| 29 Feb 2024
The Hoodwink Circle rolls out archival EP; to release new material soon

When life gave The Hoodwink Circle lemons, they went 'with the flow', stuck around and three years of patience and anticipation later, released their debut EP. The Mumbai-based rock act, as vocalist Aidan Lewis claims, despite its irregular and inconsistent studio and live activities managed to not only survive on its will but eventually put up the compositions written seven years ago. 

Lewis wrote the first ever song – lyrically - towards the end of junior college, and now almost a decade later, understandably takes pride in the digital release of his ideas. "'With The Flow' EP represents a huge chunk of my life," informed Lewis, the guitarist and vocalist for The Hoodwink Circle. The band also features Sanju Aguiar (guitars), Ishaan Krishnan (bass) and Rahul Hariharan (drums). The drummer became the last addition to the Circle, after replacing the first drummer, and that Lewis acknowledged as the rebirth of The Hoodwink Circle.

The 6-track EP begins with the title track, and the first impression of the sound gives a quick flashback to the mid and late 2000s Mumbai’s music scene, especially the rock genre. “You’re neither entirely wrong, nor entirely right, but yes, bands like Split and Zero did have some influences on me, personally. In fact, Split used to jam opposite my house,” replied Lewis, who grew as a musician in the awe of Split’s guitarist and Sanju Aguiar’s cousin Aviv Pereira.

‘With The Flow’ features songs that speak about personal failures, Lewis’ motorcycle ‘Suzanna’ and sonically the EP covers the band’s influences, ideas, motives and the sheer necessarily raw and early 90s American rock n roll elements. These, and other few aspects, will not find a place in the upcoming effort, assured Lewis. “What you heard in ‘With The Flow’ is a reflection of our knowledge of music a few years ago. Now, we have different influences, an evolved understanding and in a way, the music has changed too. We do not want to be a part of something or consciously do not want not to be a part of something.”

The vocals for ‘With The Flow’ was recorded post 2013, when the drummer Rahul Hariharan opened ‘That Studio’. “While drums and vocals were tracked in Rahul’s studio, Sanju’s guitars and bass were tracked in Vashi.” Mixed by Arun Iyer and Pangea’s Kuber Sharma (one track), the EP was later mastered by Anupam Roy. “When we composed the album, we did not do it with the intention to make money or sell music CDs. Initially we recoreded ten songs, however, weren’t happy with all of them. Then we narrowed it down to six.”

Life would not change drastically after the release of the EP, admits Lewis, however, the recent development for the Circle only motivated the members to emphasise on similar efforts in the future. “Sanju is a busy active musician and so is Rahul. Ishaan is a sound engineer at the NCPA, and I have been taking care of the family business for quite some time. I do have ideas for 4-5 songs and definitely the band will release new material. When and how? We are working on it.”       

With the a little bit of help from friends – Bajaao, Modern Mafia – ‘With The Flow’ could become a reality for Lewis, and that, he explained as the “beauty of our independent scene where it’s all like a family.”

More than the frequent live performances and the release of the EP, the aspect that Aidan Lewis take special pride has been the members’ ability and desire to continue the journey with the same enthusiasm and optimism that helped them set it at the first place. “There was a time when Sanju and Rahul didn’t have enough money to continue, but they did (unlike some musicians who eventually quit the passion) and today I see them benefit from that perseverance.”

Listen to the EP 'With The Flow' here -