Interviews

Heathen Beast | Talking about mixing Politics and Metal Music

By Gauren Bhardwaj
December 25, 2017
Heathen Beast | Talking about mixing Politics and Metal Music
India, the largest democracy in the world and the second largest population in the world with close to 1.3 Billion people. Do you ever wonder how many even listen to music? If I may ply a little more liberty, how many do you think listen to metal or say Black metal? Well, there’s no specific answer to it and no round-about answers, either. Nevertheless, This Kolkata trio decided to transcend their through the aperture of black metal music to the people of India and the world. But first, Here’s some trivia:
Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms. - Wikipedia
Heathen Beast is a black metal band based out of Kolkata. The band comprises of three member - Carvaka on vocals and guitars, Samkhya on the bass and Mimamsa on the drums. These names might sound weird to you as these aren’t their real names, well close enough. The names have been taken from the atheistic schools of thought from Hinduism.  The band’s identity has never been public. This might pique your interest but the secrecy around the identity has been a cliched black metal tantrum but this works in juxtaposition with their theme, that they base their music around. The band was formed in 2010 but soon disbanded. However, The band reconciled recently and released a new grind-core album ‘$cam’, that talks about the Indian Government (in effect), and the current socio-political and economic climate in India. Moreover, the band's music is released through 'Transcending Obscurity', a metal record label and promoter. [caption id="attachment_4478" align="aligncenter" width="439"] Heathen Beast - $cam (Album Cover)[/caption] The band has decided to never disband, but they spiral out time and again and then reappear like an avatar whenever they feel that they are required. The first avatar of Heathen Beast transcended as a black metal band while the last one was more grind-core/punk inspired. The band members have disappeared in mist once again and will rise if need be. However, we caught hold of the team through e-mail, wherein they replied most of our questions. Here’s what went down in the DM (mail): Gauren from Loudest – This is going to be a long question, You can choose to answer in parts -  Since all the members of the band have been students of Hindustani Music, What made you guys translate your ideologies and expressions in the form of Metal? Also, since the idea in itself is so massive and menacing at the same time, the virality and propagation would have been more in the mainstream? Why do metal at all? Heathen Beast – Some of us have studied Hindustani music but it was the love for metal that brought us together. It is the love for metal which makes it the most comfortable medium to express our dissent. Metal has always been about standing up, breaking away from the conventional, being yourself, being the voice of those who don't have one. We saw the movement of Norwegian black metal against Christianity and that inspired us, so we chose a similar path. We wanted to however not copy the same Anti-Christ theme as the Norwegians did, we wanted to be the voice against what is wrong in our homeland. So that is why it's been this way, we've never cared about making it mainstream. Gauren – We really find the band member’s moniker to be profound and intense? Where did you derive the names from? Heathen Beast – Being an atheist band, what could be apter than the atheistic schools of thought from Hinduism.  [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LSOHbCCNpw[/embedyt] Gauren – You music sounds very old school and it somewhat feels like you don’t want to play around with the feel of your music. Who would you list as your major inspirations? Heathen Beast – We found our inspiration in a lot of the early 90s black metal bands and more recently in the grindcore/punk scene. [caption id="attachment_4479" align="aligncenter" width="460"] Heathen Beast (Artwork by Mark Riddick)[/caption] Gauren – What sparks the fire in you to do the kind of music that you do? Don’t you believe that government is one big organization and your actions might put you in peril? Heathen Beast – The absolute filth that is religion and the consequence of it has fueled our music, and also the current political climate in India has created a lot of communal disharmonies and it's these events that inspire us. We don't know or care what peril we might be in but we will create what we want to.  Gauren – Your music is very loud and direct but do you think you would shift your theme, ever? Heathen Beast – Very unlikely. Gauren – Where do you think Heathen Beast is headed right now, musically and as an individual entity (politically)? Heathen Beast – For now, we have vanished into the mist. Gauren – What Indian metal bands do you think have the potential of making their names in the ever-shrinking pool of metal around the world? Heathen Beast – We respect every Indian metal band and we believe all of them have the potential, if not right now, maybe in time they will have the potential to make a name in the global scene, they just have to work hard and believe in what they create.  Gauren – What’s your take on Metal music? What do you label your genre to be? Heathen Beast – Metal music is life. We were an atheistic black metal band and now our last LP was Grindcore/Punk influenced.  Gauren – Not taking any more time of yours, When is any new music due? Heathen Beast – For now, we have no plans to make any new music.  

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