Heads Up: It’s The Supersonics
From the pulsing cultural metropolis that is Kolkata city, emerged a post punk foursome heavily and inextricably steeped in the raw, age old influences of blues and rock n roll. They were The Supersonics – Nitin Mani (bass), Rohan Ganguli (guitar, backing vocals), Ananda Sen (guitar, vocals), and Avinash Chordia (drums). The year 2009 saw the release of their debut album Maby Baking to a welcome reception and a rather dedicated fan following across the country. However, the momentum was short lived, and the band broke up not too long after in September 2010.
It was only a few years later that the band would reunite, and in August, 2014 their second album Heads Up came to fruition.
IndiEarth talked more to the band about their latest baby that’s been in the making for a while now, and about the future that’s in store for the fantastic four.
IndiEarth (IE): What are some of the inspirations behind the new album? How has it changed/evolved since Maby Baking?
The Supersonics (SS): There are varied influences for us, different musical tastes, but yes there was a lot of Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, and The Beatles playing in the room. It’s different from Maby Baking in the sense of the sound of the album – but same in terms of people playing and producing it. We are much older now, so that reflects in the music.
IE: Tell us more about the studio process for the album – when you hit the studio did you find yourselves improvising quite a bit, on the spot?
SS: Most of what you hear on Heads Up is live and we would complete song by song. We did improvise a lot in the studio – songs like Into the Dark and On the Floor were literally completed on the studio floor. Vivek Nair on keyboards and Dwaipayan Saha on backing vocals/ percussion helped us add colour to the album.
IE: The production of the album is commendable. Tell us more about your producer Miti and his process, and about how you guys work together?
SS: Miti has been working with us from our first album Maby Baking – we call him the fifth member of the band. He has produced, mixed and even played keyboards on some songs. He had worked with the finest on the face of the earth, and having his outlook to our songs is a very important aspect.
IE: What are some challenges you’ve faced as an independent act in India’s indie music scene? Have you overcome these or still find yourself facing them today?
SS: The independent scene definitely lacks funding. They can never match up to their Bollywood counterparts in terms of money and popularity, but the talent is in equal proportions – if not more. The artists still find it difficult to make music a viable option as everyone around them seems to be making more. Unless it can become a viable source of sustenance it will be an ongoing struggle. We have had to persist with what we do best, and thankfully we have found some good folks at Red Bull who funded our album.
IE: Future plans for The Supersonics?
SS: We are concentrating on promoting the album as of now. The team at Spade have built some amazing merchandise around our music, so we have plans for an online outlet. We have quite a few festivals lined up like the Ziro Festival in Arunachal Pradesh (in September), New Wave Music Festival in Goa (in November) and The NH7 Weekender in Delhi and Bangalore (in November) to start with. Next year we plan to start work on another album.