Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Calling it Quits.

Its been a great 2 years of playing shows and its been a bad year of trying to put things on a record. With jobs, mindsets and unimportance taking over our individual lives, somethings gotta take a back seat.

So in this god forsaken, trying-to-be-something music scene of ours, its quite easy for a band like ours to take a fall.

And so it has. I don't see how it matters but in simple words, the Drones from the Turbine is no more.

I could put out some of our last jam recordings and even our attempts at recording our songs, but in the interest of the rest of the members, i won't.

I could go on with advice and gyan and senti run-around-the-tree speech about how great its been, but there is no point in it.

Thank you for being at the gigs you were at.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Indian Music Disaster.

Seemingly, Goa isn't what it used to be. From being the retro colored, nature infested haven as seen on videos from the "Goa Hippie Tribe", it is now a tourist spot. Another liquor capitol, another large pub. The people of Goa are stuck between the richness of selling all the alcohol and letting go of the happy-go-lucky we're friendlies here to help attitude. The ones in their 20s are shrewd capitalists. They don't want a friend for life, but are more than happy to provide you with one for the night, at a price of course. Whatever your trip, they know someone who knows someone who can get it for you. Sometimes you get busted, sometimes conned. They'l disappear and so will your buzz.

The problem with all this is it attracts the wrong bugs. People presume that Goa is another sin-city. We found many mumbaiyas and bangalorean studs on the beaches wandering around in desperate need of a high, anything but what you get in the shops. Don't be mistaken, these aren't your cat-hunting crack addicts you'd find lurking in alley-ways in your city, these are the people who've never tried any drug and Goa is the perfect setting for it. "Arre, yaar! Hum Goa mein hain aur koi bhi chemical try nahin kiya hai. Ganja bhi nahin mila!", a statement i overheard on the beach. What ensues is a lot of drinking and then the lets-ask-random-people-for-stash. Very rich.

But there are largely undiscovered parts of Goa that calm the nerves of peace-trippers and keeps the local bikini-brigade far away at the commercial beaches(rather giant-pubs).

Yet, the name of Goa resonates a carnival spirit and we were invited to be a part of the Indian Music Conference, organized by Spotlight Events. The people who worked on this event are all very charming and in their own right lovable. Yet, they lacked the know-hows of what exactly a rock band is and what a rock show must have.

To start with, the band had been separated and put in 2 different flights about an hour apart. Adi and Anand missed their flights because of that very reason. Taking the blame for our actions, the rest of us boarded the flight while Adi and Anand decided to take a bus to Goa and join us there. The flight was quite nice and our fellow-passengers happened to be Thermal & a Quarter.

Upon landing, we ran into the members of Skinny Alley and Pink Noise. Transport had been arranged to take us to one Rio Hotel, where we were to register for the festival. Apparently, they presumed that all us had missed our flights(because they didn't know we were on 2 different flights) and had to make other adjustments for us. While they organized, Skinny Alley offered us beer and the hotel took an hour and half to make our sandwiches. Finally we boarded another cab to The O Hotel, 4/5 star accommodation. Somehow all the delays were forgiven at the sight of the bed and the bathtub in the hotel room.

More confusion ensued upon Anand and Adis arrival the next morning. They still hadn't told us what would be happening on our gig-day. A random call, told us there's a cab on its way to take us to sound-check. The cab had been waiting a few hours before someone decided to inform us what cab number and that it had arrived. I had lost patience couped up in a hotel room in Goa and rented out a bike and made my own way to South Anjuna. The rest of the band took the cab which dropped them off about a kilometer away from the venue, because the cabbie was refused permission to go through the market to the venue. They were asked to get out and walk with all the equipment to the Cafe Looda.

Upon arrival, we were quite happy. The Cafe was already full. The flea market had thousands of people walking by and the stage had a clear view of the ocean, the beach and eventually the sunset. The drum-kit hadn't arrived and it was already 2o'clock. We were supposed to start at 4. At 3 a junior kit arrives. At 3.30 we were still waiting for cymbals. Thats when i realized there were no amps on stage. Just as my blood began to boil i realized we could probably compromise because all guitarists have good enough fx-processors. A minute later, i realized there were only 2 monitors on stage - 1 for the drummer and 1 for the rest of us.

This show was fucked. The guy who was supposed to be handling our show, clearly said that i should take up any matters with someone who wasn't at the venue.

Lets trackback a bit, a few weeks before we left, i was working on a little some quite seriously with a friend who was also quite seriously involved in what we were doing. I received a phone call from an organizer from IMC who made me run to the nearest internet connection and within no-time send them a copy of our tech requirements. At the moment i was on-stage, i wondered why was i rushed when they were really going to make their own assumption of what we would require on-stage - 2monitors, a mic and a junior drum-kit.

We were clearly disappointed and i was especially annoyed with the organizer at the venue constantly complaining about how late we are and how this whole sound issue is somehow our fault. Add this to heavy problems with electricity. All of this resulted in quite a miserable set. Noone really knew what was going on and it was quite a funny guessing game. We somehow managed to go on for an hour and half, partially because we were already there and the chances of getting a stage next to the beach and a slot at sunset seemed pretty bleak to us. Yes, we were being self-centered and stopped giving a damn about everything that was wrong on-stage and just jammed on.

Once we were done, we all unloaded our frustration with a few beers and some food. Eventually caught hold of the organizer and gift-wrapped a piece of our minds to him before heading back to the hotel.

Adi and Anand had still not been given accommodation and they just decided to crash at hotel O with us. They left early next morning with the cab that would drop them at the airport, only to return because their flight had been postponed without any warning.

The rest of us spent the day walking around candolim and sinquerim till we got threatened by the organizers to check-out of the hotel. No cab provided to exit.

We hitch-hiked to the train-station and caught the midnight train to a beach town in Karnataka. We didn't bother getting back to Goa for our fancy return flight and just made our own way home after one very disappointing show.

"what use is your flight and your 5-star hotel, if you don't give musicians the sound they deserve."

I hope the next conference will make more sense than this one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Improbably Stupid.

There are two things we have grown used to accept about gigs, concerts and Rock performances in Bangalore. Improbability and someones mind-boggling stupidity. We've consulted many astrologers, numerologists and even psychic-parrots on the roadside and the verdict is as stupid and improbable as the events that occur in itself.

Inexperienced sound engineers( to be read as "pissed off because I've to sit here all day and help bands who don't know anything about their instruments, amps or effects processors only to be blamed for bad sound afterward") start right at the top. Very often have we landed up on a MASSIVE stage with some pretty good sound equipment around and then comes along a soundie who hikes up the delay when we ask for a little reverb. Send over your own sound guy to the console and these guys loose it. Attacks on ego, inappropriate comments and eventually bad sound are what we end up with. Though on the flip side of things you get this humble chap, who will step out with you for a smoke before the sound-check, try and understand what the band and their music is about, personally help us set up on stage and the finish us off with the right amount of tweaking during the performance. Once we met a soundie who also owned the company that did sound, he did the most running around I've seen a sound vendor do.

Then there's the sound vendor(read as, "i bought all this equipment because lots of people wanted to hire them"). Sound vendors are fascinating people. I think everyone should interact with a few of them once in a lifetime at least. their optimism and confidence should be an example to every human alive. They'll never say, "No, that can't be done". Never. But, you'd almost never meet a vendor at a gig. All his minions will run around trying to figure out which cable goes in where and it is usually completely improvised and experimental. The outcome of this is sometimes disastrous and results in exploding equipment, full-body electrocution and under rare circumstances impotency. I would at this point like to remind you of the soundie we met, who was also the vendor and did all that necessary running around. Fabulous man, will introduce you to him sometime.

I'm not even going to enter the event organizers' domain. They're very hard-working people who've way too many things going on while they're making plans for so many more things. Simply, they need to get more people to help them out. They face more improbably stupid things than i can imagine.

Cops. Need I say more? Expect to be randomly raided, busted or conned into a fine. Hey, they're just doing their job yeah.

And finally there's us.

Of all the billions of people, it is quite highly unlikely that the 6 people in this band met and decided to create an audio-visual experience. It might be considered quite stupid for us to give up the regular sing-a-song routine for our upcoming shows and move to completely improvised sets.

Obviously, we'd like to be jamming with other musicians and we might play a few of our songs, but the sets will be mostly improvised, on-the-spot jams.

Our recording plans are taking shape and we're proud to announce the track-list of our untitled debut album -

 This, obviously, is in no particular order and is subject to change depending on the fickle mindset of the space-monkey.

Its all a cosmic conspiracy i tell you, but we're in it and are used to it if nothing. Times are changing, they will get better.

Thank you for flying with us.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The right time

" in a moment that belongs to you,
a memory will be born,
one that will take you forward,
with no regret or remorse.

Death will be a guest,
when the rains would come.
They take away the lights
only to give your pyre more burn"
                            - R.I.P Zoom 606

Death was least expected on that day. But, while we just about finished playing "Chaos Theory" at the big mushroom cloud festival, i looked up to see the crowd going helter-skelter and wondered, "wow! we couldn't be THAT bad", only to realize that it had started raining. I looked around to find the other guys from the band returning home from that outro that we were lost in. I heard Karan's voice on the monitor grow, " guys, we've to stop. Guys! please wind up. Machaaaa, its raining, please stop playing..." and so he repeated, we couldn't stop for some reason and then we did.

It had started raining sometime in the middle of the second part and we hadn't realized. We didn't realize that some of the lights that were facing us had blown up and that Sadhu's guitar had gone off because the pedal had died. We tried everything possible but that was that. The Zoom 606 i had bought a few years ago as a "kid who's kinda into guitars" had finally met its death on stage. Dramatic!

Sometimes you don't expect shit like that to come by. You don't expect that you'll get calls from people saying they want to write about you and you don't expect people from different countries e-mailing to tell you how they'd like to jam with us. These things are hard to digest but its the truth.

The Oresund Space Collective is a band that we've looked up to in the past couple of weeks and we love what they're pumping out. Dr. Space and everyone with him is doing a fantastic job taking us to different parts of space with their music. They're a band we're really digging and they're mainly from Denmark. We hit 'em up on myspace and gave them the obligatory friend request thinking that it would be another one of those fan created pages, but who knew, Dr. Space himself was managing the page! His comments on the Drones from the Turbine page have greatly humbled us and we're trying our best to have a jam with him and the rest of the space collective soon.

Other gigs are coming up in Bangalore and other cities as well. Think we should play in your city? shoot us an e-mail, see if you can help us. We're having a little trouble finding our way to the studio but as soon as we learn to read the map, we'll let you know for sure.

Long overdue are a few recordings we caught hold of from our night at Fete De La Musique (here's the article in case you missed it). Here they are in no particular order -

Chaos Theory (Live @ fete de la musique, Bangalore) by dronesfromtheturbine

Lucid Dreaming (Live @ fete de la musique, Bangalore) by dronesfromtheturbine
Un titled (Sound check @ fete de la musique) by dronesfromtheturbine

See you at a show near you.

peace and love! 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A year to celebrate

Well, its been a year. A year of jamming and making music and trashing songs and making a million plans of doing a million things and playing many many shows. Its been a year of havoc nonetheless and its been a great year for sure and what a way to celebrate it. Yes i am talking about The Big Mushroom Cloud Festival of course. Some really good times these were, with many many bands that joined us on stage and off and some that even "battled" their way into our hearts.

To start with, we treated ourselves and our very eager drummer to a not-so-shiny drum kit. We've all waited for toys that we've always wanted and our kul-mute(in kannada = little gunnybag) has waited a real long time for this but its finally here. We're also back to our birthplace, the "room" in canara bank layout and we won't tell how good it feels.

Jams have been scarce with exams and work pressures, somehow the shows have also been scarce. But its okay really, The Live Gig Networks have helped us a lot in the past few months and there are more plans coming up.

As i said in the start of the year, The Bicycle Days did come out with their EP. Well produced and some intense concept revolving around in there. No matter what anyone says, its simply trippy. I like all the songs and the hidden track vain gloria reminds me of the first time i looked up their myspace page and started conversing with Karthik. Good times. Their schedule is pretty much full so you can catch them live and really experience their music. Check 'em out on myspace or get in touch with them on facebook.

Clipped Wing Satellite put out more songs and a phenomenal performance at the big mushroom cloud. As much as i would want to hear some vocals on their tracks(i've been trying some as well), i somehow seem to appreciate and enjoy their music without it.

Bangalore seems to house a lot of bands some with real talent. I just wish they get a little less serious and start playing music because they want to. Seriousness and commitment is a must, i agree, but if you're not having fun out there, whats the point really?

Anyways, next on the agenda is a book reading. Ashok Malhotra, an Indian author is launching his book called Child Man - The Selfless Narcissist and is having a sort of a performance with a few actors from Rafiki. They thought we could add a little color to their performance with some light acoustic music. We did go jam with them once and it was quite something. The book is quite interesting, it tries to understand the human psyche through characters from the Mahabharata. Facebook RSVP here.

We're finally getting to play at the world music day celebrations at Alliance Francaise, also known as fete de la musique. More on that soon.

Lastly, for those who've asked enough and are bugged, we will go into recording soon. This is probably one thing we don't want to hurry and at the same time we're not trying to slack of either. It'll happen and trust me, we're all waiting for it as well.

Much love and peace!

p.s. it really really sucks ass that they might chop off all those trees in Sadashivnagar because someone wants a 6lane road that connects cauveri theatre to yashwantpur.sad.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Introducing the Turbine....briefly.

The past few months have been a blur. Not just because of all the hallucinogens but with the number of shows and the kind of response we've been getting. We've not said no to any gig, except for the ones at malls or the "battle of the bands". We weren't at NITK for the same reason. So what have we been up to?

Well, to start with we had our first out-station gig in January. Pondicherry was kind enough to accommodate us in their hearts and festivities. So we headed down to the lovely city in our beloved Turbine. We drove down overnight, doing stupidities such as turning off the headlights on the newly constructed Hosur Rd. fly-over at about 100km/h and loosing our way and doing about 50kms more than necessary. What really took the cake was taking a turn onto the wrong side of the road, unintentionally of course, while the Turbine roared to 120km/h while we all sat in the car wondering why everyone else was going in the opposite direction. Yes, death was a probability, but it hovered over the head of a little kitten that ran right under our wheels. An extreme sadness took over us at that time.

The sun came to our rescue and cheered us up. We stopped randomly just to watch the sun rise. All night long we listened to the newly discovered Krautrock and post-rock bands that tripped us out with all that smoke. Pondicherry was a very welcoming city. With people lined up at the side of the highway, their bare behinds sticking out and screaming SHIT! at anyone who passed by.

Pondy was a delightful city. Bright, chirpy and all smiles. People are generally open-minded and happy. The Government is open-minded and happy. They don't frown upon things like women going into a bar in the afternoon to grab a beer. At the same time, they have their problems too but they treat life the way life should be - a peaceful fiesta for the mind and soul.

After a visit to Qualithe Inn with a few of our friends who traveled there to support the event, a few drinks down(taquila is 35bucks a shot!!), a smoke on beach road. We met up Pk's parents for more drinks and eventually lunch.

By late evening, we were absolutely wired from the lack of sleep, all that alcohol and smoke. It was the right time to get on stage.

When we got to the Beach Road we saw how huge the festival really was! 4 HUGE stages! each catering to its own audience. It looked like the entire city plus a shit load of tourists were there, for music, for fun, for the lights, for the entertainment and for freedom.

The stage was great. the sound set-up was crazy. All those who were there making the show possible were there because they love music. old music, new music, fresh music, stale music. They loved everyone who loved music as well.

Our return to Bangalore was marked with a show with Lounge Piranha and Sulk Station. This was called upon by the generous people at Lounge Piranha and Unwind Center. We dutifully thank Lounge for trying to give us a boost in the music scene and apologies for any inconvenience we caused that day. Although sulk has some insane material, they could do a lot more live, not just with the stage presence but with the music as well.

February kept us busy. It was the busiest month we've had so far I guess. With Our first gig invitation from Kyra but our first gig was an acoustic set at 64, a lazy loungy homely bar.

The acoustic set was apt. A few of us from the band had just returned from a peace trip to Gokarna on Maha Shivratri. There was a party on the beach for Valentines day as well and unlike the commercial V-Day that we see in Bangalore, this was just a gathering of people, sitting around a huge fire and singing and playing songs and everyone was there to celebrate the concept of love. Not give each other roses or greeting cards.

64 feels great. Its homely and has a big blue door that is shut after you enter. The sound system is very basic and there was no drum kit, so we brought out Adi's shiny new Djembe. 64 was kind enough to let us put up art on their walls and windows and every corner we could find. So we filled up the place with paintings by Pia Rajendran and a few photographs by Adi and Pk.

Kyra asked us to perform on a Thursday. We picked the last Thursday, just so that we have time to prepare a lot more. The stage at Kyra has been good to us, if not the hospitality. We get great sound and also get to do a lot of interesting things especially since the stage was designed to cater to more than one need. So we decided to bring out the big guns. New music, new visuals, we dressed up for the stage and Anand even wore a hat. But we wished we were dealing with people and not corporates when we deal with Kyra. Rajeev is a good man with a great vision, hence Kyra. Its supposed to be a place that promotes music. I don't know what omen rests upon them that they've left many bands who've performed there with a bad after-taste.

Nevertheless, the music, the visuals, the lasers, the lights, the sound and all the preparations paid off at Kyra.We had a great time and Shimrei gave us excellent sound.

Next up, was what felt like a private show to us. We climbed two floors to a very red Suberbia which was quite packed with all our friends. It was a fun show, very simple and although the acoustics aren't the greatest, the company was really worth it. It was awesome to have a smoke on the terrace with practically everybody who'd dropped in, then go down and play songs for the same people. The lines between smokes and jams got blurred that we were sitting upstairs with an acoustic guitar smoking and jamming with everyone standing around by the end of the night. Even the poster the designed for the event was kick ass!

Through all of these shows, we have reached out to more people. We've discovered a lot more music and have made many more friends. But whats been surprising is that at every show we find someone new and totally unexpected coming up to tell us they had a good time and somehow that seems to be a great consolation to everything that isn't working for us.

What we have in store for us in march is very unclear. We're always looking to do something new, so take a chance and send out any ideas you have.

Peace and love!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Strange Frequencies

Cheers! To the start of a new year.

After a grinding halt to our gigging spree in December, we're finally back. December was a month we had to take off, stop the music and turn off the lights. But it was a crazy month after all. With the onslaught of VTU exams, final year project submissions, jobs and BFA classes we hardly had time to tune guitars.

This dead time was quite a torture for all of us. We were suddenly not playing any shows, not jamming and not making music. It is true, once the stage-bug bites you, you're done for. The craving to get back on stage is a soft buzzing bee at the back of your head telling you that you don't really have anything to look forward to. Bad sound, the lack of a projector, broken guitar strings; these were problems that didn't exist in December and that kinda sucked.

We took our vacations after all this academic tension passed and did our own thing, yet constantly planning things for our next show(whenever that would be) in our minds, only looking forward to riding that bumpy road to jam hut.

Now that gig season has reopened for us, we're looking at implementing all those ideas and detailing every little thing that we'd thought of, including the purchase of a tuner. A special thanks to all of Adi's friends who were thoughtful enough to gift him a djembe for his birthday.

The days have rolled on as we approach our first real stage of 2010 tomorrow(22nd January) at Unwind Center. For the first time we share stage with artists who play a similar genre of music - Lounge Piranha and Sulk Station; and for the first time you will get to listen to some new material we've been working on.

The very next day we leave to Pondicherry to play and support Freedom Jam. This also happens to be our first out station tour and we personally feel its a great place to start.

Things to look out for in 2010 -

  • The Bicycle days' EP
  • Clipped Wing Satellite's EP
  • Sand Animation Vs. Visual projections at an up-coming show
  • DFTT playing different cites across India(hopefully the world)
  • Our not-so-shiny Demo
  • and lots of peace

Also, we're open to public opinion. So if you think you know a place we should play a gig at or you think we can do a part of our song differently or you just want to tell us how bad we are, e-mail us on dronesfromtheturbine@gmail.com

There's a strange intuitive buzz about the year 2010; a very crazy buzz. With hope in our hearts and peace in our minds, we hope that you do your bit in propagating some peace and spreading the word of good music.

peace and love!