Bitten by the music bug

Rising stars

Bitten by the music bug

Groovy bass lines, simple upbeat rhythms and soulful vocals define ‘Clown With A Frown’. The homegrown disco/funk outfit has set out to redefine dance music and are musical heartthrobs among the city’s young crowd.

Known for its fun, power-packed acts, the band performed at Big Brewsky recently. Jonathan Reuben, guitarist, spoke to Rajitha Menon about the journey of the group till now.

 How did the band come about?

I started jamming with a batchmate while in school. Then Pramod joined and in college, I met Amrita who introduced me to Rahul and Kavya. Slowly the others joined and we started as a nine-piece group. I had always wanted to form a band; I was just waiting for the right people.

Did you imagine you would be this successful?

We didn’t even think we will take to this in a professional way. All of us just wanted to create music. But when we saw where it was heading and when we started winning almost every competition we took part in, we realised we had something good going.

Have the frequent lineup changes affected the band in any way?

People have individual lives and keep having to commit to one thing or the other. I and Pramod have tried our best to not let the numerous changes affect the band.
And we have always managed to get great new members who gelled with all of us. So there were no adjustment problems.

How was this name chosen?

We had a brainstorming session to decide what we should call ourselves. Our songs dealt with intense and heavy subjects, like women empowerment and sadness, but these were packaged in a light way with happy music. So we decided on a name which would reflect this. And we were also inspired by a poem that we learnt in class 11 which talks about what clowns do after they are done entertaining people.

Bands that you admire...

There are a lot of Indian bands that we admire and look up to. But if we had to name some that have influenced our sound, it would be ‘Chic’, ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’, ‘Tower of Power’, ‘Bee Gees’ and so on.

A memorable on stage moment...

We were playing at a gig in Pune when a man came up to us and asked if we could play our song ‘Cupid Voodoo’. We obliged but what we didn’t know was that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend as we played it. It was a very special moment for all of us.

Any funny incidents?

Plenty. Once the amplifier caught fire during a performance and that too when we were playing a song titled ‘Like a flame’. We literally had people falling off the stage.

What do you guys do when not making music?

We travel a lot. We take off on regular road trips. We play board games, fly kites, video games — everything that a normal bunch of kids would do.

Were your parents okay with the decision to join a band?

Initially they were alright because I was in college. But when I finished graduation and decided to continue with music, I faced a lot of opposition.

They wanted to know how long I was going to keep at it, what I wanted to do with my life and so on. It was out of concern but every musician wants to continue for as long as possible. I am a bio-engineer but that is only my backup plan.

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