'I can't remember lyrics that well'

'I can't remember lyrics that well'

Punk n' grunge

'I can't remember lyrics that well'

Arwen Magma has been involved with the music industry in multiple capacities for years now — as a singer, lyricist, composer, guitarist, producer and so on. It has been 10 years now and he has the seen the music scene in Bengaluru change from a fledgling state to a thriving one, with the pros and cons that comes with it.

Founder of the band ‘1Fret Away’ and a regular in the Kannada film music industry, Arwen is busy with the release of his new project — a self produced full length album. He talks to Rajitha Menon about the world of notes and chords.

What are the challenges you faced initially?
As a band that plays punk and grunge, it was tough initially. Only select few bands got to play shows. There were hardly any events that were regularly happening and these were mostly monthly affairs. Getting the band together was another issue. There was no fixed line up, studies got in the way and obviously, our families were not very thrilled about this decision of ours either.

How has the music scene changed in the last 10 years?
It has grown in both a positive and negative way. There are multiple venues now and the number of paid and non paid gigs has increased drastically. But that leads to a situation where you have only select bands or artistes playing some venues or only friends or friends of friends getting chances. Because of the proliferation of artistes, there are also chances of them being under paid or misused.

Tell us about your upcoming solo album...
Titled ‘Illusions and dreams’, it features multiple artists across the state as well as one international artiste. I see there are a lot of unrecognised talents that could use more exposure and this is my effort to get them the recognition that they deserve. This is a concept which requires a lot of time, effort and money though.

What keeps your band together?
When like-minded people meet, magic happens. We play alternative rock, a genre that not many people play but do listen to. We wanted to keep it going. It’s the love for what we do that is still pushing us. I wanted the band to grow far beyond what we had imagined and that has happened though we want to make it even bigger.

If you could change one thing about the independent music industry...
We still lack the right kind of exposure. The top bands get all the benefits while the lower and the mid level artistes get very less reach. We need to give everyone the equal amount of exposure. The upcoming talent is promising. Give them a chance and I am sure
you’d be surprised!

Strangest fan reaction?
Someone once told me — I can’t believe there are people who still play this kind of music. I didn’t know what to quite make of that.

How do you manage goofups?
I can’t remember lyrics that well, especially of new songs. So when I forget the lines, I go ‘Nananana...ahem.. yeaaaaaa......’ (laughs).

Your music is...
It’s fast and peppy but at the same time, it can be dark and bring out a lot of sadness.

What annoys you most during performances?
When the organisers say ‘Please reduce your volume. Our guests are getting disturbed.’