Metrolife: 20 years of Euphoria, and still going strong

Metrolife: 20 years of Euphoria, and still going strong

Delhi-based Euphoria is an 11-piece band.

A packed crowd in Hard Rock Cafe, Bengaluru, recently sang along to the lines of a song being performed by a band. What is remarkable? 
The song was ‘Maeri’, released more than 18 years ago by the Hindi rock legends ‘Euphoria’. 

They rocked the indie scene with songs like ‘Dhoom Pichak Dhoom’ and ‘Aana Meri Gully’ at a time when bands were few and hard to come by. ‘Euphoria’ is turning 20 this year in October and Palash Sen, the frontman, says that his journey has been nothing short of ‘euphoric’. Excerpts from a chat with Rajitha Menon.

What sort of songs do you listen to in your spare time?

Rock, rock n roll — I mainly listen to western music; sadly, I don’t listen to Indian music that much. It’s always been like that, mainly because of my breeding. Also, there are very few good Indian songs coming out right now. 

You have been pretty critical about the Indian music industry...

We don’t really have a music industry; we have a film industry. The films promote music according to their own agenda. That is my problem. If you put Rs 50 lakh to promote a song, it will obviously reach more people. Also, Hindi film music is very similar. The listener is not really being given a choice. It becomes tiring. When you put on the radio, you hear the same thing day in and day out — it all depends on who is promoting what. We are not listening to music on the basis of merit. 

Do you think the audience has also changed over the years?

If there was a Daler Mehendi at that time, there is a Guru Randhawa right now. The audience has always been the same; just that the ways of reaching them have become simpler. 

In most of your songs, there has been a focus on lost chances and unrequited love. Why is that?

That’s my life (laughs). I always wrote about problems that a common man faces. I come from a time when people had a lot of issue expressing themselves to the opposite gender. I know a lot of people who lost opportunities to express their love. And I always romanticised about the thing that could have been. Every song I have ever written is a true story — maybe that’s why they are so relatable. 

What does the band do together, apart from making music?

We eat a lot, we hang out together and generally have a great time.  We have known each other for so many years it has become more like a family. 

Is there any genre of music you wish had never come about?

No, I think music is music. Maybe trance... I have never understood it. But to each his own. There should be a variety of music. If we are not doing the same thing or eating the same food every day, why are we listening to the same stuff?

Thoughts about Bengaluru?

I love this city. I am sure everyone says this but I really mean it. I first came here in 1989, for a cultural festival organised by St John’s Medical College. I was the secretary of my college — University College of Medical Sciences in Delhi — and came here with my team, which did not win a single prize by the way.  But here I saw a truly metropolitan city, which I don’t feel about Delhi or Mumbai.

What do you like about this city?

This is the only city that chooses its music; you can’t enforce any music here. The other city that had this quality was Kolkata but it has changed drastically and is totally into Bollywood music now. This city has never changed. 

From medicine to music...

Palash is an orthopaedic surgeon and founded ‘Euphoria’ with his compounder friends in New Delhi in 1988. They derive their name from Hypomania, or the state of euphoria, the second stage in a psychological disorder. Their music studio is called ‘The Clinic’. 

Rocking show

The band is known for its electrifying live acts. At the recent performance in Hard Rock, they delivered an almost four-hour set that went on nonstop. The audience could be seen gasping for breath, trying to keep with up with the band’s energy.