[Interview originally done for ktmROCKS Emag Issue 08, March 2011]
Within a short span of time, Binaash have established themselves as one of the best death metal acts in the Nepali metal scene today. The band is in the process of recording their debut album now and ktmROCKS caught up with them to talk about the upcoming album, the nepali metal scene and lots of other things. (Unfortunately, their guitarist Shashank couldn’t make it to the interview because of personal reasons.)
ktmROCKS: First of all, what was the motive behind the formation of Binaash? What inspired you?
Prateek: Death Metal has always been my passion. The music itself is my inspiration. Ever since the Ugrakarma days, I’ve always wanted to be involved in a project like this. In fact, my other project, 72 Hrs was supposed to be a Death Metal project as well but because of other band members’ personal differences, things had to be changed and we started drifting towards a more old school thrash metal sound. Despite that, my original desire to form a no-nonsense, pure Death Metal band had never died out. Thus, Binaash was formed out of my love for Death Metal.
ktmROCKS: How did you guys meet each other, though?
Prateek: I had a little talk with Sunil Pant (Anthrovore/ex-Ugrakarma) to see if he could help me find someone. He instead suggested me to talk to Sarthak Upadhyaya, who has good contacts with a lot of young, talented musicians. So I talked with Sarthak, who then introduced me to my soon to be band-members. That is how we all got together.
ktmROCKS: When exactly was the band formed?
Binaash: It was in 2009. We still remember exact date because it was a peculiar one – Friday the 13th. (laughter) The month was November.
ktmROCKS: Binaash was previously called Kaal, right?
Binaash: Yes. At that time we didn’t know that there were other bands with the same name. We named it Kaal because we found the word Kaal really interesting. It sounds really direct, yet it can be explored in many different ways. You know, Kaal means death but it may also mean time. It may also depict a face, a person. So, it sounded like the perfect band name for us. But then, we later realized that there were lots of other bands with the same name. So obviously, the name had to be changed.
ktmROCKS: Now let’s talk about the recording of your upcoming album. How’s the process going on?
Binaash: We had already finished recording the guitar parts for all of your songs. But later we realized that we had recorded them in a much slower tempo. I guess lack of practice was the reason behind that. Anyway, we haven’t made much progress after that.
Our producer, Bikrant Shrestha [Silence Studio], has been busy with Silence Entertainment’s upcoming film “Batch No. 16”. Plus, he’s been involved with a lot of different businesses of his own. So he’s finding it hard to manage his time. Let’s see. Hopefully, the recording process can resume soon enough.
ktmROCKS: Are you planning on releasing a full length album or is it supposed to be an EP of some sort?
Binaash: No, no. We’ll release a full length. We had 8 songs lined up originally but with the delays we’ve come up with few more songs which will also be included.
ktmROCKS: So it is still uncertain when the album will be finished.
Binaash: (laughter) Our producer is a busy man. As said before, it all depends on him. He realizes that it’s taking too long, but then he has his responsibilities. As soon as he finds some free time, we’ll hit the studio again.
ktmROCKS: Okay let’s move on. Musically and lyrically, does Binaash follow a particular philosophy?
Binaash: The main philosophy behind Binaash is FUN. We call our music ramailo death metal. Some people take Death Metal too seriously. We want to make a statement that it’s basically for fun and something to be enjoyed without taking things too seriously.
I want to recall an interesting event from our Ugrakarma days. During this gig at Gaucharan, we had played “Popeye the sailor man” as an intro just to add a little humor.
It’s the same with Binaash. We just want to have fun.
ktmROCKS: What exactly are the lyrics based upon?
Binaash: There is not a single theme or concept as such. We have lyrics about a lot of different things. For example – the song ‘gravitational imbalance’ is a glorification of the might of gravity. It’s a fantasy about what gravity could do if it had an evil brain. ‘Eat is my pleasure’ is a true story about this cannibal named Armin Meiwes who had consumed a live man named Bernd Brandes. Brandes had volunteered himself to be slaughtered and be eaten. ‘The Wests’ is another song based on shocking true story about the infamous British serial killer couples – Fred and Rosemary West. ‘The Butcher’ is just a basic typical Death Metal song. We have another song called ‘Binaashkaris’, which is dedicated to our supporters. And we even have one song glorifying mo:mo: (laughter). So you see, we sing about anything that might seem like fun to us.
ktmROCKS: Okay. It’s clear that as a band, Binaash is pure death metal. But as individuals, what are your influences? What are you guys listening to these days?
Prabin – I take inspiration from a lot different artists. I try be as open minded as possible. From Metallica to grindcore stuffs, if the music is good, I listen to it and take inspiration from it.
Bijent – Well, I’ve been listening to a lot of Suffocation these days. Meshuggah as well. I love Origin too. Basically, any brutal blast beat laden music. (laughs)
Rishav – Like Prabin said, I try not to be stuck with a particular genre. Since I’m in a death metal band, obviously I focus a lot on Death Metal music. I love Cannibal Corpse. ‘Butchered at Birth’ is a forever favorite of mine. I’m listening to Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Cenotaph as well.
Also, I’m into a lot of jazz. Actually, I play with a jazz band every Wednesday at the Jazz Upstairs.
Prateek – I am an old school metal guy. I can listen to pop, but I cannot tolerate modern nu-metal. I think modern metal is actually killing the spirit of metal. I’m very old school by heart and metal is something very dear to me. Therefore, I still stick to my old favorite albums.
Among the newer bands though, I like Origin. Necrophagist’s effort in bringing something new is certainly admirable. They’re amazing instrumentalists but I always feel something is lacking in their music. Also, I know they’re really popular these days, but I do not like bands like Meshuggah. I think they play from here (points to the head), instead of here (points to the heart). In my opinion, music shouldn’t be played that way. It should come from the heart. Blues players often say – “It may be easy to play, but very hard to feel.” Metal is also more or less like that. Bhitrai dekhi aunu parchha k.
Anyways, I’ve been listening to a lot of Cenotaph stuff these days. Especially their albums ‘Puked Genital Purulency’ and ‘Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium’. “Butchered at Birth” is still in my favorite list. That album is just perfect. It’s a shame that Cannibal Corpse have been repeating the same formula ever since though. I’m also listening to ‘Diabolical Summoning’ from the Dutch band Sinister. ‘Pestilence’ is another band from Holland that I really like. I love their old school sound, especially in the album ‘Testimony of the Ancients’.
ktmROCKS: What are your future plans as a band?
Binaash: First of all we want to release our album. After that, we want to go with the flow. We will keep on creating music and we will stay a death metal band but we don’t want us to stay limited on anything. We want to explore a lot and we’re open to any ideas. We don’t want to be close minded just because we’re a death metal band. Even disco beats are welcome!
We may even come up with some other project to play some different fun filled music. Same members, but maybe with a different name. Anything can happen, let’s see.
ktmROCKS: What are your takes on our underground scene these days?
Binaash: Sano sano bhanda bhandai hamro scene ta thulo bhaisakyo jasto lagchha. (laughter) I think lots of positive changes have taken place. Lots of good concerts are being organized and we’ve even managed to get some international bands to play here. So it looks good.
Another very positive thing that we have observed is that the newer bands are focusing on originals a more than the older days. You know, the ‘cover songs mentality’ was a big problem back then. You wouldn’t get noticed if you played originals but if you could play, say ‘Rock Bottom’, then you could be a ‘hero’. It’s not the case these days. That, in itself is a very significant development.
ktmROCKS: We’ve definitely improved a lot in that sense. Still, what are the things that you’d like to see changed in the scene?
Binaash: Well, it would be great to see the audience being more appreciative. Honestly speaking, we lack a musically literate crowd. It can get really difficult sometimes.
ktmROCKS: Maybe we’re also to be blamed in this case. Maybe we don’t give the audience a chance and educate them properly?
Binaash: Well, there’s a Nepali proverb – ‘You can wake up a sleeping man, but you cannot wake up a pretender’. Probably, our culture itself is to be blamed somehow. You know, we’re used to being spoon fed from our birth. We are all brought up being really dependant, and we are used to “readymade” things. So we’re used to taking things for granted. This attitude brushes off during the concerts as well. They want the bands to be readymade and some of them don’t take us seriously just because they’ve paid for the ticket. They just don’t want to understand and end up taking the artists and their efforts for granted.
Maybe our ignorant mainstream media are also to be blamed here. Some of the articles about underground music that they come up with are really disappointing to say the least.
Of course, what we’ve just said doesn’t hold true to everyone. We do have our core supporters who really understand the hardships that we bands go through. They’re just amazing.
ktmROCKS: You guys, especially Prabin and Prateek had your former bands – Arachnids and 72 hrs respectively. Any updates on that?
Prabin – Arachnids is as good as dead. At least for now. It was fun while we played together though. I’ll always have a deep attachment with Arachnids. We’ve been thinking of reuniting sometime in the future, but you know, life and its priorities.
Prateek – Everyone seems to have a deep attachment with their first bands. It’s the same with me. I’ll always love Ugrakarma. Me and Sunil, still to this day, talk about reuniting but it has always been limited to talks. (laughs) In this context, I have a huge respect for bands like Antim Grahan, who have able to stick together for such a long time. I will never get to experience that feeling. You know, sticking with your first band still going strong.
Anyway, as for your question regarding 72 hrs, the band is inactive at the moment. We have been planning on releasing the second 72 hrs album for more than two years now but things haven’t worked out according to plans. We’re all grownups and have our own priorities. You know, there comes a point when life takes over. You have to move on.
ktmROCKS: Are there any other local bands that you guys admire?
Binaash: Antim Grahan is admirable for a lot of things, especially for sticking around for such a long time. ‘Ruin of Immortals’ has to be one the best albums from a local band. It would have been great had Taamishra not broken up. We were really looking forward to their album. It’s a shame that things didn’t work out that way.
Jindaabad and E.Quals are very tight live although their music is not really our cup of tea. Jugaa is great as well. Hatebook and Define Mental look really promising.
Another band we’d like to mention is ‘Horny Monks’. They don’t exactly play our type of music, but we just love how they have so much fun on stage. That is what it’s all about. In that sense Binaash and Horny Monks follow the same philosophy. That is, playing for fun.
ktmROCKS: Any upcoming gigs?
Binaash: Well, we’re planning on a little DIY sort of gig featuring pure death metal bands like us, Define Mental, Hatebook among others. Maybe after the album release we’ll have a few promo gigs but nothing is confirmed as of yet.
ktmROCKS: Last words?
Binaash: Well, we all need to stick together. All the metalheads in our little scene should unite and support each other and maybe be a bit appreciative about things. That’s it.
Check BINAASH on facebook.