An electric musical extravaganza was on display in Mumbai earlier in the month of September as the South Side Story Fest took the stage. Thaikkudam Bridge, one of the many outstanding performers at the event, stood out as a shining example of musical genius and captivated the crowd with their spellbinding performance. The band underlined once more why they are regarded as one of the most avant-garde and dynamic performers in the Indian music scene with their distinctive blend of genres and contagious energy.
We had an exclusive conversation with the band members backstage after they played at South Side Story this month and on all things, musical. We discussed the band’s growth, its iconic songs over the years, the artists, and the band’s goals for the future.
Excerpts from the interview:
What inspired the formation of Thaikkudam Bridge, the band and how did the journey escalate?
Actually, this was supposed to be just a one-time thing. We were doing songs for a television show on Kappa TV called Music Mojo. We had all just got together for it and we thought that would end there. But then we started getting calls and from two or three months after it got released. We all realized that all of us were musicians at the end of the day. Till then we were all doing our own solo career like playing sessions and stuff. So after this, we just thought we will give it a shot together as a band and that was how Thaikkudam Bridge was born.
With whom do you share some of your musical tastes and influences? What impact have they had on the band’s music?
There are a few of us like myself and Ashok who are into rock music. Some others are into film music, then there are some who are into modern Hindustani music. Some are into hip-hop. So that’s why we have all sorts of influences and that’s why we are a multi-genre band.
Your music blends various genres. How would you describe the unique sound and style that Thaikkudam Bridge produces?
Basically, what we have six instrumentalists. The instruments are basically two guitars, a bass, a drum and keys which makes it a western-rock band. Apart from that, the violin gives an Indian flavour. Most importantly, we have like six or seven singers who bring their own styles. Two among them are disciples of Rashid Khan, Some being versed in Hindustani sing folks well. So that is the reason for us having a wide range of genres. But basically, the band is a rock-based one.’
Fish Rock was the break-through song for Thaikkudam Bridge. Was there an inspiration behind this swagger and how did this impact the band’s journey?
That was actually a really big breakthrough. The thing this is completely based on his Govind’s fetish on fish. Like he loves fish and the doctor said that he’s got cholesterol and that he can’t eat fried fish which was his favourite. So this was based on the frustration that he can’t eat fish that he gave out to the world. This is the interesting story behind how Fish Rock was born.
Your song “Navarasam” is known for its social and political commentary. Can you shed light on the message behind this song and the role of music in addressing important issues?
Navarasa is a tribute to the art of Kathakali and it is kind of a dying art today. That is the thought behind the song that we should be preserving our traditional arts like Kathakali which is like Bbasically like oppression. It’s about oppressing different kinds of art forms, philosophies, ideas and it’s about rising above all that and expressing that to the world and in current days, youngsters hardly have an attention span of 5 seconds. It is difficult for these kind of art forms to survive. For example, Kathakali starts at around 2 or 3 in the morning and it goes on till 6 o’clock till the dawn.
What is the future direction for Thaikkudam Bridge? Are there any upcoming projects, albums, shows that the fans can really look forward to?
We are currently working on an EP and there are some other interesting collaborations that we are looking forward to.
Being someone who was really moved by your “Nostalgia” track, when can we fans expect a second?
Nostalgia is not an album actually. It’s one video with 4 song tuned like a medley. Actually we have released a second one in 2016 or 15. And to be honest, Thaikkudam Bridge has evolved after that actually. So, I mean, we don’t want to forcefully do anything. We really like to express what we are feeling currently. So, like, Music Mojo was supposed to be a one-off thing. Then it got crazy and we did a follow-up thing in Music Mojo 3. Then, as a band we have to do original stuff. So, we released Theevandi and other songs. Then we released the entire album, Navarasa in 2020. Up next, we are looking for EP and we don’t have a particular idea that we want to do a nostalgia or we should be doing some other stuff. We don’t have some special ideas like that and we really don’t think that far ahead. But music should be spontaneous is what we beleive. The emotions that we are feeling right now, we should be able to express something thought that.
Could you offer some tips to budding musicians and fans who want to break into the music industry?
Advice to musicians I mean, personally I would say just do it for the fun. Do what you love; don’t do it for any other reasons because there is no point in doing it for money or fame beacuse at the end, it doesn’t really matter.
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