Posts Tagged ‘Prakanda Bimba’

(Well it was supposed to be “Interview with Bikram and Bijay Shrestha”, but unfortunately Bijay couldn’t make it to the interview, thus it has taken this form)

Bikram Shrestha has been one of the finest drummers our local underground scene has witnessed, who has been a part of numerous bands as Prakanda Bimba, Taamishra, Angel Dust, Monkey Temple, etc. and also a live member for X-Mantra. Here is a short interview with the guy:

What’s up, yo? Anything specific you’re working on lately?

Bikram: Naah, nothing actually. I’m not involved with any band right now, so I have to say I’m in a break for the time being, before coming up with anything new.

What about the Monkey Temple’s new album which was going under the recording process?

Bikram: I had recorded only a song with the band a while ago, and I’m not aware about what’s going on with the band and the recording process right now.

Prakanda Bimba. Taamishra. Angel Dust. Monkey Temple. Besides the obvious genre differences, what are the differences or distinctions you could find in playing with each of these bands?

Bikram: Prakanda Bimba was primarily a learning process than anything else. For that matter, I’m still learning and it is a continuous process, but it was crucial for even the basic things then.

Besides the genre differences, I don’t find any significant distinction between these bands, but since I’m more into death metal, playing death metal came from my inside more than when playing other forms of music, and thus I felt easy.

So having played such a varied musical genres, which is your favorite genre to listen to?

Bikram: I listen to almost every type of music, but like I said, it’s got to be death metal on the top, followed by jazz and electronic music.

You were also a part of a major death metal band, Taamishra. What happened to the project all of a sudden? Any chance of reforming?

Bikram: Subash (guitarist) had left Nepal to pursue his higher studies and thus the band was dismantled just after. I don’t think the project will reform again.

How did you get into playing drums? From what type of music did you start playing?

Bikram: I was 17 when I bought my first drum kit, after I did my SLC. I started playing them just from that point. I straight away began with death metal, since it had struck me really hard. I had bought twin pedal in my first purchase itself.

So how was the whole learning process? Did you take any course or learned things by yourself?

Bikram: Well I haven’t taken any formal drumming lesson till now, except that I had joined Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory for a very brief time for gaining jazz skills. Beside that, it was all self-learned with the help of my friends, and persons like Sarthak (ex-Prakanda Bimba) had also encouraged me a lot.

What were/are the best and the worst thing that have happened to you as musicians?

Bikram: Well, I can’t recall any worst thing right now, and I am still waiting for the best thing to happen, haha. Being a musician, I think more people have started to recognize me. Once in Butwal, when I was playing with X-Mantra, a bunch of audiences had approached to me. At first, I thought they have come towards me as I was the drummer of X-Mantra in the show, but I was really shocked to have asked, “dai, tapai Taamishra ko drummer haina?”. It is stunning that people even from such unnoticeable places do recognize me as ‘Taamishra ko drummer’, haha.

What changes do you feel in the overall Nepalese underground music scene over the years? From the time Prakanda Bimba first entered the scene to the present times?

Bikram: The obvious changes are – many good musicians are sprouting lately and the sound system in gigs has also improved. Tei ho.

Any of your favorite local bands?

Bikram: Binaash is my favorite local band right now who play my type of music – brutal death metal. I also like Jugaa. From the past scene, I like Cruentus, Maya, Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles and early X Mantra.

Who are your primary musical influences?

Bikram: It’s got to be bands like Deicide, Nile, Origin, Cryptopsy, Meshuggah, etc. and drummers like Derek Roddy, Vinnie Colouita, Jojo Mayer and Dennis Chambers who’ve influenced me a lot. Deicide was the band that dragged me to playing death metal at the beginning.

You (along with your bassist brother, Bijay) were also in a back-up band in Image Channel’s Guitar Maestro’s ‘metal round’. How was the experience with the guitarists?

Bikram: Well, everything was a rush. We only got one day to jam up with ALL the guitarists, and that too, for performing their originals. No wonder, we messed up numerous times onstage. The guitarists were amazing.

You were also session musician for a movie track or something. Could you tell us something about it?

Bikram: It’s not a movie track or anything. It’s just a promo music for a movie called “Batch No. 16” that we recorded in Silence Studios. Actually I had never thought I would be recording something for a movie someday. Ramailai vayo.

So what do you do besides playing music?

Bikram: I do nothing besides playing music. I’m still trying my best to perform the best as a musician. Music is everything that I do.

Any last words you would want to throw to the readers to end this interview?

Bikram: Support music and support musicians, and thanks for the interview, dude.

– Interviewed by Samyam Shrestha