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Pop-Rock Band Ferry Tales Sets Sail Again After A Hiatus with ‘Long Time, No Sea’

The Navi-Mumbai based group has released a new EP, five years after their debut. It features a new line-up, spans multiple genres and is crowdfunded.

In 2016, Ferry Tales was invited to open for 2Stroke Tour’s Mumbai show. The gig was headlined by alternative/progressive metallers, Goddess Gagged, who were reuniting after three years. This would be their last performance. “It was the biggest thing. Every band looked up to them. All the musicians from Mumbai were there,” Ferry Tales’ drummer, Nilay Singh, recalls. At that time, Ferry Tales was a young band, touring the country with their three-track EP, There She Goes. They had shared the stage with Blackstratblues and Tejas Menon before. But, playing for the electric crowd alongside Goddess Gagged that night, inspired them to make new music.

Except when they got into the jam room, there was tension. Differences over sound and genres were pulling the quartet apart. As a result, bassist Siddhant Vetekar quit and the group decided to take a break. Singh explored percussions with folk-fusion group, Zubaan and vocalist Akshay Dakhane entered The Stage, a reality-TV singing competition. Whereas, guitarist Nischal Chaubey, a progressive metal fanatic, turned to teaching music and explored genres like Latin jazz.

There was no looking back for a year until Dakhane brought the hiatus to an end – by asking the guys to perform for his brother’s wedding. “This time it was different. At the end of every jam session, we would end up playing old Ferry songs. It felt like coming home,” Singh laughs. The event prompted them to write again. With the addition of Raghu Mathur on bass and Nishant Nair on keys, they released their second EP, Long Time, No Sea, last month.

The style each band member explored during the hiatus, makes an appearance in the EP. Singh laces progressive rock song, Strong, with funk beats, and Chaubey experiments with staccato licks. Whereas, Dakhane’s honey-drenched vocals explore R&B and soul in Home and Medicine. “Taking some time apart helped us understand how our elements could collaborate instead of fighting for space,” Chaubey points out.

The EP is produced by Ajay Jayanthi and Chaitanya Pandit. Between recording sessions in late 2019, the band put a call for crowdfunding on Ketto. They achieved 40 percent of their target in a week, but the response slowed down with the onset of anti-CAA protests. “We felt shallow. The entire nation was under a turmoil and we wanted them to donate for a music album,” Singh admits.

While the campaign was a success in the end, coronavirus set the release behind by another year. However, the band finds confidence in its reception. “We’re really happy that so many people remember us,” says Chaubey. The band intends to retain this momentum and is working on new material. “Even though Akshay (Dakhane) is in the States, we try to feed off each others’ energies, only it’s virtual at the moment,” he adds.

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