Of Post-Rock and Debut Albums: A Conversation With Aswekeepsearching
Post-rock is a genre that’s as underrated as the bands that play this particular genre of music. To call post-rock a genre would be limiting its vast expanse. The essence of this music lies in its ambiguity as you’ll come across entirely instrumental acts to ones with vocals and samples. However, the lack of in-your-face elements and the slow paced textures of post-rock make it music that compels you to feel something intensely, making it more cerebral in nature. We could keep defining post-rock in more ways than these and we may still never have the right answer so let’s talk to aswekeepsearching – a four piece band from Ahmedabad who calls this genre home. With the release of their debut album slated for the 15th of this month, we caught up with frontman Uddipan Sarmah to talk about the genre, band, music and more. We took it to the most basic, ‘Why post-rock’ to which he accepts that even though it seems that this genre is just making its presence felt, the genre is still something that people have heard of but not completely understood in the global scheme of things. 'Closer home, Until We Last was probably the first band to release material in this genre professionally. We started experimenting with the genre when we decided to produce for personal consumption in our studio and as time passed, we’re here as aswekeepsearching.' With a single out yesterday exclusively with us and their album right around the corner, Sarmah says that their debut full-length album is a sketch about ‘dreams, life, nature and mankind's journey from obscurity to reality.’ Released under the label Flower Blossom In The Space from Russia, (a booking agency that specializes in instrumental and neo-classical events worldwide. More about them on their website.), the band has been in touch with their CEO since their 2014 release ‘Growing Suspicions’. In an attempt to push themselves and their audience reach to the next level, the band has been booked for a 5-city, 12 day tour in Russia by the label.
Aswekeepsearching’s 2015 Russia tour poster
They will be supporting three-piece Russian post-rock act I Am Waiting For You Last Summer on their album launch tour on 4 out of our 5 shows. With their sonic personality apparent with their first release, the album promises to be a breath of fresh air in today’s typical indie market premise. ‘We have been writing the songs from more than a year now, while constantly analysing and re-writing parts as we kept performing live. Keeping the music label and their deadline in mind, we hit the studio on the 9th of August, 2015 to kick off the recording process. Recording started with Drums and Bass recorded together at That Studio, Sion, Mumbai. With Rahul Hariharan’s (Bhayanak Maut) snare drums, recording bass with one extra signal via Abhiskek Kamdar’s (Devoid) pedal board to Anupam Roy’s patience when it came to setting everything up, it was a fulfilling experience. As a band which doesn’t own the best rig that money can guy, the clean guitar parts were recorded from Siddharth Basrur’s Fender and a borrowed Epiphone and Gibson to track the dirty ones back home in Ahmedabad. 'Vocals were tracked at my studio - Bluetree Studios in Ahmedabad. Post this, the files were sent to Adhiraj at Refractor studios which was followed by an endless exchange of mails and mixes peppered with sleepless nights. We had just sixty days to do this and yes, we managed to pull it off in time.', says Sarmah.
But then there’s more to the album, the contribution of 78 people if we have to be precise. When we asked him if crowdfunding is the way to go for indie (which mostly translates to on the brink of being broke) bands, Sarmah says ‘We feel so blessed to have such wonderful people around. Yes, we exceeded our expectations. We never wanted the complete album to be crowd funded. We put all our savings as a band on the album. We were partially crowd funding it so that we could promote the album well and also spend some more on production. There is a huge difference between making a record and making an amazing record. Crowd funding is an amazing medium, but I feel that an artist needs to prove themselves as an artist first. You know what I mean. People will support when they see you working hard, trying to make things happen and delivering every time someone expects from you. We had a target of 60k, considering the fact that we are a new band and have a very small following. But we were stoked by the fact that we crossed a lac. Now it’s our turn to send everyone their rewards along with our regards.’
Catch the first song ‘What If_’ (With the underscore signifying a blank that you can choose to fill with a positive or a negative situation.) off their debut album HERE. Their full-length debut releases on the 15th of October. LIMITED Pre-Orders HERE and for international orders, click HERE.