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Interviews |  11 Apr 2017 19:14 |  By Mallika Deb

We've had more good days than bad: Laxmi Bomb

MUMBAI: Meet 'Laxmi Bomb', a three and a half years old electro-pop outfit from 'Bombay' that put in a nutshell the sound of the streets of Mumbai. The four-piece 'Bomb' involves Joaquim Cosmos on the synthesiser, Levin Mendes on drums (Songwriter for Laxmi Bomb, also the drummer of Bombay Bassment), Chandrashekar Kunder on the console (Major C), and Keegan Pereira on vocals.  

Since September 2013, this electronic band has been grinding the Indian independent music scene with a first-rate mix of ‘raanti-rap’ driven vocals that has its specific local flavoured ‘ghetto-styled-expletive’ lingo.  

Winner of RadioCity Freedom Awards in 2016 for Best Album Art, this ‘fiery-foursome’ had their maiden international tour in May 2016 and they dropped thrilling ‘bombs’ across six cities in the Malaysian Cape. If we talk domestically, they have headlined in the festivals such as Nariyal Paani, Ziro Festival, Ragasthan, New Wave Festival among others.

According to them, the genre, "Electronica is merely a format of the sound." Since its inception, they had a great run of shows; their debut EP ‘H?’ was released in 2014, followed by another EP release in the same year, they were on hiatus in 2015. They said, they would ‘like to forget’ 2015. "With line-up changes and members involved in personal commitments, we had a lull year."

However, 2016 saw the addition of Chandrashekar Kunder aka Major C on the decks and that was the turning point. “And now, it’s 2017 and we’re back on the attack. So I’d say we’ve had more good days than bad. Our endeavour is to make them better,” added vocalist Keegan.

On talking about the idiosyncratic vision of ‘Laxmi Bomb’, also the erratic lyrics and sound, Levin, who writes the songs said, “All of us definitely wanted to be part of music. Three out of the four members of the band come from ‘Roman Catholic’ backgrounds. So I guess music has always been etched in our minds and hearts. The idea was to create an ‘explosion’ that doesn’t lead to destruction. On the contrary, it breeds positivity, constructive work, and a lot of love amongst its listeners. Moreover, these themes are popular right hence, ‘electro-pop’. In addition, three of the four members cannot be technically considered as ‘musicians’. I feel that DJ’s, rappers and percussionists are considered the ‘dentists’ of the music world. We have just one true specialist that is Joaquim Cosmos Fernandes. Laxmi Bomb is the ‘good’ bomb, yes.”

Their songs are rendered through a young woman’s metaphors, for example, the track ‘Run D’, ‘Air Maharaja’, ‘Dhirty – One’ or ‘Hey G’ among others. While summarising what was the thought behind the brains, the gang told that they wanted to have one ‘fataka’ in the band. “As the entire ‘indie-industry’ is super-duper niche, we thought it would be nice to have an ‘item number’ that can symbolises us. Therefore, we took that thought quite literally and that gave birth to our dear ‘Laxmi’.”  

Currently in love with this French singer-songwriter ‘Jain’, Laxmi Bomb’s various styles emerge from the various flavours that each member brings to the table. “Nowadays, fusing elements is not a long-drawn and laboured process like the olden days. It’s literally done at the back of a hand with the aid of technology. As far as understanding of instruments for a composer is concerned, you need not have any. But to make ‘music come good’ you most definitely do,” said Chandu aka Major C.  

The electronic music movement or electronic dance music in India has seen a spate of new artists mushroom over the past five years if not more, which was not the story maybe a decade ago, where everything was very ‘band’ oriented. Subsequently, our topic of discussion was the approach of electronic music, the Independent music outlook in India, the growing trend of electronic music, dance music, also, whether people are understanding the music of gen-y or not among others.  All of them agreed on the fact that, it has opened up a bit for sure. However, that’s merely a sign of where India stands in the world today, in terms of 'indie' music.  

“The market is exporting more niche commodities like ‘indie- music’ besides fruits and veggies. Now the kids have access to better tech support and better drugs too (laughs). But yes, India has seen an advent of artists in the electronic space and that can only augur well for budding musicians who would like to make it their dedicated profession. However, we still believe that the best is yet to come. If not for us, the next generation can hope to live a successful life purely through music," told Keegan and Joaquim Cosmos together with a smirk.   

Since Pentagram is nowhere to be found (sadly), Laxmi Bomb’s music highlights killer live drums and bass-lines, which have been missing from the Indian independent scene for quite some time now. We asked the good bombs, how easy said than done is it to execute such live acts with so much of enthusiasm. Explaining that, the band said, “The energy comes from years of passion while in some ways it comes from idolatry, ‘Pentagram’ included. Ever since we were kids, we used to binge-watch MTV and the channel would repeatedly telecast shows of metal/rock bands like ‘Metallica’, ‘Nirvana’, ‘Van Halen’ etc, and we’d look at them and think that’s how I’d like my performance to be. That was the beginning."  

Laxmi’s favourite place to let somebody witness her is antiSOCIAL, Mumbai. “Without a doubt live performances in a basement! It’ll take some beating to top that. We just hope the fire keeps burning, although we have to admit, it’s not the safest place in case one literally breaks out,” passed on Levin!  

Lastly, they recently came up with a new avatar (as you can see the pictures), also all set to perform live on coming Thursday 13 April at the Unscene/Indie gig at The Humming Tree, Bengaluru along with the bands The Family Cheese and Signal W.

(Image Credits: Toto Nandy, Diya Sarker, Sudhir Gaikwad, Krishnaa Artisto)