Swarathma’s Blog


On Road In Rain Tour Poster – Live in Chennai!
July 19, 2011, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Live Art | Tags: , , ,

Tour Poster Design - Vasu Dixit

We head to Chennai at last! It’s been a long while, the last one there was way back in Oct 2010! It should be fun, land up people! Some new tunes and good times.

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Rhythm Gurus II: Montry Manuel on his Teachers
March 14, 2011, 5:12 am
Filed under: Experiences, Music | Tags: , , , ,

The heart of Swarathma’s feel-good vibe is powerhouse drummer Montry Manuel. In the second part of the series on his teachers, he writes about Jeoraj Stanley George, acclaimed jazz drummer from Chennai who has mentored Montry over the years.  Read on to learn more about Jeoraj, his life and music and impact on Montry.

My mentor, JEORAJ “Jo” STANLEY GEORGE was my second teacher who helped me take my skill set one step  ahead. I met him at the Unwind Centre, Bangalore where I had joined a class for Pro Sessions.

My Mentor Jo recording in studio

The most hardworking artist, he learnt his skills from the DRUMTECH Institute, UK and was awarded the best student, the year he graduated from there. He was also trained by Joe Boy for his advanced skill set before joining Drum Tech. He came back to India and settled in Chennai where he started his struggle as an artist. After all his achievements, he had to put in more hard work to get himself noticed in this industry and within a few years he made it big. He has toured with Keith Peters and Carl Peters, Madhav Chari Trio, Amit Heri and Group who specialize in Indian Fusion. He has also toured with AR Rehman. He is also a very well known Session Artist and has been called in as a Guest Artist on many occasions.

Jo's drum setup

 

He had helped us a lot during the recording of our first album. He was the one who helped me polish my sound, my drum beats and rhythm for songs like Patte Saare, Jaana Kahan Hai Mujhe, Bolo Kya Hai, Yeshu Allah aur Krishna and Barsenge. He taught me the grooves of rock and reggae and the basics of samba beats which have helped me develop better sound for the album.

Get a taste of his music here

On his various visits to Bangalore, we always get together to discuss music and get some tips to learn new tricks to develop a better and more refreshing sound.

Text and Illustrations: Montry Manuel, Edited by: Hafsah Parkar, Pics: Facebook profile



Plotting the Biggest Tour of our Lives
October 5, 2010, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Experiences, Tour | Tags: , , , , , ,

Tour Poster. Design: Vasu Dixit. Pic: Pavan Kumar

We’re off on a trip! It promises to be pretty huge with more dates than we’ve ever played in such a short span of time. The fact that we’re taking the road less traveled is quite exciting. The boys are really kicked about playing home towns, what with Vasu and Pavan hailing from Mysore and Sanjeev from a small town between Mangalore and Manipal! To top it, we’re heading from coast to coast, traveling cross-country from Mangalore to Chennai.

There’s going to be a lot to learn along this tour, for sure. To begin with, to keep costs down we’re doing most of the travel by road. So it’s going to be gig-travel-soundcheck-gig-travel-soundcheck-gig for most of the time. How a bunch of woozy band members will find the energy to deliver night on night is something we need to learn. After all, this is how they do it abroad. We got a small taste of it on our UK tours, but nothing quite like Indian roads and a tempo traveller for transport, eh?

Oct 7 – Hyderabad – Hard Rock Cafe

Oct 8 – Mysore –Tunes n Tonics, Hotel Adhi Manor

Oct 9 – Mangalore –Village Pub

Oct 10 – Manipal –Valley View

Oct 13 – Chennai –Dublin

Oct 15 – Pondicherry –Zest Big Beach

Oct 16 – Pune – Smokies Oktoberfest

Oct 17 – Hyderabad –Bottles n Chimneys

Oct 21 – Bangalore – Hard Rock Cafe (supporting TAAQ)

Oct 23 – Bangalore – The Great Indian Octoberfest

Stay tuned for updates. This will be epic.



Landmark Tour Diary: Chennai ke Chamatkari Chitr
April 23, 2009, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Tour Diary | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Chennai was a memorable trip. Here’s the story in pictures.

Varun decides to take a nap, and rehearse his cool dance moves at the same time! Sneaky Snap by Pavan.

Varun decides to take a nap, and rehearse his cool dance moves at the same time! Sneaky Snap by Pavan.

We headed to the Chennai Live 104.8 FM studios for a radio interview. Good fun, with RJ Melbin. Catch Sanjeev's philosophical folded arms pose.

We headed to the Chennai Live 104.8 FM studios for a radio interview. Good fun, with RJ Melbin. Catch Sanjeev's philosophical folded arms pose.

Best Landmark Gig so far. Good sound, and great crowd. We were a little freaked out when we saw someone in the audience keep time, he was a classically trained musician!

Best Landmark Gig so far. Good sound, and great crowd. We were a little freaked out when we saw someone in the audience keep time, he was a classically trained musician!

We headed back to Bangalore the day after, bleary eyed, catching a 6am train and pulled into Bangalore station, still sleepy. Who should pounce upon us (and our sea of luggage) but an army of porters, with steely eyed determination. There were no less than seven of them. They all wanted a piece of the action. Each got ONE piece of luggage.

Seven porters. Average luggage articles per porter, ONE.

Seven porters. Average luggage articles per porter, ONE. Check out the chap at the back with the little white bag!

At the end, they looked like a band themselves. We call them the Kewlies.

Kewlies chilling, post their performance.

Kewlies chilling, post their performance.



Landmark Tour Diary: The Trip That Almost Wasn’t
April 22, 2009, 8:19 am
Filed under: Tour Diary | Tags: , , , , ,

Until 2am on 22 April, four hours before we were to catch the train to Chennai to play at the Landmark, Citi Centre we did not have the tickets for the Shatabdi Express!

What went wrong, you ask? The bright travel agent booked a paper ticket (the ones that look like this, remember?)
ticket-elusive

As of 21st April afternoon, the Landmark folks in Chennai held in their hands this very ticket we needed in Bangalore on 22nd morning. No courier service would get it to us in time. (We’re not asking why it got so delayed, and/or why they did not book an e-ticket).

So the Landmark chappies decide to hand deliver it. They appoint Vasu (not our Vasu) a redoubtable gent to take a state bus from Chennai and drop the ticket off with us in Bangalore.

So we waited. And waited and waited. And waited some more. Finally at 11.30 pm, when there was no sign or signal from Vasu the Delivery Boy, we guessed the show wasn’t happening. But then in steps Vasu, saving the day at 2.00am!

There’ a lot to be said for their commitment, the Bangalore team stayed in office till the delivery boy showed up and brought it down to Montry’s house!

On board the train we slept. The gentle sway of the high speed coach on the tracks was more soporific than going to history class high on cough syrup. The monotony was shattered by Aryan. All of 5 years old, he engaged us in a vicious gunbattle. Shooting us dead wasn’t enough of course, he chanted rhymes, did a Spiderman and counted up to ten.

aryan-attacks

Attaboy!

Now, lunch done, at an outstanding South Indian Meals (Pyooor Veg) restaurant, we await interviews, then soundcheck and then we’re on!