The Void at ToitFilling the void, and breaking stereotypes, one song at a time.

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 featured the very young, all-girl rock band, The Void.
For the uninitiated, the band consists of Felsy Royer on vocals, Vinaya Grace on guitars, Rithika Perumal on bass and Suvarna Magaji on drums.

Their sound is an upbeat one, that combines elements of soft rock, punk rock, alternative rock and reggae rock to give you a complete sound that, well, fills the void. (Couldn’t resist!)

We caught up with them and spoke about being a band first, and then an all-girl band, while their drummer studied for her exams. (We weren’t kidding when we said very young!)

As a band, how long have you guys been together?

About two years now.

And you’re originally from…

Bangalore! Vinaya is from Ooty, but she lives here now.

What is the average age of the band?

Rithika: Just legal! We’re 20, 21, 22 and 23.

…we also are sticking to the line of breaking the stereotype that only guys can play and have a band.

What is the most annoying question you get asked as a band?

Vinaya: “What are the challenges you face as an all-girl band?”

Rithika: It’s not really annoying, but just really repetitive.

So, why ‘The Void’?

Rithika: It just happened. But we also are sticking to the line of breaking the stereotype that only guys can play and have a band.

Vinaya: And also to dispel the myth that if girls have a band, it can’t be rock definitely!

You guys play rock?

Rithika: Yes, more or less. We are all influenced by different things.

Suvarna: Rock’n’ Roll, Rock, Metal.

Rithika: Indie rock, folk rock, and all of that too. And also Blues, lot of that. So, that’s the cool thing because we’re all influenced by different things and we bring that all together.

Have all of you been doing this only for the last two years? Or before that?

Vinaya: We’ve had tiny bands in school and stuff.

What’s your favourite show you’ve done in the two years you’ve been together?

Suvarna: We did a gig at Orion Mall.

…Monkey Town, which is this arts and music festival…we got a really, really good response.

Rithika: Even Hard Rock was good. Or Ooty!

Vinaya: Yeah! Monkey Town in Ooty. Collectively, it’s Monkey Town, which is this arts and music festival we performed at recently.

Rithika: Yeah, we got a really, really good response. But individually, I think we have our own favourites. It differs.

Felsy: I’ve only done 4-5 gigs with them, because I’m new to the band. So for me it’s definitely Ooty.

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You’re new? Who was the vocalist before this?

Vinaya: We’ve had nine.

Nine!!?

Vinaya: Yeah. They just didn’t stick on. They would have problems like curfews, and couldn’t make it to practices and stuff.

And that’s not a problem for you guys?

Vinaya: It is. But I don’t live with my parents. *laughs*

Rithika: My curfew is like 7, but it’s ok. It’s not too bad, and sometimes I can push it to 9.

My curfew is like 7, but it’s ok. It’s not too bad, and sometimes I can push it to 9.

Do you have any pre-gig rituals?

Rithika: Yeah. We’re usually just trying to get our stuff together.

Vinaya: We flip a little bit, and do this last minute writing down of the playlist and stuff.

Rithika: I think I tried a group hug on these guys once, and they’re very tom-boyish and I had to force them, and they were all like “get off me”,  and stuff.

What’s the hardest part about being a band?

Rithika: Mainly financially. It’s not easy being a student and asking your parents for money, saying we’re going for jam.

Vinaya: The thing is, the expense that we put in doesn’t equate with what we get in return. But that’s financially. Otherwise, it’s all good.

Suvarna: And also, maybe the Uncles and Aunties don’t like the idea of girls, or anybody, being in a band. You know, the Anu aunties.

Rithika: That, and also when people see us, they don’t look at us as a band—they see a bunch of girls and immediately stereotype. But when they do finally hear us, they’re like ok, these girls can play music.

Onto more cheery topics—if you guys had to make up a Fantasy Band of your own, who would be in it?

Vinaya: I know who’d be in mine—Hosier! And Mark Tremonti on guitars.

Rithika: Flea, for me, mainly. Chris Martin from Coldplay and Adam Levine! Oh my god!

Suvarna: Myles Kennedy!

Felsy: Yeah! Myles Kennedy, and Adele!

…when people see us, they don’t look at us as a band—they see a bunch of girls and immediately stereotype.

Who’s the diva in the band?

*All band members collectively point at Rithika, the bass guitarist.*

Rithika: What?! Really?

Now, if you could sing/play for a band apart from your own, which band would it be?

Rithika: Coldplay!

Suvarna: Coldplay!

Vinaya: Coldplay!

Felsy: Metallica!

And what are your favourite local bands?

Rithika: So I love a local band called Windoze, because they’re amazing!

Felsy: I love a local band called Final Surrender. They are damn good!

Suvarna: I have a lot! There’s Avial, there’s Junkyard Groove, there’s Black Letters. Also Agam, Indian Ocean, Indus Creed!

Vinaya: I would say Mushroom Lake for now, because that’s what I can think of. They are a Kerala based band!

We’re musicians first, before we’re girls.

What’s the one thing people should know about The Void?

Rithika: We’re musicians first, before we’re girls.

Vinaya: Yeah. We’re still figuring our music out, but we have people looking at us and going “oh you’re good, for being a girl band.”

Rithika: Give us constructive criticism, not ‘good for a girl band’ kind of stuff. I mean, if you’re a guy band, the bar is higher for some reason. We want our bar there as well, and we want to be compared with them as well.