BANDED Colour Chaos, the all-girl acoustic band, on their music influences, ideals and merits and much more! PRAGADISH KIRUBAKARAN
While critics have struggled to define them and debated the value of their contribution, Colour Chaos’s success has been unparalleled. This Chennai-based band — comprising Shema, Rinila and Shalini — is reaching new heights connecting with fans to such an extent that they pose a threat to other independent bands. NXg catches up with them just before their first public performance at Bike and Barrel
Congratulations on the upcoming album. What can you tell us about it?
We’ve been working on it for a while. The album has about seven songs based on women’s experiences and lifestyles in India; so, yeah, serious stuff!”
What are the rehearsals and recording processes like?
We try to keep it very simple. We play, write, eat and pretty much live together; so it’s all very chilled out. There’s no pressure unless we have a deadline.
How long have you known each other and how did you meet?
We (Shema and Rinila) studied together at MCC and we’ve been playing together since. We’ve always thought of ourselves as a duo until we heard Shalini play the guitar in a concert a year ago. We were floored by her performance. We got in touch with her and started hanging out. One thing led to another… Colour Chaos was born.
What does the name mean? And who came up with it?
“As the universe begins to unfold, amidst all that exists…” began Rinila mockingly, when she was cut off midway by Shema. Our music symbolises a riot of colours and emotions people face daily. Shalini laughs and says, “Yeah, you could call us a funny band”.
You seem to complement each other as a band…
We’re basically good friends. The music binds us together and we enjoy it. Change is inevitable so if at some point we can’t play together anymore, we’ll still be connected. We can’t live without each other! In a way we complete each other, so it’s more than just a professional relationship and we’d like nothing more than to just be together”.
“We each have our own individual influences, like we listen to Imogen Heap, Radiohead, Regina Spektor, Porcupine Tree, jazz and so much more. That’s why we try not to limit ourselves, we mix match and play country, rock, blues etc.”
Top five songs everyone should have in their playlist:
In no particular order and after various arguments:
What I got: Sublime
Trains: Porcupine Tree
Paper planes: MIA
Freefalling: Tom Petty
And Grey Street: The Dave Matthews Band
Who writes your songs? And has there been a transition with the music you’ve been making since you started?
“We all write the songs together. We have our individual strengths and we contribute in our own ways.” Says Rinila
“Transition over time yes: We’ve actually grown tremendously and not just while making music either, it’s also the little things, like how they both give me confidence and always cheer me up” says Shalini half-smiling and content.”
What are your biggest challenges as a band?
Has to be time because I am a music therapist, Rinila is an activity co-ordinator in a school and Shalini is studying dentistry. So finding time to rehearse and perform is a little hard but we’re still happy with where we are now.
Your take on illegal music downloads?
All three go dead serious and slowly analyse if they should answer the question until Rinila breaks the ice and says “Say no to privacy, I mean piracy” and then chuckles away. Whether that statement had another underlying meaning to it, or it was an accident, we’ll never know!
Do you have any advice for independent artists who want to form their own bands?
“Play only music that you love and you connect to your audience with” says Shalini.
“Independent artists don’t really have a solid platform to perform in unless they’re very good and that’s why I’d like to thank the staff and management at The Residency Towers and Bikes and Barrel in particular for giving us this opportunity and making our dreams come true as this is our first public performance and they’ve been such lovely hosts” adds Shema.
Any final words for your fans?
“Find me a monkey” says Shema. “You’ll know what we mean when you hear us” adds Shalini laughing.
If there’s ever just one reason for a band to click and make it big, other than their musical talents, it is how well they can connect with each other and their audiences and these ladies just pull this off effortlessly clearly because they love and enjoy what they do.
It is the first song for the night, the beginning of a musical legacy. A journey spread far into the abyss of a wondrous road ahead. Together they stand tall and make music that we love and can’t resist.
Pragadish is a Multimedia student with Arena Academy.
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