Strumming to one sound

Original notes

Strumming to one sound

A little over a year ago, ‘Mahesh and the Mix’ was just that —  a potpourri of session instrumentalists and singer/songwriter Mahesh Raghunandan. But when the sounds of bassist Ravi Nair, guitarist Anish Nadh and drummer Ashwin Shekhar came together and entwined with Mahesh’s lyrics and melodies, it coalesced to form a band that was less about the individual and more about homogenised notes.

And in this short span of time they have grown in terms of music and their equation with each other.

 In fact, Mahesh can’t help but credit Anish for his part in the formation of the band. “He’s one of my closest friends... And he was the one who pushed me to try this project.

‘Mahesh and the Mix’ wasn’t meant to be a band, it was just a way for me, a solo musician, to play with other musicians,” he says. But when Ravi, Anish, Ashwin and Mahesh played together, they felt at home and that was the start of the indie-rock band.

An amalgamation of jazz, blues, rock, pop, metal and RnB, they function as a band and individual musicians with differing tastes.

This variety brings “perspective” to their jam sessions, mentions Mahesh. “Ravi is influenced by jazz and world music, Ashwin comes from a thrash metal background and Anish has played with other bands, so when we are jamming, different perspectives are thrown on the table. And we make it a point to try out everything before saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

Their jam sessions are also a mix — it starts with a cup of sulaimani tea from a tea stall in North Bengaluru and moves inside, to a more professional setting. “We make it a point to reach on time and take our music seriously,” says Mahesh, “And if I had to describe our sound in one word, I’d say it’s ‘honest’. We consider the entertainment value but everything we do is close to our heart.” Mahesh isn’t kidding when he says they take their music seriously — when they were working on the song ‘Blank’, they played in a dark room, with all the lights turned off, to emote the notes better.

The band will play at ‘Beer Cafe’, Indiranagar today, 9 pm onwards, and they have a special set ready for the event. “Since it’s a small and relaxed space, we thought just one or two of us would go. But instead, we decided to make it an entirely acoustic set and the entire band will perform original numbers, along with some covers,” says Mahesh.

What plans do they have for the this year? “We are going to release our debut album this year. Most of the songs are already set and they are relatable to the audience. We are also collaborating with other musicians, including a cellist and a choir. Though we are a young band we’ve come a long way, having opened for ‘The Raghu Dixit Project’ and ‘Parvaaz’,” adds an enthusiastic Mahesh.

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