With a new plan in sight

In Transit

With a new plan in sight

After a long haul of four years, ‘Tough on Tobacco’ (ToT), one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the country, finally has something more to offer their fans than just energetic live gigs. It seems, from the looks of it, that the band has a plan.

Their first album, ‘The Happy Goat’, received a lot of attention when it released in 2009 –– especially because they gave it out for free download. With that move, they earned themselves a fair share of goodwill from music lovers, and spent the next four years writing new songs and performing them live. But with their sophomore album ‘Big Big Joke’, the band is finally selling their music, has merchandise like posters and stickers to give around and is extremely busy on a multi-city India tour.

On why the album took four years to come out, each member points at the other and says, “He was lazy.” Drummer Jai Row Kavi justifies, “All these guys were lazy. I recorded drums three years ago!” Owing to this attitude and the fact that the original recording files were lost and had to be re-recorded, the album was thus named.

Also, because there was so much material written in the gap years — 22 shortlisted songs, to be precise — there is a second part to the album, which frontman Sidd Coutto promises will come out later this year.

“Our plan is to tour for both parts of the albums and write new material. Album two is expected later this year — like seriously,” he says.

For this album, the band has come up with a ‘vintage family portrait’ used as the album art.

Clicked by photographer Roycin D’Souza, the photograph sees the average middle class family – complete with Jai in a sari and Sidd with his “uncle haircut”.

“Roycin just walked in on us on a regular evening, we handed him a camera and said ‘Sirji, photo please,” recalls guitarist Gaurav Gupta. Bassist Johan Pais jokes, “We were just about to sit down for dinner. I ate dhokla.”

Having finally come out with this album, there is a definite sense of relief among the band members.

“There is inner peace and tranquility. The band has gotten very closely knit because of what we’ve had to go through to finish the album,” shares Johan, on a more
serious note.

Guitarist Niranjan ‘Pozy’ Dhar adds, “We’re glad that people can listen to the songs without having to come for gigs.”

Bangalore has always been a fun city for them — be it for the audience profile or the compulsory lunch at one of their favourite restaurant in town.

Sharing his experience on performing here, Sidd says, “Bangalore is great. People who turn up seem to have a good time,” while Johan adds, “I think they should get better roads in Indiranagar. Also, it would be nice if gigs could go on post 10 pm.”

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