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Look out for the burgeoning Indian metal scene
October 30, 2011 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Disappointed Indian thrashers riot due to last minute cancellation by Metallica

Most people do not know that India has hordes of metalheads, part of the overall growing appreciation of rock music by Indian youths. Aside from internationally known Metal bands like Megadeth and Iron Maiden, who have played in India, many homegrown metal bands are attempting to eke out an existence there.
posted by Renoroc (46 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe they were just pissed off about that godawful Lou Reed collaboration.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:54 AM on October 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


THAT'S IT YOU'VE RUINED DIWALI.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:55 AM on October 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


UP AGAINST DIWALI MOTHERFUCKER
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


Oh really? Any indication we're gonna get Rock or Metal Operas coming from Bollywood? If so, that'd be awesome!
posted by jeffburdges at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2011


Little known historical fact that the Punjab recorded the world's first head-bhangra.
posted by Abiezer at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


Those people ended having a way better time than if that shitty band had actually showed up.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh really? Any indication we're gonna get Rock or Metal Operas coming from Bollywood?

I dunno, man, I don't think they're ever gonna give up disco.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:58 AM on October 30, 2011


"It wasn’t quite “Kill ‘Em All,” but when Metallica and a concert promoter postponed the metal band’s first concert ever in India, angry fans reacted with a “Seek and Destroy” mentality."

Christ. Thanks, I'm done reading this.
posted by Maaik at 7:58 AM on October 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


the Punjab recorded the world's first head-bhangra.

And you're doing pretty well with the pun jobs yourself there, Abiezer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:00 AM on October 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Did them a favor, and this is how they repay it?
posted by caddis at 8:01 AM on October 30, 2011


Metallica is still around? I thought they were like Primus and playing casinos and small venues? Ah, I see, this is India! I guess it's not too hard to find 25,000 fans in India. Hell, even I'm big in India.

I love how rather than linking to the primary source you linked to Slate instead. Either that or information aggregate Huffington post his were they stole the news from (like usual) and Slate was just more honest about where they originally saw it.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:18 AM on October 30, 2011


Well, I like to check Slate in the morning and I came across something of interest; as far as linking primary sources, I'm in Houston and do not personally know any of the rioters in Bangalore India. I'm waiting to hear from my cousins in the area.
posted by Renoroc at 8:23 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Hell, even I'm big in India.
posted by hippybear at 8:43 AM on October 30, 2011




How on earth is this a riot? Here's a better writeup

Not only does India have a 'growing rock community', middle class and above Indians have always been connected with western pop culture, music, tv, clothing even since the colonial era
posted by the mad poster! at 8:45 AM on October 30, 2011


Here are a few songs from Indian rock/metal bands (I'm no expert, just looked up some folks from the links):

Galeej Gurus - Physiological Breakdown
Thermal and a Quarter - Holy Jose
Acrid Semblance - Mindgames
Kryptos - The Revenant
Pin Drop Violence - H.A.T.E.
Gorified - Obliteration Quandary
posted by box at 8:49 AM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Let me tell you some metal history from Bangalore, India circa late 1980s to early 1990s culminating with Deep Purple's first show ever in the region on April 6th 1995 in New Delhi.

Before Millenium (known as the Gods of metal in India) were formed in 1988, they went through some evolution. More or less the same group performed as Ougadogou for a short while but prior to that, they were with well known college bands who played in college festivals - Rio was with the St John's medical band (my dim memory has a feeling he was originally from Iran) while Roberto Narain (on the drums) and Rahmon Ibrahim on keyboards were *the* Christ College band of the decade.

This would have been around 1984-5. Vehrnon was Rahmon's younger brother (by just a year) and very very heavily into Rush around that time. The brothers were half Italian/half Guyanese) and had recently moved to India with their parents from the UK. They had a much younger brother just entering his teens, Sharmon. A band called Middle Earth figures in this time frame at some point as well. They also provided music for the musicals produced by Prasad Bidappa - Cats and Starlight Express. Verhnon usually did sound for these shows.

Vehrnon's dream was to become a rockstar, not just a random Indian band playing out in the boondocks. A dream that seemed so ludicrous in the context of the world that was India in 85-86, and yet, we ultimately find from 2008:

Millennium gave a stunning set, performing after being in hiatus for the last 7 years. Verhnon Ibrahim the frontman asked the crowd to chant the words "metal army" and every soul in Palace Grounds joined them. Even members and crews of Machine Head and Megadeth were seen watching them with amazement from the other stage on the other side of Palace ground.

Formed in 1985, they are India's pioneer Thrash Metal band, who has played from Shimoga to Shillong. For those who grew up watching them in MTV's Head Banger's Ball in the beautiful and peaceful early 90's of Manipur, it was a real treat to have seen them live on stage.


I was going to write something of the sort we read here, talking about driving Vern to practice before he was old enough to get his own licence or afford a two wheeler. Of his obsession with Rush (and the memories of "On the train the Bangkok") that I still have. Of the time when we found he'd come down with typhoid while on a gig for Levi's in Delhi or watching the Deep Purple show on a balmy Delhi night feeling like a groupie, but you know, once I got to this point, I didn't want to share all the memories after all. Take care Vern, in case google fu ever brings you here.

/youth
posted by infini at 8:53 AM on October 30, 2011 [16 favorites]


So, Slate now hires AOL writers?
posted by glaucon at 8:55 AM on October 30, 2011


And thanks for the FPP, renoroc, feels odd to suddenly find myself in my forties in 2011 in Africa, wondering WTF, where did turning 21 go?
posted by infini at 8:55 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sanskrit Metal:

Metal cover of a Sanskrit / Hindi combination of one of my most favourite verses on Rig Veda, the Nasadiya Sukta. Doordarshan in the 1980's would be very familiar with this; they'd probably have heard it like this and this.

It's a bit of a disappointing cover, in that while the Nasadiya Sukta is unique in its mixing of skepticism with absolute belief, the metal cover chants "Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara" in its chorus. Religiosity towards the Triumvarate that didn't exist during the Vedic Age (and certainly at odds with Nasadiya Sukta's refusal to give names to divinity); that came in much later with the Puranas and with the epics. Also, admittedly, the metal-ization kinda distracts from the lyrics, so it feels a tad unnecessary. Still, a good example of the metal scene in India.

No such problems with Rudra, a "Vedic metal" band I linked to here earlier. Some raw aggression from Mahabharata's battlefield for one; it's lovely how they set the raudram (anger, per the ancient rasas, emotions ) up by setting the stage with the descriptive verse in the beginning, and with the result described plainly at the end (in Sanskrit, "When there's the great Yogi, Krishna/ When there's Arjuna with his bow/ That is when victory happens / Such is Dhruva's justice), along with descriptors for the exact Bhagavad Gita verse etc.

There's also the metal version of Mahishasura mardini. And from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

As for the actual "riots" in the concert, there's some dispute as to what exactly happened in the blogosphere.
posted by the cydonian at 9:16 AM on October 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


Back in 2000, I had tickets to see Metallica on their Summer Sanitarium tour. It was July in Kentucky and it turned out that Hetfield had hurt his back the day before and wasn't able to play. So, instead of canceling the concert, all of the other bands chipped in a band mate and they put on a show anyway. Kid Rock played turntables on Fuel, Serj Tankian from System of a Down played Hetfield's guitar parts, I forget how Korn contributed, and PM5K went on to prepare the next venue. Anyway, while it wasn't Metallica, it was a very cool experience that was made much better by the fact that Metallica decided to come back a few months later and treat those fans who had saved their tickets to a free concert.
posted by sciurus at 9:16 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell yes India has metal heads. On my first trip to India I was strolling around Bangalore and found Styx, a metal club that feels like it was plucked out of early '90s LA and airlifted to India. Great finger food, horrible beer, a glass floor with blue lights underneath, fish tanks everywhere, and a VJ who played Ozzy, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth videos.

On my second trip back they asked me to bring them Mars Volta CDs. On my next trip they asked for Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Around 9pm the die hard metal fans would start to filter in. There would be 200 men (almost never any women) headbanging furiously to these videos, but the vibe inside was definitely jovial, and was never aggro.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:31 AM on October 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


The cydonian - until you linked to that Bharat ek Khoj video I never knew I knew what you were talking about (the other side of teh educated and argumentative Indian, folks, we envy the education of such like the the cydonian ) - btw Rudra was mentioned in my searches as a Singapore band?

spikeleemajor etc Do you recall when this was and who was the VJ?

remembers when there was only The Pub in B'lore later NASA
posted by infini at 9:37 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


More or less the same group performed as Ougadogou

Ah yes, in homage to this heavy metal anthem:

Ougadogou, do, do, push pineapple, shake the tree,
Ougadogou, do, do, push pineapple, grind coffee,
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees
Come and dance every night, sing with a hula melody...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


There should be material written on the role college festivals played in the rise of bands in India, similar to what gigs in pubs did everywhere else.

Mood Indigo of IIT Bombay was reknowned for its music as was Christ College Bangalore and St Josephs. Bangalore had the best music scene for 'rock' and western for the longest time.
posted by infini at 9:57 AM on October 30, 2011


Metafilter: I forget how Korn contributed.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:59 AM on October 30, 2011


Heh, thanks. :) Had the opportunity to re-watch some episodes of Bharat ek Khoj a few years back at a friend's place - this was before it started showing up on YouTube, and when the DVD collection used to cost INR 10,000 to buy - and was quite fixated by the theme song; while I vaguely remembered the tune from my childhood, I really didn't pay attention to the lyrics until then.

So there's less education to envy; just some obsessiveness about poetry and trivia. :)

Rudra is based out of Singapore, yes. Have never met them, but know quite a few people who've had drinks with them.
posted by the cydonian at 10:04 AM on October 30, 2011


That reminds me, we need to catch up once I'm back (yes yes taking it to memail :)
posted by infini at 10:08 AM on October 30, 2011


Kid Rock played turntables on Fuel

The amount of suck in this scenario is off the charts.
posted by justgary at 10:12 AM on October 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


It would seem with the rich pantheon of Hindu Gods, Goddesses, demiurges, and stories that Indian Metal has a rich catalogue of bodacious babes and badass bad boys to mythologize and turn into head bangin' glory.

Sign me up.
posted by Skygazer at 10:28 AM on October 30, 2011


Also, I hear that Vindaloo metal is smokin' hawt.
posted by Skygazer at 10:31 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


angry fans reacted with a “Seek and Destroy” mentality."

Sikh and Destroy
posted by zippy at 10:32 AM on October 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Most people do not know that India has hordes of metalheads

Metalheads are everywhere; have always been so long as there's been metal.

In the 90's I found myself speeding through jungle in Malaysia in a jeep with a few locals. We were rushing to get to this little ferry -- the only one for the day -- and one of them pops a cassette in the player. Metallica, which he proceeds to crank, as the trees whip past. One of those many little surreal moments where the unfamiliar and familiar meet in unexpected ways.

Not encountered this scene in India, but I bet young Indians rock hard.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:34 AM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metal bands are touring India by droves now. Ironically, their sizable fanbases consist almost entirely of people who have pirated their music. Nobody purchases CDs (if by pure luck they are available somewhere), and none of the online music stores work in India.

It's funny - I can imagine a promoter asks them to tour India and they go, "wtf we have fans in India? Do they even sell our shit there?" The answers are of course yes and no respectively, but they tour and sell out venues time and time again.
posted by vanar sena at 11:24 AM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I'm saying is: if you are running a niche industrial or metal label/online shop and you get an irate email pointing out that your payment service doesn't accept an Indian billing address, try not to take it personally - I'm doing you a favour.
posted by vanar sena at 11:31 AM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metal bands are touring India by droves now. Ironically, their sizable fanbases consist almost entirely of people who have pirated their music. Nobody purchases CDs (if by pure luck they are available somewhere), and none of the online music stores work in India.

The Guardian article on Iron Maiden had interviews with fans who said, "Oh yeah, I pirate all that other stuff, but I want to buy Maiden." Which is interesting.

Anyway, while this is a mashup rather than authentic Indian metal, it sounds so good I'm going to follow up the links to Indian metal bands here. Because some of them must sound this awesome.
posted by rodgerd at 11:46 AM on October 30, 2011


rodgerd: "The Guardian article on Iron Maiden had interviews with fans who said, "Oh yeah, I pirate all that other stuff, but I want to buy Maiden." Which is interesting. "

To illustrate the problem, here is flipkart's "heavy metal" selection. You can buy a Led Zeppelin album for USD 11!
posted by vanar sena at 12:00 PM on October 30, 2011


Listening to Kryptos now. I like 'em. Symphonic thrash with black metal vocals. And they sing in English and dude enunciates so I can actually tell what he's saying, which is nice. It isn't all YYYYYYAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHH.

Wonder if they're on Spotify. I'd like to hear the whole record....

Nope. Drat.

And Galeej Gurus are kinda cool, too. Very polite cock rock. Vocalist has the "I AM A ROCK GOD HEAR ME EMOTE" thing down pat.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:02 PM on October 30, 2011


Metallica is still around? I thought they were like Primus and playing casinos and small venues?

wait, I could see Primus at a casino? That's like, the next best thing after my dream of seeing them perform on a beat-up old fishing boat.
posted by mannequito at 1:46 PM on October 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's IP from Menwhopause performing Kaatil Sardar ("Murderer Sikh"). It's an acoustic song about a good Punjabi farm boy turned drunkard Khalistani terrorist thug. The lyrics (no translation, sorry) are updated regularly based on current events.
posted by vanar sena at 1:52 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's like, the next best thing after my dream of seeing them perform on a beat-up old fishing boat.

Primus on an old boat
posted by zippy at 2:28 PM on October 30, 2011


*packs bags...heads to India*
posted by snsranch at 3:14 PM on October 30, 2011


Not exactly the best way to "Fade to Black." Couldn't somebody have just appealed to the "Master of Puppets"? Hopefully Metallica's new nickname in India won't be "The Unforgiven."

Are we sure that they didn't riot because they read this fucking article?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:16 PM on October 30, 2011


Have they heard Lulu yet? And they still went to the show?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:12 PM on October 30, 2011


looks like my 'better writeup' link didn't work; here it is: Dear DNA Networks, Metallica Band Members and the Crew
posted by the mad poster! at 1:35 AM on October 31, 2011


I'm late to this, but in case somebody wants to have a "WTF" moment this morning, here is some hare krishna metal.
posted by knile at 12:27 AM on November 11, 2011


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