Originally published in the Hindu Metroplus Bangalore edition on March 6th
Bangalore Metal An Export This Year
Not one, but two city bands are heading out on tour this year. Even better, they’re both metal bands with a strong allegiance to their genres and take their music very seriously. Death/thrash metal band Inner Sanctum announced their Euro trip a few months ago, but last week, old school metallers Kryptos announced their second tour of Europe, including dates in Germany and Norway.
Inner Sanctum will play at the Burning Sea festival in Zadar, Croatia between June 5to June 8, on the bill along with the likes of Iced Earth, King Diamond and Enslaved. They are currently in the process of finalising more tour dates, which may add up to as many as 10 gigs across a month. “It was a lot of work – building contacts and talking to promoters and booking agents over the last two years that’s helped with this,” says Inner Sanctum bassist Abhishek Michael.
It was comparatively easier for Kryptos, who toured Europe first time in 2010. Their 2012 album Coils of Apollyon was released on German record label AFM Records, which led to increased interest in the band in Europe. They are stopping over at Wacken Open Air in Germany, one of metal’s most coveted festivals. Additionally, the band is returning to play at In Flammen Open Air, Germany between July 4 and 6.
“This time, we have a better idea of how things work there and what we need to do with respect to finances, travel and other things. I have high hopes that this particular tour will lead to many more opportunities to tour Europe and other parts of the world so we really do have to make the most of it,” says Nolan Lewis, vocalist and guitarist of Kryptos.
Even then, both bands admit they are heading out on their own accord, spending money out of their own pockets to fund touring expenses. After all, it only becomes about representing your country when you get some form of support from them. Both bands say it didn’t cross their minds to think they were representing the country. “We’re representing Sanctum and that’s about it. I find it strange that people assume that when a band goes outside, they represent the country, we’re just going to play some music in a different country to a different audience,” says Michael of Inner Sanctum.
Kryptos’s Lewis says it may even have something to do with Bangalore bands in particular, pointing towards the pragmatic approach toward how bands should be run. He jokes about how he dreaded a terrible band would have been selected to represent India on a global stage, completely embarrassing the rest of the scene. “That was motivation enough for us to get there before (any of) them,” says Lewis, who adds with a knowing laugh: “The irony isn’t lost on me that we’re probably that ‘shit’ band I’m talking about!”
Turning their attention to the scene they are inspiring, the bands see their international tours in different ways. “It’s not much different actually, if you can pull off a show in India and have people walk away remembering the gig, you can do that in any part of the world,” says Michael, who feels all bands probably know their own respective chances of touring Europe now that two local bands are heading out. Whereas Lewis says ‘Indian metal’ hasn’t exactly become “in demand” yet: “Bands like us and Inner Sanctum going to Europe is just another rung in the ladder towards pushing the Indian metal scene in the right direction.”
Given a chance to pick a fellow metal band to take on tour with them, both bands agree on Bangalore’s stoner/doom band Bevar Sea, who seem to be riding on the wave of popularity following their album release in November last year. Michael of Inner Sanctum also suggests Mumbai thrash metallers Devoid and Zygnema, the latter of which, interestingly, is heading out to play at Inferno Festival in Norway on March 28.
While Lewis is looking forward to catching some of his biggest metal influences live, running from stage to stage at open air festivals, Michael says, “I just hope that both bands have a blast and are able to get more people hooked on their music. Apart from the performances, we (Inner Sanctum) are just going to have fun, party with locals, get shit faced, maybe pick up a couple of STD’s along the way and obviously some herbal therapy.”