Zedde
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Zedde

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Zedde front-man, 2Blue, talks about his former-band Vayu (now Para Vayu), the group’s upcoming single ‘Mumbai’ and why he can’t live without Facebook.

Why did you guys (Claver and yourself) form Zedde when Vayu already had the reputation of being one of the best hard rock bands in the country?

2Blue: To put it very bluntly, I had to break new ground – even if that meant reinventing the wheel. Also, there’s a big difference between enjoying the ‘reputation of being one of the best hard rock bands in the country’ and being the best. Lastly, I needed to enjoy what I was doing a bit more than I actually was. I had to be in a band that I could call my own.

What causes bands to fall apart?

2Blue: All band-members should realize that the band collectively is much bigger than its members individually. When a member begins to feel that s/he is bigger than the band, it marks the beginning of the end.

You promoted your album ‘Wings of A Dream’ with Vayu even though Zedde was already formed by then. Was it weird performing with your former band-mates?

2Blue: To be very honest with you, the rehearsal felt like a big emotional reunion for me. But the album launch concert made me think otherwise. It seemed more like a solo project. The focus had drifted away from ‘Wings of a Dream’.

How diffent is Zedde’s material from the tracks you composed with Vayu?

2Blue: Very! Zedde tracks are more contemporary with a lot more fun elements and sounds. There’s a lot more young energy, which perhaps is a reflection of the age group of the band members. My songwriting has matured too.

Did it help that you’ll already had a fan-following (with Vayu) and hence audiences are more familiar with your music?

2Blue: Yes and no. Yes, because a lot of the organizers believed in what we were doing. The reputation helped. No, because some fans got alienated because of Vayu’s breakup. This is from the discussions I’ve seen in online forums (sigh!).

What can we expect from Zedde in the coming months/years?

2Blue: First up, a single called ‘Mumbai’ followed by a music video. We wrote this song as a tribute to the city that has sheltered many like me who’ve come here on a one-way train with big bags of dreams. We were to debut the song at a Zedde gig on November 28, 2008. But Mumbai was held at ransom by the hands of terror. It was not a time to celebrate music, and so we cancelled the show. But the song holds more meaning for us now than it did then.

If you’ll had to compromise your hard rock sound for something more current to feature in a Bollywood movie, would you’ll do that?

2Blue: This one’s the easiest to answer. No! Unless we are starving.

Do you think lack of exposure is the main reason why Indian rock bands are not on the international circuit?

2Blue: Let’s just say that here in India, a lot of money goes into the making of politicians, cricketers and Bollywood movies. If the same amount of money went into the making of rock-stars, this country would be a better place.

If Zedde was given a choice to perform at one international venue with one current international band, which venue would you’ll love to perform at and with which band?

2Blue: Madison Square Garden, New York City, with Mr. Big!

How big is the influence of social networking sites in promoting a band these days?

2Blue: Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are a real blessing. They help connect with fans and send out gig alerts, music, videos and more. I can’t imagine life without these sites.

You guys seem to have a dream line-up. But not everyone has it so easy. What would be your advice to youngsters planning to take up rock music as a career in our country?

2Blue: A small correction. When things appear easy, look underneath the covers, you’ll see all the hard work. To youngsters planning a career in rock music, I’d like to say that there is no shortcut to success. Master your instrument. If you’re a singer, your body is your instrument. Discipline it, train it, and respect it. Give in your one hundred percent. Follow your heart.

What would Zedde like to be known for, four years down the line?

2Blue: A couple of meaningful albums and a string of monumental performances.
- http://www.bindass.com/post/a-to-zedde/


There is no point wondering what Zedde means because it's random. The rock 'n' roll band just connects with the name. A bunch of boys who've been there and done that as a part of their previous bands, they are rockers looking at doing more original work. And that's what brought them together.
Zedde, a fresh band with old timers is steadily becoming quite a wanted name in the gig circuit, says DNA.

Lead singer 2Blue was with Vayu and guitar player Claver was with Rust Angels.

Zedde was their vision. "I watched Claver play in 1999. At that time, he wasn't in any band. But when I saw him at a live performance I was blown away. I was like, I have to work with him. And when I had this urge to do something new, the first person on my list was Claver," says 2Blue.

With ex-Rust Angels drummer Trevor and Swastika sessions bass player Dusty Ryan joining in shortly, the band was ready to rumble. Even as their popularity has steadily grown on the gig circuit in the city, the band has been silently working in the studio.

If 2Blue recorded eight songs in the last six years with Vayu, he has recorded seven songs in six months with Zedde. "The band was formed to make original music," affirms 2Blue, adding, "We'll have to perform for six to seven more months before we are ready to play a complete three- hour original gig. So yes, we have to play a lot of covers."

But the band adds its bit of freshness even to the covers. "We don't do the covers the way it is on the CD. We just take our most favourite part, play that and then move on to another favourite song and keep it flowing." And that's becoming more important for bands, what with the recession affecting the head count at clubs.

2Blue admits that it's a hard time for live acts though he can't ignore the fact that the last few years have been great for bands. "We've got more venues to perform and greater scope in the last few years." - http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report_baby-let-s-rock-n-roll_1238212


The Guide chatted with 2Blue from bombay-based band Zedde and got an insight into their crazy musical journey

Zedde performing live
When a bunch of fun-and-music-loving men come together, they are bound to create sheer madness. That's how one can best define Zedde's music. From paying tribute to Mumbai to their hit track Party in the pants, their originals are a good mix of sleazy as well as sensible numbers.

Formed in 2008 by former Vayu member 2Blue (vocals), Claver (guitar), Deepu (bass) and Trevor (drums), the band now plays with Akashdeep as a replacement for Deepu.

Their performance is always a combination of originals as well as covers from their favorites, but 2Blue maintains that they add their personal touch to every song. "We do not sing the entire song but pick up our favourite sentences or lines and present it with other songs of our choice. It's something like a blend of modern sound with classic sounds."

He adds that their lyrics don't delve with politics but on the little things in life like love, heart-break and pain.

The band specialises in playing hard Rock from the 80s and 90s and their shows are always full of visual appeal (they use the drill machine).

"Some years ago, I watched Claver play and he blew my mind. I couldn't believe that an Indian guitarist could play so brilliantly. I decided that one day I am going to form a band with him and it happened," adds 2blue about the formation of the band.

The musicians do a fine juggle of balancing their corporate lives with their love for music. Their most popular number Mumbai was launched on 26/11, and was on VH1 for almost a week. 2Blue says, "The song is a tribute to the city, which has given us so much and never let us down. We were so happy when the music played on VH1 and the 10-minute fame was great," he adds.

When it comes to their soft porn music, 2blue shares an anecdote about when they were performing at National Institute of Design(NID) and played Mr Horny. "It was fun to see the men in the crowd looking at the girls and singing the song loudly." - http://www.mid-day.com/whatson/2009/dec/091209-Zedde-Rock-band-Pune-Guide-Hard-rock-cafe.htm


Mumbai-based Zedde is essentially hard rock, something that can be best described as 'Ian Gillan meeting Paul Gilbert.' There is a wide vocal range that meets modern guitar sounds and techniques when this band comes on stage. And, these techniques are not merely restricted to human fingers, says its lead vocalist 2Blue aka Tirthankar Poddar. "If you attend a Zedde gig, I am sure you would not want to miss Claver's electric drill machine guitar solo. Why? I guess it is all because of the way our predecessors have inspired and influenced us," he says, referring to Claver Menezes, Zedde's eclectic guitar player.

Akashdeep Gogoi on bass and Trevor Berchman on drums, complete the ensemble which was formed in 2008. "I watched Claver perform live for the first time almost 10 years back, and had been wanting to form a band with him ever since. But it was only in mid 2008, when I got in touch with him and things started working our way. It seemed like a good idea to put a band together with him to be able to jam with him more often," says 2Blue, who is not the biggest fan of bands that use pre-recorded loops. He justifies, "I believe in giving an audience more than their money's worth. I don't completely understand why any intelligent listener would want to attend a show where the performance is not entirely live. There sure is a market for this kind of music. But I think that market will last only as long as listeners take to get wise."

Before Zedde, Poddar fronted Vayu, amongst other rock bands. "With Vayu, I headlined practically every college gig in the country during 2005 to 2008. But honestly, that wasn't really the measure of success that seemed relevant. Claver and Trevor handled guitar playing and drumming duties respectively, for their earlier band Rust Angels, and have similar stories to tell," explains Poddar.

With Zedde, their focus is to create music that the fans can call their own. "Just to let you know, our song Mumbai, debuted on TV on November 26, 2009-exactly a year after the most brutal attacks on the city. From the posts that we received on our Facebook and Twitter pages, we could tell that a lot of people could relate to the song," he says.

Your connection with the phrase, 'Make Your Mama Proud?' "Oh, that's a time tested piece every time I go on the stage. It has worked for me everywhere. I just have to hold my hands up in the air and clap vehemently, screaming out the name of the venue, followed by "Let's see your hands in the air! Make your mama proud!" - http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/dna-daily-news-analysis-mumbai/mi_8111/is_20100318/strumming


Discography

Party In My Pants

Mr. Horny

Dust On My Window

Mumbai

Thank You

Love Don't Live Here No More

That Girl

Photos

Bio

In mid 2008, singer 2Blue and guitar player Claver, musicians celebrated for their work in Vayu and Rust Angels respectively, got together to form Zedde. Zedde is driven by the undying passion to perform original music and the urge to carry forward the legacy of their hard rock predecessors. Their inimitable style of music unarguably entitles them as Mumbai's best shot at the resurgence of Rock N' Roll.

The Band

2Blue – Vocals

Legend has it that when 2Blue was five, Apollo – the Greek God of music – appeared before him and offered him a potion for vocal strength and prowess. Startled by the divine intervention, li'l 2Blue simply followed instructions and drank the potion. There is no veracity to this story, which perhaps was just the young boy's dream, but what is not is the sheer vocal talent that he has gathered since then. With influences of Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, and Ronnie James Dio amongst others, 2Blue has enthralled fans wherever he has performed. A self confessed maverick, 2Blue believes that a good gig is one where he finds God on stage. That, according to him, is his biggest reward.

Claver – Guitar

Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert – these are just a few of the guitar legends whose music has helped mold Claver's career. But the one man who changed his life in more ways than one is Prince. Claver's obsession with the guitar began during his early teens. Two decades of obsessive practice later, he is now every bit the guitar virtuoso that he once aspired to be. A man of immense respect in guitar circles, Claver's contribution to the Indian music industry is beyond measure. His shelves full of trophies and awards bear testimony to his stature as a musician. Perhaps it was in Claver's genes, knowing the rich musical heritage that his family prides on.

Akashdeep – Bass

Akashdeep’s very eclectic influences – right from Billy Sheehan and Victor Wooten to John Myung and Jaco Pastorius – have helped add a whole new dimension to the Zedde sound. Essentially an adrenaline junkie who moved to Mumbai chasing his Rock N' Roll dreams, Akash has brought with him more than just the bass guitar. A brilliant guitar player, backing vocalist, and bass player; he has more surprises up his sleeve than meets the eye. Come, attend a Zedde gig to find out.

Trevor – Drums

When off stage, he is sober and soft spoken; but put him behind a drum kit, and Trevor metamorphoses into a powerhouse stick swiping machine comparable with the veritable Hammer of the Gods. Influences of Alex Van Halen and Dave Lombardo are unmistakable in Trevor's playing which boasts his exceptional command over phrasing and odd-time syncopation. With an uncompromised desire to break new ground in drumming, Trevor truly is the backbone of Zedde. It's quite a wonder that he says he's a drummer only by accident.