“The Voice Of a Generation honouring its Roots and Fearlessly questioning it’s Rules“
That is Motherjane for you.The “NEW FACE OF INDIAN ROCK” . Motherjane certainly lives up to the expectations. The Band was formed in Cochin in 1996,when drummer John Thomas was looking for new band members. It was the first band Suraj Mani (Vocals) ever tried for.Clyde ( bass) joined them along with Baiju ( Lead Guitars).Rex Vijayan was a part of the band initially but left the band and was replaced by Deepu (Rhythms). Rex later formed “AVIAL“, a Malayali rock band which has a different genre altogether.The band has been together for more then 13 years now and has a cult fan following across India.
Leave aside the metal messiahs and the shredding Kings,what u find different in Motherjane is a music which originates from its roots.The Band has already featured on Japanese and American radio,have opened for Opeth. (Yeah,that’s BRUTAL :P)
“What catches your attention when you will first listen to Motherjane?
The answer is “A Mix of carnatic slides with the speed of light Legatos [:P]..A Mix of Prasanna with elements of Steve Vai,Hendrix. A Bhel Puri of Indian classical integrated with Rock,thats the uniqueness of the band (a.k.a Baiju). A first of its kind mix of two completely different musical styles and they have blended it so effortlessly.”
If Baiju is the soul of Motherjane,Suraj gives Voice to the feelings.Leave aside the Hoarse-Scream Falsetto techniques,here is a man who strives on giving emotions to his vocals rather then trying to sound different.He makes singing look so easy.No wonder they have a fan base which is not in India but spread across 50 Countries.
Clyde (The Buddha on the bass)….’Here is a human being with a clear with a clear uncomplicated Philosophy of Living.You can hear the clear Thump of an evolved heart in the throbbing basslines of our songs’ says Suraj..You can surely call him the underdog in the band,but he is one of the most creative bassist you got in the country.The bassline in the song “Blood in the Apple” depicts the things he is capable of.And if you are talking about a Great bassie,he is always accompanied by a ferocious Drummer. That is what John truly represents.He can easily show off his skills with a double bass flurry,a hi hat-crash combos but he prefers to put different sounding patterns in his style of playing.Adds a Funky feeling to the overall sound and is clearly influnced by Chad Smith of RHCP.
The Killer (Deepu) is always in danger of being overshadowed by his other Guitar Counterpart,Baiju..But HE DOESN’T!!!!..He saved money for 3 years working in a Club to get his Guitar and the dividends have surely paid off.His Rhythm sets up the tone for most of the songs.Really liked his work in “New Mindstreet” from their latest Album “MAKTUB“.Don’t Forget,Baiju wouldn’t be Baiju if not for Deepu.
Forgive me,if im being too partial praising Baiju all the way but being a Guitarist myself i really can’t imagine how he manages to fuse so much of everything in to his solos.”The God of all Strings” or “The God of Small Strings” whatever you wanna call him,if Motherjane is as sweet as a chocolate cake,Baiju is the chocolate in it.[:)].He was the reason i started listening to motherjane,his work sounded so different then other guitarists and his versatility makes him arguably The Best Guitarist India has ever seen.He is the Demi God when it comes to Motherjane fans. [ He is ‘The’ GOD 🙂 ].
It is said if you want to experience ‘Motherjanism‘ catch them Live. Motherjane surely are a ‘Live’ Band.They make a group of People in to a group of Lively people headbanging to their tunes.Already Featured on Vh1 and still more to come.Their debut album ‘Insane Biography’ won the best Album award that very year.Their 5 year work certainly lived up to their expectations with ‘Maktub’ releasing and being one step better then their previous work.Their every song sounds different,every song has that divine feeling.Suraj’s vocals really speak out louder then words,his lyrical content surely speaks Quality.
“Time is the actual distance between people when one is Chasing the Sun“
‘Mindstreet‘ still grooves me to headbang to that song and the rhythm is just exquisite.’Soul Corporations‘ has the best solo of Baiju i have heard and the lyrical content is beautiful questioning the very rules and caste barriers that exist in our country.’Maktub‘ surely has got that ‘Indian’ feeling to it.’Broken‘ comes out as a nice slow-heavy mixture composition.
‘Ode to life‘ is a great feeling ballad which tucks you in emotionally.
“Little sister your name won’t do,
Choose Maya that was mine,
In this Place where there is nothing new,
Thats all i have to leave behind.”
‘Maya‘ is my personal favorite.The song compulses you to headbang on it and has got nice lyrics in to it..Both the albums are arguably the best albums i have ever heard coming from an Indian Band and I hope they take their next album to much greater heights.
The Term ‘Progressive’ doesn’t always mean 10 min long songs with a solo spot for each instrument to be played for long enough(read Porcupine Tree,Dream Theater)…That’s what Motherjane tries to tell with their efforts with compact songs and yet freely expressing their music.
The Title track of Maktub is a really laid out progressive track with the pattern changings and the rhythm shiftings.The Lyrics of the whole album indicates Suraj’s inclination towards Spirituality.Karmic Steps is an excellent Rock Track with Baiju exploding with his solo in the end.
Motherjane is an inspiration for all Indian Rock Bands,and proves the theory if your music is worth listening it doesn’t go unnoticed.Music can break all barriers land or otherwise..That they can stand up and Be Counted and that INDIAN Rock is here to Stay../m\
Insane Biography: 9/10
Must Listen:Mindstreet,Disillusioned,Soul Corporations,Maya ( Infact whole album is worth listening to)
Maktub : 9/10
Must Listen: Chasing the Sun,Fields of Sound,Maktub,Broken.
If America has their Joe Satriani’s and Steve Vai’s , India has Baiju [:)]. Can’t wait to catch them Live.