Express press service
DELHI musicians Dev Bhardwaj and Prakhar Yadav – they met on a school trip, have been friends for around six years and are now in their final year of university – say they have “considerably influenced each other. ‘other “. In fact, the duo that forms indie-rock band Curtains share that over the years they have “found that perfect middle ground where our differences and similarities come together to create the sound you hear as Curtains. “. We tell them about their eight-track bilingual debut album ‘Pages of My Memory’, which they released in February this year. Excerpts from an email interview…
1. I read that it took you three years as a band to figure out what this album should sound like. Is it true? Tell us about the process of making this album.
Honestly, making an album itself is a laborious task, especially when you perform all the tasks from composing to recording to post-production. We always wanted to create an album, a work that represents our sound. It took us three years to complete because we kept changing tracks, scratching a few and adding new ones. The central idea of our album was to document what we were going through in our lives. Over time, we changed and so did the album. I think at some point we both realized that we had come a long way from where we started. But we’re really happy that it took us those three years to find our sound and really bring out the best in everyone. As a band, we grew so much in college where we interacted and collaborated with incredibly talented musicians and artists like Kevin and Gayatri, who also feature on the album; Rishita, Divyansh and Ananya, who helped us develop a complementary visual aesthetic to our music; Akshat, who created the album cover for us.
We composed, recorded and produced the album in our own small room-studio. Since none of our houses were soundproofed or acoustically treated, we waited until midnight to start recording. We also used DIY techniques like using blankets and mattresses to absorb unwanted reverberations and block noise.
2. I would put you in the category of slow rock bands. Correct me if im wrong; and I would like to know what are your musical influences?
We usually define ourselves as an indie pop/rock duo because it’s the most diverse label to give away. But in reality, we tend not to stick to a particular genre as our musical influences are varied and diverse. Between the two of us, we drew influences from rock, pop, hip-hop, trip-hop, electronica, metal, Indian cinema and independent music. Some of our favorite artists are Lucky Ali, Strings, Alt-J, Foster the People, Massive Attack, Brockhampton, King Crimson and Enter Shikari. We believe that we can make music in different genres while maintaining a specific sonic factor that sets us apart and defines us as a band.
3. You met in tenth grade and have been jamming ever since. How similar are your styles?
Dev: We have similar influences. Not one person has a style that’s completely in tune with the other and I think that’s why it’s really important for a duo/band to find that common ground.
Jamming and writing together has been my favorite part of this whole experience. Our styles, I would say, are somewhat similar, and the parts that aren’t just tend to broaden my experience and horizon.
4. How different are each of your creative choices and how does that define the band’s music?
Prakhar: Where we really shine is in our ability to accept and integrate different styles that we present to each other. Dev has a solid background in writing pop songs and it’s amazing to see him step out of his comfort zone to finish a song that’s more rock/electronica. We both throw a lot of new ideas at each other when one of us hits a songwriting slump and it really helps out of the slump. This is only made possible by the difference in our listening habits and musical tastes. “Pages I” started off as a real pop-rock song, but over time it turned into a slow rock ballad because we kept experimenting with its sound elements and song structure.
5. Your songs are bilingual. Is it an advantage to expand your artistic repertoire, as well as your audience?
Initially, we were actually in a dilemma whether our songs should be limited to Hindi or English. We ended up deciding that was a stupid thing to worry about. Such a barrier would have been dishonest for our profession. Our songs are bilingual because it’s the most natural thing for us as songwriters. We grew up speaking Hindi and English in our homes and in our daily lives, we think and communicate in two languages, so it was inevitable that this would trickle down to our songwriting. Bilingualism can certainly be an advantage as certain ideas are best expressed in a certain language. Languages are communication tools; the more tools you have, the better.
6. What’s next for curtains?
Our next step will be to create a new line-up of artists for the band to tour and perform. We have also started working on our next project, which will probably and hopefully be released in the next few months. Expanding our sonic horizon and our skills remains the most important thing for us. It is important for us to continue to evolve and grow not only as songwriters, but also as producers.