Bangalore-based alternative rock band Black Letters have given us some strong signature sounds. They integrate rock with electronica and melodic phrasing which is inspired by Eastern and Western music. Slowly, but surely, they have has built a good repository of work. A unique characteristic of the band is how they approach each song. They dissect each emotion and layer it with memorable moments that bring the story together. It’s not just about the music they create, rather, they focus on the art and stories it tells.
The band originally comprised Sarang Menon, Sharath Narayan, Akash Chacko, and Arjun Radhakrishnan. But in 2019, bassist Radhakrishnan left for Germany. A friend of the band Jeevan Antony took on the role until Harikiran Menon became the permanent bass player in their latest line up. It’s amazing to see how they’ve gone on to create a major thrust forward in alternative and indie rock.
Like many of us here, we’re excited to watch them perform live at IndieGaga in Kochi on the 21st of January. We had a chance to chat quickly with Black Letters, and you might want to check this conversation out.
Your 2019 album ‘Still As you’ was already an eclectic mix of sounds. What inspired you to create a separate remix album of the same by collaborating with multiple producers?
There are some amazing music producers around, and we wanted to make things with them. It’s just the sheer excitement of that and the curiosity about what could come out of it. It indeed was a lot of fun. Thanks to all the producers for making this happen in such a short period of time.
What’s the biggest high you get while making an alternative rock track? Have you considered venturing into other zones, and creating other kinds of sounds?
I think we have always ventured into other styles of music, rock and electronic being our foundation of sorts. All the other kinds of music that are present in our lives and that have inspired us have found their way into the music that we make together. It happens every time, and that’s probably how it is for any musician, I believe. The biggest high is the ‘making’ and the ‘playing’ it live.
What is your long-term vision as independent artists?
To keep learning, growing, and challenging ourselves all the time. To be honest with what we do and do it better with every song/album, release new music more often than we have till now
How do you see the evolution of the rock scene in India – and more specifically Kerala?
I think the evolution could have started way back before we were born. It has always been there. I’d subscribe to the thought of various art forms, styles of music, and cultures coming together to make unique things, unique forms of expression. And I think it’s already happening with lots of young talent doing brilliant stuff in Kerala.
What’s the best aspect of performing a live set?
The high of being there. A feeling of fulfillment, a feeling of togetherness that’s beyond what words can describe.
Anything you can tell us about your tours and releases in the near future?
We have an album coming out, we are probably in the last phase of production. A tour will follow. Can’t wait!
How excited are you to perform at IndieGaga? What are you looking forward to at the event? And, which band/musicians are you excited to strike up a conversation over there?
Homeground show, we can’t be more ecstatic! We are super joyous. Always happy to be hanging out with the people who’ve come for the music. We will definitely be hanging out with every living soul in the green room as well. Looking forward to watching all the artists performing at Indie Gaga.
How’s 2023 looking for you?
It’s a great number – 2023. Sounds cool. Hope our album turns out to be as cool as the number.
Excited to watch Black Letters live? Book your tickets to IndieGaga in Kochi here.