For anyone who is a regular at the Delhi Rock scene, Them Clones is a highly acclaimed name when it comes to Indian Rock. A band that was formed in the year 2000, Them Clones has been going from strength to strength, while belting out fabulous numbers. Among their popular songs are ‘My Life’, ‘Awaken’, ‘Zephyretta’, ‘Zoopertrip’, ‘In The Name of God’, ‘Sindrome’, ‘Wait For Me’, ‘Find My Way’ and many more that are backed by thought provoking lyrics and adrenaline rushing sounds.
Them Clones comprises Prithwish Dev - the powerful vocalist, suave Joseph Lalhmachhuana and the cool Gucci Singh - guitarists, Clarence Gonsalves - the magic on bass and the debonair Surojit Dev - the ace drummer.
A Delhi based band celebrated for its sell-out jam packed gigs, Them Clones has been the chosen ones at Channel V’s Launch Pad (2005) apart from winning the coveted ‘Best Band’ award at the JD Rock Awards in a row for the years 2006 and 2007, besides being the second runners up at Channel V’s AMP Big Break All Asia.
On 9th October 2009, Them Clones released their much-awaited debut album ‘Love.Hate.Heroes’ with Counter Culture Records / EMI at DLF Promenade Mall, Vasant Kunj, Delhi. In a candid conversation with Aman Kanth of Spicezee, Surojit Dev – the drummer of Them Clones spoke at length about their trials and tribulations and the release of their debut album.
Aman: Congratulations for coming out with your debut album ‘Love.Hate.Heroes.’ Right now, what exactly are your feelings?
Surojit: (Pauses) Feeling a bit relieved and a little bit nervous as the album is finally out and it should be accepted by the audience. As ‘Love.Hate.Heroes’ contains some of our songs that are already popular, the album should be appreciated.
Aman: Them Clones is an interesting name for a band, would you like to divulge the mystery behind it?
Surojit: Well, Them Clones means not us but our clones. The name is based on Alice in Chains song ‘Them Bones’ and hence ‘Them Clones.’ Basically, our band’s name represents what we are - in Them Clones we live beyond are our daily nine to five lives that are an extension of our personality.
Aman: How did Them Clones all begin - how did you guys come together?
Surojit: Earlier, I used to play with a metal band, but somewhere down the line, I felt that my feel was something different; it was based on the 90s and the grunge scene. Them Clones is what began while I was in a search of finding something different.
Aman: Tell us something about your musical influences?
Surojit: In Them Clones, all of us have different music influences. For instance, I like metal and listen to bands like Rage Against The Machines; Prithwish is a Freddie Mercury fan, who loves listening to Pearl Jam while Gucci likes to listen The Chemical Brothers. So, in Them Clones, we all have an eclectic mix of musical influences.
Aman: Down the memory line, how fulfilling has been your (Them Clones) musical journey?
Surojit: (Smiles) We all had our share of ups and downs as it has never been a smooth journey. There have been hardships. Apart from leading our nine to five job lives, we are also artists on the stage who love their music and the band.
Aman: With huge hits like, ‘My Life’, ‘Awaken’, ‘Zoopertrip’, ‘Zephyretta’, ‘Sindrome’, ‘In The Name of God’, ‘Wait For Me’, ‘Find My Way,’ and countrywide instant sell-out gigs, why did it take a decade for Them Clones to release its debut album?
Surojit: When we started way back in the year 2000, cutting an album was not as easy as it is today where almost anyone can cut an album. Above all, the quality of product was a matter of great concern and this is what took most of the time.
Aman: As a Rock band, did you face any difficulties in releasing your debut album?
Surojit: The process of releasing an album was a difficult one. We never knocked the doors of record labels. In fact, there were people who wanted us to make music in Hindi, but we were not comfortable so did not comply. As said earlier, quality of production was the main issue.
Aman: It is a fact that the genre of Rock in India is in a nebulous and nascent stage, always overshadowed by Bollywood. What’s your take on it?
Surojit: Bollywood will definitely be in the foreground as it has a thirty to forty percent fan following. Yet, there are DJs, Hip Hop scene, electronic and the underground music that caters to the music interest of rest of the people.
Aman: If given a chance, are you open to Bollywood?
Surojit: Personally, I can move on, I can grow, but then Them Clones won’t be what it is. In such a case, there will be music but no Them Clones.
Aman: What’s your message to your fans and the upcoming Rock bands of India?
Surojit: Basically, support the scene, keep doing your stuff and practice. Our album got delayed just because we wanted everything to be perfect.
Aman: With your debut album just out, what’s up next?
Surojit: We have a couple of shows in Mumbai (Hard Rock Cafe), Hyderabad (Hard Rock Cafe) and Delhi (Garden of Five Senses) to name a few. Beyond this, we are writing some new material and hope to come out with some new stuff soon.