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Zoo: The Metropolis Jail Break

features Dec 04, 05:56pm

Kolkata's electro-alternative act, Zoo, are an intelligent and excitable bunch who're always looking to stretch the boundaries just a little. Here, we speak with them about the multiple layers their name holds, their performance at India Music Week - III, and their debut release, The Attic Sessions, their Zooniverse, among other things.
 Photo Courtesy: Shan Bhattacharya

There is a certain faction of young minds that came into existence in 2011 in Kolkata, with a rebellious intention; a group of four members with an intuitive understanding of the world as it is and the means to voice out against the broken and bogged down system that is the metropolitan life.“The name ‘ZOO’ stands as a metaphor of modern urban life,” says the band’s guitarist, synth player and programmer, Bodhisattwa Ghosh, “where each one of us are mentally and socially trapped in cages like animals kept in a zoo.” Infusing electronic and alternative rock elements, the band’s music is all about saying it as it is. “Sonically, we feel that our hybrid sound of electronic loops, synths and samples juxtaposed against a ‘real-time’ guitars-bass-drums-vocals situation can be an analogy of the way we, as a human race, are dependent on machines and gadgets; and as a result of the complex life that we lead, the pain and the urge of breaking free is a very strong organic emotion that dwells within each of us.”

With a firm grasp of the concept behind the music to be written, the band spent the first one and a half years working tediously on improving their sound inside a small room that was converted into the band’s jampad and recording studio, where they moulded out and recorded six songs into an album. “Spontaneously, the most obvious title of the album that came to our minds was The Attic Sessions,” vocalist Tanya Sen says, “because our rehearsal studio is a small room on a building terrace. So naturally, the songs of the album are a reflection of the hours spent at our pad.” Drummer Rohit Nandi tells us a little about their experience recording their debut album: “The whole experience of producing and recording the songs was extremely special because this is our debut album, and on top of that we recorded each and every part of the album at our very own rehearsal space, including the drumkit. So it’s very much a home-grown Do-it-Yourself album.” 

Watch a teaser for India Music Week done by Zoo below:

The Attic Sessions was released in July 2012, neither on a CD nor online but on a flash drive. Explaining the idea behind that, Rohit tells us: “To be very honest, CDs are slowly becoming obsolete. When someone gets an audio CD, the songs get immediately ripped and stored on the computer/MP3 player/ iPod.  Pendrives this way are convenient for their ‘reuse’ value. We had given both MP3 and WAV files on the pendrive, so that the listener can access the music in whichever format he/she chooses to.”

After playing at the CAMA Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam last month, the band is gearing up to play their first gig in Mumbai at the 100 Pipers India Music Week 2013. “We are really excited to play at the India Music Week this year,” says, “because this happens to be our first live gig in Mumbai as ‘ZOO’, and on top of that, the festival line-up is superb. We’re really excited to listen to the other acts, exchange ideas and be a part of this whole experience.” Bassist Bijit Bhattacharya seems to be first in line to be at the gig, he said: “We’ve heard a few tracks of Sky Rabbit, and we just love them. We’re looking forward to hearing them live. On top of that, we’ll be sharing the stage with our favourite people from Kolkata, Pinknoise. It should be one big party!”

The electronic/alternative rock act has gained considerable momentum and shows no plans of slowing down after their gig at the India Music Week. The band plans on getting back into the jamroom to work on new material and record their second album. “We want to take our music to as many places as possible, build newer audiences and expand the Zooniverse!” says Tanya.

For more details about 100 Pipers India Music Week, visit www.indiamusicweek.com

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