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Aftertaste: Serious Stuff, Indeed

By Vishal Gandhi | October 1, 2006

AftertasteSplit Magazine caught up with one of Bombay’s most popular new bands, alternative-funk hipsters Aftertaste, over a series of emails where the band explained how songwriting and advertising are not so dissimilar and how they want to awaken the dormant nature of our society. Pretty serious stuff… read on.

Who came up with the name Aftertaste? What’s it about?

Aftertaste comes from the Greek word “hafta” meaning ‘commission’ and “taste” meaning ‘for good looking musicians’. It’s about differentiating musicians purely based on their attributes of attractiveness rather than the age-old stereotype of distinguishing them on the basis of the music they compose.

What is the songwriting process like? Is there one person who comes up with ideas, or is it a group effort?

The songwriting process is pretty similar to the functioning of an advertising agency. The client (rock-show organisers) expresses the need for new original material; the client-servicing executive (band manager) in turn forwards the message to the creative team (the band members). Then the creative team picks lots and the winner gets to construct the song while the rest put in their parts based on the winner’s masterpiece. And Open Sesame — You have a Brand New Product.

What about the recording and production process? Have any of the songs undergone a change in the studio from their earlier form?

The recording process has invariably taken longer than expected. But that augurs well for the band as it gives us a better perspective as to what kind of content needs to be put on the album. What we are actually hoping for is to gain maturity as humans and musicians so that when the album is finally out we won’t play childish tricks and blame the other guy for excluding something important or including something that was uncalled for. I don’t think that there has been a significant change in the studio versions till date, but you can definitely expect a host of additional pieces to be included in specific songs by the time the album is due.

Tell us about “Ashfaced”. You describe the song as “an individual’s struggle against alienation and finding his identity” — are the lyrics related to something the band or someone they know experienced?

One has to realize that Aftertaste cannot be judged on compositions that were created two years ago. The band has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts since the time they started out with Allister as their vocalist. The song was written and composed by him and hence it would make perfect sense if this question were posed to him. It’s like asking John Frusciante what he felt about “Coffee Shop” from One Hot Minute, obviously without the same star appeal.

You guys list Pearl Jam as an influence and have covered Rage Against The Machine and System of a Down. All three bands have a socio-political bent in their songs — is that something you guys are influenced by and want to project in your songs?

Tell me, what’s the point of projecting yourself and your music if there isn’t a serious motive behind it? In these modern days of multi-tasking, its vital that a band has a social cause that it not only adheres to but also ensures that the audience they are communicating with looks at the subject with a similar or thereabout outlook. If you look around, you will find a gamut of events that you are either apathetic towards or feel strongly about. We, at Aftertaste, firmly believe in tapping into your dormant nature and exposing you to things that will hopefully build that uprising within. For example the shiv sainiks’ invasion of privacy, the recently fabricated “war on terrorism”, the highly idealistic belief that man-made idols drink milk, mass consumerism, Page 3 and a range of events are subjects we would like to focus on and help bring about a change in the system. It’s not an overnight process, but none of the successful ventures in history have been.

What do you think of the new Pearl Jam album?

We haven’t heard it. Why did we list Pearl Jam as our influences, again? Look, Pearl Jam is pass� and Vedder never really wanted to be a spokesperson of his generation. His ideology is vastly different from the one we follow and hence, let’s leave it at that.

What are you guys listening to these days?

We are listening to lots of constructive criticism. Apparently it’s even better than listening to music. But on the musical front, each member has a varied “taste” and hence listen to different forms of music. Some of the common bands include Gomez, the infamous Peppers, Arctic Monkeys, Marcy Playground, Radiohead, Tool. But the genre is never constrained. We are quite open to listening to the likes of Gnarls Barkley, Portishead, Boards of Canada, or for that matter Norah Jones, Tori Amos or even the Barenaked Ladies (actually a visual representation accompanying the last band wouldn’t be scoffed at).

When is the album coming out and any live shows that the band has lined up?

The album’s expected somewhere towards the end of the year. So, till then keep your ears and your wallets in check. So, this New year don’t waste money on women who won’t get you laid. Buy an Aftertaste album instead. Same Difference.

Finally, what would you like to say to your fans and those reading this interview?

If you are able to read this interview, that would mean you are literate. If you are literate, then you have the ability to decipher all the messages that your mind registers in your surrounding environment. And after receiving all that information you still choose to open this magazine and read an interview about a band that really doesn’t know what they’re talking about, then it’s high time you either got high or a better perspective of things. On a serious note, we would like to tell all our fans that an opinion is highly entertained when it’s asked for. So leave all your criticism behind and join in the Aftertaste grind.

Comments

17 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. October 3, 2006, 10:37 am Riju

    Hi guys, I think you know me. Cool and funny interview.

    Which members gave it? Was it a group thing?

  2. October 3, 2006, 1:32 pm Aloysius

    Hey Riju,
    Most of the interview was done by Keegan

  3. October 3, 2006, 2:59 pm Rishu

    funniest interview i’ve read in some time. see you bums in delhi!

  4. October 3, 2006, 4:35 pm Archit

    Hey,

    One of the finest acts of the 2005-06 season. Great sense of composition from the little that i’ve heard of you guys.
    Looking forward to an all original set from you guys.

    Archit,
    theband_resonance@yahoogroups.com

  5. October 4, 2006, 4:40 pm Aloysius

    @Archit & Rishu – Guys, thanks for all the kind words.

    An all original set – soon very soon.

  6. October 4, 2006, 9:03 pm Rakesh Seth

    I dont really appreciate your band. “0″ stage presence and music not tight enough. Hope you improve your performance live so that people will be interested in yuor album.

  7. October 5, 2006, 2:38 am Keegan

    Dearest Rakesh Seth,
    Fair enough….u don’t like my band…u think we suck, don’t compose tight enough songs and have very little or no stage presence…I shouldn’t even be reacting to ur comment…The only reason for me to do so is because i hate seeing imbecilic creatures of the vernacular village try to pull off grammar and fail miserably. These symbols, ” “, for your kind information are called Open Inverted Commas, and they are used to either quote someone or when there’s a hidden meaning in the context of the words used. So u can post whatever comments you deem neccessary, but remember, there’s your english school teacher somewhere, hiding her head in shame everytime you attempt to do the same…Peace Brother…
    P.S: Rakesh Seth on a wall,
    Rakesh had a great fall,
    All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
    Couldn’t rescue rakesh cos his english was fuckall.

  8. October 10, 2006, 11:29 am Rishu

    ^ ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  9. October 11, 2006, 10:23 pm shubham

    *yawns*

  10. October 25, 2006, 8:49 pm Arnav

    a group of “ONLY” good-lookin musicians….. aspiring 2 make a difference 2 da “UGLY” society!! interesting….
    well well….there r other parameters also 2 judge musicians….. never knew dat…..

    newaz guyz on a serious note….songs which have a socio-political content is always appealing…so keep da good work going….
    peace out!!!….
    Arnav

  11. October 26, 2006, 10:13 am Pamela

    Hello there,
    You say that you are currently listening to constructive criticism but yet when a potential fan says something negative, instead of trying to disprove his opinion, you turn around and behave childlike by attacking the way he writes. FYI, English is not an Indian’s Native Language, so it’s ok to make a mistake! And…please have a better comeback than a cover version of “Humpty Dumpty.” Not a very creative bunch, are you??

  12. November 1, 2006, 2:34 pm Aloysius

    @ Arpan, thanks for your comments. Try reading between the lines sometimes haha.

  13. November 9, 2006, 11:38 pm Mikey

    @ Pamela – I think its quite apt that you take up for the Vernacular Society considering that your Verb usage is indicative of the fact that you’re probably in need of some grammar classes yourself.

    - Agreed that English is not an Indian’s native language, however that doesn’t condone the fact that one is USING the language. If its that much of a task to construct a decent sentence in Engligh, please don’t!

    - One thing i will agree with you though….Indians (with a mediocre knowledge of the language, such as yourself) do not use the English language as often as they should. However, they do use the Present Progressive Tense excessively while speaking or writing. E.g.”You say that you are currently listening to constructive criticism”. In the context of this sentence, the Continuous or Progressive Tense is incorrectly used. Ideally the Simple Present Tense would be most appropriate. E.g.”You say that you listen to constructive criticism”. Moreover, the use of the word “currently” is redundant in the context of the sentence.

    - Another point to ponder is the use of the Transitive Verb “have”. E.g.”And…please have a better comeback”. FYI, one can’t use this verb in the sentence as the verb “Have” can be used to indicate posession (I have a car) or leftovers (i have an hour before i leave). The progressive form of this verb can ONLY be used to indicate consumption of edible items. E.g. I’m having my breakfast. The ideal way to reconstruct this sentence is, “And…please come up with a better comeback”

    Hope this helps in case you feel the pressing need or desire to reply to this post.

  14. November 10, 2006, 4:56 pm Roydon

    Nice one Pamela .where is the mighty Keegan now ?

  15. November 12, 2006, 3:32 pm Melita

    Guys one more thing to cheer about..Even if you’ll don’t make it as “musicians”,you’ll definitely will make it as English Grammar Teachers Par Excellence !

    Alternative-Rock,Alternative-Careers ! Pretty Cool huh….

    BTW,the quotation marks aren’t typographical errors,they’re deliberate !

    P.S I did not spell-check and grammar-check the above…I mean who needs those when we have you’ll…hehe…PEACE

  16. February 23, 2007, 1:30 pm Davi

    Keegs baby………..your band is amazing. Im so proud of you! Lets get you some gigs in the USA….we Americans suck at grammar…..it will be fun. You have so much heart……and I can hear it loud and clear in your singing…..Davian Taylor…..parijatadesigns.com

  17. May 2, 2009, 11:45 pm tanvi

    it’s funny how i stumbled across this interview. A former colleague from my agency (i was a client servicing person b4 better sense prevailed and i decided to complete post graduation) listed herself as a fan of Aftertaste on facebook and it showed up in my newsfeed. And the band name sounded so annoyingly familiar…brain itch….when did i last hear these guys….so i googled aftertaste with quotes and this interview popped up and…OF COURSE!!! back in 2006 or 2007, i was at their gig in Symbiosis, Pune, when i was an undergrad. And I’m in the UK now and some of my classmates are nuts abt Aftertaste. They’ve come a long way!

    i don’t even know why i’m still typing…I’m supposed to be researching my 2500 word essay on the Nissan turnaround…and can’t stop face booking…but look what facebook came up with..happy-random coincidence!! Nice interview btw.

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