Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo Shoots


Think "Daft Punk meets Hall & Oates," or "Graceland in Space". Bamboo Shoots has a fresh sound unlike any other, laced with indie-cred and a pop sensibility while always heavy on the beat. Produced by Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison, their debut album just released on Epic Records.


There’s something odd about Bamboo Shoots. Certainly a band of four brown-skinned boys whose collective faces look equally at home on a terrorist watchlist as any promotional poster is, well, unique. That all of the members are of Indian descent at a time when Indian culture is exploding globally is surely… noteworthy. “We gave up on fitting in a long time ago,” states singer/guitarist Avir
Mitra with a shrug.

Mix innovative hooks and lean guitars with urban inspired beats and subtle world flavor, add a dash of Brooklyn cred but temper it with a lyrical openness – now you begin to get at the sound of Armour, their Epic Records debut. It’s future-feeling and it’s retro and it almost didn’t happen.

As the story goes, Avir was only days away from joining medical school when the band got a life-changing phone call: they had won MTVu’s Best Music on Campus
contest and would be signing with Epic. They would perform on “Late Night with
Conan O’Brien” in a few days. Welcome to Bamboo Shoots’ world.

Avir and bassist/vocalist Karl Sukhia began playing music together after bumping
heads as kids in the Zoroastrian community to which their parents belonged. They recorded songs on an old PC with a pencil mic. It was several years before they met
drummer Shiv Puri, a brilliant finance student who needed something more to crunch
than numbers – Shiv soon found his salvation in drumming with the duo. At their first practice, friend of a friend Ankur Patel showed up with what was to become a key ingredient – an Indian folk drum called the dhol.
They covered Hall and Oates.
Ankur, an up-and-coming DJ, wove 808s and percussion into the mix and was in the
band by day’s end.

Fast-forward through the time spent lugging gear, sleeping on floors and scrounging cash for studio time. It’s 2008 and the band is signed and ready to record. They’ve toured with Plain White T’s, rocked shows with Soulja Boy, locked in a Gibson sponsorship and just finished a national ad campaign with Virgin. Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads and Modern Lovers) was the first to see Bamboo Shoots’ potential and signed on as producer.

“Talking Heads’ style stemmed from rhythm – we saw a common thread there,”
explains Avir. “Jerry dusted off old Heads’ synths and guitars that hadn’t been
touched in years,” adds Karl. “Avir played most of the album on the same Strat that
was used on Stop Making Sense.”

The band proceeded to cold call their favorite mixer, UK-based Mark “Spike” Stent.
His familiarity with both pop (Madonna, Beyonce, U2) and indie (MIA, Arcade Fire,
CSS) matched perfectly with the band’s vision. Despite more lucrative offers, Spike
heard something in the tracks and eagerly signed on to mix. "Everyone in the studio was curious to see who this baby band was that Spike had chosen to work with," notes Shiv.

The result, Armour, is a debut that effortlessly sounds unlike any of its peers. “Hey Girl,” a throwback to Prince’s “Controversy,” sets the tone with a sing-along verse
and a bassline that stabs you over and over. From there, the band never loses their
laser-like focus on hooks, beats and vibe. “Where the Ocean Meets the Road” feels
like it should have been on the Days of Thunder Soundtrack. You would focus on the retro cool, but you are too busy humming it in your head. Ballads like “Whenever
You’re Around” conjure up comparisons to Justin Timberlake’s solo work, until of course a shrieking guitar comes in and throws off the entire comparison. Tracks like
“Milk, Satin & Silk” get the hipsters blogging, while “Wrong All Along” cuts to the
angsty chase and gets the teens bopping. Bamboo Shoots is equal parts Brooklyn and suburban New Jersey, and Armour reflects it.
Still, it’s hard to describe the reaction Bamboo Shoots gets at their live shows, where
sets become excuses for all-night dance parties.
Things just connect. A recent
media-frenzied tour of India only fuels suspicion that the appeal of Bamboo Shoots
could be exceptionally broad. Indeed, there is something unpredictably odd going on
here. Let’s hope it stays that way.


Currently our single, "Hey Girl" is on rotation on mtvU TV channel and internet.

Armour LP (Epic Records, Sept. 2009)

"Hey Girl" single (Epic Records, Sept. 2009)

Music for Coatillions MIXTAPE LP (Self released, March 2009)

"Hey Girl" 7" single (Self released, Nov. 2006)

Blue EP (Self released, May 2006)

Research & Development EP (Self released, Apr. 2004)

Set List

We usually play 40 minute sets, or about 9 songs. We throw in some covers now and then, ranging from "Blame It" by Jamie Foxx, to "Closer" by Ne-Yo, to "Paranoid" by Kanye West.

Here is a typical setlist of our original songs:

1) The Last Time
2) Where The Ocean Meets The Road
3) Shake It Off
4) Into The Sea
5) Speeding Star
6) Hey Girl
7) Wrong All Along
8) Tom Cruise
9) Milk, Satin & Silk