1. Let us know how and when you formed Zygnema?
We formed this band somewhere back in 2005-2006. Our guitarist Sid and Jimmy used to learn guitar from the same teacher so that's where the whole journey began. We had to go through a couple of line up changes and we hadn't played substantial gigs so nobody knew us anyways. Mayank(drummer) and Ravi (Ex-Bassist) joined us Somewhere in December 2006 and thats where we kicked off from. Starting focusing more on writing our own stuff rather than playing covers. We were on a hiatus for over a year Sid had to leave for LA to complete his education. October 2008 is technically when we got super serious and playing a lot shows to gain some momentum and attention. So yeah thats where it all started.
2. What is the situation in India regarding metal bands and generally metal scene?
Its debatable. You surely cant survive as a metal musicians cause we have NO LABELS supporting this genre of music. The literacy rate in this country is quite low and this genre of music doesnt appeal to 99% of the Indian audience. But still, there are quite a lot of acts who are rather holding the fort and ensuring this goes on for a few more decades with a hope of evolution and growth in metal music.
3. Did you ever had any problems with the authorities or have you heard that some other bands ever had problems with live performances in India?
We have had that problems quite a few times. You step on the stage, you're into your 2nd song from the set and the cops come and shut you down. Its quite common cause its very easy for the authorities to associate these kind of gatherings as a dangerous or an offensive gathering and they associate metalheads as junkies and alcoholics. Politicians blast music on PA system all night in the name of religion and the cops dont move a muscle to question them cause they dont want to trigger anything that comes close to Religion. Bollywood also gets away with permissions and other stuff cause big names are involved and everyone is paid up so we all know how that works.
4. How difficult is it to organize a metal concert in India?
Extremely difficult. As I mentioned earlier, getting permissions costs a bomb if you want to do everything legally. Plus you got to feed the authorities from underneath the table. Plus 99% of the sponsors don't want to associate with metal music or metal festivals cause of a zillion stupid reasons. If bands do it all by themselves, then they put money from their own pockets and depend on ticket sales hoping for a Recovery. Profit is a far fetched dream I would say.
5. Tell us about the feedback of Indian audience and conditions of the venues where you play?
The Audience is fantastic. No complaints on that. There are quite a few good venues across India, mainly metropolitan cities who support and allow bands like us to host our own gigs, mostly at our own risk. Its improved and changed a lot cause the live band culture (for all genres) is picking up and a lot of independent musicians know that live music is the only way for basic survival.
6. You were already in Europe, is there a big difference between the European and Indian public?
Yes if you're asking with respect to common people then yes. But if your asking with respect to music lover's, then no. Just a plus point that Europe has a lot more people who enjoy, appreciate and live on heavy metal music. That fact all by itself is encouraging for struggling bands like us to keep playing Europe with a hope of somewhat making it :)
7. How would you describe your concert experience in Europe? Did you have any particularly interesting situations?
All of em. 4 Shows in Europe and the response was Overwhelming. Doesn't matter if there were 200 or 20 or 2000. Wacken we had about 8000 people. At the end of the set, we could see a huge sea of fist's and hands up in the air. Same thing at Inferno. It was a smaller venue called John Dee. About 300+ people tightly packed inside. We got a great response after every song and it was intense. Our gig at Bastards club in Osnbruck was very special. Hardly 50 people..But all the heads were moving and some of them were whipping their hair like a windmill. sold most of our remaining merch post that gig. I mean such kind of appreciation and acknowledgement keeps you going you know. Makes you believe in your work.
8. What are Zygnema members doing besides playing in a band?
Jimmy (Vocalist)is one the most successful entrepreneur in India. He has his own burger joint called Jimis Burger. He has 4 outlets running and a lot of people are eating those burgers as we speak.
Mayank is now a fulltime sessions drummer. Plays with a few big names in Bollywood. Thats where the money is and if you want to pay your bills and take care of your family, thats your way out. So he enjoys playing that kind of stuff and his demand keeps him busy which is great
Leon (bassist) has a day job. The man has a MBA degree and is a finance consultant. So thats what he does. unfortunately he had to pull out of this tour last minute due to certain unavoidable circumstances and we respect priorities. So we got an old friend on board to take up bass duties for this tour. Asxem is a fulltime studio music/arranger/producer. Also plays guitars for a band called LETTERs from Mumbai.
Sid is a fulltime guitar teacher. Also a consultant for Trinity College London (Music Examination board) and a sessions musician. Slowly venturing into studio recording/ad jingle work.
9. You have recently recorded a video for the song "I Am Nothing." What is the story behind the song and how was on the set?
Its solely on all the crimes/sexual abuse women have to go through and how very few convictions have been made. Rest of them are walking free. Rape is an unforgivable crime and the offenders must be hanged. But everything in this country takes a political or a religious angle. The victims and their families are side tracked and all we do is show support on social media. Thats how helpless we are and we cant do anything about it. There is no happy ending to the video cause honestly nobody can see hope until a massive revolution breaks out.
10.This month you'll embark on another big European tour. What do you expect?
Just hoping to have a lot of fun and hoping to see lots of people for the gig. We are desperate to play our music to a brand new set of audience and we are really excited. Hoping this helps us to get noticed a little bit and helps us to grow at the same time.
11. What advice would you give to the bands who would like to play in India?
The struggle is real and the food is spicy.Brace yourselves. People in this country are awesome and if you ever plan to play India, do not hesitate. You will be welcomed by all of us.
12. At the end, do you have something to say to your fans?
Thank you for everything that you guys have done for us. We have said this before and will continue to do so. You guys complete us and we are truly greatfull that you guys have invested immense faith and belief in us. A lot of love and respect from the Zygnema Camp. See y'all soon
Reform Rebirth Tour 2019