Hails from Nepal. For those who have completely no idea of who or what Demonic Resurrection is – tell us something about it.
DEMONIC RESURRECTION was born in 2000 at a time when I was looking for musicians to play extreme metal, mainly original stuff I had composed. Following initial line-up changes and almost a year of gigging and playing original material we released ‘Demonstealer’. This however was a very amateur attempt but it did do fairly well for the band. Around 2001 we settled on a stable 4 piece lineup and re-recorded and released ‘Demonstealer’ and it became our 1st official release. However instability reigned supreme and I was the sole survivor of the train wreck of lineup changes in 2003. In 2004 by chance and carefully coordinated auditions a new DR was formed which featured Husain (Bass), Mephisto (Keyboards), Jp (Drums) and myself; The Demonstealer (Guitars/Vocals). This lineup recorded ‘A Darkness Descends’ in 2005 after which DR saw the addition of a new lead guitarist Pradeep in Jan 2006 and also the departure of drummer JP in June 2006. This void in the band did not stop us from recording our latest EP; Beyond The Darkness with me doing the drums as well. In terms of musical style DR started as a band doing a mix of death/black metal but the twist was the female vocals and the doomy/gothic touch. Later the main change was that the power metal influence took over from the gothic side and also the music got a lot more technical as well as melodic.
What is the meaning of “Demonic Resurrection” and how do you define Demonic Metal?
DEMONIC RESURRECTION in simple English means to resurrect the demons. Demonic Metal however is basically how we like to define our music as it is an amalgamation of different genres with the most prominent ones being power metal and death metal.
There have been several lineup changes since your inception. Who is in the current lineup?
The current lineup is
The Demonstealer – Guitars/Vocals and Drums (studio only)
Pradeep – Lead Guitars
Mephisto – Synth
Husain – Bass
Currently we have been playing live gigs with drummer Kishan (Extinct Reflections/Bhoomi) who is based in Bangalore.
What difference do you find in the concept, composition, etc. between the debut album and A Darkness Descends? How has the music developed over the years?
When DR began the songs were mainly related to me and my personal demons along with general demonic themes. The musical style was very centered around the female vocals barring a few songs which took a more aggressive approach. I was pretty much the sole composer at that point of time. When DR regrouped in 2004 it became more of a band and the material was written collectively. I think this definitely helped the whole band progress as everyone bought something to the table in terms of musical style as well as songwriting ability. It took us 3 years to write and record ‘A Darkness Descends’. Like I mentioned previously over the years we have become more skilled as musicians and song writers and are basically doing a better job.
How long was the process of A Darkness Descends, the songwriting, composing and recording?
It was 3 long years of composing for ADD, and it was almost 6 months of recording, mixing and mastering. I think the reason it took so long was because we kept making changes to the songs as time went buy and we learnt new things and hence we were able to put out a much better sounding album had we released it a year earlier or so.
Many bands end up sounding too much like their influences but in spite of your various influences, DR has been able to find its own sound. How?
It is the various influences that has kept us from sounding like one particular band or genre. I think those 3 years helped us really understand and balance out our influences and create a good mix of everything. I am a huge fan of power metal which is why the elements are so visible and also because JP was a complete death metal freak he bought that aspect to the songs with respect to the drumming. Mephisto on the other hand is more black metal influenced by bands like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Old Mans Child etc. And so on we basically managed to put everything together and made it sound good.
When DR started out your were criticized and written off as a joke but now you’re considered one of the best, if not THE best, metal band in India. What made you stay put and continue after the poor reaction? What do you think caused the change in attitude?
Initially DR was taken seriously but being a bunch of kids, a few unsuccessful experiments with face paint, excessive lineup changes and some bad performances we did not fare well with metal heads here. When DR reformed we just played our hearts out and it was simply the musical ability and songs that made people take notice that we had evolved into a much much better band. I think just my perseverance and dedication to DR gave me the strength to continue and get a new lineup DR at a point of time when we were practically written off. And this wouldn’t have been possible with Husain, Mephisto and JP. At a time when most people wouldn’t even dream of joining DR these guys gave me a chance and joined DR. And it turned out for the best.
Many metal communities believe that music without philosophy is meaningless. Does your band follow a philosophy?
I think we all have our individual philosophies and beliefs, while some people want to use music as a medium to preach and spread their message. For us it’s more about just playing music and not mixing that kind of stuff with it. Yes lyrically sometimes life influences you to write about certain subjects and about certain emotions, but we aren’t here to spread any message apart from the fact that you should listen to DR.
What does Metal mean to you personally?
Metal is who I am, it is part of my life: it is my life. No matter what happens in life music and heavy metal are always there to get you through. Metal is a form of expression and individuality. It’s about believing in yourself and being your own person. Metal has no boundaries.
What is the story behind this alias: Demonstealer?
Well when I came up with name Demonic Resurrection for my band that I was going to form I came up with this as my stage name. As I was young and impressionable and listened to lots of black metal bands like Dimmu and OMC and Emperor, I noticed that everyone had this really cool stage name for themselves. However I was quiet unaware of a book called Lord of the Rings as well as other stories from where these names were derived, hence Demonstealer was the best my 16year old mind could come up with and over the years it became part of me. I can’t imagine myself without this name.
After listening to A Darkness Descends and other recordings done by Indian bands, we find that the recording quality is top-notch. Is it because of better studios or better money or the quality of the musicians/engineers?
The only reason Darkness Descends sounds good is because I worked for 4 years as a sound engineer and learnt about recording. Yes I was able to access better studios but a lot of the album was recorded at home and then the final mix was done in Power Station studio where I was working as an engineer. I wouldn’t be able to let anyone else record or mix a DR album I think.
There is a song in ADD which is dedicated to your girlfriend. Is there any esoteric message in it?
Frozen Portrait was originally written with reference to my girlfriend (or some part of it was as I recall). Also most of the riffs that I wrote were meant to be used in a power metal song that we were going to record together but finally I ended up using them for DR. As for messages esoteric or otherwise I shall keep that sacred.
How hard is it to survive as a metal band in India? Do you guys earn from the band? How hard is it for a band like yours to sell CDs and merchandises?
We earn nothing from the band except a little here and there from CD sales but whatever is earned is invested or spent on something related to the band so most of the time we end up spending money on the band. Merchandise is hard to sell but I think I’m doing an OK job of it, since I handle all the marketing and PR through my label Demonstealer Records. But I can safely say that DR is probably the biggest selling extreme metal band from India and we plan to get much bigger. ?
Since you might not earn enough as a band, what are your full time jobs?
I work with a music store ‘Furtados’ as their artist relation and events manager. Husain is a media planner with an advertising agency while Mephisto does creative work for another and Pradeep is a guitar teacher.
How do you see the general Metal Scene and Rock Scene in India? Currently and in the future.
The metal scene has grown since I joined it in 1998 and its growing much bigger. It will take a decade more maybe but I can see everything getting better in terms of sound, shows, bands, albums, production etc. Its not going to be long before the world takes notice of it, incase they haven’t already.
How do the gigs around there go? Are there only Underground bands performing in the gigs or mainstream rock bands as well?
Here gigs are a mixed bunch, everything from club gigs to college festivals to big concerts to the small terrace jams even. All kinds of bands of all genres play at these gigs. The big concerts like Great Indian Rock and Independence Rock have mostly the big bands playing but of different genres, everything from rock n roll to death metal. Most college festivals have rock competitions where the new bands perform and win their way to the title of a ‘professional band’. Then there are club gigs, lots of them are mixed bag gigs with different genres and then you have the few like Resurrection, Metal Injector, Whole Lotta Rock etc which are genre specific.
How receptive is the crowd in India towards this genre of music? What has the reaction to ADD been like and how many copies have you sold (approximately)?
Surprisingly the reaction is awesome to our music, I think extreme metal is catching on very fast with the college going kids; especially bands like Children of Bodom, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir etc and hence people are able to digest our music. Also a lot of people just enjoy it because they are at a concert, though they may not listen to it at home. The reaction for ADD has been nothing short of phenomenal not just at home but also worldwide, we have received excellent reviews from fans, critics and the like. Our old forum has a ton of great reviews from fans. We have sold almost 1500 copies of the CD worldwide and aiming to at least hit 2000 by the end of this year.
Have you tried distributing your album abroad? If yes, what has the response been like?
The album is already out abroad through tons of distros and labels including Century Media, www.cmdistro.com is selling it, also www.cdbaby.com has it up for sale. Tons of websites like Metal Observer, Metalstorm.ee etc have reviewed the CD and given it a 8 or 9 out of 10. In fact Adrenaline Zine recently rated the CD and unbelievable 11/10!!!! Beat that!!!!
Heard anything here from Nepal?
I have only heard of a few bands in an article that RSJ has written about the scene there but no have not been able to get my hands on anything yet.
You have a side-project called Reptilian Death as well. Could you let us know more about this band and your other projects if you have any?
Reptilian Death started out with me making comical death metal and doing everything in the studio, then I progressed to a bit more serious but simple death metal sound with a live band where I played drums and did vocals. I released an album which I recorded myself and also included some new material from the Humor Death Metal genre. In 2006 I got a new lineup in place and recorded and released an EP. Now I only play the drums in the band. I do have another groove metal/ random music and nonsense doing band called Workshop which is going to become a bit more active soon and also record some material. I have a solo punk project called Ramshackle. And I also have 2-3 other solo projects coming up. All my material is available on soundclick.com
You also run your own record label, Demonstealer Records. When did you start it and do you run it alone? What other bands have you signed up? Do you think you’d be interested in signing Nepali bands?
The label was actually born in 2000 with the first DR album and it released 2 more CDs sort of unofficially; The Resurrection Compilation and Reptilian Death’s – Total Annihilation. But DR’s album ‘A Darkness Descends’ was the first official release. We signed up many bands for the label. The list being: Acrid Semblance, Bhayanak Maut, Scribe, Skincold, Amidst The Chaos, Bitchslap, Exhumation, Narsil, Warface (USA), Reptilian Death, Severe Dementia, Dusk (Pakistan) etc. Some were for EP releases, some full length, some just for distribution. Yes I am open to singing any band that is good, the main criteria is I should like the band.
What other Indian bands should we watch out for? Name a few of your favourites.
Kryptos, Acrid Semblance, Exhumation, Myndsnare, IIIrd Sovereign, Extinct Reflections, Narsil, Devoid, Blackhole Theory, Bhayanak Maut, Amidst The Chaos etc.
Recently, Enslaved and then Iron Maiden came to India. You guys must have been to the concerts. So, how did those concerts go?
The concerts were really good, both were packed concerts. It was an awesome experience to watch Iron Maiden in concert. Even Enslaved were really great.
Any new metal bands that you guys are really excited about?
Severe Dementia from Bangladesh and Dusk from Pakistan are my current fav bands from the sub continent, the new release from DSR features both bands along with DR.
Two bands that you love to hate
None actually, I either love a band or hate a band. There is no band I love to hate.
Thanks for the interview!
Official Website: http://www.demonicresurrection.tk/
Pics Credit: Karen