On my pinboard - Bruce Lee Mani

On my pinboard - Bruce Lee Mani

Vocalist and guitarist, Bruce Lee Mani is the front man of Bengaluru-based band ‘Thermal and a Quarter’.

The one-time literature teacher’s meticulous approach to the guitar and his eclectic grounding in classic rock, soul, funk and jazz, makes him stand out in the music scene. Bruce formed the band in 1996 and since then the band has released seven studio albums and performed all over the world.

Bruce Lee Mani is the only Indian guitar player to have won the Rolling Stone Magazine  ‘Guitar Player of the Year’ Award twice – in 2009 and 2012. In 2011, Bruce also won the Leon Ireland ‘Vocalist of the Year’ Award.

Jazz at Lincoln Center

“There are many things that inspire me — both as a person and as a musician.  Musically, there are too many to list. I am currently tripping on ‘Portrait in Seven Shades’ by ‘Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’ and Norah Jones’ new album among others. As a songwriter and as a person, I think our country is full of incredible ideas and stories. I am almost obsessed with the urban human condition and the things that happen around us. I am also fascinated by science fiction and language and linguistics is also endlessly absorbing.”

Wynton Marsalis

“Really, this is not something I like to get asked. There’s just no way I can pick one name from all the people I listen to; and it changes with the time, my mood, my state of mind or life and so on. It is easier to define them this way — any musician who writes/makes music that appeals to my sensibilities on several levels, can be my favourite musician for a time. The music has to be nuanced and it has to have honesty and depth of emotion. Right now, my favourite is Wynton Marsalis (because I’m listening to ‘Jazz at the Lincoln Center’), followed by Keb’ Mo’, Norah Jones, Pat Metheny and many more.”


“Of all the places I have travelled to so far, I would have to pick Ireland as my favourite. It’s scenic and mostly unspoiled beauty, hospitable and friendly people, and the food which is slightly more interesting than what you get in the UK. When I am there, I get a sense of being outside the rat race. I have been there on tours with the band and then again on a vacation with the family. I have also got some really good friends there. I would love to go back to that place.”


“I like films but I wouldn’t call myself a film buff or anything so I wouldn’t know the names of directors and other details. However, I like watching movies and a recent film I enjoyed immensely was ‘Arrival’. I find myself liking most of the animated films that come out these days —may be because that is what we watch with the kids.”

Terry Pratchett

“I don’t have one favourite throughout the years; it keeps changing. However, there are authors that I can revisit, re-read and enjoy over and over again, and find something new every time. Terry Pratchett tops my list — I am a big fan of all his works and can dive into one of his books at any time. The others in the list include Tom Robbins, Douglas Adams, V S Ramachandran, Iain Banks, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Raymond Chandler and many more. My current pulp favourites (and guilty pleasures) also include James S A Corey, Peter F Hamilton and Lee Child.”

South Indian cuisine

“I like to proclaim myself a ‘foodie’ — but a slightly indiscriminate one. I am happy to enjoy roadside ‘roomali’ rolls stuffed with questionable meats as much as a spinach-and-ricotta cannelloni. However, if I had to really pick a favourite, then my first instinct would be to go to my roots — which is good old South Indian delicacies that my mother made, like ‘idli vada’, ‘dosa’ and so on. Lebanese cuisine would be a close second; I totally love salads and hummus.”

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