Millennium Post

‘We want people to have a good time’

‘We want people to have a good time’
Electro, pop, rock, bubble disco dance. Call their music whatever you want, Mumbai-based band Shkabang, who performed at Blue Frog on Thursday, got the capital grooving. The band is a mix of musicians who often do independent gigs or play with other bands. Right now, the band comprises Shiraz Bhattacharya on drums [also part of Pentagram], Makarand Mane aka Papal who plays bass and is also a part of Pentagram, Niranjan ‘Pozy’ Dhar on guitar [also plays for rock band Zero] and girl-band Viva member-turned-Bollywood singer Anushka Manchanda.

Millennium Post
caught up with Manchanda for a quick interview. Excerpts:

Five members, originally from different bands and into different genres of music, came together to form Shkabang. How did the idea originate and develop?

I asked these boys to come play a gig with me. I had to play at my friend’s dad’s Windsong, which is a weekly night of original indie-music. It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but we had such a great time that we decided to do it for good!

Over the last two years, the members have changed. We stopped playing for almost a year, the sound changed, and now we’re finally coming closer to what we want our sound to be.

Tell us something about your performance in Delhi?

Since our playing slot is right before the tech and trance DJs most of the times when we perform at clubs, we decided to stick to that slot here as well. The tracks we played are heavy on the bass, and the songs are stuff that we deal with on a daily basis. We had some guitars in there. We want people to dance, to have a good time. We played a one hour, non-stop, zero-break electronic dance set.

Why the name Shkabang?

We wanted a name that bounced, something that was fun. Something that didn’t classify us into any particular genre. I was going bang, bang, boom, pop, blah blah and a friend suggested Shkabang. I ran it past the boys and they liked it.

You have been hailed as a pop diva — the new voice of the young generation. Do you plan to claim the same titles for Shkabang?

With Shkabang, the plan is to write and produce more tracks until we have a two-hour dance set. We’ll play, and decide which songs should go into an album. There are plans to put more time into rehearsals, to do more gigs. There are plans to kick some ass. We have so many bands with different genre and styles coming up every now and then.

Where does Shkabang stand in this crowd of bands and music makers?

We’re playing music that you can dance to. We’re not asking you to think deeply or be philosophical. We’re not trying to change the world. Still, each song is about something. A song like
says simply to stand up for what you believe in, Deep Down is about an acid trip, Crazy celebrates madness and Restless is about bitchy frenemies. But it’s straight up. We’re talking about things that happen to us everyday that people can relate to. And all of this to a bass line that doesn’t stop running. We want to entertain people. We want to get you to dance!

Do we see Shkabang singing or composing for Bollywood?

Music is all about deleting boundaries and building connections, and if an opportunity arises to do something interesting, it would be fun to do.

What is the next step for the band ?

We have back-to-back gigs. We just played in Pune. That was followed by a performance in Delhi. Now we will be playing in Bengaluru and then back in Bombay for a week before our next gig there. Rehearsals, song writing, a photoshoot, and hopefully we’ll be back to Delhi super soon!
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