In Conversation With Thaikkudam Bridge and Agam

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Thaikkudam Bridge

Starting off on a lighter note, how difficult is it for you all to coordinate a jam session?

[Govind] We usually keep a jam/practice session couple of days before a gig, so that it is convenient for everyone to come. 

What is your music-making and recording process like? Do all of you contribute to the process?

[Govind] Music making is done in parts and stages. Composing is done usually by one guy. He usually has a theme and a skeleton in his head. Then comes the production and lyrics. This is usually where we breath flesh on the skeleton and the song looks close to what it would be, when done. Production is done by me. If its someone else’s composition, I sit through process. After this stage people usually voice out their opinions like a brain storm for adding dimensions and fine tunings. And we have a song. 

Why do you make music? What drives you as a band?

[Govind] Passion is what drives us, individually and as a band. We find pleasure in doing what we do. Apart from that, Joby is the one person who motivates us immensely. 

You just finished a massive USA and Canada tour. Tell us a bit about it.

[Govind] This was our second tour of USA. But first time the bands played in Canada. It was a different thing experiencing American summer which was fun and really cool. Also the first time we toured the west coast. Performing at summer fest was a great and exhilarating experience. Playing at an international festival can never get tiring.

How was the touring experience different from touring in India?

[Govind] It was a completely different experience since it was mainly a 55-day tour, which we have never done till now. It was the biggest tour for us till now. In India its maximum of a two or three days tour, where we have gigs on weekends and we usually fly back home on weekdays.

What is your take on the current political scenario in the country?

[Govind] We as a band have different political views, so giving a political view as a band is not possible. 

How would you describe your journey as a band from 2013 till now? What was that one turning point according to you?

[Govind] Everyday I feel lucky to be part of something like this. Getting to tour so many countries, performing for people, with your friends is what the journey has been all about. There have been many moments and turning points in the band and our lives. Nostalgia, Fish rock, Tribute to Ilaiyraja sir, Navarasam to name a few.

According to you, what is the biggest change we have seen with regard to independent music in recent years?

[Govind] Social media has contributed a lot to the growth and popularity independent music in India. The audiences have become more responsive and appreciating thanks to it.

Tell us about what is brewing at the Thaikkudam Bridge camp? When can we expect a new release?

[Govind] We are currently working on our next album ‘Namah’. Its a collaboration album with many great names like Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhat, Shri Niladri Kumar, Shri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Guthrie Govan, Jordan Rudess, Marco Minnemann, Chris Adler and so on. We are hoping for an October release.

Agam

It’s been more than a decade since you came together as a band. What has been the most memorable experience? 

[Jagadis] Being featured on Coke Studio was a major milestone and then our first international show in Singapore were two milestones that we will always remember.

Why do you make music? What drives you as a band? 

[Jagadis] We have all been drawn to music in some form or another, some of us come from families with musical background while the rest of us picked it up much later in life. But Music is one thing that binds us and drives us as a band.

What is your music-making process like? 

[Jagadis] It typically starts with a melody line or a guitar riff which we then build around. We are also notorious to shelve some ideas only to pick them up years later as they fit in with the mood that we are looking to evoke. We never ship unless we are happy listening to our own songs and this pushes our production timelines by quite a bit and one of the reasons why you don’t see us pushing out albums every year.

What are some upcoming independent acts that you like? Or think are going to make it big? 

[Jagadis] We like Pineapple Express and definitely think they will go places.

How would you describe your journey as a band from back in 2003 to being one of the biggest acts in the country? 

[Jagadis] It is a journey that comes with its own ups and downs. We had to figure out how to continue making music from different cities for instance.

How has the band’s sound evolved over the years? 

[Jagadis] We have definitely gotten bolder in our experimentation and open to more collaborations. 

A few tracks on your last album were released as “audio-visual production”. How was this idea conceived? What went into creating this experience? 

[Jagadis] We saw that some of our songs from the previous album got more popular after we worked with a music video show called “Music Mojo”, this was the trigger to making music videos. We also realised that people like to watch a lot of videos and this is one form of getting our music to your home!

What is your take on the independent music scene in our country? 

[Jagadis] it has definitely grown with the growth of social media. You are no longer tied by TV or Radio to spread your music although they still continue to rule to roost. We see a lot of promising bands that are making some amazing music.

Tell us a bit about what are you currently working on? 

[Jagadis] We are definitely experimenting a lot, and you can expect something to roll out pretty soon.



Head to South Side Story tomorrow at The Zorba. Find the event details below.

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