We hung out with full-time drummer and part-time funny man Jai Row Kavi at his residence and killer practice pad in Chuim Village for some coffee and also to check out his rig. We spoke about his history of drumming, about the bands he plays with, the gear he uses and his occasional metamorphosis into alter-ego, Vasant Rao.

Neerav Gupta: When did you first begin drumming? Did you have a tutor, or were you self taught?

Jai Row Kavi: I started playing in 2002 at a little music school called Allegro Music in Bandra. A friend of mine was studying guitar there and I went to check out the drums just for kicks actually. No particular reason. I had my first lesson with Aatur Soni. Gino [Banks] was a senior of mine in school and I was told to give him [Banks] a call by some common friends, after which he invited me to his garage to hang out.

Gino was in a bunch of bands at the time, playing with his dad [pianist Louis Banks], and I used to go hang around in the garage, watch them rehearse, go to gigs, help him carry gear and tech for him.

NG: What were the first lessons you got from them?

JRK: Standard rudiments, basic grooves like 2 and 4 on the snare, 1 and 3 on the kick. The most basic quarter note, eighth note grooves, and it started advancing a bit more from there. My own thing was that I wanted to be in bands and just play music. That’s what I wanted to do; that’s always been my thing.

NG: Who would you count amongst your primary influences on drums and the specific technique or styles that you were inspired by? Do you draw inspiration from non-drummers or even non-musicians for your own drumming?

JRK: Back then it was Chad Smith [Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Otto [Limp Bizkit], I was obssesed with Incubus [José Pasillas]. I don’t know if I got any techniques from them but I would try and pick nuances. Things that I’d try and study; why is the hihat open here in this part or why is he playing a china?

Even now when when I listen to music, I’m thinking about that. These are things you kind of learn to understand as you seek more information about the things that drums bring to music. Say, for example, you’re playing with a metal guitar player, and he starts palm muting. A staccato cymbal would make more sense, or a china during a breakdown bit. I still look for nuances like that that and try and understand what works best for any situation.

Say for Chad Smith, who is a super powerful drummer with groove, I’d played to ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ [1991 RHCP album] and play those grooves and try and understand them. And I knew exactly what he was doing. His hihat opens at a certain place, the kick drum patterns. And I always played rimshots which was something I always did, dunno why. A lot of guys don’t do that, that’s fine. With drummers like José Pasillas, I loved how he incorporated his splash cymbals, something he got from Stewart Copeland [The Police].

Banks would give me new music every now and then. He’d give me Tower of Power – with the great David Garibaldi. I’d try and study those grooves, I’d play to them basically. [At the time] I didn’t know how to notate or anything. I tried to focus on what is this drummer playing and how is he playing his hihat, his kick drum, and what is his approach

Dennis Chambers back in the day, a lot of John Scofield, this amazing band called Screaming Headless Torsos which had Jojo Mayer on drums on that album. And I didn’t know that for the longest time, it was really hard to play that and I was physically incapable. I didn’t have the technique but I’d still struggle and play along just to have fun.

NG: Were there any advanced techniques that these drummers were doing that you came across later after going through the whole groove phase?

JRK: Specifically with Dennis, if I was to talk about him, he just seemed like this guy who’s playing super fast, super loud and super consistent, but a lot goes behind that. Dennis studied with Buddy Rich, and Rich told him to practice with a pedal with the spring off. That’s insane man. And Dennis is even against practice pads. He believes that you should play on pillows or by putting phone books under your arms so when you move only your hands move. You can tell that his wrists and arms are fucking strong. Things like that when you kind of study later.

What helped me the most is trying to understand just the head-space of what that music is and how it should sound like. Or what Dennis brought to that. For example, when he played with John Scofield and Gary Grainger on that ‘Loud Jazz’ album. And there was this funky drummers video with Dennis and Gary, and ‘Funky Drummers’ with Chad Smith and Flea.

Basically it took a long time for me to realize that it’s best to take a little bit from everyone and you have be your own person. My influences are so diverse; I’d be listening to Meshuggah, I’d listen to Dennis, Textures, Periphery, Karnivool.

The thing is that before I went to music school I didn’t know what I was doing. Ranjit [Barot] has analogy of a gali cricketer – just whacking the ball blindly and hope that it goes. You don’t know what goes behind the timing of things. That’s what my whole playing was before I went to music school and understood what I was doing. I’d practiced my paradiddles; I’d practiced my double strokes; I’d practiced my double bass. These are endurance building exercises. There’s a whole science behind it why this should be like this.

It’s so subjective because it works for some, it doesn’t work for some. But again, it boils down to the fact that the more you practice your technique the better your ideas you have in your head will come out super easy. So I think technique is super important. And you remain injury free, I have no hand problems or anything like that.

If someone, for instance a guitar player, asks, “can you make those eighth notes on the hihat a little more prominent?”. If you understand what that means, if you’re familiar with those terms. That’s what studying music does and then notating things can really help you in many ways. That means you can read basic rhythm, and which means you can read a fuck ton of books. Ted Reed Syncopation is just quarter notes and eighth notes, but what you can do with that stuff is insane. It’s thousands of ways incorporate those four bars.

NG: So when did you go to Musicians Institute (MI)? What techniques and styles were you introduced to at the institute?

JRK: I went in 2006 for the Associate of Arts program. The guy that taught technique, this guy called Rob Carson, he was like a jedi master. He was, at the time, seven time world rudimental champion. If you didn’t go to that school, you would have probably never heard of the guy, which I hadn’t before.

He had the ability to make everyone forget whatever they knew before they came to MI. Everyone left playing that same way, like the way they held their sticks. Which is quite amazing if you think about it. I think that was the best class I’ve had in my life. That class was for one year.

I came back and taught for 4-5 years. And it’s hard to teach people to forget what they know and to teach them your way of doing things. Carson taught in marching bands, and it’s almost like going to military school. There’s no way I’d hold my sticks apart from the way he taught me. Even if I’m playing a pad, there’s a certain way I’d hold my sticks that would be exactly the same.

I also studied jazz drums, latin drums, and some other styles. There was this really nice class called ‘Inside Studio Drumming’, which was a class on studio greats like Jim Keltner, Steve Gadd, Josh Freese, Kenny Aronoff. The class was studying their styles and why they were called for a certain session. In Los Angeles, each guy’s a specialist in a way. Like Josh Freese would be called to a session because he’s known for that big, laid-back groove, to give you an example. He’s the king of 6/8. Then Kenny Aronoff because he plays a little ahead of the beat. Not out of time, but he’s known to push the song if you want that kind of a vibe for the song. Steve Gadd for fusion or jazz.

Then we had classes on styles like funk drums; rock drums which had physical exercises and fills to add thickness to the playing. That came naturally to me because I am a rock drummer. There were also reading exercises where we had to study theory and harmony and play a little bit of keys. I wasn’t too good at the theory bit, but I was actually decent at ear training, like recognizing different intervals.

It’s always good to understand what you’re supposed to bring to the table. That role needs to be understood. I’m obsessed with trying to be the best drummer in that situation. And I love playing, it all really boils down to that.

NG: Did you play an instrument before you played the drums?

JRK: I noodle on guitar sometimes. I understand music beyond drums. That’s important for drummers. You’re not playing just solo, you’re playing with a band.

It’s always good to understand what you’re supposed to bring to the table. As a drummer on a particular song what is your role? Some songs you could be keeping time. Some songs that have specific parts that are a hook or riff. That role needs to be understood. And that comes only from listening to music and then studying it and putting it under a microscope and understanding why that should be that way.

I’m obsessed with trying to be the best drummer in that situation. And I love playing, it all really boils down to that.

NG: Do you take out time to learn and practice new techniques or do you just rehearse with bands?

JRK: Something I’ve been going back to is Ted Reed’s Syncopation, and the different ways you can utilize that on the kit. For example, just playing around the toms and reading what’s in the book, playing it around the toms in a triplet manner, accenting whatever you read basically. I’ve been going back to that. I’ve been studying The Art Of Bop drumming. Little bit of double bass here and there.

NG: Are you needing to play double bass other than in Pangea?

JRK: No, but I like to find little spots to throw it in. I’ve been playing with Amit Trivedi – he’s got some songs that are ‘rock’. I smash the shit out of that just for fun.

NG: What does an average practice day consist of for you?

JRK: I’m not as organized as I should be, the way I used to be when I was in school. Back then I practiced for a good 6-8 hours a day. We’d have to because we’d have homework for the next day for every class. There was always something to do.

This is what I wanna work on, personally, technique wise try and play some of the softer stuff as soft as I can. Loud stuff there isn’t a problem at all. That’s what I’m trying to go for – to be as dynamic as possible in whatever I do.

I have to do certain things to train my body to do that basically. With the Art Of Bop drumming, I don’t play any jazz music at all. I love it and listen to it. Linear grooves, stuff like that. I’m always reading Modern Drummer Magazine, DRUM! Magazine, and I play the transcriptions in these magazines.

NG: Do you have a practice or warmup routine before getting on stage?

JRK: I play quite a bit. My hands are in good shape, but nothing quite honestly. If I feel my hands are cold, I warm them up with a couple of rudiments, I stretch my legs and my hands quite a bit before, stretch my back out and stuff like that, nothing specific as such.

NG: What bands or artists are you playing with full-time at the moment? How do you manage playing styles that vary from project to project?

JRK: Blackstratblues. Indus Creed, although I haven’t played with them in a while due to date clashes. When I don’t play, Andrew Kanga fills in for me. Pangea, Divine, and Amit Trivedi. Also a lot of session work that is usually in the studio, but people do call me for one-off live performances.

NG: How do you manage playing styles that vary from project to project?

JRK: Honestly, it’s not something that I really focused on or anything. It just happened because I listen to a lot of music and soaked that music in, and I actually enjoy them. So it really boils down to the fact that I like playing what I play in these different bands.

The Divine thing came about after I asked their manager if they were looking for a drummer to play with, which is something they were considering themselves. At the time, his band was him, another rapper and a DJ. And I thought it would be hip to add drums to it. I always wanted to do something in that hip-hop zone. I love playing that set also.

NG: You are currently playing with Amit Trivedi’s [film music composer] backing band and have also recorded sessions for other film music composers. When did you transition into playing sessions and recordings for film musicians? How is playing in a backing band different from playing in a band that you regularly drum for?

JRK: People probably heard me live and they would ask me to come and record a song. See, I’d be called for heavier music sessions. For the heavier approach even if it’s not metal or whatever. I can’t really pinpoint when it happened, but it happened gradually and picked up in the last 6-7 years maybe. That’s the thing – I’ve always been working since I came back from MI. I’ve been playing with everyone and anyone.

When you’re playing that much, other people notice it and they’re like, “we want this guy”, which is awesome for me. People are noticing what I do or what I bring to the table. People would call me for work, and then I did a lot of work for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, quite a few recordings for Vishal and Shekhar.

That scene is completely oblivious to what we are doing in our scene here. Random people would call me and say, “aapne Chennai Express main bajaya, humko wohi feel mangta hai.” Or, someone would be like, “ye gane pe kaun khela, usko bulao.” Often with these Bollywood composers, it’s not the composer you’re dealing with, it’s the programmer or arranger. These arrangers are known by people in the scene, and they come to indie gigs or gigs in general, so they know what we’re up to in our scene.

And then OML got in touch with me in 2013-2014. They wanted to put together a band with Amit to play at that year’s NH7 Weekender. He wanted to play live, and he’s a real chill guy to work for and work with. Basically they called Warren, who was kind of the band leader, arranging the set and stuff like that. The band comprises of the whole of Blackstratblues – Warren, Adi, Bevan, me, and a bunch of other musicians like Chirag Katti on sitar, and a few other guys.

I’ve played with a bunch of Bollywood live acts, but full-time with Amit. Amit is, honestly, a great guy to work with. Gives me a lot of room to do my thing as long as it works for the music. He doesn’t have to. It’s his gig, it’s his name. I actually have fun playing that set. Even his songs, some of them are funky, some of them are heavy, some of them are with brushes. I do try to sneak in a few of my own things. Everyone in this band, apart from the gig, is doing nonsense, passing time, laughing, joking. So that’s why I like being part of this band.

NG: People say that playing with musicians from the film industry is akin to selling-out. Do you think that is a fair judgement? Would you say you took up the chance to play with these musicians because of the opportunities it provides, or because you were genuinely interested in playing the music? Would you say that it is financially essential for a musician in India to play such gigs ever so often?

JRK: It all boils down to this: this is my job. A guy who says that probably has a day job. This is what I do full time. Any artist in the world at some point has to do something to fund his passion side of things. And I’m still playing drums.

Every time we play, my thoughts aren’t like, “this is a bollywood gig I can do whatever the fuck I want, they don’t give a shit.” It’s never like that. And it’s a long set. Sometimes his [Amit Trivedi’s] set is 3 hours long – that’s almost 32-35 songs.

Everyone’s gotta live their own life. Everyone’s got opinions, and that’s fine. My thing is that I’m playing drums. The bottom line is that I make money doing this. I do what I want to do on the side, and that’s fine. I’m totally happy. I make money to buy more gear like snare drums. I just wanna play drums, travel the world, that’s it.

NG: What kind of styles are you playing in this set?

JRK: There’s funk, there’s rock.There are some songs that have parts that I would have never played in my life. There’s this one song that’s inspired by Bengali baul style, for example there’s this song called ‘Sawaar Lu’ [from 2013’s Lootera] that has a pattern.

Some of his Dev.D stuff, which is almost funky. Then there’s ‘Emotional Attyachar’ which is like a ganpati beat, which is something I’d never play. I studied his stuff and my goal is to make it sound as authentic as I can for the listener. I would never play those grooves otherwise, but I am playing it as efficiently as I can, which is what my job is. That’s what it boils down to – it’s a job.

Everyone’s gotta live their own life. Everyone’s got opinions, and that’s fine. My thing is that I’m playing drums. The bottom line is that I make money doing this. I do what I want to do on the side, and that’s fine. I’m totally happy. I make money to buy more gear like snare drums. I just wanna play drums, travel the world, that’s it.

NG: Who are some drummers from our local scene that you look up to and love to see play? And some upcoming drummers who you think are very talented and who have a bright future?

JRK: Ranjit Barot is definitely most influential, Gino Banks, Kurt Peters, Lindsay D’mello, Jiver [Jivraj Singh] from Kolkata is doing some cool stuff these days, Vishal Naik, who at one point was India’s truest jazz drummer and could swing his ass off.

There’s so many drummers these days. From some of the young guys Andrew Kanga sounds pretty hip. There’s drummers that are all over the country, now they all hang out and shed together. This whole crew from Delhi. Suyash Gabriel’s really tight. I like what Tarun Balani is doing. He is one of the truest jazz drummers in the country.

NG: What is it about Pearl drums that you like about their kits, as compared to Tama or Mapex? Why do you like to use the Pearl Eliminators over other Pearl models of double bass pedals, or even pedals made by other brands?

JRK: I had been playing other drums before. Furtados Music actually approached me to check out Pearl drums, and offered to help in regard to that. I had played a Master’s kit before, and then I actually ordered my own Master’s which was pretty amazing. It was an all maple kit. Then I heard and played a Reference and just had to get my hands on one. They are super strong, they don’t go out of tune, they are reliable which is what most Japanese and German made things are. But after hearing the Reference there was no competition for me.

I’ve played pretty much everything out there over the years, like custom DWs in the States and Tamas. It also boils down to support. Furtados gave me that support which is why I drifted a bit in that direction.

About pedals, I don’t necessary like long-board pedals. I’ve tried Demon Drives and Tama Speed Cobras. I’m not much into that heel-toe thing that’s not my space. I did play Tama Iron Cobras when I had a Tama back in the day. I liked the weight of the Pearl Eliminators. I have the kevlar straps installed, instead of the chain, with the red cams. They haven’t died on me and I’ve put them through everything. I’ve had these pedals for over five years and I take them with me and they survive everything.

NG: You were a long-term Sabian users and then switched over to Meinl Cymbals. How are Meinl cymbals different from Sabian? What is it about Meinl cymbals that you have come to love?

JRK: I was with Zildjian before Meinl, and everything was good. The support and everything was fantastic, but if I wanted a specific cymbal, it was very hard because they didn’t make that in a different size, you know? When I heard Meinl, that was it man. I just could not go back to anything else after playing those, as cliched as it may sound. And it all boils down to the way they make their cymbals. They’ve got some intense research and development going on. In the last five years where they’ve taken their company is just ridiculous.

These are actually cymbals that originate from Turkey. What Meinl is doing is that they produce them in Turkey with these cymbal experts, who are hand hammering them. They are then finished in Germany. And I’ve seen this process, it’s quite fascinating for me. I saw all the cymbals that came from Turkey and they all looked the same, but when they leave the factory you wouldn’t imagine it’s the same cymbal.

Sandblasting, for example, they do stuff like that, and their lathing process. And the versatility that they have. Meinl Byzance has six different types – brilliant, dark, extra dry, traditional and vintage. One branch in that tree basically. And again if you wanted a traditional in a 6″ splash to a 22″ crash, they’ll make it for you, which is something that I was missing previously.

They’re a fantastic company to work with. They know who we are and they know what we’re doing here, and they actually give a shit man. If you want suggestions or if you want something custom, or if it’s something that is new and exciting they will build it for you. And considering we’re in India, no one really gives a shit, but these guys do, it’s quite amazing.

I didn’t sign onto Meinl because of this, but it all boils down to the sound. They’ve got a great team of people in India. They’ve got a dedicated artist manager who knows everything about the cymbals, and he’s a guitar player! And that’s quite amazing, but that’s his job he’s gotta know everything about everything.

I actually approached them and they were kind enough to have us on board. We shed with Ranjit quite a bit, every time we’d go back he’d have some new cymbals, and they’d be so different from what we were used to that one day it just had to happen. Because these are sounds I’d never heard before, there’s no comparison and it sounds like I’m saying that over and over again, that’s just the way it is.

They’re [Meinl] a fantastic company to work with. They know who we are and they know what we’re doing here, and they actually give a shit. If you want suggestions or if you want something custom, or if it’s something that is new and exciting they will build it for you. And considering we’re in India, no one really gives a shit, but these guys do, it’s quite amazing.

NG: You have been using Vic Firth sticks for a while now. What do you like about Vic Firth and what models do you use?

JRK: I love playing Vic Firths and the way they feel. I got in touch with them and get my sticks from them. I play the 55A series. When I was studying in music school we practiced with these massive marching sticks. Because of that I used to play with these really big sticks. Now I’ve come down to the 55A, which is between a 5A and a 5B.

Whatever the gig is, whatever the music is, it’s one stick now. Which is what I wanted for the longest time. Which was hard for me to settle on before, like you’d play a big metal gig and I was playing extreme 5Bs. Which is something that boils down to technique.

I love the way these sticks feel. Their Tala Wands are great, their brushes are great. They don’t break that easy. I’ve had one pair for like 3-4 weeks which includes practice every day and a session I did. It’s completely chewed up, but I like the way it feels. They’re all pitch balanced and density balanced. So that same pair will be as dense as each other.

I use the hickory sticks. I have used maple, but I find them very light. I have some oak, which is interesting. Oak is a stronger wood, and they’re light. I just like the way 55A feels. I’ve tried a bunch of signature models as well. I like the Dave Weckl model.

I used to play F1s of Vic Firth’s which had a round tip, but I was hitting so hard that round tip the round tip will dent the hell out of all your heads.

NG: You have a superstar guitarist alter-ego called Vasant Rao. How did that identity come about? Will we ever see ever see him appear on a stand-up stage?

JRK: Half my job involves playing drums, the other half is sitting around doing nothing. Waiting at airports, waiting at soundcheck, waiting on whatever. You have a lot of free time to do a lot of bullshit.

This particular thing happened at one photo shoot I was doing with Tough On Tobacco. It kinda came from someone I’d probably met at some point. Just that kind of a guy. The video from Sid’s [Coutto] terrace was the first one. I always pickup someone’s guitar and try to do whatever I want to do and it just happened, there’s nothing to it. It probably stems from multiple people I’ve met over the years.

NG: So I used to play drums for many years, and switched over to guitar as I felt I had a lot of music in me that I wanted to get out, and also because I could express myself better musically that way. Have you ever felt the desire to compose or write music in the past?

JRK: I want to play guitar, I love playing guitar, and if I’d play I’d just write riffs, power chords and stuff like that. I’d love to actually start. But I play so much drums that I never get down to doing it but I’d like to at some point in the future.

NG: In India, I’ve noticed that it is common to come across guitarists, keyboardists and singers, but not many drummers and bassists. Because of this, many drummers and bassists play in multiple bands. Why do you think this is the case?

JRK: People are probably drawn more to the guitar rather than the drums. Singers like singing or like being in the spotlight. It’s just a personal thing, there are definitely more guitar players and drummers, and it’s also not easy being a drummer. Not very practical in this city because there’s no place to setup a kit.

It’s just a lot easier to buy an acoustic guitar and start practicing anywhere in the world, but for drums you have to really want it for a long time, until you get a place. I played on a practice pad for a long time. I remember when I’d just started my first lessons I had to get a drum pad. I wondered, “what is it, a little pad that makes noise?” It was actually just a rubber thing made out of wood. But again it’s about respecting the fact that one day it’s going to happen. You will get a drumset. Back then there were no jam rooms. Luckily I had a place. It’s very hard being a drummer, and you have to be away from your instrument so much more than a guitar player or keyboard player.

Some people are attracted to some things more, like me or many other drummers have been attracted to the drumset and how cool it looks. Some people like the guitar, some people like to sing. I’ve never been the kind of guy who wanted to be in the spotlight.

The drummer’s job is to play a beat strong and consistently and that’s something that takes a while to understand. Initially you can show everyone that you can play loud and fast. But that is the role of a drummer – to play beats consistently and to make people dance.

A band is honestly as good as it’s drummer. A good drummer can make an average band sound good. It’s all about meat n potatoes – kick snare and hihats.

NG: What does the future hold for you? Do you see yourself teaching drums again? Or trying playing other styles of music like jazz and fusion?

JRK: I enjoy teaching drums, but I haven’t been teaching because I’ve been busy playing. There’s so much material out there on Youtube. A lot of people ask me to give lessons. It’ll happen soon, I feel like I want to work on some stuff of my own. I have played jazz and fusion with Niladri [Kumar, sitarist], and Gino’s dad. I was over at his house one day and played on a song for his solo album ‘Prism’. I never thought I’d be on a Louiz Banks album.

Musically, I’d like to write good pop songs, with guitar and drums, maybe sing I dunno.

NG: Are there any techniques or things that you would want drum students to keep in mind when approaching the drumset?

JRK: Definitely start off with understanding all your rudiments. Basic rudiments being single stroke, double stroke, paraddidles. Foot technique do that on hands. Listen to music – that is the most important thing. Everything you do and practice in your room by yourself must be applied in a musical sense, otherwise it makes no sense. And have fun, enjoy playing drums. I love doing that.

NG: What do you do when you’re not drumming? Any hobbies?

JRK: I play PlayStation, hang out with my friends, go watch films. I like to get out of Bombay every now and then. For now I’m relaxing and enjoying some time off. I like to cook, enjoy eating new things. Some of my friends work in the hospitality business, they are always trying to make things, some of my friends are amateur cooks, we hang out eat food, and cook.

NG: What are 3 essential rudiments or techniques you think everyone should learn?

JRK: A paradiddle, some sort of the six stroke roll, and the paradiddle-diddle, which is basically 6 notes. Also consistency for whatever you’re doing. It’s fine if you can play these rudiments fast but if you find that it’s hard to play them soft, try doing that.

NG: 3 essential pieces of tech a drummer should have?

JRK: Your own pair of sticks. There’s a lot of drummers around that show up without their own sticks and ask the sound vendor for a pair. That’s ridiculous. The least you can do is carry your own sticks. I always carry my cymbals and snare drums. I like to play my gear everywhere. Also an open mind.

NG: 3 drummers you’d like to get a lesson from in person?

JRK: Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers and Matt Halpern or Matt Garstka. But Vinnie, he’s the king of kings. Vinnie and Dennis for me are the top two guys for sure.

NG: 3 favorite albums that you go back to every now and then?

JRK: Periphery’s ‘Periphery III: Select Difficulty’; the ‘Jazz Ministry’ album with Vinnie Colaiuta at the Baked Potato. I listen to that all the time. Also Textures – ‘Silhouettes’, and ‘Drawing Circles’ and Karnivool’s ‘Sound Awake’.

NG: 3 essential Meinl cymbals that you must have?

JRK: 14″ Benny Greb Sand Hats, 22″ Sand Ride or the 21″ Transition Ride, a big stack which is a combo of 18″ Traditional China and 18″ Vintage Crash.

NG: 3 favorite music venues in the country for you to play at or have played at?

JRK: I miss Blue Frog so much. Some of my best memories being on stage would be at Blue Frog, but that’s not there anymore. I like playing at Garden of Five Senses in Delhi. I like amphitheaters, but I also like big indoor venues, a closed room drum sound where nothing is flying away. I like the Bandra Amphitheater too. Anything with a view is something I’d take. We played a corporate gig at the Taj Aguada in Goa which is on the cliff overlooking the sea.

Anywhere in Shillong is good too. The last time I was there for NH7, with Blackstratblues and Pangea, it had the best view ever. The setup was stage, me, drums, people and massive pine cone trees on the mountain with greenery everywhere and clouds were going through. It was quite magnificent.

What did you think of our interview? We would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.

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