When you try and put a genre to Lagori the band members are going to put up a fight. With their foundations set solidly on Indian soil this young band from Bangalore has left audiences happy and begging for more. In an attempt to understand what they are all about they’ve agreed to let me pick their brains for a while. Lets get to it shall we?
Let’s talk about your album. I have bought it I promise!
Geeth: It has 8 songs that we’ve written over a period of time. Each of the 8 songs are very unique in terms of it’s own sound and flavour in terms of music. When people ask me what Lagoris sound is like its very difficult for me to explain. I really can’t pin point a particular genre. I think it’s a mix of all our influences.
So, I know Tejas has a Hindusthani background…
Geeth: Or so he claims. (laughs)
but where do the rest of your sounds stem from?
Edward: That’s one long story! Basically, the three of us ( Vinyl, Geeth and Edward) started off in a band called Fahrenheit for a few years after which we started Lagori.
When we jam we bring all our creative influences to the song. Honestly. we don’t start out with any clear cut notions of what kind of sound we want or if it will be of a particular genre etc. Vinyls sound ranges from street music to death metal.
You also play the cajon right?
Vinyl: Yeah, I met a friend who makes speaker boxes and he introduced me to the Cajon. When I played it for the first time I realised that I didn’t need a drum kit. This instrument had everything! This was also the time when we were swapping Ideas. We were in the process of creating Boom Shankar and I wanted different percussion. This seemed to fit fine and now I’m hooked. I make them too.
Edward: Geeth plays a lot of rock and blues.
Tejas: BB King
Vinyl: (Laughs) Yeah we call him BB king because of all the expressions he makes.
Edward: Ya well Shalini started out with Lounge Piranha and I veer towards country and a little bit of rock.
Shalini why bass?
Shalini: I started out singing for a bunch of choirs. I was also working in Wipro then. When the office band wanted a backup singer I decided to join and the next day the bassist quit. Someone put a guitar on me and that’s that I guess. I did learn some guitars in between but I came back to the bass.
Whats it like being in a band full of guys?
Shalini: It’s cool actually. I’m one of the guys. ( Post which she promptly proceeds to show us all her new hair cut.)
Whats your creative process like?
Geeth: We compose the music first and words come much much later! We bring Tejas in as late as possible. We don’t let him sing until we’ve decided the song is good enough! (laughs)
What inspired your lyrics?
Tejas: Yes, actually! I take parcels from moments. We wrote a kannada song called duniya. It isn’t on the album but at that moment in time I was like “yeh Duniya agar mil bhi jaaye tho kya hai?” It felt this rush and it felt right. In another more romantic moment saiyyan took shape. I honestly don’t know how it works, things happen within the moment.
Do you feel like you may write something in English?
Tejas: I don’t know I know where my strengths lie. I’m a good Indian singer and when I do I sound like a bad Elvis but lets see we are open to collaborations.
Edward: We will write an English song at some point but there will definitely be an Indian element to it.
My first introduction to you was your promo video for the Above & Beyond Tour. I thought it was just great! What was that like?
Geeth: That just came out of nowhere. I was in the car with a bunch of my EDM friends and my brother calls me up and says: ‘There is this band called above & beyond and they want you to cover a song> They want an indian band to cover it for their tour.’ I just sort of said okay. Post which I asked him if the band was from Delhi.(laughs) He laughed and told me that they were from London and one of the biggest EDM bands in the world!
What was the video shoot like?
Geeth: That was awesome
Edward: One day of Madness. It rained in the middle so we had to move in finally.
Geeth: We have videos of cops chasing us while we were busy trying to buy time.
Tejas: I clearly remember singing Boom Shankar to the guy.
Geeth: Traffic came to a standstill. People were watching us from their bikes and car windows. It was pretty surreal. We had no idea how the video was going to come out but the end result was pretty fantastic.
Tell me a little bit about your recent gig at Acharya habba.
Tejas: Honestly we had no idea that this many people would show up. The college crowd is crazy. They’re starved for good live acts. When we came on to stage 10,000 people were chanting Lagori. We knew then that this was going to be a fun gig.
Would you rate this as one of your best live experiences?
All: for sure.
Edward: Something we do in all of our gigs is make the audience sing. Acharya was something else entirely. When you have 15,000 people singing your songs its a totally different experience. (Laughs) For once we didnt have to listen to Tejas sing. They were asking for our songs.
As a musician, what are your views on the music scene in India now?
Edward: Right now its picking up and to be a musician and do something differnt is definitely possible. Your road to success is long and hard. Most of us work during the day and jam at night. It’s all about the amount of time you are wiling to devote to this. Original music is gaining ground no one plays any covers now and thats a great thing.
Whats the next step?
Edward: We want to do as many live shows as we can. Honestly the plan is to get our music out to the masses and have as many people listen to it as we can.
Lagori’s self titled album has been no1 on the Ok Listen Charts for weeks now and is .available for download here. For All of you in Bangalore they are performing for free tomorrow (April 13th) at Bms college, Basavangudi. The show starts at 6 don’t be late!