People often describe Mumbai in different ways, calling it the 'city of dreams', 'city that never sleeps' and 'maximum city'. But it wouldn't be inappropriate to also address it as the Indie music centre of the country, with a wide variety of music outfits proliferating at a rapid rate, providing enthusiasts with more options in the field of alternate music. In this article, we have covered some popular bands (in no particular order) who have made this city an absolute haven for music enthusiasts.
Mumbai-based traditional heavy metal quintet Albatross is a band that combines bone-chilling stories with bone-crushing metal. The band started out as the solo project of bassist Riju Dasgupta who wanted to marry his love of literature with his other love - metal.
Members: Biprorshee Das (vocals), Vigneshkumar Venkatraman (guitars), Nishith Hegde (guitars), Varun Singh (guitars), Jay Thacker (drums), Dr. Hex (bass).
Punk On Toast is a 4-piece Mumbai-based punk rock band. The band was formed in late 2009. The band has come a long way since then and has played various gigs, including genres like independent Rock with regional influence. The band's main aim is to to create and play punk rock.
Madboy/Mink are a Funk-Nu Disco duo based in Mumbai, India. Mashing up Dirty Electro and Funk with old school Harlem swing, they use live guitar, synthesizers, soulful vocals and vocoders to play a mod–nu disco anti aesthetic.
SystemHouse33 is the first metal band to emerge from the small Indian town of Nagpur. But later on, the band members shifted their base to Mumbai and have since captured the imagination of audiences all over the country. The band plays an interesting blend of Thrash and Groove with extreme influences from different styles, including Death Metal, incorporating atmospheric parts and artistic rendering to take it a notch above the rest in terms of musical expression and presentation.
Members: Samron Jude (vocals), Leon Quadros (bass), Atish Thomas (drums), Jack Thomas (guitars).
BLAKC has always been about two things, the music and the people. They believe that their music is an extension of their personalities and the only way to connect to so many music lovers. Offstage, they are flamboyant; onstage, they can tear a place apart purely with the energy they have. BLAKC, since its inception, has been unable to fit into genres; they stopped trying and stuck to doing what they loved doing more than anything else, which is making their own music.
Members: Shawn Pereira (vocals), Roop Thomas (bass), Reinhardt Dias (guitars), Anish Menon (guitars), Varun Sood (drums).
Sparsh, a young band of self-taught musicians, is a Hindi Alternative Rock act from Thane. From a band jamming out in the open alongside the creek of Thane to winning Mood Indigo Bombay 2011, Sparsh has come a long way since its inception in 2010. Since then, they have performed at various prestigious venues like Hard Rock Cafe, The Mumbai Marathon, IIT Guwahati, IIT Bombay, Terra Maya (Guwahati), The Kalaghoda Arts Festival, MICA (Ahmedabad), Storm Festival Bangalore, The Bandstand Revival Fest, Blue Frog, Upvan Arts Festival Thane, various college festivals, and many more!
Members: Soham (vocals), Rahul (guitar/vocals), Ajinkya (bass), Nikhil (keyboards/vocals), Virendra, a.k.a. Viru (drums), and Shane Macwan (sound engineer).
Daira is a Mumbai-based band established in late 2014. The band started when six friends and veterans jammed together. Daira featured in season 3 of Kappa TV Music Mojo, played at Kerela's music festival Mojo Rising, and is now working on new originals for their debut album scheduled for the end of this year. With the amalgamation of art, Daira endeavors to spread positive vibes and love across the globe.
LiFe began to take shape when three music lovers and long lost friends, M. Prashant, Mukendra Markandey and Vikalp Sharma, met in Mumbai and decided to live their passion of creating a unique style of music.
The band was the brainchild of Dhawal Mehta, Who wanted to form a band which will not be restricted to any one particular style. He found the perfect bandmates in Karan Mehta and Mayuresh Sitap. They played local gigs together for three years along with Samir Khot, the eldest and the most experienced person in the band. But the band was finally completed with the addition of Swar Joshi on rhythm (and occasionally lead) in April 2013, thus forming the band.
Their debut album, "One Last Monsoon," was written and performed entirely by songwriter David Abraham, and primarily recorded in his bedroom - an apt environment for an album that plays like a love letter to the indie and alternative genres, and the artists/bands that allow these genres to thrive. The Koniac Net has been compared to artists such as the Stills, Smashing Pumpkins, Toadies, Death Cab For Cutie, Matt Pond PA, Marcy Playground, and even Chris Isaac & the Deftones. The band's music pays tribute to all the genres these artists represent.
Members : David Abraham (lead vocals/guitar), Jason D'Souza (guitar/vocals)
Aaron Dmello (guitar), Adil Kurwa (bass), Karun Kannampilly (drums)
Bhayanak Maut is Hindi for ‘Terrible Death’. They embody the state of the world today. As they put it, "It's decay. It's crumbling pillars. It's disarray. And above all, it's slow, painful death." They have been together since 2003, and they believe that they will laugh their way through the apocalypse.
Randolph, Shiraz, Papal and Vishal came together in 1994, with a strong need to play individual, original, unique music. This was as much a reaction to the stagnating Indian Rock scene, populated by bands playing mostly cover music, as it was a primal instinct. They did the rounds of college festivals, almost immediately becoming well-known and popular, by winning three major rock competitions at the Kanpur, Delhi and Bombay IITs. They signed a record deal and put out their first album ('We Are Not Listening') in 1996. It was listed by Rhythm House (India's premier record store) as the fastest selling rock album. They released two videos ("The Ignorant 1" and "Yoo") which were frequently played by all the music channels.
Indus Creed are India’s front running rock band. Also one of the country’s longest-running, the pioneering group set the stage for contemporary Indian rock as well as the current booming independent music scene. Originally formed in 1985 by Uday Benegal, Mahesh Tinaikar, Zubin Balaporia, Mark Selwyn, Jayesh Gandhi and Mark Menezes, the band downed its shutters in 1997. Unexpectedly regrouping in 2010, the band returned in modified form, featuring founding members Uday, Mahesh and Zubin. They are presently completed by Jai Row Kavi, Krishna Jhaveri and Gaurav Gupta.
Formed in a decade when heavy metal was still in its infant stages in India, Devoid has grown to become veteran death/thrash metallers representing a genre which was long under-represented in the country. Formed in 2005, the band then comprised of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Arun Iyer, drummer Shubham Kumar and the lead guitarist Keshav Kumar. The three-member group would meet Frank Pawar in 2006, who would complete the line-up for the larger part of the band's career. The band called ample attention on to itself by winning Campus Rock Idols which was one of the biggest competitions for rock and metal bands at that point in time, with in the first year of being together.
Zygnema is a Mumbai-based four-piece heavy/thrash/groove metal band that mainly focuses on the social/political issues and loves to dig deep down on riffs that are heavy and groove-oriented. The band, over the last 6 years, has won numerous national and international accolades that only do so much to correspond to the powerhouse that the band is. One such accolade is the award for Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2011 Best Metal band and Best Metal Song in the popular choice category. Zygnema was formed in December 2006, and since then, have been grooving steadily to the tunes of success and uncompromising determination.
Members: Jimmy Bhore (vocals), Sidharth Kadadi (guitars), Leon Quadros (bass), Mayank Sharma (drums), Akash Sawant (sound engineer)
Having come a long long way since the release of their first EP - 'Have Hard. Will Core' in 2006, Scribe is a Modern Metal/Hardcore band from Mumbai that has, with time, become synonymous with aural insanity. With 3 full-length releases in their arsenal, Scribe welcomes you to what they call music - a crispy, fun mix of golden-fried riffs, hard-mashed basslines, medium-rare drums, lo-fat synths and a guy screaming his ass off. A perfect blend of what their fans like to call Scribecore.
Members: Prashant Shah (guitars), Akshay Rajpurohit (guitars), Srinivas S (bass), Virendra Kaith (drums), Siddharth Basrur (vocals), Viraaj Saxena (vocals)
Unforgotten and unforgiving, this is basically what they mostly talk about through their music. From politics to corruption, from terrorism to inhumanity, they include every issue in their lyrics. In the bargain, they often forget what they have already been through, or rather, those things that have already happened and gone back in time. Those memories are old and forgotten, like an aged, rusted chunk of iron. Redemption believes in keeping the agony alive. Bringing back to life the memories of the long-gone hatred and angst is what they’re trying to achieve.
Split's music is equally about conflict and resolution; a slick construction of wit and drunken wisdom, with rumbling bass and pounding drums that chase edgy guitar riffs and screaming solos right down to a breakdown of nuclear proportions.
Reptilian Death came into existence in May 2001 as a solo project of the Demonstealer (Of Demonic Resurrection fame).The project was meant to be a grindcore/death metal project. At the end of May 2001, Reptilian Death released its first recording, which was a collection of 5 songs called '5 Easy Ways To Murder Someone,' with each song representing a different method of murder. The songs were a mix of death metal and grindcore, but contained the unusual element of humour, which gave the whole concept a sort of spoof feel. After this release, the project took a backseat until November 2001, which was when Reptilian Death turned from a solo project into a full-fledged band after Husain joined as the bassist and Jaivir joined as guitarist, and The Demonstealer took over drums and vocal duties.
Sceptre has been around for 17 years and has truly been among the pioneers of extreme metal in the country. Moreover, the band has released not one but two full-length albums, something that few bands in India can lay claim to. The band has braved line-up changes and maintained a solid reputation where it comes to playing live.
Fusing elements of Progressive Rock with mainstream song writing of Hindi Rock seems to come naturally to Mumbai-based band Coshish. The band believes that their music should have mass appeal and yet showcase their musical dexterity. Their songs are as simple as they are complex, and carry strong social messages, delivered beautifully through Hindi lyrics.
Members: Mangesh Gandhi (vocals/rhythm guitar), Shrikant Sreenivasan (lead guitar), Hamza Kazi (drums), Anish Nair (bass)
Formed in early 2012, this band was founded by two close friends, Moin and Nitin. Later, Neilson joined the band along with Zubin. And the rest as you hear is Clay Crown. Each one of them has their own style which infuses to form one hell of a performance on stage. Constant exploring and curiosity has kept the spark alive in the band.
VARCAS is a six-piece Extreme Melodic Metal band from Mumbai. 'Varcas' is a sanskrit word that simply suggests Vital Power, which is the key essence to life. They choose to spread this power through music. All band members are influenced by several different genres and styles of musical composition, all the way from jazz to extreme metal.
Spiked Crib is a Symphonic Extreme Metal band from Mumbai. Besides darkly inclined lyrics and an ambient undertone in the music, the band also generates a good response with hearty harmonics, blended into contemporary Black Metal styles. So, one have a mix of finely crafted musical bits coming together to resound the message of the band.
Members: Crudus (vocals), Bruce (guitars), Xaphan (guitars), Kronox (keyboard), GurAaftaab (bass), Vineet (drums), Lady Hecate (vocals)
Airport had a successful launch in December 2009 at Del Italia, Mumbai, where they played to a packed house of 250+ people. Since then, the band has played at several youth festivals and hang-outs, corporate events, and live music venues across India. Airport also played at the prestigious NH7 Festival in Pune, in December 2010.
Sky Rabbit defines their sound as electronic/alternative. In 2008, they were selected by legendary music producer John Leckie, who has worked with the likes of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and The Verve, to record two tracks with him that would form a part of the British Council Soundpad compilation CD. In 2009, they travelled to perform at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton and continued their UK tour to Cardiff, Oxford, Liverpool and London. They released their debut self-titled album in 2012, comprising of a set of tightly constructed tracks that blend synthetic textures with more organic instrumentation, creating a sound that is bold, experimental and addictive.
Moksh is the world's first Marathi Rock band and also a Raaga Metal fusion band, the members tell us. The word Moksh literally means the last state after self-actualization, where the human being is far beyond satisfied in all walks of life, and attains the utmost place of satisfaction where one becomes free from all the ropes and ties of relations which were anchored on one through one's lifetime. In the same sense, the main philosophy of Moksh as a band is to let people experience this state of satisfaction in this age through the magic of music.
Members: Rigved Karambelkar (vocals), Jimmy Alexander (lead/rhythm guitars), Sagar Joshi (bass), Pushkar Kulkarni (keyboards), Shreyas Joshi (drums/percussion)
Out of the hustle and bustle of Bombay, a sonic force was forged bringing together a crew of artistes with diverse musical tastes. Branching out from a traditional sound system and taking it live with a robust Rhythm Section, a phenomena called Bombay Bassment was born.
Since 2010, Bombay Bassment has made people groove to their unique blend of Hip-Hop, Rap, Reggae, Funk & Drum ‘n Bass. Also, having played banging sets opening for acts such as Snoop Dogg and Apache Indian.
Members: Levin (drums), Ruell (bass), Bobkat (MC/rap), DJ Chandu (samples)
Some of the best music comes from pure instincts, and this is what Fizzy Sole is all about. Based in Mumbai, Alt Rock/Indie band Fizzy Sole formed in 2014. The band has been performing their songs in Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai for a little over a year now, but hope to reach a wider audience and play in major venues. Fizzy Sole has around 18 songs and a few works in progress.
Members: Naren G (guitar), Garghi S (bass/guitars/drums), Kshitej P (vocals/guitars), Dhruva V and Siddharth B (drums)
Cast away your tried and tested alt-rock flavorings, and find a new home in the atmospheric, prog-laden abyss that is Goddess Gagged, initially a three-piece showcase of Bombay’s youngest rock talent and now a full-fledged five-piece behemoth.
Asylum is a four-piece, no-nonsense, pure groove metal band based in Mumbai. Influenced by great bands like Devildriver, Lamb of God and Gojira, they have one aim as a band – to keep their fans (and themselves) happy with the music they belt out. Asylum released their debut EP titled 'Inmate' in 2014, including four tracks and an instrumental. Their lyrics talk about sheep mentality, blind faith and destruction of the environment.
What started off as a high school joke, eventually shaped up into a five-piece Industrial Metal band. After playing gigs across Mumbai, trying to cover popular songs, the band realised that original sounds are much more appealing to the music community. Hence, 'No Fear Left' and 'Found My Way' materialised, becoming Anthracite's two most popular singles. From there began a journey of successful shows as well as composition of new material.
Members: Abhishek Nair (vocals), Sahil Deshpande (guitars), Siddharth Mantri (guitar), Deep RK (bass), Dev RK (drums)
Style: Metal, Alternative Metal, Industrial, Nu-Metal
Right from its inception in March 2000, Demonic Resurrection has been raising eyebrows. Starting out as bunch of 17-year-old musicians to give India a taste of extreme metal, then a nearly untouched genre, the band, spearheaded by Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija, released their first album Demonstealer within nine months of formation. It was an amateurish first attempt, but a bold step in a scene dominated by tribute and cover bands that got Demonic Resurrection noticed. As with most bands, teething problems meant that members came and went, and the first stable lineup came together only in 2001 with Demonstealer on vocals and guitars, Count Varathora on bass, Nikita Shah on vocals and keyboards, and Yash Pathak on the drums.
Punk as a genre encompasses everything, from cheesy humour, witty remarks and sarcasm to brash lyrics. The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Bad Religion, Screeching Weasel, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Patti Smith, The Clash and Bad Brains were some bands that epitomized the punk movement in the West; they grew up listening to them, swinging to all that came out of radio stations and various music channels. Inspired by 70s Punk rock movements like Oi!, DIY, Alternative and SKA, Tripwire was born.
Members: Amey (vocals/guitars), Jack (drums/electronic), Shaggy(Bass)
Trinergic is renowned for its gripping tracks from the Melodic Death Metal genre. This band switched its name from Dystopia to Trinergic. Martyr and Rise of Xyrith are two of the most popular tracks by this outfit.
Midhaven is a Progressive Sludge Metal band whose lyrics in their album 'Spellbound' follow stories inspired by Indian (Hindu) and Greek Mythology. Every song's placement and listing in the album plays a vital role in understanding the story.
This band is inclined to alternative rock and believes in incorporating various genres in their creations. The outfit came into existence in July 2012. Their track 'I Ran' beautifully explains the futile exercise of avoiding problems instead of facing them.
Workshop has come a long way from being a backing band for Demonstealer's ESP Guitar Workshop to a full-fledged band that formed in March 2008 and started working on their debut. They got the idea in November 2008 and in December 2008 the band started tickling everyone's funny bones at their live gigs, which received huge praise from fans and even bystanders. Workshop launched their first video, Cookie Monster, on 19th March 2009, exactly a year after transforming into Workshop and starting writing their debut effort.
Members: The Demonstealer (vocals/guitars), The Hamzoid (drums/backing vocals), The Kadominator (bass)
Joshish's journey and the central Indian Rock scene evolved hand-in-hand. Seven years later, with innumerable concerts spanning across several major colleges of the country and having inspired and fathered innumerable other acts along the way, it has been a contributing element to the country's independent rock scene. The band's approach towards writing songs about the society and frequent voluntary performances for various social causes have always been very prominent too.
Members: Aryaman Chatterjee (drums/percussion/vocals), Sanju Aguiar (lead guitars/vocals), Shardul Donde (guitars/vocals), Sameer Rahat (bass/lead vocals/keyboard)
They are a bunch of five fun-loving boys hanging together and making everybody go crazy with their style of music. They have toured the Maldives for a four-concert tour sponsored by the Indian High Commission in January 2014.
Saurav is a person who believes in Karma. His friends call him a digital animal as he is obsessed with gizmos. A Music freak by nature, he will listen to all genres without prejudice. Highly allergic to pseudo intellectuals.
Fond of inspirational novels from Napolean Hill & Jeff keller. Football aficionado. Read more