Solar Deity is a Black Metal band from Mumbai, India, that describes itself as a “Satanic Black Metal” band. Frontman and main songwriter Aditya Mehta has been involved with Mumbai’s Death Metal scene with his past bands, which ensured that he already had somewhat of a reputation when Solar Deity was first initiated. Their music has been well-liked by this blog/zine for a while now, and you can read our review of their most recent release “Devil Worship” here. After delaying a possible interview for many months, I finally got in touch with Aditya and we discussed the band’s future, along with his new vegan beliefs.
– Hey Aditya! How’s everything going?
Hey Hassan! It’s going quite okay.
– Solar Deity has been on the quiet side since “Devil Worship” was released in the latter half of 2013. What’s been going on?
We were busy with other stuff. Also, having to change the lineup every now and then was a bit of a drag.
– There has been significant musical evolution in SD’s music, with the musical style flirting with different styles in every release. Where do you see the sound going on future stuff?
It’ll go ambient/depressive and back to the traditional style and then to something very raw and intense… there’s a lot we want to do. Solar Deity can go any way as long as it’s black metal.
– Initially SD was not a live act, yet you made the transition from the studio to the stage – complete with an elaborate live act and stage presence. What has the live experience been thus far?
I enjoyed our first Bombay concert (at Blue Frog) the most. Playing live is fun and so is jamming with the band, but it’s terribly boring having to sit around at home playing the same shit over and over… but playing to an audience does feel good.
– Did the songwriting process change much when the band went from being just primarily you (and a drummer) to having a full lineup?
No, because I composed all the stuff. It will change now because both Niraj Singh Chauhan and I are writing songs. You’ll hear my stuff and you’ll hear his stuff and when we write stuff together you’ll hear that.
– Let’s talk about Exhumation. Your old Death Metal band created a reputation for itself in the old Mumbai metal scene of the 2000s. Do you still feel an affinity with that sort of music?
I still love death metal and all those bands we used to listen to. I still listen to them and I understand and enjoy and respect death metal even more now. My favorite memories of Exhumation are those of the fun times I shared with those guys and of us making the music.
– Your outspoken nature has caused a lot of your opinions on the Indian metal scene to cause a lot of controversy in the past. What’s your take on the Indian scene as it currently stands?
Thanks to Facebook everybody can see what exactly is happening. We don’t get too many shows but that’s okay – the others in Solar Deity understand that I am the guy who has to do all this. The rest of the scene is welcome to continue being diplomatic and they can suck each other off till the end of eternity. I don’t sit on Facebook waiting for people to go wrong so that I can point it out; I’ve never asked anyone to buy my music or merch and I won’t be asking the kids to crowdfund my wedding or my children’s education either. I’ve lost friends and made enemies only because I love all that metal is about. I don’t care about being popular or respected, and I don’t go around asking organizers to put my band on the bill. I don’t have a fucking agenda, man. Somebody has to take the trash out and in these circumstances I am one of the four or five people doing that. It’s like five people trying to keep an entire city clean, heh. Devdutt Nawalkar (Old Disgruntled Bastard) is my favorite critic and he doesn’t give a fuck what anybody thinks. A few other people who rant either have nothing to lose or do it anonymously, and that’s fine too – other musicians attack the poseurs anonymously because they don’t want their bands to be affected. I don’t do shit anonymously and I don’t give a shit about what hipsters think of me either but sadly my haters take it out on my band as they have no other way of teaching me a lesson. It’s okay, though… in battle there is no law. Ahahaha, the butt-hurt poseurs… FUCK THEM ALL.
– It’s become common knowledge that you’re a vegan now. How does this tie in with your Satanist belief system, and how does this impact your music?
I feel even more extreme now, haha! One of the things about Satanism is that it doesn’t let you bullshit yourself or others, and I really couldn’t pretend to be unaffected about where our food comes from. I debated with myself for a few years about if I should go vegetarian and now I know I was only trying to justify my meat-eating. I realize that every reason I gave myself for not going vegetarian was code for: I want meat, cheese, eggs and dairy. I’m glad that argument is over. As for the music – all the new black metal stuff was composed much before I turned vegan, but maybe the side projects will tell you something!
– Solar Deity recently got into some kind of deal with Transcending Obscurity, Kunal’s label. Can you elaborate a bit on what that basically entails?
Kunal Choksi is going to release a mini discography of what we’ve made so far on Transcending Obscurity because he thinks our music deserves more recognition. It’ll have a new layout and bonus material and KC has big plans for it. We’re very kicked about it.
– What’s next for the band? A split? A full length album? More EP’s?
A split with Djinn & Miskatonic! Our next EP will have to wait because we have the mini discog on Transcending Obscurity and the split with Djinn & Miskatonic coming up.
– I wouldn’t think you have much time for sideprojects nowadays. Anything on the cards, however?
Yeah, I’ve been talking about a lot of stuff. I’m going to get off my ass and make at least Angry Dwarf happen this year.
– Thanks for the interview, Aditya! Take care.