Grammy Winning Effort Interview

While India has been the breeding of ground of some of the most outrageous metal acts of our time, it has sorely lacked bands that played hardcore punk. The closest Bombay saw was the first Scribe EP and later on, the first and only Riot Peddlers. So when Grammy Winning Effort, a band not heard of much before and even more, with a peculiar name for an independent band, came down to this years Control Alt Delete fest, Mumbai was blown away by new sounds so heavy that even most staple of metalheads could not deny. A big fuck-you to all the hipster metal elitist that swarm the scene. I recently caught up with the Dayus and Shashvat of the Grammy Winning Effort:

 

 

 

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– Hello dudes at Grammy Winning Effort! How’s it going?

 

Dayus and Shashwat: As good as good can be.

 

 

 

– Please introduce and tell us about yourselves and the current line up

 

The line up as of now is

Dayus: vocals

Shashvat: Guitar

Jaidev: Guitar

Doodie: Bass

Suyash: Drums

 

Dayus: Well we’ve all got a bunch of different things going on with our lives, but when we meet up the main thing we like to do is play drinking games and just hang out. We don’t actually spend loads of time in the jam room or anything. A lot of good ideas that have anything to do with our music usually come up when the bunch of us are piss drunk.

 

 

 

– India is a little lost on the concept of Hardcore music – how did you guys get into the music and decide to make it as well?

 

Shashvat: I was more into metal first, I used to listen to a bit of hardcore influenced metal, then dayus introduced me to everytime I die, from there I just started listening to loads of hardcore and post hardcore. Its just more raw and simple. And adaptable, u can mix a lot of styles together when writing, and its more groovy.

 

Dayus: How I got into hardcore is this: Metal started to get real cheesy, real fast. And I was going through a bit of a reckless phase of my life. And I remember how none of those clean, well composed metalcore bands weren’t doing it for me anymore. One of my friends was visiting from New York and he introduced me to Maylene and the sons of Disaster. And I immediately thought to myself “This is the new sound. This is the direction I want to head in”. The band getting into hardcore was: I met our old drummer Shanty at a house party and I played him some stuff by Every Time I Die and asked if he wanted to start making some stuff like that with me. He initially said he didn’t like it, but after listening to a few more tracks at home he was into it. Shashvat was immediately on board and to our surprise Jaidev wanted in too (he usually doesn’t play for heavy bands). Doodie joined the band in 2011 and since then it’s been us pretty much all in the direction of composing Hardcore and Post-Hardcore stuff.

 

 

 

– So far, you guys have put out a number of demos but no official releases – What’s the scene with that?

 

D: Till now things have been pretty up and down with the Delhi scene and the scene for music in India. There have been a few little breaks with the bands in between. The most part of a full length album is recorded. We just have to finish up the drums and vocals then sit down to mix it. Not sure how long it’ll take for everything to be done but we’re looking to have it ready for November.

 

 

 

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– How is Delhi’s extreme music scene?

 

D: As of now it’s shit. Everything is dead. And honestly it hurts to see that a city which was once owned by kids in black tees is now completely taken over by the electronic scene. We have nothing against electronic music, in fact almost all of us listen to loads of other stuff on our own. But to see that many metal/rock fans just disappear from a city because a few gigs stopped isn’t cool. Another reason why we were so stoked to hear about the initiative from Cntrl Alt Dlt.

 

 

 

– How does the crowd receive the music in Delhi? You guys played at Mumbai and how would you say it is in comparison?

 

S: We haven’t played to a huge crowd in delhi, and we have mostly been on the bill for shows that have many other non heavy bands, so no wild crowds. The CAD crowd was wild as hell!

 

D: The crowd here takes some coaxing to come out and to start moving. Heavy gigs haven’t been a popular thing around here in Delhi for a while, so it takes a little time for them to get back into the groove of it. But once they do it can be a really good show.

 

 

 

– At CAD, I saw your bassist use a far out looking bass guitar – what’s that all about?

 

D: He played an electric contra bass. He had just gotten it and insisted on using it for Grammy. So he brought it to the jam pad and it sounded massive. It definitely adds a much grungier tone to the rhythm section. Especially since he runs that thing through a sans amp for extra gain. Pretty unorthodox, but that’s why we like it

 

 

 

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– Are you guys looking forward to playing The New Wave festival in Goa?

 

D: Hell’s bells yes. This is exactly what we’ve wanted from day 1. An initiative to bring back live shows in a big way. After seeing what CAD can do with the last gig in Mumbai this is gonna be amaze-balls. And we’re all for the cause. It’s gonna be one of the most diverse crowds we’ve played for yet, and that is going to be one hell of an experience. And the after parties with all the metal/rock/hardcore/indie kids by the beach, who doesn’t want that?

 

 

 

– What other bands are you guys into from India?

 

D: There are lots of bands here in India that we all draw inspiration from. Especially since we all grew up here listening to these bands. But when it comes to our biggest influence only one name comes to mind. Parikrama. They are by far and large our favorite band out here. And we’re even releasing our own version of Tears of the Wizard!

 

 

 

– What would you say is the problem with today’s scene?

 

S: Lack of investment (money as well as interest) in the arts, more so with music, more so with ‘western’ music. No venues interested, the public not supporting the bands they like. A few of them do, but no where close to the numbers needed.

 

D: Exactly that. Everyone listens to music, but at the same time there’s this huge double standard when it comes to people trying to make a living as a musician. There’s no way to make a solid living as a musician unless you ‘sell out’ in some way. Making jingles, shit Bollywood music or some crap like that. And that’s just sad. People don’t realize that this scene (or any for that matter) would be nothing without them. And they are what decide the rise and fall of genres, the change in tide of the music industry. Not some big-wig record label in the sky. Go out. Support your local music scene. Make a difference.

 

 

 

– Do you guys see a future for Hardcore bands in India?

 

S: Well, hardcore is not really treated as its own thing, it goes under metal over here, and as of now, if you want to make any money then no, if you want to just have fun playing music and destroying venues then maybe, if venues let you destroy them on a regular basis and enough people come out for shows.

 

D: Original Hardcore is more of a cult genre and all about standing your ground as an individual or rebelling against the way the world is spiraling out of control due to ignorance in the government. It’s not that often that you’ll find a band that plays straight up Hardcore for the tone of it. It mostly translates to Post-Hardcore or Metalcore for bands that want to incorporate that vibe into their overall sound. Sadly though there’s loads of bands out here doing the latter when India really needs the former. India is very far away from the HxC community but it needs it a hell of a lot right now. So I hope to see a Hardcore community develop here, but like we said earlier – nothing can happen without support from the audience.

 

 

 

– Any plans on touring soon?

 

D: As soon as our album is released and the New Wave festival is done we plan to do some travelling and gigs around India over the winter definitely. We’re piecing together some plans for gigs in a bunch of different, less travelled cities. So if you’d like to see us tear down your local bar/pub give us a shout and we’ll bring the fight to you.

 

 

 

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Grammy Winning Effort on Facebook

Grammy Winning Effort on Soundcloud

– Vrishank Menon

La Dispute – Rooms of the House (2014)

La Dispute album

 

When I first heard “Such Small Hands” by the band La Dispute back in 2010, I was blown away by the eclectic blend of poetry-grade lyrics, their relatively heavy sound, and the emotionally-driven style of lead singer Jordan Dreyer’s vocals. That song and the rest of the album “Somewhere at the Bottom of the River between Vega and Altair”  are my favorite releases by the band. Now, the quintet from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is back with another full-length album. Released March of this year, “Rooms of the House” sufficiently separates the band from their first full-length release with a cleaner, more mature sound.

 
If you’re anything like me, you’re sad to see the sounds of “Somewhere at the Bottom” fade away. But the changes were evident even in the band’s second release “Wildlife”, which in my opinion, is a solid middle ground between the band’s first album and this latest one. Change, however, isn’t something to fear as La Dispute’s roots and defining characteristics are still there. The vocals are still emotional and passionate and they still have their critically acclaimed “un-categorizable sound” that fuses many influences of different heavier genres and even outside styles like blues and jazz on previous albums, along with their tension-building compositions–a La Dispute staple.

 

 

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While many that have already reviewed the album call it “mature”, I say that it is in fact just much more simple than their previous releases. More than in Wildlife, Rooms of the House loses some of the lucid symbolism that I thought was their best feature from Somewhere at the Bottom. Instead, the band replaces this with more straightforward emotional feedback and sheds its literary symbolism. Still, Dreyer is an excellent writer and this shows within the band’s lyrics as they compose songs with imagery and narrative, which can be seen clearly in the album’s opening song “Hudsonville, MI 1956” and another song titled “35” which also exhibits Dreyer’s spoken word style (dominant in the songs “Woman (in Mirror)” and “Objects in Space” too.) My personal favorites of the album are standouts “Mayor of Splitsville” and “Stay Happy Here” which is one of the album’s singles. It seems that, more in this album, the band unfortunately scaled back their out-wright heart wrenching preferences like in their past songs “King Park” and “Andria.”

 
Except for some songs like “Woman (in mirror)” and “Objects in Space”, the songs on this album are structured around a basic crescendo as most songs by La Dispute are. Listeners become familiar with the areas where tension builds by following the vocals and the band as they lead up to culminate in some emotional outburst—sort of like a pattern of calms before a strong storm—rather than relying on verse/chorus structures. On this album, there aren’t many gaudy riffs, that has never seemed to be the intention of the band on any of their albums anyway. The riffs and melodies in their songs always seem mainly foundational especially in this latest album where the band seems to take a more simplistic style. They rely more on strong rhythmic variations to capture their audience. There isn’t anything flashy to cling onto. Just pure and strong instrumental use and deep, emotional lyrics.

 
Even though it’s not the Somewhere at the Bottom of the River follow-up that I wished for over these last 4 years, Rooms of the House is still a great album that simply shows the evolving style of a very talented band that never disappoints.

 

 

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La Dispute on Facebook

La Dispute on BandCamp

– Alli G.