Interview with Sahil Makhija aka Demonstealer

What would you call a man who can sing, cook, write, play instruments and can do a hell lotta of work under the sun?? Hmm…some would call this man a multitalented mutitasker. Well, I call him – Sahil Demonstealer Makhija! Hell yeah!! You all metalheads out there it’s the front man of Demonic Resurrection himself talking about metal and a lot more as I got into a tête-à-tête with him. So, hold up your horns high in the air and experience the demonic chat-a-thon!!

 -First of all, when did you get the ‘Demonic call’? Are you an atheist??

 Sahil- Hahaha… Not sure what a ‘Demonic Call’ is exactly but I would say sometime after my school is when the idea of forming a band came about and somewhere after that the ‘Demonic Call’ to form my own band called ‘Demonic Resurrection’ happened. I was able to get the ball rolling around 2000. I am an atheist and I got that ‘Demonic Call’ sometime in my early teens when I realized I was responsible for myself and refused to credit or blame an imaginary figure for my joys or sorrows. I don’t really think that is demonic in anyway, sadly we live in a society where anything that doesn’t follow religion is automatically evil and that is a bunch of bullshit because there are enough religious people who are assholes and enough nice people who do far great good and are atheist. So really I stress on the bullshit that is religion, it is just that.

Sahil Makhija

 -Why the need of a stage name?

Sahil- When I was 16 and wanted to form my own band I was listening to a lot of metal bands like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Cradle Of Filth and everyone in those bands had stage names and I was inspired by then to separate my on stage and off stage identity so that is why I came up with a stage name for myself.

 -Okay..Is the real Sahil that demonic? Or is there a softer side too??

 Sahil– I’m not sure what is meant by ‘softer’ side. It’s not like your average metal musician is a goat slaughtering black ritual performing person. Most metal heads are just normal people who have a different taste in music and yes they grow their hair and get tattoos. And wear a certain kind of clothing but that is it. They are all nice people. So yes if softer side refers to that then yes I do have a softer side. 🙂

 -Men who cook are always interesting to women…but how did the art of cooking interest you?

 Sahil- I loved to eat good food and that is pretty much the reason I love to cook. I’ve been fortunate to have been fed good food as a child and being fiercely independent it was only natural that I would learn to do it myself. So I just knew I liked to eat good food so I learnt to cook some of it as well. I learnt a lot from my mom, grandfather and old maid all who were great cooks. I did like the fact that in school when I took cooking as a hobby I was one of the few boys surrounded by women but I had a very serious ambition at one point to take up catering as a career.

 -Headbanger’s Kitchen (HK) has quite a fan base now…how did this concept of bringing music and food together strike you?

Sahil- Well even though I shifted my interest to music and took that up very seriously my passion for food has always remained and about 4 years ago I started a little food blog on facebook which received a lot of nice comments and in 2010 I kind of saw the whole youtube viral video thing gaining attention and thought I should do videos of the dishes I make so I got in touch with Vaas the director of the Demonic Resurrection music video and asked if he’d help me shoot the episodes and that idea was taken further into a full show of calling a band and having them taste the food and interviewing them. Mephisto the keyboardist of DR helped us come up with the name Headbanger’s Kitchen and then when Nervecell came to India in 2010 and had a week to spare in Mumbai I called Vaas and we filmed the first episode. It was however only in March 2011 that we released the first episode.

-Which has been the most memorable HK episode so far?

 Sahil-Well for me personally the episode with George Kollias because he is one of my hero’s when it comes to music and I don’t have too many anymore so it was really special. Having said that I’ve enjoyed every episode so far, each guest has been amazing and enjoyed my food and that really is a great feeling.

Sahil Makhija

-If in your wildest dreams (nightmares…lol) One Direction were to be the guest in HK, what would that episode be called?

Sahil- Well I had to google and find out what One Direction was and turns out it is a boy band. Given that HK has a strict metal policy it’s unlikely they’d be featured but if they somehow arm twisted me into it I’d make them a ‘One Direction Tandoori Chicken’.

-Haha…gotcha!! And what will you name a hamburger for Dimmu Borgir? 

Sahil- A pretty obvious answer. I’d call it a ‘Dimmu Burgir’ 😛

Coming back to music, the fan funded video of Demonic Resurrection was a unique approach…tell us about that!

Sahil- Well it was a good plan that didn’t go down too well. We wanted to do something big before leaving for Bloodstock Festival in the UK and we couldn’t release any new material so a video seemed like a good idea. We used our own logistics setup to run the operation which was a bit disorganized and even though we raised about 1.2 lakhs for the video we were only able to collect about 70,000 actually. Also the director we were to work with who gave us a budget approximate later said it would cost a lot more for the video and when we found a new production house to work with they took so long on the project it came to a point where it just didn’t make any sense. So we had the funds and the opportunity to buy the 6 camera multi track audio footage from our performance at Bloodstock so we checked with the fans if they’d be happy to have a live concert instead and they were all ok with it and so finally that is what we did. We just got the footage and it will be edited soon and sent to all our fans who contributed.

-Cool…now to Tours and gigs…any updates for the demonic fans? 

Sahil- Fans can check our facebook page or our website www.demonicresurrection.in for updates on our upcoming gigs.

 –Sahil makhija is a multitasker. What’s the secret of your energy? What keeps you going? 

Sahil- I guess it’s just the desire to achieve my dreams and goals. The music keeps me going and is what inspires me everyday to continue. I’m also very fortunate to have an extremely supportive family and a very understanding girlfriend who support me in everything I do and give me the space to do my music.

 – Everyday a metal band is born somewhere someplace in India but only a few survive. What’s your take on this? 

Sahil- I could write a thesis on this. Music is not a stable or viable career option. Being in a metal band is NOT a career option and hence all bands cannot survive. While in college for most people it is a fun thing to do on the side but when you get a job and have a family and bills and rent to pay it’s not always possible to balance a band on the side. Not everyone wants to make a measly salary a month just so they can have a band and I completely get that.

Very true…Having been in the scene for more than a decade now, did you ever go through back- stage bitching?

Sahil- Of course there has and always will be some of that and most of the time it’s nothing serious but early on when we were a lesser known band there was a lot more insecurity and hence that happens more. Now we’ve kind of reached a point where we don’t feel insecure or threatened by other bands and we are cool with everyone.

Sahil Makhija

Which is the one song making routes these days that offends your music buds? 

Sahil- I haven’t heard much music this year to begin with and for the most part I don’t watch any music television either so I don’t come face to face with much popular music so I don’t really have too many things but I did make the mistake of watching 1minute of this video and I never want to watch it again as long as I live. It was some video trying to be like a Kolaveri Di, I can’t recall the name.

-Are we ever going to see a short-haired, clean-shaved Sahil?

Sahil- Not likely. He was last seen about 15 years ago. Long since gone. I have shaved my facial hair off recently but my hair remains the same.

 -Last words of wisdom from the Demonstealer…

 Sahil- Cheers & Stay Demonic!!

\m/

Photo credits:  Rishi Bantoo & Shiv Ahuja