...obeying the voices in my head...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

So far, So good, So what...

I was always into music since I was a kid. Back then it started with 'hindi' songs and using my mom's old turntable to listen to the sounds of the beatles and santana and abba (though I found it hard at that time why people liked santana so much!). The turntable was awsum at times, it had that old charm thing associated with it...that vintage feeling of old is gold thing. And this thing was quite old, coz it looked like a survivor of world war 1. This was all during '95 - '99.

The main influence for my love in music has been my sister, coz whatever she used to hear...I had to hear it. Coz once she records a song, she kept on playing it again n again for days till the 'juice' ran out. I was so bored by the 'my heart will go on' song at that time that I used to make fits in front of my sis that if she didn't stop that song then i'll have to leave home and run away so that all the blame would be on her. (hehe! at that time I always used to blackmail my family members that i'll leave home and never come back. And my 'leaving home' never got past the front gate!). Slowly suddenly I started liking those Celine Dion songs coz that was what my sister used to loop. And then there was a song 'To the moon and back' by savage garden...brings all those ol' times back.

At that time there were no mp3's and cassetes used to cost 120 bucks (which was quite high considering our pocket money was 50 bucks a month!). So what my sis used to do was keep a tape recorder ready near the TV and record stuff directly whenever one of her favorite songs appeared. Channel V was her main source at that time. The quality was awful and was only clear to the point that the lyrics would be barely audible. But it was kinda like a desperate time , and desperate times require desperate measures.

My second most significant influence was my cousin brother Prashant. He introduced me to a whole new world of rock at that time, we'll come to that later though.

So here starts my timeline.

- The 'backstreet boys' time was here. Most of the people I know had this part in their lives for a time, when backstreet boys was considered to be the epitome of 'cool'. Pop had dominated over a lotta things at that times. Also others were N'sync, 911, boyzone, spice girls....and all that kinda similar stuff. I was never a fan of britney or christina at any point though, coz they had that 'i'm a dumb bimbo' image stuck to them which was really irritating. I must admit tho that I used to listen to one particular album of spice girls and the song 'wannabe' was something that I used to loop over and over again. But I got bored of it eventually.
I remember the time the sony stereo system had entered the premises of my humble abode, I used to keep the 'everybody' song on total loud volume to showcase my 'cool' choice of music to my neighbors. And then people at school started listening to it and discussin about it. I remember there was a particular line '...am I the only one?...yeah...am I sexual...' and then all the people would go all 'Aay haay!' as if they had just witnessed a murder taking place. The school mount abu picnic was fun coz this was the only 'engliss' song that people knew. It was also quite hilarious though watching people try to act cool coz they thought they knew what the lyrics for the song were.

2001 -
The horizon was expanding and backstreet boys were sounding the same as they started. Started listening to corrs, sheryl crow, garbage, RHCP and all that stuff which sounded a bit more mature than the usual poppy stuff.
At that time Eminem had taken over a large part of my musical time because of his controversial and funny lyrics filled with profanity. The label 'Parental Advisory lyrics' was quite new to me at that time. And hearing silent beep over the tons of 'F-words' was something I found really funny at that time. I started memorising the lyrics and made attempts to rap at the same velocity at which Eminem was goin at. Though I never sounded right it was fun to try.

As I was fond of eminem at that time, so I tried my hand at some other hip hop stuff. But I never liked all the other stuff coz all o' them sounded the same and boring. It was just like 'plain talking' with some rythmic beats in the background.

At that time mp3's had entered and it was quite easy to get CD's of your favourite songs now. Downloading was not a ver good option though coz the dial ups were really slow (it took 20 mins to download a single mp3!).

2002 -
The hip hop effect had gone, and I gave up trying to decipher what all the lyrics meant which usually consisted of money,fame,booty and blah blah stuff like that. At that very time I had heard a song called 'Points of authority' on channel V . I didnt like it much the first time I heard it but then it kept on goin on in my brain. It seemed catchy. And so I downloaded the song and found myself listening to it everyday, almost evertime. That was when I got interested into rock music as such. I got more and more curious about linkin park and had bought an mp3 CD and got obsessed to it.

The thing I liked so much about LP at that time was the way in which they let out all emotions of sadness, anger, frustration etc. without the use of profanities. The song 'One step Closer' had meant a lot to me at that time and I was obsessed with it. The song has a part in which frontman Chester Bennington shouts 'Shut up! Shut Up! Shut up when i'm talkin to you!!'...god! it was so amazing at that time to have that feeling of freedom through music. I got the hybrid theory and the 'Reanimation' album and soon I started collecting cassettes. I also had bought a 'Limp Bizkit' album at the very same time...it didnt make much sense to me though. And there was a song called 'Hot Dog' which apparently had 56 'f-words' in the song and justified with the 'notorious bad boy' image fred furst had. But there were other slow and jumpy songs too through which I found limp bizkit empowering in a way.
But my obsession with LP just kept on increasin. I started readin stuff about them, about how the band was formed, about their past, almost every interview....I was one big fan. I even had joined all the chatrooms and found similar people on the net ( I had to sneak in to a cyber cafe sometimes to surf the net coz I was not allowed more than 10 mins at home!). LP had taken over a huge part of my life at that time.
It got all expressive coz I had so much frustration inside me...being he 'invisble kid' (hehe!). And I knew that none of the people around me would understand the music that I listened to, and that made it more precious in a way.
It was a channel for me now.

2003 -
Meteora had been released this year and LP had quite a fresh sound now, they seemed more mature though. There was no equivalent of 'One step closer' but 'faint' was quite close to it.
I started memorising the lyrics and started rapping. Mike Shinoda was the one who I idolised at that time. And I was pretty good at it. I started writing my own lyrics (which were quite pathetic!!) and started practicing. The rap/rock genre was what I was pretty much stuck to... this also included limp bizkit and papa roach.
Papa Roach had a new flavour to it...and the agression it had was quite awsum.

System of a down had come into the scene now. I bought their first album. And personally, I hated it quite a lot. It had profanities in every song, the lyrics were meaningless and the tempo of the songs was confusing. Then I heard the second album. 'Toxicity' was born in me. And then came 'chop suey'. The lyrics were wierd, some really funny (listen to : pogo and jet pilot). And now I had gone back to the first album and it sounded better now. Musically SOAD was realy fun to listen to, mostly becoz of their quirky n whacky lyrics. But some songs had a meaning...especially the song 'Spiders' which sounded quite poetic.

At these times I was getting highly philosophical in life and started getting the 'i'm feeling low' thing quite often. It was tough...and all the music that I listened to helped only in some ways. Although 'One step closer' was the most liberating song at that time, it felt as is there was a need to find something new.

As I had gone for a trip to crossword I was searching for something heavier and more heavy metal types. I was browsing through the cassettes when one album cover really had an impact on me. It looked quite creepy at that time. It was Korn - issues.
I bought the album on the spot, went home at sat listening to it on my walkman. It was deep and had a lotta hard emotions to it. At a point it was disturbing, but the creepy sounds from the guitar were simply awesome. It had a sudden impact on me. And I found a new channel now...though I still had LP on my playlist. But this music was darker, deeper and explored a new horizon.

Soon sunny (my neighbour) had also joined me with a similar taste of music. He loved LP and korn too. And the feeling of sharing musical tastes with someone was really something I was looking for. To discuss about the songs, the lyrics, the riffs...everything. Splendid.

Somewhere near that time my cousin Prashant was workin in surat. So he used to come over to our place whenever he had his weekends free. He was the only who greatly influenced into listening to classic metal stuff. I remember that we had gone for a walk once and he explained me the whole scene how metallica was, what megadeth was and how maiden inspired him musically. All of it did not have a sudden impact on me though, coz I used to tell him that megadeth didnt make much sense compared to LP and papa roach. He was laughing at me and said that i'll regret my statment later on. Funny thing is , I did.

As we went home my bro' found a megadeth cassette lying in our collection (it was Siddharth's contribution actually!). I had never heard it with interest...but my brother goes to the stereo, Starts the player, rewinds the tape and plays the song which is still there playin inside my head. It was 'Hangar 18'...and I tell you this the feeling that you get when you listen to that song the first time...incomparable!! Next was 'Holy wars...the punishment due' which was equally awesome. And then there was metallica which my brother had brought along with his collection. He had 'St.Anger' and i think the black album too. He made me listen to both these albums, and it was really a great feeling to listen to all this stuff all at one time. Though metallica didnt have much impact on me as megadeth at that time.
Was totally into megadeth.

2004 - Megadeth
was still ruling me brain, but St.Anger was also goin on on parellel lines. Though St.anger didnt have that much of an effect on me except the songs 'Some kind of monster' and 'The unnamed feeling'.I knew about metallica since a long time. When I was in the 7th I had heard the 'Load' album (which my sis had borrowed from parasaran i think!) but it sounded quite deadpan at that time except the song 'Better Than you' (liked that one) and then there was 'I dissapear' which was the song i liked coz of the uber-cool video.

All the fast guitar riffs and solos had been goin on in my head for a long time now...but I needed something different for a while. Nirvana was the answer to that. I remember the first time I heard 'Smells like teen spirit'...the first time I had headbanged I guess. And it had this liberating power in it...Kurt Cobain was god! The lyrics seldom made sense and were barely audible sometimes, but when Cobain uttered words in his raw and rough voice it barely mattered. 'you know you're right' had the same effect and a lot more songs from the 'Best of nirvana' album. I started listening to a lotta other stuff like foo fighters, pearl jam, creed, Deep purple,Guns n roses, evanescence, Oasis etc. And everything started makin sense now. Music was not only about aggression anymore, it had layers.

9th october,2004. My sis had got passes for a gig at CEPT. This was my first rock show, A day I would never forget. Jinal N Rish were there wimme ( And I couldnt have imagined anybody else more perfect to accompany me that day). I had a total blast that day. It was unforgettable. And it was on the front lawn of the CEPT campus, which is quite an awsum place. And there was Big ban theory performing at that time. Splendid! Had headbanged so much that had a sore neck the next morning, but it barely mattered to the amount of fun that I was havin. I seriosuly wanted to learn the guitar now. I wanted to be with music, and create it too. This was a big day!

And now slowly the downloading music started being a common thing. I got a lotta music videos and Mp3's from Siddharth...a lott...and I really thank him for that.

Maiden had now entered my playlist all of a sudden, but I was too choosy about their songs. I listened to it mainly coz Siddharth used to tell me that it is really superb. Only 'The trooper' and 'The wicker man' were the maiden songs that I personally like, rest were so so n ok.

2005 -
My main inspiration for learning guitar had been Siddharth. watchin him playin spanish solos on the guitar was really really inspiring! I joined a guitar class and was really impatient at first to start cracking the songs. But I was stuck on learning basics for a long long time. And it really irritated me coz my instructor used to gimme 'hindi' songs while I was sitting there tryin to play metallica. There was not much co-operation and I left the classes in barely 2 months from when I started and had planned the learn the guitar all by myself.

I started listenin to Hendrix and Led Zep quite a lot at that time. While korn and megadeth were still there existing. Had heard 'nothing else matters' at that time and was totally moved and touched by the song. It was the first whole song that I had learnt to crack on the guitar apart from 'Come as you are'. But things on the metallica scene were goin on the same way, when one day I came across one of their classics.
And 'master of puppets' was born for me. Metallica had been my master now...and I was the puppet. :D . The first time I heard master of puppets the song...and when the slow bridge was being played I remember just closing my eyes and feeling the music. I felt it.

I was totally into thrash metal now. Next I heard 'And justice for all...' which also stayed in my head for a long time... and the song 'One' had been an anthem for me. It was a like a prayer. Hetfield was god now! And I had total affinity towards all the metallica albums before 'Load' and 'Reload'.

I remember goin to the terrace at 11 in the night and air guitarin to the whole of 'And justice for all...' album. All of this had been with me for a long time back then.

Korn's 'Untouchables' had come in my hands now and it was quite an emotional album. Along with the Mix of 'Life is peachy' and the first album, all those nights on the terrace with my discman and the music...some seriously emotional and tough times had got through.

2006 -
I had never stopped learning the guitar since the day I picked it up...and the guitarin was still on. I got my first electric guitar in May and later on in july my sis had bought me an RP50 guitar processor fro spain. It all added up and I was addicted. I would practice and keep on playin and I was never bored....ever. I didnt have a tutor, which was somewhat of a disadvantage but I was proud of the fact that I learnt all of what I know on my own.

Now I was deep into understanding music. I was maturing musically on one side while things were still the same in many ways. I started listening to bach, beethoven, mozart, Vivaldi (a bit) and It really felt meaningful now. I remember back when dad used to hear all this stuff I would always tell him that none of these instruments made sense. But now it was different. I was really moved by all the classics and also found a bit of the same taste in what mom used to listen to - Carnatic music. I was more receptive now to the different genre's of music and things were crystallizing. Though I still dont have the same interest in all of it now, but I still listen to it. And that feeling of knowing music really comes to me.
And now it was Floyd. I was never ever really fond of pink floyd myself...but my sis used to listen to the song 'wish you were here' so many times that I came to really understand that song later on. Though I have not been through the whole floyd collection I still find some of the songs really magical. Having the same effect as floyd was 'the doors'. It had that same magical effect that floyd had created. And all this was far different from what my usual taste of music was... and that exploring of genres was an awsum experience.

By september, college first year had started. The frustration was building up. I was angry at myself, but at the same time I was quite sad too. I was in hell. I just wanted release. I went back to my thrash metal stage now. I was quite bugged by college at that time, and I turned to more heavier and darker forms of music. Death metal had slowly made its way in some ways. But I would only listen to it at times of extreme anger or frustration, it was like a reserve thing.

I was into Children of bodom now. They ruled my playlist. They still are.

Present Year(2007) -

So Bodom it was ....continuing its way. Also have all the old stuff with me like metallica and megadeth n korn...cant forget them.

Was playing in a band at this time and was exposed to maiden quite a lot. I was crazy for maiden for a while. But some of it wore off with time.
This year I have jumped into more heavier forms of music I guess. 'Heavy metal' still rules over 'death metal' for me.
'Sepultura' had also had a great big entry in my playlist this year. The sound is awsome, guitars are ok. Superb drums (not playing wise but by the sound!)
Am totally into 'Trivium' and 'Lamb of god' Now....supposed to be of the 'metal-core' genre.

Though all these new things keep on coming I still will never forget my roots. I feel alive and free with the music. I agree that I am dependant on it in many ways, no denying that actually. Its just my refuge I guess to give me that liberating feeling. I donno how people perceive my love for music, but I confess it that I just cant live without it!!

Peace...ROCK ON!!!

[Phew!! this might be the longest post I've ever written!!]


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