We were wondering which band to interview for this issue of Whackk! But like they say, good things just happen, you don’t have to wait for them. New boys on the block, Coshish, caught our eye and turns out these guys are pretty decent with their music (Check out Raastey and Mukti and other songs of theirs on their page or YouTube).
Coshish is :
Mangesh Gandhi - Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, Mouth Organs
Shrikant Sreenivasan - Lead Guitars
Hamza Kazi - Drums, Xylophone
Anish Nair - Bass
They think they sound too cool in calling themselves a ‘Progressive Rock’ band. Truth is, they play some really simple and melodious Hindi rock.
As much as I’m itching to refer to them as ‘Kkoshish’, we’ll stick to ‘Coshish’ for now. Though you guys should really give it a thought, no?
Madness below :
1) First of all, I think I saw you guys on NDTV's greenathon a few months back. Right?
Hamza : Haha so that makes 3 people who watched that micro performance. They asked us to play for about 2 hours in the sun and showed 13.45 seconds of it, though the setting and equipment at that gig was awesome.
Mangesh : Woa… So did you count the number of times we played our song Behti boondein…? I lost the count after 10982..
2) Just because you guys are a relatively new band, I have to reluctantly ask you the cliched : How did Coshish happen?
Hamza : I think it was shortly after the first radio transmission of Tools’s Lateralus , during the first epoch of the big bang… no wait that’s another “how did it happen”. The Coshish “how did it happen” started with a phone call I got from Shrikant way back in Feb 08. They (Coshish) were looking for someone to fill in for their drummer for a few gigs. I happened to be in my drum whore phase then and I agreed. We played a couple of gigs, after which the original bassy and drummer quit the band. We hunted around for a bassy without much luck. Finally Shrikant managed to get hold of his ex Black Metal (hahaha) band’s bass player Alienish. We played an RAIT gig in Oct 08 and we just kinda clicked, even though he had a beaten up Givson bass at the time. It took some amount of convincing for him to become a permanent member and trust me it
was worth it. It feels awesome to be in a band where everyone has more or less similar primary influences, concepts and overall perspectives on music.
3) Nowadays, every new chintar-pintar band also releases an EP or a few singles to announce their arrival. Why has Coshish not offered any digital happiness to the fans yet?
Mangesh : We never rush into things. We take months to compose songs, so we were waiting for the producer with a shining AXE FX to come around. And now that Zorran Mendonsa has
the AXE FX and is also shining bright it will happen soon this year.
Hamza : A: Its not every day that Zorran Mendonca shows interest in recording an album with a band. We’re currently trying to sort out budget and scheduling issues. Also, our songs are a part of a concept album (Who would’ve thunk that considering the fact that we call ourselves prog rockers n all :P). We don’t wish to release the songs individually or in the form of an EP. I think the experience as a whole will be something that our fans would be happy to wait for. Lets hope the wait pays off.
4) The comments/posts by female fans on your page is refreshing to see on an Indian rock band's page. Is it the 'soulful’ tracks or Anish’s charm (“curl ho na ho” eh?)?
Anish : It’s like a mirror. What we commincate through our music reflects back at us on our page ;)
Hamza : Lets not go there. After every gig, all the chicks go to the other 3 members and I get like 10-15 guys asking me if I’m willing to teach them! To sum it… I think its safe to say that women cant count. :P
5) Obvious question : What’s up on the album front? When, how, what, where?
Hamza : Its a concept album comprising of 10 songs, all of which we have played live for quite some time now. We’ve recorded a few demos and are working on some that we can use to hunt around for record labels. The plan is to get that fat genius called Zorran down in October to record the album. Work on the artwork will start soon. Apart from that we’ve got absolutely no clue about what we’re doing. But hey, Hitler did and look what happened to him :P.
6) Is the dress code ‘White’ for good now?
Mangesh : that’s one colour Shrikant can be easily spotted on stage. Hamza feels he can finally use his white bras with these tees…
Hamza : The thing is… I don’t have a lot of clothes you know. It was quite easy to spot that I only wore 2 Tool tees to every gig I played at. After the million witty remarks by the likes of Akshay, Vinit, Sahil, etc I suggested that we have a sort of uniform so people don’t really notice my evident wardrobe deficit. Besides we can also double up as projector screens when required.
7) Being prog-rock and having soft, soulful music would open your doors to a bigger audience as compared to hard-rock/metal. Hamza, you’ve played in a diverse genre of bands. Does this assumption hold true?
Hamza : The funny thing is….we’ve played at a lot of public places, inside malls, gardens, on the road, etc. And believe you me, Maya and Mukti have somehow got the best response from uncles, aunties and chicks alike. As strange as it may sound, those songs appeal to them for some absurd reason. I was of the opinion that they would be too heavy or complex for non metal heads or “non rockers” to digest but I was in for a surprise. So I cant really say that the assumption holds true.
8) ‘Raastey’ and ‘Rehne Do’ are easy on the ears and hummable. ‘Mukti’ though is an unexpectedly hard, instrumental track. Was this a conscious effort at sounding versatile or plainly satisfying the band-mates’ urge to play harder riffs?
Anish : Versatility lies in the bands that our band members are inspired from and when those inspirations are infused in our compositions, it does sound versatile.
Hamza : I think it has a lot to do with the evolution of the band as a whole. Incidentally those were the first two songs that we wrote and Maya & Mukti were the last two (Apart from the ones were working on right now). I guess it’s a gradually step up of our song writing ability along with a conscious effort to up our musicianship over time. You can spot that same evolution in say Tool, Meshuggah or Porcupine Tree. Luckily for us all our songs still retain a certain Coshish element. Also its quite interesting to note how the shift in the heaviness of our songs is in synch with the mood of the album and its concept.
Either that or I’m bullshitting. Haha wait…. now I’m confused… hold on let me have a look
at my script.
9) In the last year you guys seem to have played a lot of gigs. Any epic fail moments?
Mangesh : the epic fail moment was at vartak college when there was a sudden power failure. I lost Shrikant on stage as he got perfectly camouflaged with the dark background. Surprisingly the crowd started singing the chorus of our song Raastey… It was also an epic feeling…
10) If you were to leave the band at this very moment. Who would you deem as your perfect replacement from the circuit for Coshish?
Mangesh : Damn… this is perfect.. you cant improve on perfection…
Hamza : I strongly believe in the saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its individual
parts”. Like I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t want the band to be any other way. I don’t think anyone can replace any member without changing the chemistry, style and final output. But I can see your pointing a gun to my nose so I’ll make up a character. I think ½ a hand, 1 foot, 11.987 % of the brain and 3.14% of the soul of Danny Carey would be able to replace me provided that that abomination learns to speak in Hindi…. considering we’re a hindi band n all.