20 glorious years of rock and roll: Parikrama
One of India’s oldest, highly respected and the most loved band, Parikrama celebrates its twentieth birthday in June 2011. Parikrama, which means ‘orbital revolutions’ has literally come a full circle. Started way back in 1991 by a bunch of starry-eyed teenagers – Subir Malik (keyboardist and manager), Nitin Malik (vocals), Sonam Sherpa (guitar) and Chintan Kalra (bass), the band was soon joined by Saurabh Choudhary (guitar) and Srijan Mahajan (drums), often accompanied by Shambhu Nath (Indian/western percussions) and Imran Khan (violin) – it touched the pinnacle of success on sheer musicianship.
A first of its kind, Parikrama was the first and the only band that provided free download of their hits like ‘Open Skies’, ‘Till I Am No One Again’, ‘Rhythm and Blues’, ‘But It Rained’, ‘The Superhero’, and the ballistic, headbanger’s anthem ‘Vapourize’.
And what more, a veteran of umpteen livewire performances throughout the world, starting from its first ever concert on AIDS awareness in Delhi, performing at the prestigious Download Festival in Donington (2007) and opening for the big daddy’s of heavy metal - Iron Maiden, Parikrama has done it all.
Twenty years and still going strong, Parikrama is one Indian rock act that went from strength to strength, winning more fans than any other desi rock act could have ever imagined in its wildest dreams. Here’s saluting to the spirit of Parikrama, may this ride continue forever…till eternity!
Going down the memory lane, Parikrama’s charismatic vocalist Nitin Malik shares some of the glorious moments in the history of Parikrama with Aman Kanth of Zeenews.com.
Here are the excerpts:
Aman: Going back in time, how did it all begin?
Nitin: It was basically Subir who got us all together as he knew all the guys individually. He was the ‘common friend’ to all of us and the senior most.
Aman: Was the ‘road to rock’ easy?
Nitin: Personally for me, I think it was not as tough as most people would like you to believe. I think it has been quite a smooth sailing throughout. And the families were kick ass in their support.
Aman: Your most memorable moments during the last 20 years?
Nitin: When I saw guys from Iron Maiden headbanging right next to the stage in the wings, smiles plastered across their faces, showing us a thumbs up in the middle of our very first song ... That was like WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Aman: How do you see the evolution of Indi-Rock scene over the past 20 years?
Nitin: The listeners demand more and more of original material from bands, I think they’re almost done listening to covers, which is very good.
Aman: Twenty years and still going strong, what’s the thing that kept you together for so long?
Nitin: M U S I C . . . . .!
Aman: When the entire flock of pop stars swayed to the tunes of Bollywood, ever tempted to join your cousins?
Nitin: Till a few years back, Bollywood was a taboo subject for English rock bands in the country but a lot has changed in terms of cinema and its music in the last few years. Earlier the answer would be a strict ‘NO’. Now, I would say lets see if there is something offbeat or interesting in there... we’ll think about it.
Aman: Apart from your age, any other difference you notice in Parikrama over the years?
Nitin: The ride has only become smoother and the broth sweeter…
Aman: Twenty years of rock and roll and never headed to studio to cut an album. Why so?
Nitin: Oh there is enough material there already to make 2 double albums…the whole point is to give back to the fans for what they have given us for free. Hence the free downloads.
Aman: The future plans of Parikrama?
Nitin: See the whole world and play for people in every nook and corner of the globe.
Aman: Any advice to future rockers?
Nitin: You are not bigger than your band and your band is not bigger than the music. It’s all about the music...always!