‘It’s hard for musicians and bands to survive in Mizoram’

How often is it that a band from Northeast India gets the opportunity to open for a mega international rock band? And when the international outfit in question is someone of the stature of Lamb of God, one realises that the opening act has something special. For Junk Rock band from Mizoram ‘Boomarang’, which is currently one of the hottest outfits in the Indian rock circuit, the answer lies in talent coupled with lots of hard work and perseverance! After all, it is not every day that a band from Mizoram, where hardly any opportunities for the emergence of quality bands exist, makes it to the top league.

From its humble beginning, spanning performances in Aizawl, Guwahati and other places of the region to today be travelling all over the country, the rise of Boomarang has been simply meteoric. Right from being featured in the “Top 10 Indian Acts to watch out for” list by the Rolling Stones magazine, the band also has to its credit the distinction of having crossed international boundaries when it performed at the Korea-Indo fest 2008, the highlights of which was aired globally on Korea’s leading television network, ARIRANG channel. Meanwhile, the members have also made a mark with their own individual performances; bassist Joshua, for instance, picking up the prestigious Jack Daniels award for Best Bassist this year.

The band members, however, feel that the best is yet to come. Excerpts from a conversation I recently had with Boom, the frontman of the outfit.

AD: Looking at your early days, how does it feel to be counted among the best bands of India today?
Boom: It is a great honour for us, no doubt, but we still have a long way to go. We are still growing as a band and we will continue with our passion till we break into the international level. So far it has been a beautiful journey, full of lovely memories that will last a lifetime.

Boomarang during the Escape Festival

AD: Any special remembrance of the Korea-Indo Fest 2008?
Boom: Performing in that fest was amazing, to say the least. Out heartfelt thanks to the organizers for believing in us and we look forward to their support. The best part was watching the highlights of our performance in an international television channel with our friends and family back home.

AD: How did it feel opening for ‘Lamb of God’ at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore this year?
Boom: We were very weak, tired and weary on stage since we had two continuous gigs at Hard rock Café and Zara Tapas bar the past two nights. We had to wake up at 8 in the morning, and the sun glaring down at us really sapped us out of our energy. But once on stage, our energy levels received a major boost with the massive support we received from our fans and the rest!

Boom: The feeling is phenomenal. It is like one thing that you can be really proud of, in spite of all the glitches and hardships that you face; something that you might as well want to carve on your tomb-stone.  It has made us start taking a different view/ perspective of things and our choices – both professional and personal.

AD: How would you rate the facilities available in Mizoram for the emergence of quality bands and musicians?
Boom: To be frank, there are very few opportunities for bands and musicians to survive here unless, of course, you decide to go solo or score music for jingles, ring tones and the like.

AD: Any survival trick?
Boom: You can give private lessons or open a studio (Computer-based recording, the trick is to get a cheap firewall soundcard which will come along with free music software – cubase or nuendo, etc. Master the software, invite some friends to come over and record some music. You can then charge them a few rupees and ultimately have your very own private workstation/home recording studio). The second option for upcoming bands is to enter music competitions outside the State so as to earn some extra cash.

AD: Quite a herculean task!
Boom: A band has to start small and once they start getting invitations for performances, reap the benefits of touring. Once you start travelling for your performances, things tend to get okay from then on. I say this from experience; I believe we are just laying the road for the future generations of musicians in our State!

AD: Your future plans?
Boom: Anything can happen. Let the future decide.

AD: Any plans of an album?
Boom: We are currently on it. While we will maintain our Junk Rock (Jazz + Funk + Rock) genre, it will contain a lot of traditional Mizo elements. We hope to release it by the fall of this year.
Boomarang: Present Line-up
Boom (guitars), Atea (Vocals), Rsa (Drums), Joshua (Bass)


About Aiyushman Dutta

Who am I? Yet to find the answer. For the time being, u can call me a writer, maybe a journalist and a music entrepreneur or an errand boy! Whatever suits your fancy!

Posted on October 16, 2010, in Concerts/ Reviews, Day-to-Day, Musicians/ Bands and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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