Millennium Post

We have been lucky, very lucky: Parikrama

We have been lucky, very lucky: Parikrama
The face of Indian rock, Parikrama, will celebrate its 21st birthday with a live concert on Friday night at Zura in Gurgaon. Millennium Post caught up with frontman Subir Malik before the band takes the stage. Excerpts:

From being the first Indian band to perform in the US to marking the golden jubilee celebration of John Kennedy... how has the journey been?

Wonderful and superbly amazing. Not many marriages today last as long as the band has lasted. We laugh a lot, we still play a lot of pranks, drink a lot of beer and listen to good music. This has been the reason for 21 long years of togetherness.

How did the name come into being? How does it define the band?

We read through a lot of names and for some reason we all wanted a Hindi name. Nithin Malik (the lead vocalist) was reading a book called Vishwa Parikrama, and it sounded nice to us and was something we all related to.

Downloading music for free and no policy against piracy of your music has been your trademark. has this endeavour been a feat?

If you look at it, what Parikrama started in 1995 is now being followed by bands worldwide. Music is now available for free from websites of bands worldwide. Parikrama started this trend. We support piracy only of our music. We don’t want to support piracy and take away from other artists. Just that, pirate our music - no issues! We believe in freedom of music.

What is the force that has helped ‘Parikrama’s feathers to rock together’ over these years?

Since the very beginning, we had certain ground rules decided and fundas to be followed — one of them being that none of the band members would depend on Parikrama for livelihood. So all the band members have lives outside Parikrama. We make music to feed our souls, not our stomachs.

What is in store for the fans on the anniversary night?

We will be playing the really old numbers of ours that we haven’t played in a long time. The audience should come and hear the originals.

Do we get to hear the magic of Parikrama in Bollywood?

We eventually did end up doing a song for Saif ’s movie Agent Vinod. The signature theme music was composed by us. We still cannot make songs like Sheila and Munni. Our music is very different from that. But you will definitely hear us in an upcoming movie Manju Nath which is based on a true story of an IIM graduate in UP who was shot dead for exposing oil mafias. The film would release sometime in winter.

You have been an English band playing in a country which prefers mostly Bollywood or Hindi music. Now that the scene is changing, do you think the audience evolved and grown over the years?

To that I would say that Parikrama has and would continue to do what it has wanted to do. I completely agree that we have evolved and matured a lot in terms of music and the acceptance of the various artists. There were times when nothing but the album covers mattered but now what matters is how well is your music doing. It’s musicians like Amit Saigal who are responsible for this evolution and growth. The music industry owes a lot to him for this change in scenario.

The next new chapter for Parikrama would be?

We are finally working on an album. We have never actually liked the studios and believe in the freedom of music but the fans have been demanding an album since forever. So, this time we decided to do this for them. But there is no better feeling than playing live on stage.

Parikrama believes in?

Peace... trees... and rock ‘n’ roll has been our old slogan. Music and beer are also what we believe in. Please put it in a bracket beside that ‘We are super chilled’!

Your favourite band song would be?

Till I’m no one again is a favourite. This was the first studio recorded song.
Le chaim
(meaning ‘cheers’ in Hebrew), is another favourite.

What has been the best part of this enthralling 21 year journey?

How many people get to do what they want to do? How many people continue to do what they did in college or school for the rest of their lives? We have been lucky — very lucky. We all also have lives outside this band.

Just before meeting you, I was in a corporate meeting and after meeting you I would be heading towards another corporate meeting. In spite of life outside, the band - we never, not never ever, but yes, never have we missed a performance for something else.
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