Interview: Blek

Blek is a Mumbai based indie-alternative trio of Jared Creado, Rishi Bradoo, and Varoon Aiyer. They recently released their debut EP entitled “Hexes + Drama and other reasons for evacuation (review). They are touring the country to promote their EP and they named it the “Mumbai Punk Attack Tour”. The Eastern Leg of their tour will hit Kolkata, Guwahati, Dimapur and Shillong. They will be playing in Kolkata on the 24th, Guwahati on the 25th, Dimapur on the 26th and Shillong on the 27th! Phew. We must admit, that’s one hell of a schedule! Chameleon press caught up with Varoon Aiyer , their drummer( who also plays drums for Split) for a short interview. 


Hello guys! Welcome aboard to Chameleon Press. Firstly, please elucidate to our dear readers about the formation and evolution of Blek!

Varoon:  Rishi and Jared had been playing together as Blech in junior college. Soon they were looking to change their sound and were also looking for a new drummer. Luckily I happened to meet them around then and we played a college competition together, which went really well. The vibe was great and the influences were common to a large extent. We played a couple of more college competitions before we decided to stop competing and just write as many songs as possible. Luckily the gigs also started happening and things started clicking. Then, thanks to ennui.BOMB Records (our indie label) we finally decided to record 5 of our songs with Ayan De (midicore studios), who helped further tweak and add to the songs and thus Hexes+Drama happened.


-It’s not been long since your formation and you guys have already released an Extended Play. Was this a conscious decision that you guys have undertaken, or is it just another spontaneous display of promise that you guys want to put forward, to make a mark on the Indian Indie scene.

Varoon: Right from the start we’ve wanted to write and play originals, we’ve barely covered 2 songs, and that too at a college competition where covers were compulsory. So in order for the crowd to relate to our performances/songs we needed to release our own music as soon as possible. Even post this release, we plan to release singles if not an album/ep on a regular basis.



Tell us a little bit about your song writing procedure and who writes most of the lyrics?

Varoon: Well Rishi pretty much writes all the lyrics. And there is no set procedure when it comes to writing songs for us. Some of the songs have been written impromptu and within one jam, whereas some have taken forever, with overthinking and overanalyzing. Sometimes I start a groove and Jared joins in, or vice versa and a song is built around the groove, or otherwise Rishi comes in with a riff/idea and we work on it. But one thing we’ve realized it we’re never able to write a song if everyone isn’t present.


-What can one expect out of a Blek gig? Would it be an absolute pure indie onstage vibe?

Varoon: I think one can expect to hear catchy, high-powered, dance-able, rock music at a Blek gig.  We never really plan a stage act for our gigs, half the time we’re in conversation deciding what to play next.


-How is it going so far regarding your gigs and any video in the making?

 Varoon: It’s great! We’re touring the North-East!! Like how awesome is that??? We’re waiting to connect with the audiences and culture there and hope you guys will like us. There’s a video in the making for Fog+Strobe, our first single off the EP. Will keep you guys posted.


Out of sheer curiosity we’d like to know, whether or not you guys are influenced by street art. Taking into consideration your band name, which is derived, from the forefather of the street art arsenal BLEK LE RAT?

 Varoon: Street art is awesome and Belk Le Rat is outstanding though our name has more or less evolved from Blech, which is what we were called earlier.


Album Art - Hexes + Drama and other reasons for evacuation

-What are your influences as a band and even as individuals as well?

Varoon: Im just adding my influences here:  Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Friendly Fires, Late of the Pier, Foals, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, DFA1979, QOTSA


-A shout out to your fans 

Varoon: I think every band in the country hopes to play the North East at some point, especially with the reputation the region has when it comes to rock/indie music. So yeah, we’re can’t wait to play in Shillong, Dimapur and Guwahati. Also do download our Ep from Its called “Hexes+Drama, and other reasons for evacuation”.


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