December 26, 2016
Bengaluru: When I was in school, I would hear of Joe Satriani, Bryan Adams, Deep Purple and Scorpions performing in Bengaluru, then Bangalore. Being a Delhi kid, I wasn’t so big on Rock and Metal in those days. We were still feeding on Bollywood music, while Bangaloreans were listening to western music, and head banging to heavy metal numbers.
“Bengaluru is no doubt the mecca of rock music. It is a great place for musicians, whether they be established artists or budding talents. People are invested in music; they enthusiastically spend on tickets for live music shows. They read on their favourite musicians; their life, their inspirations and their idiosyncrasies. Bengaluru as a city encourages anything offbeat, not the stereotypical mainstream,” says Subhash NH, co-founder of Treeonz, an organisation that develops innovative platforms for musicians.
It also helps that the city has large number of small record labels and bars that patronise young artists, particularly in rock’n’roll!
So, what makes Bengaluru a rock hub? “There is a huge Anglo Indian population that introduces the younger generation to such genres and some city universities, like Christ University, encourage rock bands to flourish on campus. In fact, India’s most popular rock’n’roll bands, like The Raghu Dixit Project, Thermal and a quarter, Swaratma and Inner Sanctum, are all from Bengaluru.
Bengaluru has a thriving music culture, because of which, musicians like me are able to take it up seriously as a profession. Bengaluru is the only city which has the resources to host a big international band,” says Mahesh Kumar, Drummer, member of Swaha band.
Festivals like Rock ‘n’ India, Rock Ethos, Great Indian Rock and more recently Deccan Rock continue to take place in Bengaluru to keep alive the rock culture. “Now even Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are catching up, but Bengaluru was the trailblazer,” says Siddhartha Gandhi of Guitar Club.