The Shor Bazaar Blog

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shor-ography

Shor Bazaar is a five-member band conceptualized in September 2007. With a heavy dose of serendipity, our line up was completed in the last week of December 2007. Since then, the ride has been dizzying. From getting disqualified at the Mood-i festival in IIT-B to getting to the national finals of a band competition and then to recording our first album... we consider ourselves very fortunate.


Our music sounds like a mixture of folk, alternative and rock. It is really hard to put anyone's finger on what genre we fit into. We would like to leave the judgement to the audience and call ourselves rockers.


We recorded our demo CD titled 'Shor Bazaar: Demo Sessions' at Promethean Studios in Malad (W). That was our first ever venture into a studio and we've got audible evidence to prove that in the demo disc itself.


That helped us get into the Radio City 91.1's RC Live! - the search for India's best Hindi band competition. We won the Mumbai leg of the finals and went on to compete at the National Finals where we didn't make it through. But our super-duper guitarist brother-duo won the Best Guitarist(s) award at the final.


The demo disc also helped us in getting our music through to Phat Phish who were gracious enough to offer us a recording contract. It was a dream come true for all of us; to get recognized by a reputed label. The fairy-tales have been reinvented by us!


Presently, we are finsihing tracking of our first album at Empire Studios in Mumbai with the help of our audio engineer and advisor, Chinmaya Harshe. Once that is over, we hope to hit the college gig scene and perform at the various venues all around Mumbai. Phat Phish is planning to record a video for our first single in the month of August. The album is scheduled to be released at the end of this year.


And we quote "We specialize in wasting our time trying to make money through music. Till date our earnings total zero."


Shor Who?

Dash, Jayajit a.k.a. JD (lyrics, vocals/harmonica/guitars/keyboard):

JD is Shor’s charismatic vocalist. He is the principal songwriter and derives the inspiration from his past experiences of traveling all around India. That is also reflected in the lyrics which have an eclectic feel with a generous sprinkling of words and phrases from many languages and eras. They range from sarcastic humor to moody and brooding, seemingly occupying that narrow space between innovative and scandalous. He is an honest, passionate, emotional individual who gives an almost writhing stage performance during live shows. That, along with his unassuming sense of humor, keeps the audience on their toes. JD's hairstyle and mood shifts parallel the London weather. JD loves to play his acoustic guitar without a pick. He uses both guitar and keyboard for songwriting.


JD was: IIT-KGP graduate in Mechanical Engineering, worked with ITC until 2007
JD's gear: JD uses original (made in India) DASH (c) vocal cords, Yamaha acoustic guitars, Elixir/D’addario strings, Yamaha keyboards and Hohner harmonicas.


Dasgupta, Joydeep a.k.a. Joy (electric guitars/lead/rhythm guitar):

Joy is one the starting members of the band. He’s the classical prototype of a guitarist with long hair and all who loves big fat guitar tones. His collection of pedals has raised eyebrows whenever it is unveiled. His guitar gear and accessories are a treasure trove collected after sifting through the plethora of stuff available all over the world after painless hours of research on the internet. It obviously helps to be a nerd with an encyclopedic knowledge of music and production. His stage presence portrays and calming confidence which underlines his personality. His guitar tones are probably the reason of Shor’s distinctive sound and his catchy riffs provide scaffolding for many a song in the Shor catalogue. He also doubles up as the liaison between Shor and their professional contacts.


Joy was: An electrical engineer who worked for Mastec


Joy's Gear: Joy uses Gibson SG guitars, an array of expensive, state of the art pedals and D’addario strings.


Dasgupta, Abhishek a.k.a. Robin (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals, and keyboards):

Robin’s is endearingly referred to as ‘The Scientist’ of our band. A guitar prodigy in his own right, he provides the luscious background for JD’s melancholic vocal melodies. His jazz-oriented style is amply demonstrated in his benumbing chord progressions. That is without mentioning the scrupulous rhythm section and the dreamy solos that he comes up with in our songs. He is Shor’s consultant with his magnificent musical compass showing the band their way through many songwriting storms. His vocals dove-tail seamlessly with JD’s energizing the bridges and choruses. Eccentric genius is often bundled with other radically different facets and in his case it is moodiness, a brilliant sense of humor and a predilection for clumsiness; almost like a Gotham super-antihero, the scary combination of the Clown & the mad Scientist.

Robin is: a SY B.com student at N. M. College.
Robin's gear: Robin uses Taylor and Yamaha acoustic guitars, Elixir/D’addario strings, a custom made Strat-copy, POD XT and Fishman acoustic amplifier.


Pillai, Sumit a.k.a. Sumit (drums, percussion, backing vocals):

Sumit is a drummer who strives hard to strike a balance between contrasting styles of drumming as groove and metal. And from his efforts, something sparkling invariably emerges filling up Shor’s sonic spectrum. A penchant for folk rhythm helps him to mesh up with JD’s folk influences. His wealth of experiences playing in other bands plus his involvement with studios and music production come in handy at creative crossroads. Much like our long-gone Cretaceous reptilian ancestors, a larger frame (6’ 3”) comes packaged with tardiness resulting in an almost comical paradox. The ‘Mad Professor’ doesn’t just stick to his skins. He plays the acoustic guitar and has a beautiful singing voice which he rarely puts to use.


Sumit was: a Fire & Safety engineer from the CUSAT, worked as a game designer at Zapak.com and India Games.com before he quit his job.


Sumit gear: Sumit uses Mapex drums, Sabian/Zildjian cymbals and Vic Firth sticks.


Venkitachalam, Krishna Kumar a.k.a. KK, The Doc (bass guitar, acoustic guitar and backing vocals):

The Doctor is the crazy bundle of weirdness that neutralizes the caustic brilliance of the other four band members. His bass lines which are inspired by grunge and funk glue up the wide array of riffs and licks going on in most of the songs. He conspires with Robin to convert regular melodies to sullen, morose ones by changing and chopping chords. An ardent fan of the acoustic guitar and acoustic recordings, he provides ideas for some of the interesting guitar riffs and rhythms. He pulls out vocal harmonies for the songs from his grunge influences. There are times when his quixotic ideology and a weird sense of humor seeps through his wiry frame to make him appear obnoxious. Thankfully, that’s rare. More importantly though, the impregnable vibe between him and Sumit provides solid framework for the band’s music.


KK was/is: a Bachelor in Medicine from Medical College Thiruvananthapuram, a resident of Orthopaedics in KEM Hospital, Mumbai.


KK gear: KK uses Ibanez SDGR Bass, Warwick Rock bass, Greg Bennet Acoustic Basses, D’addario/Warwick strings and Laney amps and cabinets.


The Shor-istory by The Doc

Sometime in 2006, JD, an IIT-Kharagpur Mechanical Engineering graduate, was working for ITC when he felt the urge to start writing music. He started own his own at first scribbling down lyrics over simple chord progressions on the guitar. His job led him all across India from Orissa to Gujrat to Chennai across cultures which gave him the inspiration to write more. Soon he felt the need to have company to expand his repertoire. He posted an ad on RSJ Online for other likeminded musicians. Enter Joy.


While JD was posted in Silvasa in Gujarat, Joy responded to the ad expressing his interest. Joy was working for Mastec as an Electrical Engineer at Mumbai then. They decided to meet up at Joy's place in Mumbai. The next weekend saw Joy and JD jamming. Enter Robin.


Robin, the younger brother of Joy, a commerce student at NM College and a guitar-prodigy even at the young age of 17, joined them in their sessions. A couple of months of jamming over weekends led to nothing significant and they decided to call of their ambitious plans for building a band.


They went on a year long hiatus with work taking them further away than they already were. Thankfully, both of them got fed up with their lives and their mundane day jobs. Both got back in touch with each other and decide to take a sabbatical from their jobs to try and restart their original venture. This was sometime in September 2007. Both met again in our Alma Mata, the apartment of the Dasguptas in early December 2007. The name was also decided somewhere here. With lots of new songs added to their repertoire, they decided to look for bassists and drummers to complete the band. IIT-B’s Mood-I was around the corner and it seemed the perfect stage to start. Enter KK.


I, KK, was doing rather well in life whilst being in the final months of my surgical residency in Orthopaedics at KEM hospital in Mumbai. I already knew Robin via the acoustic band that we were part of called Cirkles. On the 9th of December, Robin called me over to his apartment to jam. I was introduced to the JD and after pleasantries JD and Robin jammed a couple of songs on the guitar. I was literally blown away by the music and JD’s vocals and I, despite my commitments, agreed to join the band as the bassist.


Together we streamlined a set-list of four songs for the competition. A couple of drummers were short-listed from the contacts that Robin had. We jammed with both of them. The result was nothing to write home about and a few days before Mood-I, we were still without a drummer. We were desperate. Enter Sumit.


Sumit, a gifted game designer working for India Games, is my childhood friend from Kerala. I and Sumit used to jam a decade. Sumit was called in and just like me, he fell in love with JD’s beautiful songwriting and decided to try out as the drummer. A couple of jam sessions in the only operational Bajaao.com jam pad in Mumbai and we became the present version of Shor Bazaar.

5 comments:

harsh said...

i hav seen ur band in umang festival 2008 MUMBAI.........u guys wer rokin......best of luck 2 ya future.....

Bhushan said...

I am sure you guys deserve to be called as the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" in the Indian Music scene!!!
I have also been a very minuscule witness to the growth of Shor Bazaar and all I can say is that you guys are the role models of how a Perfect Band should be!!
Hats off to Shor Bazaar!!

The Doc said...

Bhushan: It is very kind of you to use such adulatory adjectives for us. Thank you!

soniya said...

well heard u guys at the "purple haze""vnit fest"...u guys rocked....njoyed every moment of the show...

The Doc said...

Than you Soniya! We look forward to rocking VNIT again in the future!