2009 saw the formation of Para Vayu, a Mumbai-based band founded by Ravi Iyer, lead guitarist of its earlier form, Vayu. It comprises of Soumitra on vocals, Ravi on the guitar, Crosby on bass, Lindsay on drums, and Neil on either the violin or the flute. Vayu’s ex-vocalist, 2Blue, also formed the band Zedde in 2008.
Para Vayu not only has a change in its band members but also caters to a wider genre of music now. The band performed at Opus, High Spirits and more recently, Hard Rock Café, where they played covers of Pink Floyd and Rush along with many riveting originals. The tracks were a varied mix of alternative, progressive, funk and jazz rock along with blues.
TTS had a little chat with Ravi Iyer…
We all know that there is no such thing as a Para Vayu gig without a Pink Floyd cover. Ravi recognizes the major influence Pink Floyd has had on the band and said: “Our music might subconsciously be influenced by them, but it is not intentional.” The band is known for their near perfect covers of the 60’s rock legends.
While some bands play music to celebrate their love for things, others play either for a cause or to send a message. There is no such fixed philosophy that pertains to Para Vayu. Their focus is purely on the quality of music that they make and play. “We have matured in all aspects. Earlier the performance on the stage mattered a lot. Everything has now changed. There is nothing as important as music now,” he said, reflecting on his journey as a musician from the metal band, Witchhammer to Vayu, and eventually to Para Vayu.
He expressed his contentment and welcomed the change Para Vayu educed with it, including the change in his own temperament and the increase in his respect for other musicians. He admitted that their audiences still search for traces of Vayu in their music but it doesn’t bother him, “It’s only been a year, and it takes time for any musician to identify himself with a specific genre of music. We have been playing a lot of covers and old Vayu songs but our album is coming out next month and then, you can see for yourself what Para Vayu is really about.” He seemed extremely glad with the way things have turned out for him and his band members, “The music is very soulful and has a lot of feel to it. They all have expertise and control in what they specialize in.”
Para Vayu suggests a force powerful enough to change the way things are. Ravi though feels that he and his band members have done nothing to change the confused rock scene in India. “Yes there are many originals being made, but the bands lack originality. Playing commercial is always easy, but it is always difficult for bands to decide what to play.”
Para Vayu has performed extensively in Pune. Their opinion on the audience reception and the overall gig culture in Pune as compared to metro cities like Bombay or Bangalore is however, quite disheartening. “The crowd has become colder,” feels Ravi. He said that there was a very well informed crowd earlier-college goers who were musically conscious who were more appreciative of rock music. He speculated that this could be either because of the dimming of Pune’s night scene, or because of a shift in interest from rock to trance music.
Ravi’s attachment to the city of Pune was evident as he laughingly passed this message to his Pune fans, “Be with us, the way we are with you.”
Want to show Para Vayu your love for them? Don’t miss their October gig in HRC, Pune.
Go hear them on www.myspace.com/paravayu
[image courtesy: Sahil Khan]