Inner Sanctum play pure Death/Thrash Metal and they hail from India. Yes, India – what could be more exotic for us. Also in India the Metal scene keeps growing, and basser Michael and singer Sänger Gauray tell us more interesting things about it. The band starts their first German tour tomorrow, which are also the first shows outside India for them. Which means, the perfect timing to introduce this band to you.
Hey could you first of all introduce the band and its members? Michael Greetings from India! We are Inner Sanctum from Bangalore, India. We have Chintan and Suraj and guitars, Gaurav on vocals, Abhinav on drums and I handle bass duties. Inner Sanctum has been around since 2006 and we officially started gigging live in the summer of 2007. It has been a long and crazy journey so far, but we have loved every moment of it. Gaurav : Hello ! Thank you for having us! We are Inner Sanctum, hailing from Bangalore India, where the beer flows gently and the herb is green and good. We have Chintan and Suraj who handle the guitar duties, Chintan is also the man responsible for the sick riffs that hurt your ears. Michael is the man on the low end bass, Abhinav our skin beater and of course Gaurav who is taking advantage of the fact that in this modern day and age, people consider screaming as some sort of a talent.
You are playing Death/Thrash Metal, but what makes your music unique? Gaurav: It’s not unique. The only death and thrash that was unique was when it first came out. However, you don’t expect to hear metal coming out of the third world, primarily because of the fact that it culturally bears no resemblance to the norms of the west. Yet there are plenty here who love this music because the anger and the aggression in metal helps us relate to our anus like surrounding environment.
Why did you choose the band name Inner Sanctum? Michael: Well when Chintan and I started jamming back in 2006, we really didn’t have a name, it was an untitled project. After we roped in Gaurav and Abhinav and we were live ready, we had to decide on the band name, and stupid as it may sound, we named it after an adult flick from 1991 with the same name. A lot of people think that it has some profound meaning, considering we’re Indian and the Inner Sanctum is the sacred or the inner most place in a temple, but not really. We’re just a bunch of dudes who like heavy music, beer, herbal remedies and women. Gaurav : Porn. You don’t want to reach “In Her Sanctum”?
How the idea did came up to form a band and why did you choose Death/Trash Metal as you music? Gaurav : Like we said earlier. India with all its feats in the modern world still remains a backward country. There is something horribly wrong, with the society, the values, the people and the government. In short it’s a breeding ground for metal bands. Angry young folks who want to give a finger to the establishment naturally get drawn to metal, you can’t help it! Michael: All of us listen to heavier music, and when we decided to start a band, that was the kind of music we were looking to play.
You are soon heading, to tour Germany, what are you most looking forward to? Have you been touring outside India before? Michael: That’s right! We’re really excited about heading to Germany. This will be our first shows outside India and we’re definitely excited about playing to a completely new audience. I’m pretty sure that not too many people had heard us before this, so that’s great. Hopefully we can build up a small fan base in Europe and be able to return again to play more shows in the future. Gaurav : Oh we are excited for sure! This is our first tour as a band. Some of us from the band have visited Europe earlier but this is the first time that we will be playing shows there. We are looking forward to the crisp German beer and having a good fucking time on and off stage.
You will also play at Metalfestival Poland with many other bands like Accept, Satyricon, Volbeat and others. Is there a band you are especially looking forward to, to see them live, you haven’t seen before? Michael: I think all of us are going to be running around the festival like crazy trying to catch as many bands as possible, while being completely shit faced. Apart from Red Fang, I haven’t seen any of the bands on the line up before, but I’m looking forward to catching them again along with Down, Karma to Burn and The Dillinger Escape Plan. At the end I’m going to make sure I catch at least a bit of every band playing. Gaurav : It’s a very exciting affair playing a festival like this. Each guy in the band like different bands, for me it’s gonna be Down, Destruction, Karma to Burn, Red Fang and Sceptic. I’ve already seen Satyricon once here in Bangalore, but then again I am not that much into black metal.
You’ve already played with Metallica, it almost can’t be better. Is there still a band you would love sharing stage with? Michael: Loads! But I’d love to share stage with Gojira, Mastodon and The Ocean. Gaurav : That was probably the highlight of our career as a band. As kids you always wanna join a band and rock out with your heroes so we have been very very lucky that way. But yes, there are a some bands we would like to share the stage with like Gojira, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Opeth even though their music isn’t the same as we play, we love to watch and play high energy shows! Pretty kicked about playing with Vader at Chronical Moshers too, one of my favourite bands!
Your EP Provenance was released in 2009 and will now be officially released in Germany too, what can people expect of it? Gaurav : Well, we just hope people like it and if they get curious you must know we are launching our full length next year…so watch out!
You are hailing from India. I am sure not many of our readers have a clue about the Metal Scene in India. Is there any or how is it? Michael: I think most people are surprised when they hear a metal band from India, as they don’t expect the kind of music to come out of India. There is a metal scene in India, it’s definitely not as big as Europe or the US, but there are a lot of really great bands, writing some awesome music. Over the years there has been a lot more focus on the Indian metal scene with many international metal acts stopping over in India on their tours. Gaurav : Its picking up man, slowly but steadily. Of course there is a loooong way to go for us to reach a level where it’s as good as Europe, but it’s a start nonetheless. Kids are showing up at shows, buying merch supporting bands, it’s a great thing to see. Bands too are taking things a lot more seriously these days, regarding their shows and releases, you can see the quality of the scene improve one step at a time. Some noteworthy bands from the scene would be the longtimers Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos...other than that over the years loads of bands have springed up and made an impact like Devoid, Escher’s Knot, Zygnema, Undying Inc, Bevar Sea.
Do you get many possibilities to play shows in India or is it hard to get any? Gaurav: It´s hard. Especially being a metal band. There are a handful club shows you can play, and then the odd festival. Venues are tough to come by as well.
Are there any Rock/ Metal Clubs Bangalore or not? If so can you recommend some for our readers? Michael There aren’t any clubs in Bangalore that cater only to metal. There are a couple that have metal bands play, but it’s not much. Most of it is a DIY scene, where bands organise their own shows and get support from other local bands. There are some good local bands here, like Bevar Sea (Stoner Doom), Kryptos (Old School Thrash), Eccentric Pendulum (Progressive), Eschers Knot (Groove) and I’ve gotta plug my side project, Shepherd (Sludge/Heavy rock). There are quite a few metal bands from other cities in India too. I’d definitely recommend Devoid and Zygnema from Bombay as well. Gaurav There are a few pubs, but only a couple have a proper stage where a band can perform. There are some elitist jazz pubs, who would never allow a metal show…not to mention the size of the stage in such a place finds it hard to accommodate a bonsai tree.
Do you think it is more difficult for band from India to gain a foothold in Europe or USA , compared to a band for example from Norway or where ever? Michael Well I guess you can say that. India is not really a country that people look at to find metal bands. But with the internet, it’s a lot easier to get your music to people from across the world. It’s a lot of hard work for sure, but every band wants to get their music out of their country, so you find a way of doing it. Touring on the other hand is a completely different scene. It’s definitely not easy for a band from India to tour Europe or the US. It is expensive and completely alien to us, but with enough focus and determination and a lot of work, it is possible. Gaurav : Well we haven’t played in Europe yet so we don’t know. But its definitely going to be harder in Europe because there are a shit ton of bands there, and its not gonna be easy to stand out unless you are doing something fresh and phenomenal.
Nowadays it is much easier to get fans from all over the world because of Facebook, Twitter and Co. What would you do If those medias wouldn’t exist? Michael We wouldn’t be having this interview for sure. Haha.
I think the internet has changed the music scene completely, some might not agree that it has changed for the better, but I feel it’s definitely helped a lot of bands. I wouldn’t have heard bands that influenced me to pick up a guitar and start playing this kind of music for starters. We wouldn’t be able to play outside India and I have no clue what we would have done without it Gaurav : Probably live an unexciting life .
What are your dreams, what goal you wanna reach with you music? Gaurav : When we started out as a band, our biggest ambition was to play a good entertaining show. Now we really wanna push the boundaries to whatever level our abilities and resources allow us. We wanna make sure that the scene back home grows and that we contribute to it generously. We also dream of a lifetime supply of free beer and weed and sex haha.
Do you have some last words for your fans? Michael: Come check us out at one of the cities we’re playing in, buy us a beer or buy our merch. This is probably a good a cause, if not better, than donating to Red Cross or Oxfam.
June 8th - Chronical Moshers Festival
June 12th - Nachtleben - Frankfurt
June 14th - Soundcafe - Munich
June 15th - Bandhaus - Leipzig
June 16th - Bambi Galore - Hamburg
June 18th - MTC - Cologne
June 19th - Klangstation - Bonn
June 21st - Metalfest Open Air Poland
Thank you and all the best
More information can be found at:
Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Band Date: 2013-06-07