Mumbai’s Death/Groove metal band Wired Anxiety is all set to play at the 7th edition of the Domination; The Death Fest-Hyderabad-2015. While the heat is still on, we managed to interview Naval Katoch from the band! Here you go-
Q. Hey guys, greetings from MetalJesus Magazine! How you all are doing?
NC: Cheers guys! We all are doing good, thanks and hope you guys are doing great too.
Q. Can you guys tell us briefly how the band formed and how everything kicked off?
NC: The band formed in 2009 when the ex-members of Wired Anxiety who were then students of RAIT college began jamming in one of the college’s room. Over the years there were few lineup changes but the band has been stable with me, Dheeraj, Sumeet and Adwait since 2013. Also, I was not supposed to join Wired Anxiety initially but was about to start a death metal project with Dheeraj after meeting him on Facebook ad jamming later with him and Adwait. But that never kicked off. I joined Wired Anxiety in late 2010 and began taking the band towards a more “brutal-death–slam” directed genre. Priyam who was our ex-drummer now manages us. Adwait is the only person who remained from the original 2009 line up.
Q. “Wired Anxiety” is a phrase referring to the excitement of not knowing what awaits for us in life in the future or simply getting “high” on anxiety.What’s the story behind the naming of the band apart from this statement? It’s a very deep explanation and I am really interested to know the message in an elaborated way and the point of view you guys want to address to everyone listening to the band.
NC: Well, this name was given by Priyam’s elder brother Shubham during a band competition when the band name was not yet decided till the last moment of the competition. The name was decided not keeping the music or genre in mind. They never wanted any brutal or gory name in particular but something which came out naturally. It’s indeed a unique name and the logo designed by Dheeraj does full justice to it. The concept has always been something which everyone can relate to easily. Eternal Maze revolved around the miseries and the struggles revolving around our life, the social evil plaguing our society, conspiracy theories etc. In our EP we kept one contrasting song in the end (Shades of Black) which gives a message of hope, a message to never give up and continue to break the chains that hold us and emerge successful from any situation overpowering us. We plan to do this in our upcoming EP too.
Q. You guys had released ‘The Eternal Maze’ back in 2012 which received good appreciation from everyone. So how do you guys feel about that and did you gained any experience after releasing the record which you might apply to your next record?
NC: Yes, it was a great learning experience for us. Sahil Makhija gave us really good insights on how to go about with the recording process, album release etc. and was patient during our entire session. We printed and completely sold out 100 prints of our t-shirts and got a great response for the EP too. We wanted to explore more avenues with song production and releases. We learnt that no matter what happens, we have to take our next release to international levels. We played a good amount of shows from 2012-2015 and gathered funds. We also spent (a lot of) quality time in writing new songs and taking the band to a more extreme direction with Sumeet on drums. Katalepsy has been a huge inspiration to our band and we left no stone unturned in getting Arkady Navaho, the sound engineer for them from Russia to produce (mix and master) our next release. We are more than satisfied with the outcome and these songs are going to be cherished by us for the rest of our lives. Totally worth every penny and full justice to our hardwork. All songs are recorded in India with Ashwin Shriyan. He has been more than patient with us. He is a brilliant human to work with and his advice is seriously very helpful to the entire band. He is a great musician too and we have made the right decision to record our 2nd EP with him.
Q. You guys play Death/Groove Metal, tell us what influenced you to concentrate and dedicate yourself in creating that genre oriented music. What was that one click which knocked you and said; ‘son, you are playing this’? And which bands really influenced heavily on you guys?
NC: Initially, the band’s direction was more towards groove metal and Eternal Maze is testimony to that. Also, that EP had almost all of the compositions made by our ex-members. With me coming in, the band decided to change its direction to “brutal-death-slam” and all our new compositions have been written keeping that in mind. Our major influences are Katalepsy, Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Devourment and many of the unheard underground slam bands.
Q. While you write your music what theme basically you guys keep in mind? Or it’s someone from the band who takes the first approach? How actually it shapes up? I checked out the new single ‘Severe Commodity’, which is a sick track and specially the lyrics made some strong statement. So, I am curious to know how the band works together to put out such a brilliant song with such a strong theme.
NC: So basically all songs start off with me taking the lead. I get all the riffs compose at home, to the jam room and then jam with Sumeet who sets the drums. In such a way all the songs are structured with valuable inputs given by all members. It may sound easy but there are many disagreements, arguments, a lot of contemplation and brain storming sessions. Sometimes, it becomes hard to let go a riff or a drum pattern or a vocal pattern you love but eventually whatever is good for the song and band as a whole remains with no hard feelings. After a song is complete as an instrumental, the bass and vocals come in. Dheeraj brings out a rough vocal pattern initially which is later followed by a concept and the lyrics. There is a lot of discussion over the concept but eventually Dheeraj wins as he comes out with some really kick ass stuff. He handles the entire concept and lyrics for each song. Our next EP is based on fiction and conspiracy theories on how a super group of men are breeding a race of human beings who are “programmed” to serve. The songs reflect the actions and its consequences being carried out on a certain individual and how he goes through all of it. Dheeraj also relates all these songs to the real world in some way or the other. Once you hear them and read the lyrics, you will actually realize that you are yourself, a victim in some way.
Q. You guys are going to play in Domination-The Deathfest 2015, which is running since 2000. How you guys are feeling in terms of playing in one of the oldest extreme metal fest with some insane bands of the country? Any pressure on you guys?
NC: There is absolutely no pressure on us before playing any gig, no matter what level. We have attended Domination: The Deathfest before playing there and it is definitely one of our favorite festival. Underground festivals and organizers go through a lot, specially when there are few or no sponsors. The crew at Domination: The Deathfest make you feel so comfortable. Nitin, Riju and the team are local musicians who know about the scene and its situation in and out. They also know what ordeal a band has to go through when they are called to play at a fest and having the experience, all things are carried out very smoothly. The audience has given this fest so much love and we just hope that they grow in numbers, support the scene and underground fests. They have never let us down. We played Severe Comorbidity for the first time at Deathfest 2014 in Mumbai and the reception we got urged us to record it even before the 2 songs we had in pipeline to be recorded. This year, Domination: The Deathfest has beefed up its metal quotient and has roped in some stellar acts throughout the country. We are excited to play and hope the festival continues and grows even bigger.
Q. I checked out the Violent Strangulation 2015 video which you guys uploaded recently, I can see how perfectly you guys were tearing the place apart. I know you guys are going to the same in Hyderabad, but are you guys planning for any surprise for the Hyderabad crowd which they should be ready for? Like another Cannibal Corpse cover?
NC: Thanks brother. Let’s just say that we have our cult cover lined up for Hyderabad. We wont be playing more covers. But that is because we would be playing more new songs. There is more from the Wired camp. We are bringing out new merchs. Badges are already here and looking awesome, so Hyderabad will be wearing one. New tees will be out in the future also.
Q. Apart from having a blast at Death Fest, what else are you guys planning to do in Hyderabad? The city is widely known for its food, specially biryani, so are guys are planning to gain some weight over there?
NC: Gaining weight after every Wired Anxiety gig is a tradition and those who eat with us know that really well. Hyderabad was on our bucket list since long. Thanks to Domination: The Deathfest it is becoming a reality. We would be searching for fresh and juicy beef initially, then some biryani, kebabs, rolls and everything that fills our stomach and keeps us calling for more. Everyone is invited. If time permits, we may even roam around the city.
Q. How does it feel when you guys realize, ‘we are a band, we are touring different cities and having fun’; because I know every band dreams of touring and playing shows around the country. How much does it matters to play in various cities in terms of keeping the band alive and never feeling de-motivated, as we all know the scene is quiet in its growing stage and it’s tough to survive?
NC: We always see such gigs as a band holiday. We have played in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Delhi, Jaipur, Pune, Nagur and now Hyderabad. It is so much fun because over the years you become a family and each other’s best friends too. We know stuff about each other that no one else knows, we have our own lingo, our own jokes which we laugh at, we have Dheeraj Govindraju – the best pass time which no other band has, we share a passion for good food, we have a great time on stage and interacting with new people in the pit and all these contribute to a perfect gig. We are never demotivated when we have no gigs. We still go on band holidays. We compose during that phase and make music. But yes, we hope more such gigs come to us in the future and we tear the venue apart as always. We get many messages from people asking us to play in their city. We hope organizers give more importance to local and underground gigs too. They play the biggest role in keeping the scene alive.
Q . Moving on, are you guys writing for your second release? It’s been almost 3 years since the last record, would you guys love to share some updates regarding that? I bet, the fans are waiting for more.
NC: Yes we have recorded 3 tracks already. We are waiting for Arkady to do his magic and give us some nice and heavy tracks on the platter. We have already released Severe Comorbidity as a lyric video and we have plans on releasing other singles in a unique way too. We would be recording one last track next month so that contributes to 4 crushing tracks in our next EP. We might have a 5th track too but that is a remote possibility depending upon some commitments and time crunches. But you never know. We are really happy with the outcome of Severe Comorbidity and all who have heard it feel the same. Expect the similar level of commitment and quality from our next releases too. You wont be disappointed and that’s our guarantee.
Q. Thanks guys for the lovely chat, we hope you guys bring the venue down but before wrapping up anything you want to say to your fans in Hyderabad waiting to get crushed by you guys?
Naval: First of all, thanks a lot for interviewing us and featuring us. It was great fun to talk our hearts out. We have heard a lot about metal heads from Hyderabad and their passion for gigs. We would be showing them a lot of love. We cant wait to play there after hearing some rave reviews from our friends who have played there in the past. Please bring your hammers Hyderabad. We’ll get the chops.
Smashhead (Metaljesus Magazine)