Known for his ferocious pummeling of the skins, SURYA PUN (Born 5th July, 1991) is without a doubt one of the best metal drummers active in the scene today. He is best known for his work with the influential black metal band Antim Grahan. Apart from that, he is also involved with the death metal band, Define Mental. In the past, he has also played with technical death metal band Bitter Euphemism and played live for black metal band Garudh in a couple of gigs.
Surya joined Antim Grahan in early 2009 and played his first concert for the band during Butwal Tour along with Vhumi. Since then, he has established himself has a formidable member of the band and a premier metal drummer overall. Along with playing in several concerts for Define Mental and Antim Grahan, he also boasts two full length albums ‘The Ruin of Immortals’ and ‘Putrefaction Eternity’ under his belt. Currently, he is working on creating more songs for a yet another Antim Grahan album.
Surya is a self taught drummer and can also play other instruments like flute, keyboard, madal and guitar. He cites Allan Shrestha (Cruentus), George Kollias (Nile), late Vitek (Decapitated) and John Longstreth (Origin) as major influences.
Here Surya shares the five records that changed his life forever.
1. CRUENTUS – “ASANTUSTA AATMA”
When it comes to life changing bands, a must-mention for me would be Cruentus, in that they not only amazed me with their music but literally encouraged me to get into the scene. ‘Rockheads 2005′ was the first time I got a chance to see all the talented musicians of that time, including Cruentus. The powerful dual growls, the heavy and raw guitar tones, and the brilliant drumming skills easily made them one of the tightest live bands I’d ever seen. Soon enough, I purchased the album “Asantusta Aatma” which right away blew my mind. You can imagine the influence Cruentus created in the mind of an 8th grader who was starting to grow a huge interest towards the metal genre and the local scene. I started learning their songs in my guitar and jam along with my friends. Allan Shrestha’s incredible drumming during the live shows was also a key factor that fascinated me towards playing drums. I really respect them as musicians and still have very much to learn from them. Kudos to Cruentus!
2. CRYPTOPSY – “NONE SO VILE”
This was the first album that got me into death metal, and it later made paved my way into more of the technical and brutal death metal bands. One of the craziest high pitched screams/deep guttural growl combo, powerful low pitched sick technical /heavy /catchy /groovy guitars riffs, backed up by a tight rhythm section with well written/recorded bass lines and brutal drumming with intense hyperblasts and fills makes this a very tight album and perfectly defines the term “Death Metal”. I credit “None so Vile” for making death metal one of my favorite genres to listen and to play.
3. SIKTH – “THE TREES ARE DEAD & DRIED OUT WAIT FOR SOMETHING WILD”
Sikth is one band that hit me really hard on my way of exploring new bands. They were nothing like I’ve ever heard before. The dual vocal attacks, intense guitar riffs, technical drumming, and beautifully written bass lines grabbed my attention on the first spin. Sikth broke all the barriers and took music to a whole new level. Justin Hill and Mikee W. Goodman singing back and forth (doing different “character voices” if you will) and creating an ambient atmosphere makes it a totally unique album. Pin and Dan Weller’s incredibly complex riffs with odd timings and difficult picking patterns backed up by brilliant flavorful fills and rapidly changing styles of James Leach on the bass and Dan Ford on drums provided me with a whole new listening experience. The whole album is nothing short of immense, and every member is on top of their game, going above and beyond what is “normally” required. They truly redefined heavy music and took it to a new level.
4. FREDRIK THORDENDAL’S SPECIAL DEFECTS – “SOL NIGER WITHIN”
Soon I began inclining more towards technical metal, and Meshuggah was responsible for infusing the “Djent” love in me. I am a huge Meshuggah/ ‘Djent’ fan, Which further lead me the way to this album – that curiosity to experience ‘the usual Meshuggah sound’. Finally I got to listen to it, and “weird” is a perfect word to describe my opinion on the first listen of this album. It took a while for me to get used to this record, and once it did this album changed my approach/perspective towards music. The metal/jazz fusion elements with unusual ‘psychonaught’ vocals and usual Meshuggah type math-riffs makes this album one of the must interesting and crazy thing to listen to. On top of that, Morgen Agren’s otherworldly drumming takes you far ahead than the average, and even makes you confused and puzzled at times. This album is said to be for musicians not listeners. “If you are a drummer this album is must. If you are musician, this album is for you”. Explore!
5. A PERFECT CIRCLE – “THIRTEENTH STEP”
And last on this list would be A Perfect Circle. It really is very different from what I usually listen/play, but nonetheless equally special for me and hence influences me on its own ways. I personally think ‘Thirteenth Step’ is a masterpiece as it shows a certain point of maturity, both musically as well as lyrically. It’s basically a concept album that relates to addiction to anything, I reckon. It is a kind of album that requires a few listens to like it, a few more to love it, and then some more to get you totally hooked onto. Throughout the album, we see musical variations in songs like ‘The Outsider’, ‘Pet’, and the likes of ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Noose’, but the theme of the album remains unharmed and unchanged. No doubt, its one of most addictive albums I’ve listened to in years.
Interview appears on ktmROCKS E-mag Issue 9 “Drummers Special”.
Click the link to download the complete E-mag.