New band in town

New band in town

Pradip Ramanathan

Pradip Ramanathan has been onstage performing since he was 21, an age when he also decided that he not only wanted to play his music but sing it too. After coming up with enough material to produce his debut album ‘You Had To Go And Do That’, Pradip met Shrawan Banerjee, Kaushik Kumar and Arvind Ramdas.

Together, they form the live act ‘Neon Radar’, which does covers of pop songs and songs from popular bands like ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Green Day’. Pradip spoke to Sanjana Radhakrishna about their musical journey so far.

How did you all come together?

Shrawan was introduced to me by a mutual friend shortly after my album came out. I knew Kaushik from the rock band ‘Mad Orange Fireworks’ and I’ve known Arvind since he was a student at ‘Taaqademy’, a music school I used to work at.

What is the story behind the band’s name?

I wish I could make up some amazing story about what it means and how it’s some deep metaphor but it really means nothing. I just thought it sounded cool and memorable and found that this particular name (unlike a few others I came up with) wasn’t taken yet.

 What is the genre you play?

Broadly speaking we’re a high-energy rock band but we have unexpected influences. There is a strong punk and grunge element in our songs, along with a touch of singers like Elvis and Frank Sinatra.

Why this particular style?

All my favourite songwriters are the ones who talk about their own life experiences and that’s definitely something I do in almost all my songs.

What are the challenges you face in this genre?

To me, the biggest challenge I face while writing songs is coming up with lyrics. Even if I like a melody or chord sequence I’ve come up with, one bad lyric can ruin the whole thing and makes it impossible for me to sing it with conviction.

Any other genre you would like to explore?

I listen to all kinds of music and there’s no telling what kind of music I’ll be writing as time goes by.

New projects...

I’m always trying to write new songs but it takes a while to come up with something I actually like. I’m writing a second album but I can’t guarantee when that’ll be out.

Any creative differences between you and your band mates?

Well, since the songs were written and recorded by me well before I’d put a band together, that never happened. All we’ve done so far is rehearse my songs. However, it’s always great when the guys change something from the album; it has reached a saturation point now.

Any funny moments...

During our first gig, my pedals stopped working during a song and this muted my guitar completely. During the part where only I was meant to be heard, I somewhat foolishly knelt down in the middle of the song to fix my pedals; to complete silence. Thankfully, Shrawan picked up on this and played my part and by the time I had to sing the next line, my guitar was audible again.