Peter Cat Recording Company at ToitGypsy Jazz, Ballroom Waltz, and a Devil-may-care attitude—that's PCRC for you!
We think good food, good beer and good music make for a great combination, and that’s what the Sunday Simmer Down at Toit is.
As a part of this initiative, we feature bands from around the world, and each of them have a great musical story to tell.
Last Sunday we had the unique sound of Peter Cat Recording Company, with their signature blend of gypsy & cabaret tunes.
For the uninitiated, the band consists of Suryakant on vocals/guitar/organ, Rohan on bass, Kartik on organ/guitar/electronics and Karan on drums.
Their sound is a unique one, with elements of Gypsy Jazz to Ballroom Waltz. We spoke to them about their ‘100th’ show, the Delhi music scene and the everyday struggles of a band. (The bitterness, made a little better, with beer.)
So as a band, this is your 100th show right?
This is our 100th show?
That’s what it says on your page!
Who wrote that? This is probably our 200th show, that must have been just some publicity stunt.
But it’s our last show also, at the same time. The next time we play would probably be a reunion show. That might be in March, maybe.
As a band, what is the most annoying question you guys get asked?
“How did you get the name of the band?” That’s the most irritating.
Also, the other one being “ what genre do you play?”
So do you guys drink beer in general?
Some of us drink it.
Kartik: I just do psychedelics.
Suryakant: I prefer spirits. I’m a spiritual person like that.
As a band, do you guys drink together a lot?
Suryakant: Ya. We end up spending a lot of time together. We all took our first sips of alcohol together, about ten years ago.
So, why is this your last show?
We don’t like each other anymore. *laughs*
When you’re not making enough money to have children, that means your business has failed. Once your business fails, you have to change your business venture.
Is this a permanent thing, or just a indefinite hiatus?
Suryakant: I’m marrying a rich girl. That’s my plan. She’ll make more money than I am and she’ll be liberated in every sense.
Kartik: I’m going to be a cab driver, because I heard they earn a lot.
Rohan: Right now, those guys are making way more money than we are. Like waaaay more.
In the six years that you guys have been playing together, which is the best venue you’ve played at?
This place called the Penthouse. Because it was raw and the cops showed up. Basically it’s home ground, so we could do whatever the f*** we wanted.
Is Delhi a nice place for a band?
No, it’s terrible. Those guys don’t care about music or art or culture. Only money.
How did you guys survive for 6 years?
Suryakant: Because we’re a really good band.
Kartik: Also, Bangalore saved us. Every month we would come and play here.
Out there, we basically play so we can eat at restaurants. They don’t pay us much and are like “theek hai, khaana khale na!” (it’s ok, you can eat the food!)
So literally, three times a week, we eat when we have gigs. Otherwise we don’t eat!
Which is the best show you’ve had until now?
Rohan: Our best show is yet to come. Got close a couple of times maybe, but our best show hasn’t happened yet.
Suryakant: Potential has not reached that level. Because we are lazy. No venue in the country has matched our expectations—it’s impossible to match our expectations. Ourselves, for the venue, anything.
Kartik: Sometimes the music is there but you don’t have the curtains. Sometimes the curtains are there but you don’t have the set. That’s it. There are venues where we have had great shows, but you don’t get the 100% that you want.
You’ve kind of already answered it a little, but as a band, what is the biggest challenge for you guys?
Rohan: Just trying to live a normal life.
Suryakant: Having normal dreams like buying a house, getting married, etc. This guy, Rohan, almost went to jail twice for just living in Hauz Khas village. That’s how Delhi is.
Kartik: We have parties upstairs, the cops show up and drag you outside, beat you up a little bit. Just because it’s Delhi, and we have alcohol and they’ll want to see bills for it. Or even stuff like “why are there foreigners in your house?”, or any girls for that matter. They just show up because they know a party is happening.
Delhi is just not a very good place to live. The atmosphere you’ve anyway been hearing about, it’s quite f***** up.
Switching back to more cheery topics, is there a diva in the band?
Suryakant: Of course! We are all divas!
If you had to be in a band apart from your own, which one would it be?
Rohan: We all have bands apart from our own!
Suryakant: We all started with metal, except me. I’m the one who came in and said, “Guys! Let’s listen to some jazzy shit.”
Alright! If you had to make up a Fantasy Band, with any musician in the world, who would it be?
Suryakant: My dream band would be me, Kartik Pillai, Karan Singh and Rohan Kulshreshtha. And our sound engineer.
Rohan: I think I would agree, provided we get paid ten times what we are now. That would definitely be a fantasy.
Karan: Internationally, I would like to play with Jimi Hendrix. But I can’t. Because he’s dead. Maybe in the afterlife.
Suryakant: If Jimi Hendrix was in my band, I’d kick him out in two minutes.
Who do the ladies love the most?
*everyone points at Rohan*
Suryakant: He’s the official love demon.
Finally, if there’s one thing you would want people to know about your band, what would it be?
Suryakant: That we’re better than them.
Kartik: If this is individual answers, for Suryakant, we’re better than them. For me, we’re not. For Karan, we’re as good as them, and for Rohan, we don’t give a f***.