Can You Change Your Tissue Paper Definition? : Clay Play – Motherjane


After a looong gap, Motherjane is back with their new line-up and a killer single. After their lead guitarist (Baiju Dharmajan) and vocalist(Suraj Mani) left, motherjane lost their rhythm guitarist Deepu Sasidharan recently. He is now the managing the new and promising band called Masala Coffee. Kudos to Clyde(Bass) and John(Drums) who have managed to stay together through the hard times; and coming up with something like ‘Clay Play’? Woah! That’s fantastic.

Current Line-up

Vivek Thomas – Vocals
Nithin Vijayanath – Guitar
John Thomas – Drums
Clyde Rozario – Bass Guitar

Music

‘Clay Play’, their new single has lot of difference in sound compared to their previous album. From Progressive Rock to Post Rock does really looks refreshing while retaining the carnatic elements in a more subtle but cool way. Vocals are awesome with all those high octave sustains, but it may take some time for janiacs to adjust to the new singing style and for this particular track, singing along won’t be that easy. Two things I’m so impressed about this track is its mixing and of course mastering. You should listen to this track with a real good headset in HD. Can’t explain the awesomeness that it produce. This track is produced by none other than the mastero: Rex Vijayan. You can easily notice his influence in the track. Another honorable mention goes to John for his terrific effort in drumming. Clyde awesome as always and new guitarist is promising too; looking forward to hearing more from him.

Credits

Produced by – Rex Vijayan
Mixed by – Abin Paul
Mastered by – Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound, New York
Vocals recorded by Binil Eldhose at NHQ

Video

Clay play video is produced by Papaya media, who are famous for their work in movies like Salt & Pepper, and a lot of other stuff.  Have you visited Cafe Papaya? The video retains the old format of motherjane videos like Broken. This time, showing the life of an IT guy who is struggling with his work and eventually taking that difficult decision to quit and to follow his passion. To be frank, I could totally relate to it.

Credits

Produced by – Papaya Media
Directed by – Abhilash Kumar
DOP – Ajay Menon
Editor & Colourist – Saiju Sreedharan
Art Direction – Elwin Charly
Camera Associates – Viswom Charly, Bilu Tom Mathew, Abdul Rahim
Executive Producer – Harshad Ali
Studio – Studio Papaya

Heard that they are working on their new album. Wish you all the best Motherjane!

Note from the Band on the 19th anniversary

Today marks the 19th anniversary of Motherjane!! It’s been a terrific journey so far.

It’s incredible that what started off in Mithun’s room as a makeshift band has come this far . So many great players came in and went out.So many lessons learned and many yet to be learned..smile emoticon.In this linear time sequence Motherjane would like to thank Mithuns’ father – Mr.Raju who funded our first public gig at Fine Arts Hall,kochi.Always grateful to you,and Mr.Paulson Raphael for sponsoring our very first gig at St.Albert’s college.

In hindsight ,we see everything that happened,actually added to the big picture.As in Rex left the band and started Avial,a legendary act which changed the sound of Indian Rock forever and Mithun is spearheading the new wonder -Thaikudam Bridge , Baiju touring far and wide as a guitar demi god ,Suraj scaling new heights as a Rock Poet , Nirmal David became an award-winning animator,Laji and Shyam along with Mithun going ahead with Pseutopia,Santosh digging it with Arka,Deepu into sessions,Deepak dev composing for Movies,Biju,Sesil and Ravi. All finding their respective spaces and in pursuit of happiness and new ideas..
Great pleasure and gratitude in sharing this collective dream called Motherjane. A big thanks for the fans who stood by us all these years .You are people who inspire us to go ahead…Grateful.

Album art - The Crossover

Baiju’s Crossover in June


Baiju Dharmajan the ex-motherjane “God of small strings” has been an ultimate source of inspiration for the guitarist in me. The way he effortlessly incorporates those carnatic elements in to those advanced sweep/legato techniques always amazed me. After his departure from motherjane, he composed three songs in a band called Wrenz united. While some projects like Kashmir are going on an episode of Dewarists in Star World featuring a collaboration of Baiju with Karsh kale and Harigovindan; “sacred science” was a sweet blend of sopana sangeetham.

And the latest information that can be obtained is all about this website: http://baijudharmajan.in. You can hear a mind blowing montage of his upcoming album: “The Crossover” when you take that website. Baiju sir is working with Cochym a management / record label based in London, UK and it seems like that website is hosted by them. Well, beautiful background image you see in the website is now the lock screen image of my office Workstation!

Go to this expressbuzz article and read the full story on the album. There will be tracks called “Cyber Reptile”, “Philia”; There is this one bit in the montage perhaps in the same raga as “maha ganapathim” keerthana which was really captivating and the same will have a great expectation from my side.

All the very best Baiju Sir! Respect!

Motherjane’s new Single: No Contest!


Motherjane, being my favorite band, has filled my day, the 1st of August with this powerful single “No Contest”. It’s after a long gap of one year that they released a single. The studio performance of the newly recruited guitarist Santhosh Chandran was one of the most awaited thing about this single. He being a magician on classical guitar and a guru to Rex(Avial’s guitarist) has done a job great enough to satisfy the janiacs who expected huge! The song is having a similar mood compared to their previous single “Jihad”; Protest! But this one comes with a lot more anger and dissatisfaction embedded within.

The video starts with the news clippings of Nira Radia Tape, then 2G, CWG scams and finally the most ignored Endo-sulfan crisis in Kerala. The lyrics as always was strong, but I fail to understand the point of showing the guys traveling in an imported car. Showing some rusty bridge and near by stuff is fine but would’ve been better if some more thought spent on the shoot location choice. Corruption isn’t that invisible in India that one should go searching and can’t find anything worse than a rusty bridge. The video ends with another news clipping that apparently praises Anna Hazare!

Coming back to the song, I can’t rate it above my favorite “Broken”, but I think it is on par with Jihad. One should hear this track more than once to get a hang of it. I do not agree with IRMP3’s comment that Motherjane is moving away from carnatic music. I could feel a strong presence of it in Santhosh’s riffs but yes, in a different way compared to Baiju. There’s no point in imitating after-all! The man has his own style. Listening to the sound of motherjane over years, we can see that Baiju has softened it during his reign. And now with Santhosh, they’re making it a more hard n strong stuff that cannot cause any disrespect to the Carnatic roots! There were some criticism on Suraj on his inability to incorporate new melodies. Well, I don’t want to comment on that. Suraj is a man who expresses himself very strongly through his vocals and we can clearly see that he’s enjoying it. I don’t think I have the knowledge or musical capability to criticize him.

Overall, I feel this is really awesome enough for a come back! Conveys a strong message through the lyrics and music while there were less help from the video. I wish to view this only as a new beginning, a new era for Janiacs!

Wrenz (Re-)United!


Last couple of years; we saw the rising of Motherjane. But at the end we did feel the pain and disappointment of Baiju -The GOD of small strings leaving the band! Some predicted the end of motherjane, but most hoped and awaited the re-incarnation! Yes, they are back with their new Guitarist, Santhosh Chandran after a small interval. The excitement is at an all time high as the whole thing resulted in pleasant surprises! Baiju who left the band had a reason. Apart from his creative heart urging to explode with riffs, Wrenz was his old band formed in 1989 and later disbanded.

Wrenz United will be having music labeled as International Indian Rock. It consists of Roney R Philip on vocals, Baiju Dharmajan on Guitars, Biju James on Bass and Nirmal Antony on Drums.They released 3 Eps as their debut album which they call is just an invitation to Wrenz, By the moonlight, God’s own country and King and Pawn.

The first song I heard is By the moonlight, in which the first thing attracted me was obviously those mesmerizing riffs by Baiju. I didn’t like the vocals on first listen as my subconscious was expecting him to sing like Suraj of motherjane. Roney have a different style of singing and his powers are different! Eventually I found the beauty.

The next song, God’s Own country is a song about Kerala and you can feel that from the music itself. At some point Roney sings “Ohohoho” That was really captivating and the fans are going to sing that along! If I’m right the Kerala traditional percussion instrument, Idakka has been used which adds to the flavor. As motherjane use Chenda, Wrenz should at-least use an Idakka, Shouldn’t they? Nirmal did an amazing job with his drums where the beats are powerful and have a touch of tradition. Its quite surprising that he is the same guy I saw in the Big Band show on Asianet, playing with Baiju, the Karnatriix bassist Josy and the famous violinist, Balabhaskar.

The final one is King and Pawn, which I’ll rate good but I like the other two better. Did I forget to mention someone? Yep, the BIG guy! Biju (not to be confused with Baiju) the bassist. In all the three songs we can feel his strong presence. He backs it very well and shows the skills in the portions where Baiju and Roney are silent. Wrenz now released two of their videos, God’s own Country and King and Pawn. Videos are having similarity with those of motherjane. Especially, the way God’s own country is shot is similar to Fields of sound of motherjane. Videos could have been more creative, but music fills all those gaps!

Overall, Wrenz United is a good team with potential, professionals who are having great expertise and amazing talent. All the best, Wrenz! Keep rocking!

Battle with my fat aXe!


If one who plays the guitar is a guitarist, Then I am! Been studying western classical guitar for one and a half years along side the young kids, where a fifty percent are forced to achieve it as a career goal by their parents. Sometimes It is annoying. Yet its really fun out there getting a chance to express and be curious like a kid. As the title says, my battle is with a fat aXe, not a fat a**e which makes it a matter of attitude and an inability to quit. I’m highly fortunate that I’m blessed with the latter even though that isn’t the only stuff required.

The fat aXe mentioned here is neither a normal acoustic guitar which we see people playing chords while singing or an unplugged concert, nor an electric guitar that is used to rock! It is the classical guitar. Yes the name explains it well. A western classical instrument. I’m not a fan of a western classical music. I’m just a normal guy having a weakness on anything that’s good or things that attract me at the moment. I was really late to experience the rock culture and music. I got attracted to a band called Motherjane in early 2009 and one of their tracks “Broken” was the first self-acknowledged rock song that I heard and fell in love with.

The rock culture and music will not be a passing fancy when one realized its value. I’ll say that rock music is the one that relates more to the reality than any other genre of music. However I must say that I took some time to become compatible towards the aggression. Actually it is not a matter of compatibility. It is rather an ability to differentiate aggression from noise. It took a lot of time for me to come closer and appreciate some of the master pieces. Even-though rock flies high worldwide, its still in its childhood in my country, India. Bollywood stands like a deep rooted eucalyptus tree that can care less to give enough water for near by trees to grow. Its not just Bollywood actually. There are so many “woods” here that have little similarity with the original one that produces a handful of watchable movies. So basically it was after my teens that I could literally break the “woods” and embrace rock.

By this time, I joined a music school in Trivandrum in-order to study guitar. One specialty about this school is that they start with normal acoustic guitar with pick and slowly moves to classical guitar. At first my teacher thought I may not continue this for long and suggested me to buy an acoustic guitar, when I asked him about buying one. He expected it to cost less in-order to decrease my loss. But the fate was different. I bought a Yamaha F310 CS which cost about ten thousand rupees. This embarrassed him slightly and the only advice he could give me is to remember its price when I feel like quitting! After some days picking with plectrum, he introduced me to the fat axe! Yea, the classical guitar. I don’t need a pick anymore. Have to learn the finger picking style. At first it was a hard nut to crack, but eventually I managed to get things under control. Sore fingers became regular as I had soft fingers and the steel string of my acoustic guitar which I still play in finger style added to the pain.

I passed the grade 1 trinity exam with some difficulty. Now Grade 2 exam is also passed with ease. Now the problem is a growing frustration. I’m facing difficulties playing normal songs other than the pieces that I require to perform in grade exams. I get stuck somewhere in middle when I start to learn a popular song. So My confidence level is not very high as it will be difficult to prove myself if I declare I’m a good guitarist. I love rock and recently started shifting my interest to metal and other powerful genres of music. I equally love music that is sweet. But the wish to play the music I love is growing stronger in my heart and the inability to do that is the root cause of frustration. When I consulted, my teacher explained me with examples that continuing like this is the right path to achieve what I want. Yes, He might be right. A man with an experience of a lifetime can’t be wrong.

I believe in Jihad…


Yesterday was the much awaited motherjane live show at College of Engineering, Trivandrum. I being a janiac managed to go there at any cost even though I’m a part-time student of CET. Well, there were these volunteers blocking many people, but showing the ID worked. They let me in. At that time there was a program called CET Roadies or something and Rann Vijay was there as judge for selecting Mr & Miss Dhwani. By the way the event’s name was Dhwani 2010. At that point of time, all I could see was John’s drums with chenda over there. So there were some moments of patience for me sitting quietly in a corner as I was alone in the midst of people that I don’t know.

After that program, all the lights slowly turned off. I did sense something. Yes! That’s motherjane. I can see Suraj now! Slowly a familiar music (perccussion) glided through, it was the starting portion of the traditional pandi melam which is used to be played in temples during festivals in central Kerala from where I am from. “Yes, they honor their roots!” I said to myself. Suddenly they burst in to their first song, “Mindstreet”. That was the best version I ever heard. By that time, I came nearer to the front of the stage. The next song was “Blood in the apple”. That felt accurate when compared to the recorded version. After that, Suraj came forward and asked us to sing that “taka takita taka takita”. He started off the song which was energy packed! The next song was “The Tribes of Babel”. I expected that he will tell what it is all about, the amnesty international, peace etc, but he didn’t. The song after that obviously was my favorite: “Broken”. That was amazing! Suraj’s vocals were very good. Baiju’s riffs there as I felt were a bit lazy towards the end of the song, but felt really good after hearing it.

Baiju and Deepu then switched to acoustic guitars and all except Clyde as I could see were sitting in a chair. “Oh! No! They are going unplugged!” I felt bad for a moment as I wasn’t prepared for that! First one on unplugged was “Prison Chains”; Suraj said It was about the work which is a part of life, but not life itself! Aah! Philosophy! Suraj as always is great with that. The first and the second one: “Questions” gone as usual impressing the audience that were sitting in chairs and the next one was a song that I couldn’t sing along even though I know the lyrics! “Disillusioned”! I was disillusioned by that performance! Suraj sung it in a completely different way. I would like to call it a “melodious version” rather than an unplugged version!

The next song was the much awaited “Jihad”, the OST for the movie Anwar. They switched back to rock. Everyone went crazy on this one. Apart from other motherjane songs, this was different. I heard someone say they didn’t use the Indian elements here, but I must say that they are wrong. I believe that the song is influenced by Kerala’s very own “mappila paattu“. An accident happened while performing this song as the lead guitar was turned off due to some processor problems but they managed it well with the rhythm guitar and finished the song nicely. I think after that Baiju directly connected his guitar to the amplifier. The next song was “Fields of sound” I think. I don’t remember exactly.

Now, the next thing I’m going to say is a really shameful experience I had in the same night at the CET campus from the so called “commitee members” of Dhwani. I don’t think the show was arranged like a real rock show as 70% were sitting in chairs, another 10% who claims to be the “committee members” were the closest, who didn’t listen to music, drunk, and were doing random things. If they don’t have the ability to enjoy rock, then they must let the others do it. I met a college band “eclipse alchemy” (death metal) there. We were singing along with motherjane as we know the lyrics. But this wasn’t really entertaining them, who don’t know anything about the band or its songs. So first they tried to make fun of us for singing loudly, and obviously it didn’t work. We started to get a lot of attention, so the next shameless act that they can possibly do was to push me back telling that I’m drunk and is going to create problems. But hell! I wasn’t drunk. I’m a Janiac, and for me music is the purest drug and nothing else. But these shameless, jealous, drunk craps that made a fool of themselves out there don’t understand the spirit of a rock show by motherjane. So they were in front just pretending without knowing a word of the lyrics or music, spitting out something about their branch or something, forcing the real fans to stay behind! The final song was “Karmic steps”. This time Suraj requested all the students to come forward, leaving the “committee members” no choice but to let us go forward, Lot of students gathered infront of the stage and headbanged. After the song, lights turned off and they disappeared. I searched for the band everywhere but couldn’t find them. I felt really bad for not meeting them even though I saw them that close.

Coming back to motherjane, they gave a “fantabulous” performance. I saw many live shows of motherjane on youtube, but this one was 100 times better. So that was my first motherjane live experience. What’s yours?

I believe in Jihad, If love is the weapon! \m/

Update: Forgot to mention about two more songs they performed, “maya” and “maktub”! both sounded authentic!

Motherjane to do OST for Anwar!


Wowww! Thats what I said when I saw the official motherjane website! And this is what I was waiting for! Motherjane composing Soundtrack for a movie! That too for a malayalam movie! Anwar will be a stupendous block buster starring the new generation malayalam super hero Prithviraj and yes, A film by Amal Neerad! Music by motherjane adds up to the excitement and expectations for this film.

Currently there is no information about the kind of music as it is not released. Hope it will not be merely the background score, but song(s) in which the lyrics and the riffs together play a role. Another reason for happiness is that I may no longer require to introduce Motherjane to a Keralite! They are going to hit back the shores of kerala like a tsunami! I wish Motherjane, Amal Neerad and team a tremendous success for their movie and its music.

Here’s what I saw on the official website of Motherjane. Click to enlarge!

Hail Motherjane! \m/