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New Delhi, NCT, India | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | SELF

New Delhi, NCT, India | SELF
Established on Jan, 2001
Band Rock Alternative




"menwhopause: Within City Limits"

By Anurag Tagat
The Delhi rock band are at their cynical and experimental best on their third album ‘Neon Delhi’.

If you thought Mumbai made a perfect muse for dark, delirious poets and musicians, Delhi rock band Menwhopause feel that the Capital evokes a certain melancholy. Guitarist Anup Kutty says about their latest album, “Neon Delhi is set in the near future. For all you know, it could even be the distant past. There are semblances to a city we grew up in. But mostly things have changed. The sounds have changed. The drugs have changed. The buildings have changed. The politics has changed. Neon Delhi is a compilation of vignettes.”
Neon DelhiNeon Delhi also marks the first album minus vocalist Sarabjit Singh Chadha and with inputs from three different drummers – Paul Schneiter [recording engineer and longtime drummer for the band], Sahil Mendiratta [from psychedelic rock band Indigo Children] and current choice Bhanu Thakur. Kutty adds, “This album especially highlights Paul’s magic behind the recording deck.” But that’s not where the liner notes would end. The eight-track album features Menwhopause’s mellow forlorn sound of acoustic and electric guitars on tracks such as “Does That Feel Good?” and “Feeling Right”.
There’s also more experimentation this time, complete with a varied list of guest artists. Kutty says, “Menwhopause was always a collaborative effort. We’ve lived out our musical fantasies by getting a really diverse set of artists and playing producers.”
There are appearances by American jazz pianist Grant Richards, Rajasthani khamancha folk trio GFD and [poet-guitarist] Jeet Thayil’s spoken word on Neon Delhi. Kutty adds, “There’s a short instrumental piece composed by Sumar Khan – an 80-year-old Algoza [twin flute] player. He guards a ghost town in the desert rumored to have treasures buried inside. All day he sits at the gates, playing his Algoza. If there ever was a pied piper, it’s him.”
Like their best-known songs “Easy”, “Keep” and “Father Monologue”, Menwhopause are very much aiming for stories through spoken word and field recordings. Their lead single “On A Boat”, however, is frenzied, funny and funky, mixed by Berlin-based Australian engineer Victor van Vugt, who has previously worked with the likes of Sonic Youth and Nick Cave. It features Delhi-based rapper Faadu aka Aditya Parihar. The rapper has in the past jammed with the band at the odd club gigs in Delhi to the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh. Kutty says of Faadu, “He’s another genius whose work we were introduced to by [writer and journalist] Palash Mehrotra. We had to hunt him down to his hideout in East Delhi and get him to work on this song.”
Thematically, the underlying tone is that of a cynic for Menwhopause, who are now led by vocalist-bassist Randeep Singh, Kutty and guitarist IP Singh. Kutty hints that the writing process was disrupted due to the major record label treatment their 2011 album Easy was meted out. “When Easy was out, we were high on youthful dreams. There was hope, there were incessant gigs, parties, new cities, new friends. The crash following an album is worse than a coke downer. You wallow in some bullshit idea of an achievement,” Kutty says.
That comedown seems to have made them reflect on their city as well, from the 1984 riots to the road rampage of the infamous redline private buses [that Kutty probably deliberately calls “bloodthirsty redline buses”] that killed hundreds. The guitarist changes the topic to talk about the sounds they have sampled on Neon Delhi, saying, “The overbearing sound of the city right now are these drills that are bringing down old houses and replacing them with glass and steel towers. There’s never silence here.”
Neon Delhi is mixed by Delhi-based keyboardist Akshat Taneja [from the likes of psych rock band Udan Tashtri, prog metallers Guillotine and a live member for Menwhopause] and will be released independently. Kutty calls the end of their contract with Universal/EMI [who released Easy] as a “blessing”. The guitarist adds, “It’s back to our DIY roots albeit at a much better period of time. There are way more options and opportunities to get our music out there than it was about five years ago, although commercially things may not really have looked up. I mean, independent musicians seem to be making the same kind of money they were a few years ago.” - Rolling Stone Magazine, India, April 28, 2016

"Sula Fest Pre-Party Gig | Together, They Rock"

by Manika Ahuja

Members of Menwhopause, a Delhi-based rock band, believe music brings peace to both the singer and the listener.

A foggy evening, live rock band, the kickstart of a festival celebrating music and your day is made! In Chandigarh to announce the arrival of Sulafest, a festival held in the Sula Vineyards situated in Nashik,
Menwhopause, a Delhi-based trio rock band came as a pleasant surprise. Read on.

Festive affair
Hailed as a delightful festival that intoxicates both, music and wine lovers alike, Sulafest is back in its 9th edition to give you a weekend full of music, wine, food, fashion and more. Super-exciting activities have been lined up for this two-day event — February 6 and 7 — to make it unforgettable. So, if you have an ear for good music and craving for good wine save the date!

Signature moves
Here to perform during the pre-Sulafest bash, Menwhopause gave the audience a taste of its original soundtracks. This band, which came into being in 2001, has for its members, vocalist and bassist Randeep Singh, guitarists, Inder Pal Singh (IP) and Anup Kutty; and Bhanu Thakur on the drums. The members believe in producing songs which showcase their distinct style, and are quick to add, “We do not emulate anyone. Making and creating music gratifies you to a greater degree than re-making someone else’s compositions.” Well, good point and well made too!
So, what makes this band different from the rest? The band-members reply in unison, “We have a signature style, which sets us apart from others.” Now, finding that is totally on us!

Musically yours
Randeep, who joined the band after vocalist Sarabjit Chadha quit, says “Music is a very powerful mode of expression. It brings so much substance to life.” IP and Anup Kutty join in, “Music brings peace, and love both, to the ones who creates it and the ones who listen.”

Up next
The band’s new album Neon Delhi is ready to soothe your ears. “We will release the album, officially, soon,” says the manager of the band Sahaj Umang Singh. - Tribune India, Chandigarh, India, January 30, 2016

"Menwhopause Talk About Their New Album"

Posted by Harini Sriram
Who: Alt-rock band from Delhi formed in 2001

Line-up: Anup Kutty, Ip Singh, Randeep Singh

Menwhopause, in the words of Anup Kutty, the band’s guitarist,was always thematic and collaborative rather than a count of band members”. Now a trio – after vocalist Sarabjit Singh Chadha left the band recently – Menwhopause are gearing up for the release of their new album, ‘Neon Delhi’ slated to be out in a few months.

The Delhi band have been breaking norms ever since they got together in 2001. Whether it was skipping the traditional college culturals route to success or making original compositions cool at a time when bands were predominantly doing covers, the band have created a niche for themselves. They even distributed their songs for free on the internet, unfazed by issues such as piracy – “in fact, piracy is what we were hoping for at that point,” says Anup.

However, the members’ lives don’t begin and end with the band. For instance, Anup and Randeep Singh (bassist) along with a friend curated Ziro Festival Of Music, which is among the best music festivals in the country today. In conversation with Anup Kutty:

What’s the secret behind sticking together as a band for over a decade? Was there any point where you felt you’d had enough?

It helps when you begin with being just friends. It’s probably like being married. There are times when you wonder why you are with the other person. Then you listen to the results and realise exactly why.

Your album, Neon Delhi, we hear is under production. What is it about, what’s the story and inspiration behind the album, and when is it scheduled for release?

Neon Delhi is set in a city from the future. Or maybe the past. No one knows really. Familiarity is a piece of turd you see floating in your pot every morning. Apart from that, the music has changed, buildings have changed, sounds on the streets have changed… even the drugs have changed. Neon Delhi is not what it used to be.

Musically, how different is it going to be from your earlier albums, considering that your vocalist is not with the band?

The way we see it, one of us has just has moved on. We still approach an album as composers than just four musicians handling individual duties. We’re not limited to our respective roles as vocalists, guitarists or bassists. Song is king and as a result there are far more collaborations. We’ve been lucky to have met and worked with some stellar musicians as diverse as a jazz pianist from America (Grant Richards) to a kamanchatrio (GFD) from Rajasthan. This is not some sort of fusion or or a deviation from our “sound”. It’s only getting us closer to it.

Do you think self-producing your albums is better than being associated with a major record label, in terms of creative freedom?
No major record label in India works closely with any indie bands. Giving the artist absolute creative freedom is what every major label in India promises which is one way of justifying the fact that they don’t do shit. Our last album was picked up by EMI Virgin on a distribution model and by now we all know how that works!Self-producing an album is obviously fulfilling but it’s expensive and one needs to work hard to raise that kind of money. Especially if one is not churning out commercial work.

What’s your advice to aspiring rock bands and musicians in India?
They don’t need any advice. Look at the brilliant music that’s coming out of the woodwork! - Amaranta Entertainment, India, May 14, 2015

"Red Bull Band in Focus: menwhopause"

By Fahama Sawant

Members: Anup Kutty(electric guitar), IP Singh(acoustic guitar), Randeep Singh(bass and vocals), Bhanu(drums)
Genre: Alt Rock
Active from 2001-Present
A young musician in Delhi, who had once ridden the conversion wagon courtesy of his long association with gospel music, happened to meet another, who played live acoustic music at Barista for 700 rupees per day. Eventually, they roped in a few others, jammed on rooftops and played music for the love of music, never expecting to ‘make it big and perform on stages’. In addition to the adoration for good music and live band performances on the emerging indie scene in India, they had a greater level of respect for acts making original music. Ultimately, they incorporated this philosophy into their own music, and thus was conceived menwhopause, a band who is known for churning out only originals (however seldom).
menwhopause- a name they claim was ‘pun unintended’- was formed in 2001 by Anup Kutty, along with guitarist I P Singh, bassist Randeep Singh, drummer Rahul Chatterjee and singer Sarabjit Chadha. Rahul was replaced by two drummers; presently the band has a drummer named Bhanu. Sarabjit left the group in 2012. The band’s early years were expended in considerable anonymity, with the group being clueless as to how to go about being a band playing original music. “We had no idea what we were doing”, admits Anup. “Delhi was pretty hostile towards original music, with everyone wanting covers.” But they stuck to it after all, choosing not to ‘mug up lyrics’.

The big break came from the most unexpected of places, to which they attribute their success on a subconscious level: Delhi Haat. Not recognized on the club circuit, menwhopause performed in Delhi Haat on numerous occasions. During one such gig, a man - who had earlier been spotted head banging in the audience to their music came up to them and commended them for making good music. He ended up taking them out for drinks frequently and hanging out with them and in time becoming their manager. This man was Satish Warrior, who was instrumental in taking them to South by South West (SxSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, sponsored by the Indian Centre for Cultural Relations. SxSW was a turning point for menwhopause, who describe the festival as an eye opener. “There were 1600 bands performing officially at SxSW, and they all had this DIY ethic which was new to us,” I P recalls. “We get things on a platter here in India, and still performers have ego problems. We all felt the need to get off our asses.” The American tour restored the confidence to continue their act and reassured them that the path of originals was what they ought to persist with. Collectively, they took a call ‘to keep it sacred’.
menwhopause have had their fair share of firsts: first Indian rock band to perform at SxSW, first indie band to assist and produce music for a prison band and the first band to set up a successful music festival in far-flung Arunachal Pradesh. menwhopause did a 20-week workshop with inmates of Tihar jail, facilitating them to form their band The Flying Souls, which performed inside the jail too. Ziro, the music fest named after the Arunachali town it is held in, curates local bands and also brings in acts from other parts of the country. The band released their first EP The Story Begins… online for free in 2003, becoming one of the first Indian bands to do so. In 2006, they brought out their first LP Home, which assisted in getting a slot at SxSW. Their latest album Easy, ‘semi-produced’ by Miti Adhikari of BBC London fame, came out in 2011, garnering a lot of critical acclaim. The band is definitely one of the most talented acts to come out of the capital, and we hope their rumoured new album comes out sooner rather than later.

This article is a part of the Standing By Project archiving the history of Indie Music in India since 1947. -, March 11, 2015

"In The Studio - menwhopause"

by Naman Saraiya
The Delhi alt rockers are working on their third album, their first release since vocalist Sarabjit Singh Chadha left the band.

As menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty puts it, his band members have “always had things going on besides menwhopause.” Perhaps that explains why there hasn’t been a new menwhopause record, or a tour since 2013. menwhopause played their last club show in Mumbai in 2013, alongside Lee Ranaldo and The Dust, during his India Tour. The ex-Sonic Youth member played a couple of shows around the country, including a headlining slot at Ziro Festival of Music, in Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, Kutty and Randeep Singh of menwhopause, alongside local promoter and friend Bobby Hano put together the idyllic music festival that is Ziro Festival of Music. The upcoming album, their third, is titled Neon Delhi, and is due later in the year. It will also be their first effort since the departure of former vocalist and songwriter Sarabjit Singh Chadha.
While guitarist Kutty mentions that “it will be the classic menwhopause sound”, or what one might expect – things have moved around a bit within the studio, and the band per se. With Chadha no longer in the band, vocal duties have been taken over primarily by bassist Randeep Singh. This change has also pushed Kutty to do a lot more songwriting. “While I did write a few of the songs on the first album, Home, Sarab had taken over entirely for Easy,” says Kutty, adding that his new role as a songwriter is to be blamed for the delay. The band did do a small writing and bootleg session with former vocalist Chadha, in early 2013, when Neon Delhi was titled Haze. Since then, the record has been on the slow burner.
The band have been tracking parts for the songs, at the studios in Saraswati School of Music, in southern Delhi whenever they could make time. Former drummer for the band, Paul Schneiter (of ethno-punk act Tritha) is helping the band, which is now a trio, track most parts. The band has also been through two drummers, including Schneiter who took off to Paris for a long while to focus on other music projects. Bhanu Thakur, of Global Music Institute, also came on board for a while to track most of the drum parts, and left due to personal commitments. “Bhanu was instrumental in composing some of the songs as well,” says Kutty, “But we also had Sahil Mendiratta (of Indigo Children, Frame/Frame Live) come on and record one song with us.” On stage however, the band will employ the services of sessions drummers, including old time collaborator Schneiter, and Mendiratta, who has performed with them in the past.
Kolkata-based studio genius Miti Adhikari, who also worked on Easy, will be taking over mixing and mastering duties for the album, which is being self-produced by menwhopause. Kutty hopes to get it all done soon, “and head out to Calcutta for a little while, and figure it out with Miti,” to ensure a (hopefully) timely release of the record in the first half of the year, before they drift off again. Given the camaraderie the band mates share, the new-old menwhopause avatar will definitely have its fair share of crazy, and somber moments. A hint of this was evident when they played their set-closer, “I’m On A Boat, Bitches!” at the Ziro Festival of Music in 2014.
Kutty doesn’t divulge much about the songs, preferring to ask us to wait and hear the album to figure it all out. What he does reiterate though is the record will be “more of a soundtrack really, to a short story, rather than an album.” It’s what he feels is a better way to describe the direction Neon Delhi has taken, songs that accompany everyday Delhi stories, as experienced by them — as individuals and band members, of a classic New Delhi outfit. “They’re basically songs about a city we love to hate,” he says. - Rolling Stone Magazine, India, February 16, 2015

"Air Travels"

By Pallavi Jassi

They have flown down to strum the guitar and shake the hip — from Black Eyed Peas to Beyonce Knowles, from Teutonic fossils Scorpions to modern wonder Shakira. But this is no longer a one-way trip — now Indian bands are flying to America and Europe to do some rocking of their own.

Menwhopause, a Delhi-based band, is flying to the US in March for a seven-city tour that will include Houston, Dallas and Austin. Their first international gig was in Austin last spring — at the South By Southwest (SxSW), one of the biggest independent music festivals. “SxSW was huge, with 1,600 bands playing. A local promoter spotted us and decided to include us in their upcoming tour,” says Anup Kutty, guitarist of the five-member outfit that will be touring with 127 from Iran and Stuka from Serbia.

Even though it will be western rock being played to a western audience by an Indian band, they are not worried at all. “We are a bunch of happy musicians passionate about our music. In fact, many people in the West were pleasantly surprised that our sound was not blatantly Indian, which I think worked fine for us,” says Kutty, who adds that the band is working on its second album Easy, a moody and intense compilation that they plan to release while on tour.

- The Indian Express, New Delhi, India, January 21, 2008

"Time for crowning glory"

The Jack Daniel’s Rock Awards hit the Capital with power-packed performances

Not even an hour into the event, the place was already jam packed, and many more were still queuing to get in. You cannot blame people for coming in huge numbers, as the Jack Daniel’s Legendary Mash Rock Awards is not something rock music lover s should miss out on. Being the biggest award in this sector, the second edition lived up to everyone’s expectation with a heavy dose of exhilarating performances and celebrity presence.

Musicians Sandeep Chowta, Vasundhara Das and Rabbi Shergill, along with fashion designer JJ Valaya, Aparna Behl and model Joey Mathews handed over the awards, as cocktails and snacks followed freely at Ministry of Sound in Vasant Kunj.

The most coveted prize of the evening was the ‘Band of the Year’ title, which was bagged by the Delhi-based band, Menwhopause, who will now fly to Lynchburg, Tennessee to participate in the international Jack Daniel’s Legendary Mash.

MANGALA RAMAMOORTHY - The Hindu, New Delhi, India, February 7, 2008

"City Rock"

By Pallavi Jassi

For Delhi’s nascent rock music scene, the Jack Daniels Legendary Mash Rock Awards are nothing short of the Grammy’s, which is possibly why, there were 193 entries vying for the eight coveted awards. There were five nominations per award, and the band of the year will fly to the Legendary Mash Festival at Lynchburg, Tennessee in April this year. Two months of build up with a careful shortlist of musicians, and audience polling finally culminated on Friday at Delhi’s Ministry of Sound as the 2nd Jack Daniel’s Awards were announced.

Menwhopause is the lucky group that gets to perform in Tennessee, and the JD Hall Of Fame Award was won by Indian Ocean.

With musicians Sandeep Chowta and Rabbi Shergill along with fashion designer JJ Valaya and model Joey Mathews among those presenting the awards, the evening was high on its glam quotient as well.

The jury, comprising the likes of Rahul Ram of Indian Ocean, Paresh Kamath and Naresh Kamath of Kailasa (with Kailash Kher) and drummer Gino Banks, found this years’ entries somewhat different from before. “The number of death metal bands this time is much lesser. I personally like bands which experiment with the sound and that has been my criteria of choosing the winners,” says Verhnon Ibrahim, jury, who also re-united with his heavy metal outfit Millenium after seven years. - The Indian Express, New Delhi, India, February 4, 2008

"Strings Attached"

City band Menwhopause is set to play at the prestigious South By South West (SxSW) Texas festival once again this March. Malvika Nanda catches up with the lead guitarist Anup Kutty.

You guys are also scheduled to perform at the Rafi Peer festival in Pakistan.

I am hoping and praying everything settles down by the time we have to travel to Pakistan. The festival has already been postponed once because of turmoil.

So what have you guys been doing?

In March we played at SxSW in Austin, it was a mindblowing experience. Back home, we've been concentrating on our second album Easy that will be released soon. Apart from that, there were the usual odd gigs and a Jaipur Heritage Festival appearance and some workshops for youngsters.

How does it feel to be called back for SxSW?

More than SxSW, we are excited about this seven-city tour that we will be doing in March. When we played at SxSW last year a local promoter by the name of Dave Dart liked our sound and got in touch a couple of months ago asking if we were interested in doing a tour with him.

What's happening with the record deal?

We are open to the idea of signing up with a record label as long the terms are beneficial. I am glad to see Indian bands finally getting shelf space in music stores. But that's just the beginning. What bands really need is heavy promotions and PR and better venues to perform live. - Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India, January 6, 2008

"The world beckons Delhi’s rock groups"

They're going global as their music finds an international audience jiving to it

By Sam Lal

For their counterparts in the arena of Indian classical and fusion music or even Bollywood, it is probably commonplace to be jetting off to international destinations for a series of concerts. But for the proponents of counter-culture music in India, playing outside the country is still a matter of great prestige, and opportunities to showcase their songs on foreign shores do not occur too often during the average lifespan of a typical rock 'n' roll band.

Times, however, as the bard from Greenwich had prophesied during the Sixties, "they are a-changing" and not only are rock bands crossing over to play to European and American audiences, they are being invited back by a populace that has clearly liked what it has heard and wants some more.
Spearheading the movement for back to back overseas jaunts are two Delhi bands, both of whom went abroad in 2007 and who are gearing up for a repeat performance in the new year — Parikrama and the Menwhopause.

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL BREAK Displaying a remarkable DIY ethos, the brilliantly monikered Menwhopause, registered themselves online for the South By South West Festival in ’07. They nearly jumped out of their socks when an invitation made its way to their doorstep. The registration process, it may be mentioned, requires a brief synopsis of the band’s accomplishments, its music and videos and hundreds of acts from various countries apply every year. “Even though we did not play on the main stage, it was a great experience,” says manager Satish Warier.

Their performance at SxSW was deemed suitably applause-worthy by promoter Dave Dart and on February 29, 2008, the Men wing their way to the US for a string of concerts which shall also feature Iranian rock act 127 and Serbian rockers Stuka.

- Mail Today, New Delhi, India, January 11, 2008

"A Rocking week ahead"

Back after smashing Nashville tour, Anup kutty lead guitarist with Delhi's very own band
menwhopause dissects the citys rock scene.

*Honestly, How good or Bad is rock in Delhi?
Of all the places in India , Delhi has the best music scene. Of course
its a recent change but now theres almost a gig everyday.
And there are so many bands now seeking their own sound and originality, that
its really fun watching live music. Also, there are so many more genres of music
happening that there is a steady fan following building up
for many bands.

*What sets the city apart, musically?
The scene has space for all kinds of sounds.So while
menwhopause would do their own/ acoustic rock/whatever sound
Superfuzz would be more grunge/punk. advaita
would be fusion...there's finally a huge choice.

*Whats the best thing about gigs in Delhi?
The fact that its now uncool for bands to play covers.

*What do you think is the future of the rock scene in India?
The future would be packed stadiums and big money, but then again
I'm just being too optimistic.As of now, I would really
appreciate if the audience started supporting bands more by
paying for Live shows.They need to realise that its them
who decide the future.

*Whats the difference in the rock being played here and the rest of the world?
Not much, except for the fact that in the West,people are more
professional and serious about that they are doing because
they do want to do it for the rest of their lives.Also there's
a lot more competition there.At the latest rock fest in India
there were 60 bands. The SxSW festival Austin had 1600!

*Which according to you is the best India Band today?
Can't pick one because I do not believe music is a sport
with winners and losers.But my favourites are Advaita,
Superfuzz and Avial.

- Delhi Mid Day, May 5th 2008

"Lateral View: The terrible beauty of menwhopause"

By-Palash Krishna Mehrotra

Its mid week and Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai is Packed to the rafters with expats and corporate types.Upstairs a
gang of frisky adolescents lounges on the luxurious sofas.The members of menwhopause are sinking beers,meeting fans,getting ready for their first Bombay gig.Last years, this Delhi band played the legendary
South By South West (SXSW) in America; this year they went back for a seven city tour of Texas.

Its a good gig.Only that the stage is such at an elevation that fans feel like they are watching
stars at the planetarium rather that at a rock concert.The next night at Blue Frog is much better,
its initimate setting holding and magnifying the bands sound to maximum impact.In the green room,
just before the shows begins, there is a classic moment.Sarabjit Chadha, front man for the band,
is trying to throw up.The bile refuses to rise.The bell goes and Anup Kutty, says nervoulsy,"
Sarab, i dont think you have time to puke." But as always, Sarab pulls it off at the last minute and hits
the stage with 'Floating' a song from their new album Easy, " Done to death/Discrete for Life/Hung Spiked
and Drawn/Homing in on the space within/Soon there'll be dawn."

The band is not showy on stage.The guitarist goes about his business with nerd intensity, hardly looking up
during the performances.He trades a few diarming, brilliant smiles with fans in between but thats about it.
The new drummer looks nervous but pulls off a brilliantly tight set, crunchier than Hard Rock. Thers IP in the middle
of the stage , cradling his acoustic guitar like a new born and to the left is Randeep, probably
the most animated bass player around.

Sarab who always takes the stage in a smart stripped shirt, is an acccomplished poet of darkness.He writes
about the kinks of the human soul like no other songwriet in the country.Redemption, if it all , comes from ones
own self.He sings about Monday mornings," Moday morning rests easy/On you when you are sleeping/Quandary of a
troubled mind/Invite your kind to step up and peep in": alcoholic depression:"Dance of sorrow/Haze of Joy/Flung limbs and broken smiles...Voices and Scenes/Disconnected themes/Keep on repeating": and controlling Indian Fathers,"Little boy you've been dreaming too long/Dont you know i laid a path ahead for you/You're fooling with
your funny dreams/Aim higher/Dont you know i need you to."

At other times, he turns his gaze outwards," My brother down the stair/Is walking my dog on the road/In his tennis shoes/
He takes it easy." Ot when he sings about old Hindi film actresses," Now the hairs got to change/What about her mind going
astray?/What about her kind?/They're brimming with still life/Just a brimful of lies."

menwhopause has a raw, lush sound yet very worked upon, like a dish that is deliberately under prepared.
Its a consummate performance at the Frog:Sarab wailing and howling like a banshee in his smart shirt;
kutty bent over his electric guitar, playing controlled solos of horrendeous beauty, harmoniously
balanced, and at times, breaking out of the melancholia of the frontman and guitarists to do its own mad,
joyful thinking.
- Rolling Stone, India, October 2008

"Going West"

By- Samar Grewal

menwhopause head out on their second visit to Texas

In a city where the average band must sign up or pay for space or risk having the
cops at their doorstep by plugging-in in unpadded rooms, the fact that menwhopause
actually own theirs is, well impressive. But then again may be not. With the Indian
Council for Cultural Relations footing the travel bill for their first trip to Texas, there has been a degree of importance surrounding the boys that rarely been seen in a band since India Ocean broke out onto scene more than a decade ago. We went out to said pad in Sriniwas puri, South east Delhi, to check in on them as they geared up for the three week tour that will take them to seven-cities. and mite involve another appearance at the mammoth South by South West(SXSW) festival in Austin.

"There’s been a slight change between Home [the bands first album, distributed free from their website,] and this one. The first was full of breezy acoustic numbers," said lead guitarist Anup Kutty, as the band took a breath after a couple of tracks from Easy, their upcoming second full-length effort.

In live sets, the band, completed by lead vocalist and principal-songwriter Sarabjit Chadha, guitarist IP Singh, bassist Randeep Singh, drummer Rahul Chatterjee, regularly combine songs from their first and second albums, exhibiting their trademark chugging, thrashy, grunge sound.

Says Sarabjit Chadha, who shoulders the song writing responsibilities, the transition between the two albums are elsewhere. " We believe in albums, over songs. Having a bigger vision, a grid, makes it easier to write. So, starting with Home, we are looking at a larger work that consist of three albums. The first deals with issues of the self and identity, Easy with the reality, and the third [tentatively titled Haze], on which work has already begun, with madness."

The band will play 20 shows this month at Houston, San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin, Denton, Fort Worth and Dallas.

"Last years SXSW was incredible. Wherever there was space there was a band," Kutty said of the festival held annually in Austin. Spread over four days, close to 1,400 bands take to various cross-town venues in what is considered a Mecca for independent bands from across the world.

"Its tough here sometimes , when all the bands start sounding the same and the general perception of a good guitarist is someone who plays faster than everyone else. Our appearance at SXSW made us more confident of our sound, there were so many people doing so many different things."

- Rolling Stone, March 2008

"Winning without pause"

For a Delhi band, a Jack Daniel’s rock award was the ticket to Bollywood

by Kunal Doley

Menwhopause, the Delhi-based rock band who won the best band of the year category in the awards show will get to go to the Legendary Mash Festival at Lynchburg, Tennessee, in April where they will do a round of studio auditions for final selection.
What started out as a normal jam session by a group of friends some six years ago is today one of the most sought after bands in the country. “We were just friends jamming and writing songs at night. Someone insisted that we share our songs with strangers as well. We did, and strangers weren't strangers any more. We soon became a part of the extended Menwhopause family,” said Anup Kutty, guitarist of the band, who also doubles up as an editor of a men’s magazine.
Along with the occasional gigs and workshops in India, the band is now focusing on their second album, Easy, to be released in March. They will also be the first Indian band to undertake a seven-city tour in the US the same month. “We were also the first Indian rock band ever to be invited for the prestigious
South by Southwest Music festival in Austin, Texas, last year,” added Anup, who draws his inspiration from bands like Led zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Doors and G ‘n’ R to begin with

- Mail Today, New Delhi, India, February 8, 2008


An effusive and articulate bunch of laidback men in their late
twenties and early thirties, menwhopause are my kind of people.
I discover them nursing pints of beer in heavy glass tankards
in Morrisons café, a rock joint situated unassumingly above
plentiful jewellery and shoe shops in a scrofulous shopping
precinct. They are many more in number than I am expecting,
for menwhopause are an extended community, not just a band.
“We are rock ‘n’ roll intellectuals!” grins the endearing guitarist
Anup, introducing me to his flatmate Colin, a writer, and another
good friend, the author Palash Mehrotra.
Their “commune”, as they describe it, numbers up to
twenty people and includes artists, filmmakers, a lawyer...
and a dentist. “He’s a friend who happens to be a dentist!”
chuckles the garrulous Sarab; lyricist, husky voiced singer
and advertising creative. On inspection their teeth are indeed
absolutely impeccable. With no intention of signing to a large
record company; “we got approached by EMI but the terms and
conditions were shit,” they have all the means to produce and
distribute music in the way that they would like. “We have no
deadlines: we’re young, we’re not in a hurry to make hit albums
and rule the world!” laughs Sarab, blinking at me through his
thick rimmed glasses. “We have the best band possible, we
have no agenda! In advertising I have to work for clients, but the
only time I am completely honest is when I am making music. I
feel blessed to have met these guys.”
menwhopause hail from six different states with typically
diverse cultures, but they like to share celebrations – the entire
band and extended community have just come from Anup’s
parent’s house, where they enjoyed an eighteen course meal
together in celebration of a Hindu festival. They all communicate
across me in shotgun Hinglish, proud of their distinctive accent.
Drummer Hemzi, who runs the Drum Institute, is a trained civil
aviation engineer and devout Christian who doesn’t drink or
smoke. He’s also forty years old, “I’ve had a long journey”, with the
dewy skin of a teenager. Sikh bassist Randeep, a photographer
and interior decorator, is also teetotal, “he doesn’t even eat
eggs”, and up until fairly recently had never even kissed a girl –
in stark contrast to some of the band’s antics. Sarab is a lapsed
Sikh of Pakistani origin, “I love working in advertising,” he says.
“It’s a way of life, just like music is. It is my absolute priority.” Anup
is not so keen on this newfound partnership. “He’s beginning
to love it a bit too much – he spends every night at the office,”
he complains. Yet they all agree that the band is the one thing
that keeps them grounded. Ip, the acoustic guitarist, is also a
non-practicing Sikh and somewhat fantastically the producer of
a puppet show that satirizes Bollywood and politics on popular
TV. “I got into it when I did music for some puppet shows in
Rajasthan,” he explains. “Music and puppetry collided. Now I
have fun every day!” It is infinitely more rewarding than the job
he held in a garment export house after completing a degree in
carpet weaving, a skill that runs in the family.
The can-do attitude that prevails among Indian youth is
exemplified in the meteoric rise of Anup – who, at twenty nine
years old, is the youngest ever editor of Maxim. By all accounts
this is a good job for a young man to have, entailing as it does a
lot of drinking and hanging out with Bollywood totty. The band’s

manager, the gnomic Satish, pipes up, “Yes, he doesn’t even
introduce us to the models he knows, so selfish...” I am mightily
impressed by the variety of interesting jobs the boys have. “What
can we say?” laughs Anup. “We’re just prodigies.” But in reality
they are incredibly grateful for the opportunities that, for the first
time, have become available to their generation. “We try to do
as much as we can,” acknowledges Anup. This translates into
sucking up every experience possible. “You don’t have to sleep
too much,” decides Sarab, as he tries to persuade me to have
another drink. “Once in awhile you can catch up – the night has
not even begun yet.” Competitive drinking has reached India.
“We polished off four bottles of single malt last night,” Anup
tells me. “I drink at work!” Sarab rejoinders. The non-drinkers
amongst them grin good-naturedly. I wonder out loud what has
happened to the relaxed Indian lifestyle. “I’ve heard of it too... but
who cares so long as you enjoy yourself,” says Sarab, waving
his hands around frantically.
Anup’s roundabout career progress is intricately bound up
in the formation of the band. “I studied chemistry at college, then
I spent a year doing nothing with Sarab.” Sarab was suffering
an early career crisis too, so they hung out at his parent’s house,
where he was caught smoking weed on the balcony. “He got a
lot of shit for it,” says Anup. “It isn’t accepted behaviour, but he
marked his territory! For a year we did fuck all except listen to
music and read books together.” They would get trashed and
practice, balancing a broken drum kit on the bed and testing
out the bathroom for acoustics. Their first 2-track demo Fly
Away was recorded at a now infamous rooftop party, and soon
became a cult song, at least amongst their friends. Eventually
the neighbours’ complaints forced them to find a new rehearsal
space, but, fortuitously by this time they had been joined by
Randy, who was in the audience at their first official gig. “He
sent us our first ever fan mail saying ‘you’re the band I’ve been
looking for... can I come and hang with you?’ It was straight from
fan to band. He didn’t even play the bass!” laughs the beaming
Anup. The relaxed Randeep provided the nascent band with
some much needed structure. “He’s also the designated driver.”
Nowadays the band rehearse in a converted tailor’s shop,
courtesy of Ip’s grandfather, and describe with unreasoned glee
how it is out of action due to a termite infestation. When I visit the
tiny space a few days later the air is heavy with toxic fumes, but
I am impressed by how homely they have managed to make it.
“Eventually my girlfriend said she’d dump me if I didn’t get a
job,” relates Anup. So he got a job working in one of the many
export houses, but it really wasn’t his style. “I was supposed to
be harsh with the tailors so my boss got cross when I ate lunch
with them or shared a samosa after work. I couldn’t take it so
I quit.” He then enlisted Ip to hand out resumés at the studios
where he was working, and got a job as features editor on The
Pioneer newspaper, “a rightwing mouthpiece”, where Satish
was his boss. “The boom enables people to move easily across
disciplines. We are very flexible,” says Anup. Employers are
looking for people with ideas, energy and a desire to work, so
from conservative newspaper to babe-tastic bit of guff was an
easy leap for Anup to make. And anyway, he only sees it as
a stepping stone onto something else. In a quieter moment
I discover that he has bought land in the mountains, and
dreams of making a community there. Sarab, too, has plans
for the greater good. “Advertising is at the root of all evil but I
know what the solution is and I need to be in it. I’m doing non-
advertising advertising!” He won’t tell me what he means. “Just
wait til I write a book,” he smiles cheerily. “I want to occupy any
and every space I can. I want to control your mind!” But more
seriously: “You can’t turn your back on what’s happening every
day, so you need to work on the inside to make a difference.”
Entry to gigs is commonly free and by invite only, which
means that most gigs are necessarily supported by advertising
deals. “When we started there were no bands playing original
music, so all the promoters said that people would be throwing
rotten eggs at us,” explains Anup. “But things have really
changed in the past two to three years, and now it is really
uncool to play covers.” Although menwhopause are reasonably
well known it has taken them a long time to get to this point. In
2007 Satish applied for a government grant so that they could
travel to SXSW, fighting all the way for the right to export non-
traditional Indian music. They are the first indigineous band to
have played in the US and loved it so much that they self-funded
a trip back to the festival this year, followed by a month long
road trip from Texas to New York. “By the time we reached NY
we had no money left!”
Almost absentmindedly I ask how menwhopause got their
name. “I can’t believe it took you this long!” exclaims Anup. “I’m
so tired of [the question], but basically I was in a quiz team at
college and it was a stupid prank to call our team a double
entendre.” The name seems to have stuck. “We don’t regret it,”
says Randeep. “Out of 1600 bands at SXSW we were in the top
twenty five worst names so people will at least have heard of
us.” I am also curious as to why Anup’s hand is extravagantly
wrapped up in bandages. “We have a new kitten named after
the Bikini Killer, Sobhraj.” He tripped over, jar of pickles in one
hand and cat in the other. “So I had to make a choice about
which I saved.” By now Satish is thoroughly drunk, “like a baby”
and veering periously close to my exposed cleavage with his
camera. Instead of heading home as I had planned I end up
accepting an invitation back to Satish’s penthouse flat, where we
lounge around on the balmy balcony – me and the Indian boys,
swapping stories, playing with yet another kitten and eating
expertly homecooked rice and dahl.
menwhopause: they take great delight in epitomising the
new have-it-all over-achieving workaholic partying urban India,
but are also lucky enough to be thoroughly grounded by the
extraordinary friendships they have forged through their band.
MySpace: menwhopause

- Amelias Magazine, London, December 2008


1) The Story Begins... [ EP 2003 ]
2) Home [ 2006 ]
3) Easy [ 2011 ]
4) Neon Delhi [November 2016]



Legendary rock act from India, menwhopause has recently finished a new album titled ‘Neon Delhi’, currently being produced by Grammy Award nominated Victor Van Vugt, music producer for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Beth Orton.

The band calls the new album “more of a soundtrack really, to a short story or film, rather than an album.” And Neon Delhi is this noir story set in a Delhi from the near future.

The band  has collaborated with some stellar musicians as diverse as a jazz pianist from U.S.A., Grant Richards and renowned Kamancha trio from Rajasthan, GFD of Sakar Khan’s lineage, apart from the famous poet-novelist Jeet Thayil and the YouTube sensation from New Delhi called FAADU rapper.    


In a country where popular music is dominated with commercial Bollywood music and the live rock music scene is generally full of cover bands, menwhopause stuck to playing only original compositions and were one of the first bands in India to distribute their music for free over the Internet. Their first EP called ‘The story begins...’ was released online as a free download in 2003.

In 2006 they released their first full length album Home on their own record label, "The Middle Earth Company". The album gained the band international recognition, making them the first Indian rock band to be invited to perform at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The band's tour was sponsored by the Indian Centre for Cultural Relations (ICCR), making them the first ever rock band to be supported by the cultural arm of the Government of India. The band also did a month long tour of the southwestern United States playing in around 10 cities in and around Texas. In February 2008, the band won an online poll for the Best Band of the Year 2007 conducted by Jack Daniel's in India. In April 2008 the band flew to Lynchburg, Tennessee where they performed at the Legendary Mash Festival and worked with R.E.M.'s producer David Barbe. The band signed a major record deal with EMI-Virgin Records (India) in 2008 to release their second full-length album Easy. Instead of conventional studio recording, the band began work on the album by recording the tracks in a makeshift studio set up by them in a village in Uttaranchal, nestled in the Himalayas, during September 2006. The album took four years to be produced with the band bringing in mixing engineer and co-producer Miti Adhikari (BBC London) and Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Richard Dodd. The album immediately received favorable reviews by critics with The Times of India calling it "by far, one of the most brilliant works from an Indian rock act."

As pioneers of the independent music scene of India, menwhopause has been at the forefront of artistic innovation. This shows in the passion that they have put behind supporting the independent artists. In 2011, they founded the Ziro Festival of Music in Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, and within 2 years of its inception it grew into becoming one of the most talked about music festivals around the world, hosting acclaimed artists such as Steve Shelley and Lee Ronaldo (Sonic Youth) and at the same platform giving young and budding talent from India a platform. The festival focuses on the rich cultural heritage of the whole North-East and has put Ziro in the global map.

Band Members