Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ze Pearl Jam Tributary

Ze Pearl Jam Tributary will flow past B69 in Andheri on the 22nd of Octomber, 2010. Split, Blakc(sic) and many other rockstars swill come there to wash away their sins in this holy confluence. Anyone else wishing to wash their sin away will have to pay Rs 150 and entah(!). As for the bands, they are awesome and needn't pay any money.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some press we've been getting


So yeah - we're back. Thanks mostly to Sidestand, Harley Davidson, Rolling Stone and an EP that's been given away for free at all the Harley Rock Riders gigs. When a band starts playing after an 18 month self-imposed hiatus, the amount of momentum needed to get back on track is nothing short of epic. And thanks to the powers that be, we have managed to get the energy flowing - and it's showing - you know it's growing.

So - Sidestand. Himanshu Vaswani and Shawn Pereira approached us sometime in Feb 2010 to manage us. They described themselves as people who believed in our music, who knew the scene and who "is still a bachcha run by people with huge holes in their pockets". We heard out their 90 minute presentation on what plans they had, and hopped them on board soon after.

Since then, we've played at Sol Mirador (thank you BRA for once again starting us off), RGIT (along with Avial), Hard Rock Cafe Mumbai, Blue Frog (unplugged) and...

We got hit with the news about the Harley Rock Riders tour sometime in the first week of July. By the time it was actually confirmed, we still found it hard to believe. Harley Davidson and Rolling Stone had decided that they would take Split on a 5-city, 6-gig India-wide tour to promote the launch of Harley Davidson in the country. The numb, unreal feeling died down and Split started practicing like never before. New originals, rehashed covers of 80s pop classics, improv harp-guitar solos - everything was on the menu. We're still in the middle of the Harley Rock Riders tour (3 killer shows down - Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai (with Indus Creed!!!)). We play Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Hamsadhwani (Delhi) from now till December the 4th.

Split's also been paying loads of attention to our online presence - Facebook and Reverbnation mostly. If you happen to read this, would be great if you could join us on both -

www.reverbnation.com/splitsplit (we were #1 on the Mumbai Alt charts for a week, before Panic Attack pipped us)

We've also recently cut up some live footage from the HRR Chandigarh gig for a video. The song - Punk Rock Days. Post prod by Vaas from Enter Guerilla and Shekhar from Split & Blind Walk. Catch an eyeful -

And finally, in what is the biggest news, Nigel, our drummer since the beginning of Split-time has decided to move on. We inducted Split's latest entrant Varoon Iyer about a week back.

Will update more later. Got some work to finish now. Long live the interweb,


Monday, October 11, 2010

This blog is resurrecting

We're going to try one more time to get this blog going. Loads been happening with Split these last 6 months. It all started with... (to be continued)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, April 4, 2008

my first split gig ever

since all the bloggers here are getting really old and have nothing interesting to talk about other than the usual "split hit the stage and it was their best show ever" crap, i'm going post something that's smart.

it's about the first split gig i ever saw.

i walked out of the shower, the water was running down my legs, my manly muscles glistened.... erm... okay, sorry. so, i had a shower and got ready for the gig. tauraez (a rather shy split fan) and another friend were waiting for me at the door. remember, this was a long time ago, 2004 i think, and i had to ask my mom to "please give me some money so i can go to watch a rock band play rock music and i promise i won't do drugs and waste my life". my mom agreed this time. so, i left the house with exactly 110 rupees in my pocket. with 10 extra rupees, i thought i'd buy a lighter so we could play lighter-fight while suffering the nightmare of having to listen to the opening bands. (lighter fight is when you try and burn the opponent's lighter bearing hand with your lighter, yes, i invented it)

just as we were walking out of the colony, this fat chick fainted. we didn't really care, you know... because she was fat. but then we thought that it would be insensitive to let the fat girl faint like that, so we picked her up and waited for some nice person to come along so we could let him take care of her. and her boyfriend did come running, so all was well i guess, but noooooo, we had to take her to the hospital. so, since we are indeed really caring and sensitive guys, we reluctantly did that.

so, we took her to the nearest hospital and looked at our watch (only one of us had a watch, i lost mine in a gutter) and ohmyfuckinggod! it was 6:30! the fucking gig was fucking supposed to start at fucking 6:00 fucking! aaaaaaaaaaah! i didn't want to miss the gig. so i started running towards koregaon park (5 km away) when i noticed that the ric guy was running right behind me. apparently, we were supposed to pay him. wtf?! we said "bhai-saahab, woh ladki se paise le lo?" to which he said "woh to behosh hai". and suddenly we realized. we had to pay the ric guy 40 bucks and we only had 210 (for two gig entries)

you know what sucks? missing a gig. you know what sucks even more? missing the gig because some fat chick fainted and you had to be mr-nice-guy and carry her to the fucking hospital. and there was no way we'd let society treat us like that. so we waited like pansies for her boyfriend to come along who then paid for the ric fare (and for our ric fare to the gig) but then we scolded him, said "you fucking lund, we were supposed to reach the gig at 6:00. it's 6:45 now". but then we decided not to waste too much time and left in the same ric, without the behosh-ladki.

we reached abc farms at 7:00 and we were pretty sure we had missed the "cool band from bombay" and we were really pissed off and promised each other that next time, we'd kill any fainting fat girl at sight. but we tried getting into jazz garden anyway. our third friend had made it comfortably without having to deal with what we just had dealt with. so, i reached the ticket counter and told the guy "three tickets for split gig please?" and he said "sure, 450 bucks".

*heart breaking sound*

me: "what?!"
he: "450, man"
me: "but the pamphlet says 100 per ticket"
he: "yeah, 50 bucks for cover charge"
me: "what's cover-charge?"
he: "you can drink something for 50 bucks inside"
me: "what if i don't want to drink for 50 bucks inside?"
he: "then you waste 50 bucks"
me: "can't you give it to someone else? i'm sure someone's going to drink more than me, i don't drink"
he: "sorry man, 450 or bust"

we weren't going to pay 450 bucks for half a split gig, no way! no way in hell. so we tried to picket the show, we stood at the entry telling everyone that they were ripping us off and that we didn't deserve it. the third friend being a girl started chit-chatting with other girls instead and we had to ask her to get to work. but the whole concept of "cover charge" which was rather alien to us, seemed to be perfectly fine with everyone else. so we couldnt' gather much support. (read: any support)

by now the ticket dude was kinda pissed off and he said "okay, get someone to buy your cover charge and we'll let you choots in". that was the first time i felt really happy when someone called me a "chut" and i said, "sure". then we started trying to convince people to buy our cover charge for us. there were very few people entering jazz garden at that time, probably because the show was over and they were just groupies trying to get some. the third friend was still having a great time chit-chatting from "hey, please buy our cover" to "ooh, what lovely shoes". we had to unfortunately loose a member of our trio when we asked her to sit in one corner and let us do the work.

finally, a bunch of firangs said alright, which was kinda sad because one of them was a really cute brunette who smiled at me. she was probably thinknig "oh, he's cute but if he can't buy cover charge for himself then i don't think he'll be able to support a gamily". i was in love by the time i got in and they handed us these hand rolled cigarettes and i said "fuck, are you kidding me? i don't smoke" and he looked at me like "pansy" and asked me to get in.

something was seriously wrong with the venue. the stage was empty and the girls were unlike what they tell you about rock-chicks in movies. in the movies they're skinny, tall, wearing black, hot, messy hair and all. here... i saw girls wearing flowery skirts and pink tops. and what was even-wronger was that it was 7:30 and there was no band on stage, so we asked the chutya ticket guy again.

me: "dude, you lund, where's the band?"
he: "they'll be on stage soon"
me: "what?! weren't they supposed to be on stage at 6:00? that's what it says on the pamphlet"
he: "yeah but when it says 6:00 it never starts at 6:00"

what kind of fucked up logic that was, god only knows. but we waited patiently inside, playing lighter-fight. the first band was so lame i wanted to stuff mud in my ears in an attempt to put and end to the agony that was their music. i could have made better musing banging my head on a piano. i don't know what the band was thinking, seriously. i'd give them a grammy for NOT EVER PLAYING MUSIC EVER. this dude wearing a cap was playing the acoustic guitar was within reach and i swear i was going to hit him on the shins or something.

but the pain was soon over. and on came the band...

i'm not sure about who was on stage at that time but here's the lineup from what i can remember
guitars - vishwesh
vocals - garreth
bass - shekhar
drums - nigel

gary got on stage and his first request was "could we have all the lights off? except for this red one right here". his demands were met.

there was something about the mere presence of the band on stage that made us move to the front. the girly-friend of ours had been asked to not sit in the corner anymore and move ahead. we got to stand right in front, within reach of the monitors and split burst into their first song from the set.

i don't remember the own comps that they played but i distinctly remember pig society. either that or an old version of it that started a moshpit where i was beaten the hell out of by this sardar guy (revenge will be mine). the covers were what got me to really like the band. since these are the only songs that i had heard before. minerva (deftones) you know you're right (nirvana) i stand alone (godsmack) and an incubus song whos name i can't recall.

gary then took a break and this blonde guy, robert plant lookalike took over the vocals with, what i recall, were a couple of rage covers. if they were then bullet in the head was one of them. very very nicely done, vishwesh did some backup vocals here and there.

they got an encore too, mostly by guys yelling "sabbath! sabbath! sabbath madharchod!" but the rest wanted the band to play a little more. the encore happened, i said "job well done" to vishwesh, talking to him like i was malmsteen going "yeah, i liked the way you played minerva but it's actually done in a different way".

my neck was officially fucked, i couldn't hold it up and the ticketguy went "oh, you don't drink ha?" and i said "yeah, i was headbanging man, if you know what that means".

i got home at 2am and i wasn't allowed to go watch rock bands play rock music for another month or so. but it was worth it. fond memories of split.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Rocked Hard Cafe

Avial's concert is what everyone was talking about when I got to Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday night. The cafe wasn't packed then. The boys had spread themselves lazily around a table and were consuming, as usual, large amounts of Rum and coke, and food.

Mel's hair was a sight. He looked like a frizzly vulture - an extremely good looking one. Nigel showed off his new gizmo, sticking out of his ear, and was trying to persuade someone to accompany him to buy new shoes. Shekhar has evolved and now drinks wine. Garreth was singing along with the videos being screened and smiling serenely. Aviv was making arrangements to have Rum on stage.

Rishu arrived, with Dhaval and armed with more Rum. We stepped out of Hard Rock to mix more drinks, and there the boys argued about how much alcohol they should /could consume before hitting the stage. The rest of us random standers-by drank the rum.

At 9:30, the gig began. I was really happy to see the energy and spirit of the band was just right- they sound checked with Pearl Jam's Alive.

It was an Unplugged show. They were sitting on pretty stools on stage, and Aviv had his acoustic guitar. Nigel, however, gave the drums a full blast, and Mel was fairly vigorous on his Telecaster. I had a video camera and wanted to record as many of the original songs as I could.

Their set list was mainly the originals, and some covers - Radiohead's Just, Wicked Garden, their funky version of Jefferson Airplane's Somebody to Love, With or Without you. The originals were many and were sounding tight - Build Higher, Holy Ghost Machine Gun, My House, Pig Society, Belief, Isn't it strange, Don't wake me, Fat Oaf. The energy picked up and went higher, and Aviv would frequently close his eyes and vanish into a solo. Garreth would pull out his harmonica and seduce us. The last song of the night was a cover of the Doors' Five To One. Wow.

The boys had a blast on stage. Rishu got fairly smashed. Another memorable gig.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Split's Eastwind Experience

This one is going to be difficult to write, given that my already-rusty memory is further dulled with 3 nights of consecutive hangovering. But I will try. For what else is this life for, but to try.

Shekhar was the first one of us to get to Delhi. He was so eager to meet all his Delhi friends, he left a week early. Nigel and I got in on the first day of the festival - 22nd. Gary and Aviv got in sometime later. And Woody came in the morning of the show - on the 24th. We'd pre-booked 2 hours at On-Stage (a 3-story musician's mall in Delhi) but decided against doing it. Instead, we just hung around in the guest-house and worked out the set with Woody.

I was particularly in good spirits because Aviv was letting me use his 25-year old Artist Series Ibanez for the gig. The guitar (affectionately called Pomfret) has a sustain half-life of 500,000 years and really sings. Shekhar was seen walking in the chilly Delhi afternoon hand-in-hand with Jean. Aviv and Priyanka rolled and smoked joints all the way. Nigel was Nigel. The thing that I remember the most that afternoon in the guest-house was how clear and powerful Gary's voice sounded to me, after so long. It felt right to be there with these 4 guys.

We left for the venue in 2 batches. Our soundcheck was on at 4:15, post Something Relevant's killer set. Armed with Rahul's (Medusa) GT6, Aviv's Artist Ibanez and a yellow Fender pic, I felt ready as I'd ever be. Soundcheck was such a blur - as always. We sound-checked on various songs, and the levels seemed to sort themselves out easily. The stage sound was brilliant! We, it seemed, were going to enjoy this gig - with only a can of Red Bull to spur us onwards.

Since the last few shows, Split had been working on a set where the energy built up - from quiet and slow to loud and paced. However, at Eastwind, we had to rethink this strategy. We needed to hold people in our stage (there were two others - Scribe and Helga's Fun Castle playing around the same time we were) and so decided to start with a bang. Build (Higher)! O yeah! I really like playing this song - it's relatively simple to play and makes me want to break something.

The songs seemed to follow thick and fast. The crowd began to build up inside the tent too. Split got the best turn-out I'd seen so far at the RSJ stage, but don't take my word for it. I was watching from 11 feet up in the air. Steep.

Aviv's opiate solos, Shekhar's solid bass and Nigel's solid, clear beat sounded great on stage. Possibly the best stage sound we've ever got. But it was Garreth who was sounding completely incredible. I didn't watch him much, but I sure could hear him all over. For my sound - I was pretty pleased with it too. Nice solid crunch from the Ibanez, driven past the GT6, multiplied by a Marshall combo. Sweet, sweet.

My House, Fat Oaf, Isn't It Strange, Don't Wake Me (beautiful sax from Woody), Belief, Holy Ghost Machine Gun and finally (we almost didn't get to play this one) Pig Society.

Post gig Gary got interviewed by a channel (don't know which) and then, the band, by TV 18. Vikram, who was interviewing us asked us if we named the band Split as a reverse-psych maneuvre against further band break-ups. Pretty insightful dude.

We just chilled after that. Hung around. Watched some other artists. Karsh Kale, Leni Stern, Shaa'ir + Func (tech-glitchy set) and some others. I'd been bumming free beers off Sidhu and Vishy and was nicely buzzing - talking to Heena from Gibson and Smriti from Eastwind, when, for the first time in 3 days, I felt the Eastwind ground go quiet. And I knew it had ended.

We headed to an after-party about 2 hours later. It was nice, but not completely rocking. Maybe this has something to do with the free-booze counter shutting after 12:30. Scribe, Demonic R, Split, Menwhopause, DJ Blot, Dhruv Ghanekar, Anal Funk - they were all there.

Post a grueling 2-hour drive to find food, we finally retired. But not before tucking into ham sandwiches. Crash.

The flight back was less eventful than I imagined it to be. About half the Boeing was loaded with Mumbai's music-scene. The pilot made some inane speeches to wake us up. The burger was dry. Something funny happened - as soon as we landed, before the flight had stopped taxiing, Dhruv got up and pulled open te overhead bin. A pedal-bag slipped out and landed on the aunty sitting below. Her screams were terrible - like someone was out to kill her. Her husband almost beat up everyone around him in a Hulk-rage.

Mumbai. Hello.