The Indian Prog. Metal Band "Noiseware" Makes A Comeback!
Noiseware was certainly one of those bands that created a huge buzz once they came out into the independent music circuit in 2009. They were one of the first Indian bands to incorporate the new "Djent" based Progressive Metal sound and they surely perfected it. The music was raw, powerful, yet extremely groovy and meticulous at the same time. They were ripping on 8 string guitars when Indian bands were slowly venturing and trying to figure out music that was tuned that low. Sadly, due to work and personal commitments, they didn't release any music for quite a while. BUT THAT JUST CHANGED! Before the year ended, the band announced that they would be releasing their first full-length album titled 'Clouds At Last' on 18.1.2018, and IT'S AN ABSOLUTE RAGER!
We had the pleasure of talking to Adhiraj, the guitar player from Noiseware about the album and more importantly, the whole process behind making and releasing a record - something that is usually kept at a hush hush with most bands in the country. Here's what he had to say:
Loudest: Not many people know much about what goes into making/recording/releasing a full length record, especially the financial side of things. What did you guys decide on in terms of the amount of finance put into the record vs. the quality that can be achieved, in light of eventually making some money back from sales?
As a metal band, I'd say the Return on Investment (ROI) is super minimal. We are lucky that our expenses on the audio front aren't much at all. In the sense, apart from the consumables like strings/heads/etc, it's all done in-house at my studio, so we do save a huge sum of money there. We were also very fortunate to have help from many parties - Furtados supported us with the Drum Kit for the recording and Levi's Lounge let us use the studio for tracking. However, the expenses on the music video were a fairly considerable amount which has all been from our pockets. I think for us, the Return of Investment is more if people just listen to the music, watch the video and support what we are trying to do. I think after all these years, we've realized that metal in India will probably continue to be niche. The one avenue for us to kind of break even on all these expenses has of course been playing the handful of shows live. But I think ROI from content is a long shot in India, in the sense, I don't see it being achieved anytime soon.
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The Drum Recording Setup for Noiseware at Levis Studios![/caption]
THE ADVANTAGES OF PUTTING RESOURCES INTO A TOP QUALITY MUSIC VIDEO!
It is evident that there aren't many Indian Rock/Metal bands that have made professional, top quality music videos - either due to lack of finances or the low expectancy of resources, as Adhiraj explained. Their goal for the band with their music video was simple - in whatever maximum amount of finances they could spend, create a world-class video. They wanted to compete and be at par with videos made by bands internationally. They took help from "their unofficial 6th member" Kaushik Sinha, someone who's been around with the band since the Noiseware TV days. They also took the expertise of DoP's Amogh Deshpande and Arshad Khan. All this was topped off by Rajdeep Paul, who worked on the VFX for the video. It was something that Noiseware put a lot of attention and time into.
Although it's a straightforward video where you can see the band playing, you can certainly see that a good amount of money was put into the video. It sure looks like a professional, top-notch production! The biggest takeaway from this easily is this - it is important to consider the visual aspect of your music and further, more important to make sure that the process for the same is done very diligently and professionally. It might seem something beyond the process of making a record, but putting a face on the record is as important as the whole process that happens before it. Adhiraj further added,
Video content is absolute king right now, and kind of always has been. Look, I grew up on music videos and discovered half the bands I listen to because of them. So whatever may be the video, it's super important for a band to put in the time and investment in making a quality music video. Yes, the spend is a lot and the ROI not so much, but it's kind of like the spend on putting the music - equally important.
Watch the video for 'Iridescent' here:
THE EVER-GROWING IMPORTANCE OF PR
Another important part of making and releasing an album is that of PR. With the presence of Social Media becoming bigger and bigger, making effective noise has become quite a difficult task. Further, with growing complications of analytics and sponsored content, it is vital to ensure that your PR Campaign works effectively. Noiseware has always been aware of the importance of PR and Social Media. In comparison to most bands, they have made a lot of creative content since their inception. The Noiseware TV episodes and Show/Tour Vlog's have in a sense sustained their identity in the years they haven't released any music. Further, it is something that was visible from their announcement of the record to now. A good amount of work was put in, which did seem to work out really well. As Adhiraj says, it is absolute key to have a PR campaign that is well thought out at a time when there is an ocean of stuff that you see online everyday.
It's not often you see a band continuously sustain themselves without releasing much music. Noiseware has been able to make it work by constantly playing live shows and creating as much content along with it to support it. It's more than clear that before heading into the whole recording process of the record, they had an idea of what they wanted to do, how they wanted to budget out their finances - a mixture of the DIY attitude, topped off with some intelligent financing and PR work. I think that is something bands are either losing sight of or consider not to be too important. Considering being a musician/band is a full-time business, it's high time new bands coming in start looking at examples like Noiseware and make sure they have a set goal in mind. Again, the music is not something that is to be compromised. Noiseware's video for'Iridescent' shows that. The album itself is a wonderful journey through emotions and the music is always the most important part of it all, but it needs more attention to keep the machine behind the music going.
"The album is definitely about a journey - of self discovery. But there's a strong underlying physical space journey associated with it, which is very subtle. It's for people to hopefully pick apart and decide for themselves, what to make of it. I think subjectivity is very important in any art form - letting your audience decide for themselves what to make of the presentation - whether it's films, music, art, whatever."
If you like what the band does, go ahead and buy their album and merchandise. Support their machine here: