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.
This Sunday we’re featuring the very unique and very trippy sound, or rather experience, of Suraj Mani and the Tattva Trip.
For the uninitiated, the band consists of Suraj Mani on vocals and guitars, Naveen Thomas on guitars, Dinkar Nayak on bass and backing vocals, and John Melvin on drums and percussion.
Their sound is a unique one, which combines elements of poetry and rock music, making it a conversational performance, inviting the audience to think and become a part of the ‘trip’. Suraj Mani breaks down the entire experience for us.
What’s the trippy part about the Tattva Trip?
Well, The Tattva Trip is an idea that frees us (the band) and our audience for the road less travelled. Because the songs and stories are delivered from the perspective of a symbolic traveller, (a point further amplified by the band appearing with half painted faces) the Trip tends to spark off social conversations in individuals and hence society. Here’s a thought, “re-frame your journey, transform your world!”
Here’s a thought, “re-frame your journey, transform your world!”
For the uninitiated, you’d describe your music as?
It is Rock poetry and yet it breaks a lot of accepted musical rules. It is philosophical, conversational and layered with twists and turns.
Are you looking to release an album soon?
Yes, though not in the conventional sense of the word. I think something’s due by the end of this year.
Your dream line up?
I’m really enjoying playing with Dinkar Nayak (bass, backing vocals), John Melvin (drums, percussions) and Naveen Tomas (Guitars). Great vibe, lots of laughter and general craziness that’s making the trip lots more fun.
If you could play in any other band, which one would it be?
Globally, Youtube has become a very important place to announce your music…
When you’re not working, you’re ___?
Well I am an Engineer by qualification and apart from doing music, I run an air conditioning company and a record label.
Local bands + Local brews =
Do you have any favourite beers (at Toit or otherwise)?
I’ve heard people rave about Toit brews though I myself do not drink. I do love the food at Toit. It’s right up there.
While this lineup is relatively new, some of you have been in the scene for decades now. What’s the big change you’ve seen, in the scene, over the years?
Globally, Youtube has become a very important place to announce your music because most people want to see music and not just hear it. In India I’ve noticed that the Live music scene has grown, especially in the pubs and restaurants all over the country, and that there’s an audience who are into that. They are my heroes!
What’s the best and worst thing about being a band in India right now?
The best thing about being in a band remains that one feels blessed to make and share ones’s music. The worst is that there are too many well-to-do pirates out there who are not yet aware of their responsibilities as consumers and fans. It’s an awareness issue and hopefully whoever reads this will switch their views on the matter— http://www.surajmani.in/what-about-the-bees/
Two things are special…when a song chooses you as its instrument…when your audience falls in love with these songs and begin to sing along
Do you guys have any pre-gig rituals?
There is the whole half painted face thing that happens and that highlights the transition between normal life and taking stage as a Tattva Tripper
Best musical experience you’ve had as a band.
Two things are always special. One, when a song chooses you as its instrument. Two, is when your audience falls in love with these songs and begin to sing along because it resonates with them as much as it resonates with you.
Both these aspects make me appreciate the essence of what it means to live in harmony.
A lot of your songs are about very relevant issues. Did you always plan to have a social message in the songs, or did it happen naturally?
My weakness is that I can be a very opinionated person and my blessing is that I have been given music to beautify my views before presenting it to others. It allows me to be myself in a society. Best expressed in these lines-
“You’re a beautiful note in a symphony of spirits
A thread in our tapestry of dreams
Where every colour blends together
Like the droplets, the oceans, the rivers and streams”