Monkey Temple
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Monkey Temple

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"Monkey Temple gets Anumati on MTV India"

KATHMANDU: “It is the best thing that has happened for the band,” shares Sareen Deoja, vocalist of Monkey Temple. And the best that has happened is that their music video of Anumati was aired on MTV India on March 15.

“I hadn’t even given the music video to Nepali channels, but the people of MTV India liked our music video of Anumati that was uploaded on YouTube,” he says revealing that the news of their song to be aired on MTV India came as a “huge shock” to them.

“When we got a call from MTV, I couldn’t believe the news,” he shares. After it was first aired on MTV Roots, the song has continued to be aired.

The song is from their new album Shades of Grey, which will be in the market very soon.

“We are the first band from Nepal to be on MTV India,” claimed Deoja, who is the man behind the music video concept, directed by Sanjeev Rai.

Talking about the concept, Deoja shares, “It’s a random concept which talks a plane crash. The man could be anyone, who has lost a wife, daughter in the crash... and he is writing a song about it.”

Apart from Deoja, Pratap Risal on drums, Samrat Shah on bass, Srijan Bikram Gewali and Prawol Bhattarai on guitars make up the band Monkey Temple. - Himalayan Times Newspaper


"Monkey Temple Album Launch"

Monkey Temple launched its second album, "Shades of Grey", at Flavors Cafe in Kupondole this Saturday. The band comprising of members Sareen Deoja on lead vocals, Pratap Risal on drums, Samrat Shah on bass, and Srijan Bikram Gewali and Prawol Bhattarai on guitars lined up on stage to perform the eight songs of the album to an audience consisting of family and friends of the band, the band's admirers, and music enthusiasts. The band opened their performance with the song "Anumati" and went on to play the remaining songs throughout the evening. The lead vocalist, Sareen Deoja explained the relevance of each song and the band's past briefly, "The band which was formed back in 1998 by Subodh Gurung and me has seen a lot of changes. At the moment, I am the only member from the original lineup." Daniel Rassaili, the drummer of Hari Maharjan's Project (HMP) had praises for the band for the tight composition and strong lyrics. He said the first two tracks - "Anumati" and "Yesto Kahile" are the two songs that one shouldn't miss out. "Anumati", which has already been aired on MTV India, is a first for Nepali songs and artists. - Friday Himalayan times Newspaper


"Monkey Temple- Shades of Grey - Album Review"

To opine on the evolution of a band and its music is a rather grim affair. The songs and sounds of the band’s past always makes a new album to be compared with the types of music the band produced in the past, and opinions get divided on the same context. Fans of a band’s past sounds will never favor a change, while new fans will become fans only because of the change. Throw into that mix a huge gap between the albums and then you get Monkey Temple.

After numerous lineup changes and periods of inactivity, Monkey Temple finally released their much awaited album “Shades of Grey” this June. Of the original lineup, only one, Sareen Deoja on vocal, remains while its new members include Pratap Risal on drums, Samrat Shah on bass, Srijan Bikram Gewali, and Prawol Bhattarai on guitars. With such a heavy change of cast, it can be presumed that the sound of the band has changed as well; and on that front, we aren’t disappointed.

Forget about “Black Bee and the Flower” or “Stoned @ 920,” the new album sounds very changed if not completely different. The crisp sounds of all the instruments, sound separation and controlled distortion weren’t something to be found in the past, however, are found consistently in “Shades of Grey.” The unique elongated vocal of Deoja is still there to be found. Also the alternative-rock tag that the band has acquired is even solidified with this album.
Content-wise consisting of eight songs, the album literally comes out with a bang and goes out with a bang, but it sort of fades in and out in the middle. The first and last song, “Anumati” and “Swapnama” respectively are surely the standout songs which define the album.

Anumati, with its light distortion guitar in the beginning and the uncompromising vocals, is catchy and appealing. The beat, timing as well as precision guitar work is predominant not only in this song but the entire album, a fact well worth mentioning.



Swapnama is fast and packed in comparison to other songs in the album. The lyrics jumps out at you and does make you want to sing along at particular instances. Being the final song of the album, Swapnama has a lot of energy that leaves a good impression in the end.

However, the bass line in many parts of the album is a little overshadowed by other instruments, which can be disappointing for people who love the sound of bass. Even with the equalizer set to boost bass, there are still moments when the bass just fades off and is overwhelmed.

The only exception may be “Yesto Kahile,” where the bass plays an important part in the song. Also being the only song where Prawol Bhattarai sings with backing vocals by Deoja, it provides a change that’s agreeable to listen to, and leaves you asking if the two should combine on more songs vocally. The guitar work, on the other hand, in the whole album is simple and not shred-work on the fretboard, which is very suitable to the songs.

“Prashna” is Deoja’s questioning thoughts about galaxies and the universe. The theme of the song is quite grasping. However, the music doesn’t quite gel and produces a feeling not quite understandable or pleasing.

“Man Chade Maichyanglai” is a completely different case. Being Danny Denzongpa’s original, Monkey Temple cover the song with a different approach. Heavy distortion along with the playful lyrics is something that can wind up a crowd in a concert immediately. A boozy type of vocals by Deoja helps even more. The drums on the song are quite simple, yet interesting to listen to.

“Hamro Geet” and “Ananta Samman” are both tedious to listen to. You feel that there’s something missing in the songs, which completely destroys the balance. After you listen to Hamro Geet a few times, however, it does feel okay if not altogether good. “Swatantra” is the only song in the album which has to be termed neither good nor bad. The lyrics do stand out, yet the entire feel of the song is unsatisfactory.

All in all, the album is pleasing to listen it. However, there are only a few instances in the whole album where it hits out and amazes. Yet still, it’s satisfying to know that in a country where Pop dominates the mainstream and Metal is overly prevalent in the not-so-mainstream “underground” scene, bands like Monkey Temple are still there to influence youngsters and let them know that there are more genres to follow than the usual clichéd ones. - MyREPUBLICA Newspaper


"Monkey Temple on MTV"

Whenever something about Nepal is broadcast on international television or radio, one can almost be certain that that something if either about Mt Everest or the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage. The Nepali alternative rock band Monkey temple has changed this to a certain degree by becoming the first Nepali band to have its song broadcast on MTV India. Their five-minute video of the song Anumati from thier new album Shades of Grey, has been aired on the music channel numerous times since March 15.
“We do not really know why they chose to include our song in their playlist, but what we are certain of is the hard work and effort we’ve put in coming out with the album,” says lead vocalist Sareen Deoja while talking about this rather laudable achievement. “Usually, we have to bribe programme coordinators on Nepali channels just to get our songs aired,” he says citing a contrast with how MTV India lifted their video from YouTube. “This is really a matter for pride for us,” he adds.
Deoja and other members of the band—drummer Pratap Risal, bassist Samrat Shah and guitarists Srijan Bikram Gewali and PraWol Bhattarai—were felicitated at a programme organised in the Nepal Music Centre (NMC) Trust, Pingalasthan on March 30. The band-members have all been associates of the Music Centre as either students or instructors in the past. Iman Bikram Shah, Principal of the Music Centre was hence particularly elated with the band’s achievement and success.
All five members stress on the fact that devotion is really what goes into making good music. Guitarist Bhattarai shares, “That our video is being screened on MTV is an outcome of our continued dedication to music.”
It was after the formal programme that the band got into its groove doing what it does best. The band played some great music in a concert that lasted an hour or so. Monkey Temple—which cites the likes of Lamb of God, Radiohead, Incubus, Pearl Jam, Rage against the Machine and Porcupine Tree as its influences—gave a rousing performance in which it covered some of the most beloved songs from its previous albums.
- Kathmandu Post Newspaper


Discography

The discography of Monkey Temple Band, Nepali Alternative rock band, consists of two full length studio albums. Both albums were independently released.

Monkey Temple Band recorded their first full-length album “Black Bee & the Flower” in 2001, which helped them win a niche of supporters and create a unique identity in Kathmandu’s rock music scene. It consists of 11 tracks in total out of which 9 of them are in English language. Band's new album "Shades of Grey" was released in June 2012 and consists 8 new tracks all of which are written in their native language (Nepali).

The Group has released various Videos via YouTube and one of the videos entitled "Anumati" turned out to be a huge success for the band, as this was the first video/song from Nepal to be featured on MTV South Asia.

Album Title - Black Bee And The Flower
Year - 2001
Label - Independent

Album Title - Shades Of Grey
Year - 2012
Label - Independent

Photos

Bio

First Nepalese Band to be featured on MTV SouthAsia and a familiar name in Nepal’s Rock music scene today, Monkey Temple comprises of Sareen Deoja (vocals), Prawol Bhattarai (guitars/vocals/back vocals), Srijan Bikram Gewali (guitars), Samrat Shah (bass) and Pratap Risal (drums), all of whom hail from Kathmandu. Although the band is mostly categorized as an alternative rock outfit, the current band members contend that their newly released album “Shades of Grey” should introduce the listeners to hints of “experimental” and “progressive” elements as well. The new album hit the markets in Kathmandu on 16th of June 2012.

The band was originally formed in the corridors of St. Xaviers School, Kathmandu, by guitarist Subodh Gurung and vocalist Sareen Deoja. They recorded their first full-length album “Black Bee & the Flower” in 2001, which helped them win a niche of supporters and create a unique identity in Kathmandu’s rock music scene. Sareen met current guitarist Prawol Bhattarai, in the United States in 2006 and they have been performing and recording music since.

The band’s new album “Shades of Grey” was recorded and mixed at the Rec. Records studio, Kathmandu, owned and operated by esteemed Nepali blues musician Mr. Sunit Kansakar and mastered by Mr. Satish Sthapit. Sareen, the vocalist, has written and composed most of the songs in the album with meaningful lyrics that primarily talk about the mystery and the inevitable ‘ups and downs’ of life.

The band currently has an official video available on YouTube for their new song “Anumati”, this particular video which was sponsored by Himalayan Distillery for placing their trademark product Ruslan Vodka turned out to be a huge success for the band, as this was the first video/song from Nepal to be featured on MTV India. MTV India acquired this video from YouTube and has regularly been airing on one of their programs MTV roots. This video was shot and edited by Mr. Sanzip Rai, owner and operator of Phoenix Studios, Kathmandu, Nepal.