Originally published in the Hindu Metroplus Bangalore edition on April 27th, 2013
Inner Sanctum have never gone beyond two dates in what they would call a ‘tour’. Indeed, it’s a very different notion for an Indian band to tour within the country. Bigger crowd-pleasing rock and fusion bands get to tour, but not metal bands. At the most, they get five gigs in one month, each spread a week apart. This June, thrash/death metallers Inner Sanctum will go on their biggest tour yet – their Wake of Destruction tour of Germany and Poland, which includes at least eight consecutive performances, in eight different cities.
We’ve played two back to back shows here in India but never a tour,” says Gaurav Basu, vocalist of the band. He adds: “We hope we’re physically able to pull it off as shows can really drain you out.” As with all things tied to Inner Sanctum, Basu is also the designer of the band’s posters and T-shirts. He played around with mythology of all kinds before sketching up their tour poster, which features a mythical lord slaying an octopus-like creature. I am a huge fan of Greek mythology and wanted to dig around in that area,” says Basu, thinking of Posiedon, Hades and other Titans before he finally settled on one kind of mythology. “I wanted to illustrate a very terrifying version of Lord Yama, influenced by how classical Greek art was, I decided to add my own spin to it. I tried capturing a moment of a destructive force headed towards our way….The lord of Death arising out of the Earth itself, and instead of his usual stead, I came up with a tentacly sort of creature that would reach out and grab hold of anyone that crossed his path and slay him,” Basu explains.
With a tour poster like that, they’ll have few problems conveying their brand of heavy, chaotic and destructive metal to an entirely new audience. Inner Sanctum plays at two festivals as part of their tour – they open with the Chronical Moshers Festival in Germany and move through Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Giessen, Cologne and Bonn, before closing with Metalfest Open Air in Poland. Band manager and bassist Abhishek Michael is half nervous and half excited about going out to play in a country where they have to win fans, and not expect anyone to know their songs. But he feels the tour will be worth it. “It’s not an easy job (to organise a tour), no one is just going to give you festivals and club shows just like that. I’ve probably sent out over a 100 mails and half the time you never get a reply,” says Michael. Inner Sanctum were also meant to play the now-cancelled Burning Sea festival in Croatia as part of their tour, along with Mumbai metal band Albatross.
“I personally am more worried about visas than anything else. I think once we get to Europe and we start playing these shows we’ll be fine,” the bassist assures. Knowing bands, it might just be like a hectic vacation, but with gigs to play at the end of each day. “Every city is going to be something to look forward to. At our two festival dates, it’s just going to be us chilling out with some beers and catching some of the bands,” says Michael.