they improvise? How was their stage presence? Would you pay money to watch these guys on a later date? These are the questions I’d ask myself if I was a judge. That’s what makes rock competitions so interesting. You’re subjected to so many bands that are influenced by so many different styles, genres and lifestyles — how has it affected them and their music? That’s what interests me at rock competitions. Competitions are a brilliant melting pot for people from different backgrounds to get together and just be.

Please talk our readers through your new songs, soon to be featured on the ‘Fine Tuned Disaster’ split CD.

[1] Boiled. Unwound. Filatured: The concept for the song was written way back in December 2004. The song was put together later in mid-2005. It’s about Bhayanak Maut. The title refers to the process of extracting silk from a silkworm. I’ve used it metaphorically to describe the journey and growth we’ve taken as a unit. This song is heavy and I’m in love with the absolutely insane breakdown that Venky and Rahul have come up with. It blew me away the first time I heard it. It still does.

[2] Pica: I read about this eating disorder called Pica and wrote my thoughts about dealing with a situation like this on a more personal level. It’s a beautiful song, full of energy, and the verse makes you wanna just move! Venky’s guitar work on this one is crazy. Some insane guitar, bass and drums in the outro of this song — it’s a super go-mosh-your-ass-off outro. Killer track.
[Ed's Note: Vinay later mentioned that the eating disorder Pica "causes people to eat non-nutritional items like dirt, clay, etc. Hair, too."]

[3] Phlegm Blot Technik: This song took some time to write and perfect. It’s me favourite Bhayanak Maut track ever. The song structure is brilliant. The vocal parts on this one are insane — very intense song with lots of structure changes that keep you interested. It’s about relationships. This is the best song I’ve written for Bhayanak Maut. I simply love everything about it.

[4] Elcit Set Nois Rot: Ha! That song is so much fun. It’s great to listen to, great to play live, and the version on the split CD is killer — it has all the intensity and power that the song missed in our previous online version. [The song name is] ‘Testicle Torsion’ in reverse — I laughed a lot when I named this song and I still do. What is it about? A kick in the balls.

(Laughs) Would you say that there has been a radical change in the band’s sound from the ‘Hell Is All People’ EP?

Of course — but I’ll let you decide that when you hear the new songs. It’s a complete 180 — we know what we want to sound like and we know how to do it.

That sounds great. I can’t wait for the full-length album release.

I can’t wait to play live again. It’s been too long. It’s crazy — we change completetly when we are on stage!

Talking about crazy, you guys are known for stirring up wild moshpits wherever you play.

It’s good fun having people go absolutely crazy when you’re playing. You can see the energy in the crowd, and we totally feed off that energy. That’s what keeps us going.

I remember interviewing Pin Drop Violence back in 2002, I think. They said the same thing. It’s all about feeding off wild audiences.

There’s nothing else that makes you want to just keep the intensity going. Playing live/singing is extremely draining — physically and mentally. People make all the difference.

What would you rate as your best gig ever?

It has to NLS 2004. Oh my god, that was so crazy! Sadly, my memory fails me at the moment — I just remember hearing the joint second place winners and I almost fainted. ‘Cause they hadn’t announced our name and it slowly hit me that we had to have won. Plus, this came after a fucked up trip to IIT Delhi two months before NLS. We were elated — the crowds were so fucking supportive. It was the best day of my life with Bhayanak Maut. Bangalore holds a special place in our hearts. [It has] the best food and drink, the best crowds, the best friends ever! Everyone is so down to earth and simple. It’s so easy to get along with everyone there.

It’s time for the Split Magazine word association. I’ll give you a word, you have to mention the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of it.

Joey Jordison: Insane motherfucker.

Hardcore: Porn.

Indian rock: Porn. (Laughs) Basalt. No, no, lava cooled over centuries. That’s Indian Rock for you: Lava cooled over centuries.

RSJ: Delhi.

Third Sovereign: When will I get to see these insane guys?

Okay, now it’s time for the last of Vinay.

[1] When was the last time you got drunk?
February 2006 in Bangalore, post IIM-B at Styx with Yasmin and KP from MyndSnare, and Mrinal (MyndSnare-in-law).

[2] When was the last time you dabbled in suspicious substances?
This was a LONG, LONG time ago. I don’t even remember, man. It was close to nine years ago, I think.

[3] Which was the last cassette/CD you purchased?
I don’t remember — I don’t buy anymore. I get CDs sent to me for free from Canada.

[4] Who was the last rock star you shook hands with?
Maynard James Keenan (Tool) — Montreal, August 2000. I also shook hands with Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) on the same day.

[5] When was the last time that you signed an autograph?
At June Rock Out 2005 in Madras.

Where does Bhayanak Maut go from now on? When can fans all over the country expect your first full-length album?

Where do we go? No idea. We take it one day at a time. Fans can expect our album sometime next year. [There is] a lot of new material that we’re working on at the moment, but it’s not yet been constructed into songs as yet.

Thanks for the interview, man. Do you have any final words for all the people reading this?

Thanks for the never ending support. We really appreciate it. God Bless.


22 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. July 5, 2006, 12:01 pm Rishu

    brilliant read.
    @vinay: waiting for the album and the BM tee too!

    all the best to BM. will be fun catching em at Mayhem!

  2. July 6, 2006, 6:50 am Ram

    @vinay: way to go machas ! really interesting interview…don’t forget all the BM merchandise for me…i’m coming back in august ! delhi awaits…fun will come :P

  3. July 6, 2006, 12:25 pm kabir

    Nice interview

    waiting for ur album..!!all the best

  4. July 7, 2006, 1:46 pm arpan

    dude the interelationship of madness between BM and bangalore shall live forever…
    u are the only thing tht unleashes the beast within v bangaloreians…

    rock on mother fuckers….

    waiting to c u guys play in bangalore…..

    bhayanak maut:zinda bad!!!!!

  5. July 8, 2006, 8:54 pm Metalkid

    Nice stuff maan

    waitin for the BM album.

    Hope u play ur some new stuff 2morrow

  6. July 11, 2006, 5:23 am Ritesh Mayekar

    @ Vinay +BM sensible replies . waiting for the split and debut album \m/

  7. November 15, 2006, 10:26 pm Guess Who?????

    I’m really glad for u dude……………

  8. December 29, 2006, 11:26 pm Shaggmann

    these r a bunch of insane people…..i luved thm since Vinay has joined this band.Bhayanak is easily the best band in INDIA whether its live or on the CD….awsum stuff to listen to.
    Vinay is the best front man in India n always will be..fuckin killer vox man…keep up the gud work fellas

  9. May 8, 2007, 5:24 pm Sai

    BM Fuckin RULEZ \m/

    P.S: and so does BANGALORE \m/ :D

  10. May 12, 2007, 11:52 pm Jons

    dude u guys r sweet , some heavy as shit , indias metal scene is bigger that dubai’s haha in dubai we dont have much f a metal scene hope to get the chance to play in india one day , until them keep it fukin metal check our music at http://www.myspace.com/beneaththeremainsdxb

  11. June 10, 2007, 12:47 am Nebash

    Heyy guys……absoultely smashing stuff…….like after i came to the US…..the 3 things i miss the most:
    1. moms food
    2. mom and mumbai
    3. Indian fuckin metal………….the insane moshpits et al……

    do u guys have any posters and tee shirts comin out!?!?!? i have a bunch of my “amru” friends who are big fans of Bhayanak Maut (esp. boiled unwound filatured and invitation to bleed)

    I hope u guys win the Launchpad thing so that way ill get to rock out seein ur insane act at HRC NY!!!

  12. July 1, 2007, 1:12 am Sahil

    Bhayanak Maut..

    damn you guys are crazy..

    Fucking Crazy Indian Metal…

    Rock on you guys.. keep going, waiting for your album to come out.. and also waiting for you to perform next week in Delhi…

  13. September 4, 2007, 3:54 pm mark

    hi u guys r awesome im a g8 metal fan keep it up

  14. September 28, 2007, 9:34 am zak

    kkkkkkkkkeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppppppp rrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooooccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkk iiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggg

  15. December 8, 2007, 7:10 am visit now

    Double WOW 2 your design!

  16. January 2, 2008, 8:49 pm vaibhav

    bm is d greatest metal band of india;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

  17. July 12, 2008, 8:42 am Ankur Moulik

    The interview was fascinating.
    I really enjoyed it alot.
    Bhayanak Maut can be reckon as a force to raise hell in the moshpit.
    They are talented.
    Wishing prosperity to Bhayanak Maut.

  18. April 7, 2009, 12:38 am amit

    you guys are just rockng dude your band name itself is rocking

  19. December 7, 2009, 8:57 am Jay

    ur performance at d deccan rock was simply fckin out of dis world. guys ya’ll ROCKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!

  20. December 7, 2009, 10:23 pm habemus papam

    Bring that RANTI NASHA upon us n keep the fckin insane energy onstage going on.

  21. December 7, 2009, 10:24 pm habemus papam

    Bring that RANTI NASHA upon us n keep the fckin insane energy onstage going on.waiting to raise hell again with u.

  22. December 12, 2009, 9:09 pm devraj

    bm rulzzz \m/
    waitin 4 ur new album

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