Thinking Out Loud

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BNW : In Conversation

Friday, November 14, 2014

Though still in their infancy, BNW are making plenty of noise in the Northeast-Indian circuit. Their new single 'Just like a nightmare' out earlier this month finds the band, much unlike the obvious name linkage, in a whimsicle and mesmerizing streak. We caught up with co-founder Bhargav Talukdar to find out what the band are all about.

1. Tell us a little about yourselves. Who is BnW and what's your story?

We are duo that focusses on making pop/rock tunes. It's an idea that just hit us one day out of the blue and we started talking about how we should try to do something that we had never considered before. We had been playing and performing in a band way before we started BnW but about half a year ago we had stopped gigging because we had little time to spare owing to our personal afflictions- the two of us in specific were busy with college. We didn't have a clue we'd take this venture seriously in the long run but in the last couple of months we've already recorded five songs and so it's pretty safe to say the prospects look pretty startling.

2. Writam and you are part of a Progressive act, how and why did playing in a pop/rock duo occur to you?

Despite our love for prog, we always listened to a lot of pop together. It's something me and Writam have shared a common interest for. So one thing led to the other and what was initially a one song venture turned into BnW.

3. Musically, what are the bands that BnW is inspired from? How many of these bands have influenced you from an ideological perspective and how important is 'an ideology' to BnW's music?

Oh that would be a really long list! Robbie Williams, Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys, Train, ABBA, Bee Gees I could go on and on. Honestly though, before we started I had never taken the time to appreciate, these artistes the way I do now. And ofcourse understanding the ideological bit has always been one the most significant facets of appreciating their music . Needless to say it has very prominently influenced the scope and extent of our music and while our ideologies are a very integral part of the BnW experience, we still feel it's in an obscure stage and it'll take us sometime to be able to talk about it with conviction.

4. What are the lyrical themes of your songs mostly centred around and how important are those themes in your songwriting process?

Lyrics certainly play the central role in our music but unless you can achieve a perfect 'jugalbandi' between melody and words, you can never reach out to your target audience. We usually write about our experiences and things that interest us, in general. Naturally, my words and phrasings are usually very simple and minimal so that I can make sense to people coming from different spheres of life and so that the message of song doesn't take a backseat.

5. What is the image you are looking for, as an act?

That would extremely hard to pin down because we are what we are and the only possible difference you might see in us as BnW are the messages we depict with song. So, the image is trapped inside the character or role we play in each song. But yeah most of it will be on a positive streak and sometimes that most people will be able to vibe with.

6. Is there a possibility or plan to include additional members in the near future? Is it imperative that this endeavour remains a two-member act? If so, why? Additionally, why do you think there is a sudden boom of solo acts and duos in the present era as opposed to bands? Do you think it's easier to work with such a template?

We've not really given the idea adding more members a thought yet but ofcourse we look forward to collaborating with artistes who are interested. And it's obvious that if we find an apt match we would love for them join the band in the long run but to be honest, right now, we are more than happy to be working as a duo because we are comfortable working this way and we just want to dodge the 'two makes a company three makes a crowd' problem. I'm sure people who play in bigger groups will be able to connect to what I'm trying to say.

I would attribute the sudden rise of solo acts and duos in present times to two integral facts: One, the fact that it's easier to work in a smaller more compact template and two, the accesibility and availability of production tools and methods in the present times. Moreover, with no offence to any one in particular I think it is also an almost omni-present practice in our circuit for a group of musicians to play as a 'band' for a couple of years and then split owing to personal and professional differences. I think it is because bands do not acknowledge the true worth of sticking together and evolving as a unit that most of the best bands I have heard in recent times from our circuit don't end up making it big. Imagine a world where your favorite bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica or Led Zeppelin would have turned to such practices. That would have been quite a ruckus.

7. How has your city of origin influenced your sound?

Guwahati is in the very soul of our music. It's the hustle and bustle, the music, the weather, the people. We couldn't be more thankful to all the people from our city for lending us their stories, their love and most importantly their support. We are constantly trying to include a susbtantial amount of folk elements and instruments in our music too which reflect our gratitude towards all of this. Let's hope it subtantiates in the near future.

8. What are your immediate plans as BnW?

As of now we want to work towards an album and then promote the album to reach out to larger audiences.


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