DIARY OF A JANIAC

Trespassers Are Welcome! :D


After a very very long wait, HEADBangalore had finally been blessed by the presence of motherjane. This was the first ever unplugged gig I was going to see live and the excitement started pumping in me from about a week before the gig itself.

October 15th took its own sweet time to come and when it did arrive, it came with a bang. The day started with a birthday party for me and soon, I met up with a couple of janiacs from school(Balaji and Dhruva) and our journey to Kyra began.

We reached the venue at about 6.30 and I ran inside to the toilet to paint my face. There was a lot of painting to be done. 15 minutes down, I had painted myself and though, many people had questions about my bowel movements due to my extended session in the toilet, I was pretty pleased with the outcome. (It was the first time I painted myself)

In another half an hour or so, I had finished painting Balajis and Dhruvas faces and we were waiting for the other janiacs to arrive. Soon, the hugest janiacs in Bangalore, Raja and Praveen arrived and in a while, we were all painted and ready for motherjane to hit the stage. We went in and took our seats (read temporary chairs to be sat on till the show began).

A few people came to us and asked us whether we were motherjane and I must admit, it felt great to be in the spotlight :P - sadly, good things last for a very short time and the spotlight was soon removed of us.

At about 9, the show began with the Gods taking their seats on stage. I ran down from the top floor right to the front. At the start of the show, we all sat on the floor and were left with our mouths wide open at the insane feel and aura around each song. It felt extremely different from a plugged gig and it threw us off our feet. Though we had seen videos of the unplugged gigs previously, the songs when played live right in front of you gave rise to a billion emotions all at the same time within us.

They started the gig with Disillusion and Suraj explained the philosophy behind the song and the reason it came about. Soon, they had all of us enthralled and played just about every song from their two albums except for "Ode to Life II" and as Suraj said, they still hadn't come up with the acoustic versions of "Tribes of Babel" and "Jihad" and hence, we couldn't catch them play their newest two singles but none the less, it was a brilliant set.

The acoustic versions of all their songs sound brilliant and they have been able to maintain the emotions, energy and sentiment of each song. What I liked best of the entire set was the verse riff on "Mindstreet". It was simply "WOW!".

Baiju played a brilliant solo filled with Carnatic Ragas. I never had the chance to ask him exactly what he played but it was a piece that was heavily influenced by Prasanna and had a touch of Western shredding to it. The solo had all of us with our mouths wide open and we were unable to do anything but bow down to the man, nay GOD after that piece. They, as usual, slipped into "Fields of Sound" after his solo.

As soon as this solo came to an end, all of us were on our feet, jumping, headbanging and basically having a ball. The solo took the gig one notch higher, if that was ever possible.

Another spectacular thing that we discovered over the course of the concert was that Clyde was actually on stage even though he had a splitting migraine. Suraj said that Clyde was the only person who could ever smile even with a migraine and he was spot on, as always. He dedicated "Walk On" to Clyde.



Another first in motherjanes profile came on this day. For the first time ever on stage, John Thomas played a drum solo. And I can proudly say that I was one of the loudest voices in the crowd when we chanted his name out really loud to play a solo.

After the intended setlist, motherjane took a break with a promise to come back and play a couple more. A wait of 15 minutes followed, with some frantic photography taking place on the sides with the band.

The band came back on stage and were taking requests. They had played their entire list and were about to play a couple of encores. Everyone voiced their favourite songs. After a few seconds, there was a slight pause in the noise and as everyone was thinking of which song they wanted their favourite band to play, I had a slightly different idea in my head. I screamed as loud as I could, "SILSILA".


Poor Suraj was drinking water and had to try very very hard not to spit it out, but the band obliged. Well, partly. Baiju played the melody and John gave the beats. We, malus, in the crowd, who knew the song and who knew the legacy that was Silsila sang our hearts out and we had a blast.

They then played an encore of Mindstreet. THAT RIFF!! :O -- and unfortunately that was the end of one hell of a night. It was a brilliant night and my first ever unplugged gig was KICK ASS! I hope someone soon brings motherjane back in town because I cant wait to see them again.


Here is the set list for the night :-
  1. Disillusion
  2. Mindstreet
  3. Blood in the Apple
  4. Maya
  5. Chasing the Sun
  6. Ode to Life I
  7. Walk On
  8. Questions
  9. Maktub
  10. Shh.. Listen
  11. Broken
  12. Prison Chains
  13. Before One Million Comes One
  14. GUITAR SOLO followed by Fields of Sound
  15. Soul Corporations
  16. Karmic Steps
  17. DRUM SOLO
  18. Mindstreet Encore
p.s. Special Thanks to Balaji and Praveen for pictures

Cheers
a\m/ajaniac

Oct 5th saw the release of the much awaited single "Movie" from JYG frontmans Ameeth Thomas' new single venture.


Movie Cover Art

Starting off with a pretty neat tune, Ameeth really shines on the track with his vocals. I remember a previous review of JYGs where the author of the article called JYG very similar to Pearl Jam and found a stark similarity between Ameeth and Eddie Vedder. I would say on this track he sounds like a different version of John Mayer, not Eddie Vedder. The Sequencing, Synths and Keyboards done by Prithvi Chandrashekar give a lot of depth to the song and make it all the more fun to listen to. There is a slight funky feel to the song and a bit of a dancable beat to it.

The lyrics itself aren't too bad and are pretty impressive but then again, Ameeth is a pretty good songwriter and always has been. Here are the lyrics to the song :-
I'm standing on the other side
I'm looking on the inside
As I watch you walk away
Into a distant picture frame
There is a voice inside my head
Screaming out but it never said
Please dont go please dont go away

It feels like a movie
With a tragic ending
And nothing I can do
Can change it

Is it to late to apologize
Because I did not realize
All the things that I never did
And all the things that i never said
There is a voice inside my head
Screaming out but it never said
Please dont go please dont go away

It feels like a movie
With a tragic ending
And nothing I can do
Can change it

Could you hold me one more time
Even if its just a lie
Could you kiss me one more time
Even if its just a lie
Because I need you baby

Only slight negative point i felt with respect to the song was the transition into the slower part right at the end, though the transition out of it was pretty ok. The transition into it felt pretty shabby and a wee bit sudden.

Nonetheless, it was still a pretty good track and cant wait to hear more from this drunkard :D

Do listen to the song here : http://ameeththomas.com

Buy this song, its worth it!

p.s : motherjane released video for their single Jihad on the same day, catch the video here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb3UuhmwLjU&playnext=1&videos=WrwJUysfZZk&feature=mfu_in_order

Cheers
a\m/ajaniac

August 20th, 2010 -- history repeats itself. motherjane releases yet another mindblowing song for the malayalam movie ANWAR, titled JIHAD.


Jihad took me by storm the first time I heard it. I shouldnt say Jihad took me by storm actually. I guess the right way to put it would be to say that Suraj ripped me apart from head to toe. I expected a song with a possible Arabic edge to the riffs and a heavily Arab inspired solo but the vocals would be ordinary is what I thought. OK maybe ordinary is an understatement for a man who has best rock vocalist at AVIMA. So I guess, I expected something less awesome but I guess I should have known better. Suraj caught me from the moment he said "I" from "I believe in Jihad" and I got goosebumps when he sang "Thus my faith speaks to me.. No innocent shall be slain".

The first time I heard the song, I heard nothing but the vocals to be frank but then I heard the song again. And again. And again. And over and over again. [:)]

The progression from heavy/hard rock to acoustic is smooth and the transition seems so effortless. I change back from acoustic to the heavier riffs and everything too is ever so easy on the listener with Suraj again blowing my mind with his line "Whats alien to heaven.. Is practiced in vain" (I'm sorry if I cant stop talking about how awesome Suraj is on this track. Sincere apologies. But its just way to hard to stop talking about him)

The beats are fantastic and yet again my guru, John Thomas proves to us that he is definitely one of the best if not THE best drummer in India. Deepu and Clyde provide just the platform that Baiju needs to set the song ablaze. And like all great Gods, Baiju doesnt fail his followers, he sets the song and our hearts on fire.

Suraj never fails to amaze me with his lyrics. I asked him once about how he thinks up of such stuff. And all he said was that they are "simple thoughts". But, every person has simple thoughts in this world, but one man can write like Suraj. The positiveness that flows out of the direst circumstances is just something to applaud. And Jihad, is no less. There is a heavenly touch to the entire song, lyric-wise.

Here are the lyrics :

I believe in Jihad
I die to "Him" return
And I know in my heart
"His" will is the sermon

Thus my faith speaks to me
No innocent shall be slain
Louder than most thing
This world shouts out in "His" name

All hate is poison
Distilled from pain
And whats alien to heaven
Is practiced in vain

Whats alien to heaven
Is practiced in vain

Thus my faith speaks to me
No innocent shall be slain
Louder than most thing
This world shouts out in "His" name

I believe in Jihad
If love is the weapon...

All in all, Jihad is one hell of a song. I'm hoping to see the song aired on Asianet or Surya or any channel of that sort back home in Kerala. I would love to see the response that the song would get from the non-rock Malayalam masses. I'm sure it'll be positive and I'm sure this song will do much good in this world. [:)]

Do check out the song here : http://www.reverbnation.com/motherjane
then leave a comment here : http://www.motherjane.in
after that visit this site too : http://www.facebook.com/motherjane
and maybe visit this one too : http://www.anwarthemovie.com

a\m/ajaniac





27th Feb was a day I marked on my calendar a long while back. It was a day I had been looking for a long long long time. motherjane at NITK, Suratkal! It was like 350 kms away but hell, it was MOTHERJANE! My mom was wary of sending me because it fell right in the middle of my exams, two days before my Comp Exam and a day after my Math Exam. What a time for a concert innit? :P

Its actually quite awesome to note that I went for a motherjane concert during my exams during the previous semester too. And I must say, there is nothing that relieves stress and tension like a motherjane concert and a chat with the band. Anyway, on with the show and less of my rants.

I reached NITK at about 2 or so, just in time for a solid lunch on the house. :P And soon, the drum techs, band manager and lights technician moved onto the venue to set up John Sirs kit and check out other stuff, so we headed over and got started and I must say, another guy was setting up the international act, Led Zepplica's drum kit, and John Sirs kit was so much bigger compared to the one he was using. It was abnormally funny how people came around saying "Wow Led Zepplica uses a bit kit", while pointing at John Sirs kit and I would say "Nope, thats motherjanes man" :D :D :D - cool isn't it?

Anyway after a much delayed soundcheck the show actually got under way. I was told by few students of the college that people had been waiting in queues to get inside for over 4 hours. Now those are real janiacs! SALUTE! And the students there had a stall at the entrance where people could get half of their faces painted just like motherjane. I told Suraj Sir when I was driving back to our guest rooms and he was super touched by the gesture. Backstage or something he told me that my friends and I had started a movement, at Hard Rock Cafe when we came with t-shirts that had pictures of us and I felt so proud of myself at that moment and all I could say was "Before 1 Million comes 4" (there were 4 of us who had such t-shirts). But standing in the midst of all of those students who had painted faces and who knew how every song went, I was overtly happy because finally I was with my real brothers and sisters. I was with people who I related to because we all loved motherjane.

motherjanes show was power packed from the start. Their entrance was with their usual Kerala music which never fails to give me goosebumps for a reason I'm yet to find. They started their set with Disillusioned, and everyone around me went into a fit. Me? I was already in a fit. :P I was having the time of my life, I was singing my heart out and though my throat was out completely I still sang out with what little remained. I was shocked when people around me joined me while singing. Wow! What a moment. I had never been with such people before. I was used to standing in the middle of a crowd, me and my friends singing while everyone else headbanged due to lack of knowledge of the lyrics but they still had the love for the music. But these guys around me, they had the love for the music and they knew the lyrics. Simply amazing. motherjane played Mindstreet and Blood in the Apple and then came the song I had been dying to hear live. TRIBES OF BABEL!

Tribes of Babel is a song that motherjane had written for Amnesty International. Its a song about peace and how music can bring about peace. motherjane took the concept of the people of Babel. The story says that the people decided to build a tower so high that it can touch the heavens and thus they would challenge God and prove that nothing is beyond humanity. God decided that if it progressed as it were then there would be no end to their greed and decided to cast a spell on the people. He decided that the people would all speak different languages. Our wars and our fights are all because we say that "He respects a different religion!" or "She speaks a different language" and in our quest for peace we look for similarities and we loathe differences but motherjane looks at peace different. Imagine a world were everyone spoke the same word or every musician sung the same note and no one was different. Boring? Now imagine the beauty of the differences how, the 1st note and the 5th note in a song are similar yet they are different in their own ways. How you and me are different yet we both share something in common. Peace is when we, and all of humanity learn to embrace our differences and appreciate them. We must respect our differences and not shun them away. This is precisely what Tribes of Babel talk about. Catch live streaming of the song on : www.buffetlibredjs.net/peace.html - it is worth it. Trust Me!

Now back to the show, motherjane were soon ripping the place apart with Fields of Sound, Maya, Broken, Walk On, Karmic Steps, Before a Million comes One, Maktub and Soul Corporations. A beautiful mix of Insane Biography and Maktub and all plastered out and laid out well beautified for all of us, their fans. A special mention must go out to that solo that Baiju Sir played. I stood in the middle of the crowd speechless for about 10 minutes and then he switched to Fields of Sound and I was thrown of my feet. That guitarist is nothing short of a GOD! He had the entire 5000 or so students sing out "Saare Jahan Se Ache". India was displayed to the world right there. We didnt need a President or a Prime Minister salute the national flag on national television to fill us with a sense of patriotism all we needed was a guitarist like this playing a tune on his guitar and people all around would join hands and sing. Sing for the love of our Nation! Never seen anyone instill a sense of pride in me like he can. Hats off Baiju Sir! :D

And before I forget, March 7th was Baiju Sirs birthday. Rush to his profile if you didnt wish him yet. :D

Soon after motherjane were an international band called Led Zepplica, a bootleg band of Led Zepplin. I didnt wait to check them out, so you will not be seeing a review on them here. Apologies.

So till the next concert! Adios

amajaniac n so r u


14 years ago, on Jan 24th, yet another college band went up on stage as a cover up for a band that failed to keep its promise of playing in their college. No expectations whatsoever were around. Their drummer was the club secretary and they had to this show to get the crowd going. They had had just a week or so of practice and were on stage. Their sound check was at 12 at midnight. It went on till about 5 AM. Soon their drummer crashes at his home and leaves home in 2 hours. Everyone is sleep deprived. Yet they are all nervous as its their first show. I have no clue how that show went, but I have to say this band, in just 14 years, has done miracles that most other bands can only dream of. They’ve touched a billion hearts the world over and will always do so. They’re celebrities in their own right yet remain firmly rooted to the ground and have no air around them whatsoever. A band that has done everything from rocking the most unruly crowd to opening for major international acts like Megadeth to Opeth to rocking HIV positive kids. This band is one like no other. This band is MOTHERJANE!!!

Many people have asked me why on earth I’m so addicted to motherjane. My reply to them has always been “It is written” or “MAKTUB”. I don’t know why that is my reply and I will always keep wondering and never figure out an answer. But come to think of it I don’t think there can ever be a better reply. I’ve never pressurized anyone to listen to motherjane; I’ve only expressed my love out in public. But many a times, I’ve had many people come to me and asked for their music. They’ve come to me and said “Wow! This band is brilliant”. I’ve bonded with men from Java over motherjane, more notable people like Thoriq Arridlwan Aria and Ben Prasetyo. I’ve known these men only from facebook. But Thoriq is one man who was so touched by the music since they played the first note at Java Rockinland. Thoriq is one proud janiac, his display picture right now on facebook is that of him and his friend standing with John, the drummer and Suraj, the vocalist/lyricist. I’ve bonded with men and women and even kids my age, just a tad bit older, even a few younger and the only thing we have in common is our love for motherjane.

motherjane, motherjane, motherjane! It’s the only word that I chant all night and day. If I’m writing an exam, I’m superstitious enough to wear a motherjane t-shirt inside. I play the drums. I’ve learnt for just about a year or so. I dream of making a band and blah blah. And if I said that I don’t dream of becoming a band like motherjane I would be lying. BIG TIME! But I swear to God, everytime I play on a stage I’ll pray to God, yes, but I will definitely pray to JOHN THOMAS, my guru, to watch over me, in spirit, as I play my set. I’ll pray to SURAJ MANI, to be by my side, as I recall every word of his advice that I have been blessed to have. I’ll pray to CLYDE ROZARIO, pray so that I can get his temperament and loyalty to the music that flows through our bodies. I’ll pray to BAIJU DHARMAJAN, pray that I can be truthful to what I play and never forget the path that I have followed to reach the destinations that I hope to reach. I’ll pray to DEEPU SASIDHARAN, pray that not only do I play my instrument with as much love as he does but also that I can carry off an attitude like his on stage.

This band has produced some of the best sounding songs that has ever been made in India. And the most admirable quality about them is the fact that not only are they extremely patriotic, they are extremely proud to be patriotic. They end their set at every show with the words “Jaya He! Jaya He! Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya He!” from our national anthem. Baiju plays his rendition of Vande Mataram, admirably named Metal Mataram by few, during every gig. And each time (I have no clue about the notes mind you) it sounds so different in a way very motherjane. I hope that makes sense but its very true.

motherjane has brought out two albums and one EP in these 14 years. The EP got lost in the wilderness of Indian rock but there albums have been received with so much love and affection from people from all walks of life and their upcoming albums too shall be extremely well received. They brought out Insane Biography in 2003 with their ex-guitarist Rex, he currently plays for Avial which is also a super awesome band. They brought out Maktub in 2008. They released in a way no other band had. They had a web release! Their idea behind it was that they would be close to their fans on this very special day. They believed that this was the album that would give them the break that they deserve and my goodness, has it given them a super huge break or what? They’ve won the AVIMA and they’ve rubbed shoulders with Mr.BIG. They’ve extended their fan base from a few hundreds to many thousands or is it millions. They’ve grown from strength to strength and they shall always do so.

Their contract with Aum-I Artistes states that they must produce 5 albums in 5 years and they’ve produced 1 in 2 years. So we’ve got three years and four albums coming out! JANIACS I SWEAR TO YOU WE ARE IN FOR A HUGE TREAT!

Nelson Mandela once said that he dreamt of a while guy walking hand-in-hand with a black girl and vice versa. I don’t have such huge dreams. But I have one dream that many janiacs that I know will proudly support and stand up and say “Yes! I’ve dreamt of this too”. I dream that one day 5 men going by the names Suraj, John, Deepu, Baiju and Clyde will walk with head held high onto a stage and thousands of men stand up and clap in awe. They’ve just won the GRAMMY!!! They lift up their newest addition to their trophy case and then suddenly boys and girls in black t-shirts with motherjane written on them storm the hall and they sing out proud :-

YOU ARE THE BEAUTIFUL NOTE IN A SYMPHONY OF SPIRITS

A THREAD IN A TAPESTRY OF DREAMS

WHERE EVERY COLOUR BLENDS TOGETHER

LIKE THE DROPLETS, THE OCEANS, THE RIVERS AND STREAMS!!

motherjane is not just the first but the only band I know off that has composed haikus. They’re called the Odes to Life. And they seriously are! What John Keates did in Ode to Autumn in 3 stanzas, Suraj Mani did in the four lines on both tracks. The two odes to life talk about two faces of the same coin, LIFE and DEATH and yet both have a positive ending. I feel that one of the best things about motherjane, which other bands lack, is the fact that each one of their songs ends on a positive note. Take Broken, it switches from such a dire topic to a supremely positive note on the ability of humans to be courageous. I personally love that a lot about them.

No post on motherjane is complete these days without mentioning Eva Dowd, their online promoter. She has helped this band reached out to so many more people than motherjane personally ever dreamed off. Any post that involves me has the words “motherjanes no.1 fan”. I’ve thought of this tag. I’ve been called motherjanes biggest fan by so many people. But come to think of it honestly, I’m just one of them. There are so many out there who are as crazy about motherjane as I am maybe even crazier than me. I’ve had the honor of getting to know a few. Infact I actually want to take up this space to thank my cousin, Raja. He was the one who made me listen to my first motherjane song. Without him, who knows, maybe motherjane might have just sounded like a joke to me. There is one fan. RAJA! Then there is JABRI! There is NIKHIL! There is DAMIEN MARWEIN! (Very few named. Pardon me for omission of any names) There are ever so many and I have blessed with the company of only few of them but I am sure there are tons more out there who will give their life in support of this band. So to all the janiacs out there, here is yet another one of you, raising a toast to all of us who have proudly stood by our one true love – MOTHERJANE! And I’m sure I speak for all the janiacs out there when I say that we will always proudly stand by your side when all of us together CHASE THE SUN!

Here is wishing you a happy "anniversary" / "birthday" once again motherjane! May your songs dominate our souls in all the years that we may live.

AMAJANIAC!!!

About this blog

A true Janiac to the core, this is my opinion on the beauty that surround all of us :)

A Janiac, initially was defined as fan of the Indian Rock Band MOTHERJANE. But this word, for me, can be used to describe a man that listens to his heart and is filled with passion. I describe myself as one such Janiac!

Cheers
a\m/ajaniac

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