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With headbanging numbers to dance-along riffs, Mumbai-based band Daira is one of the country’s most loved progressive alt-rock ensembles. This five piece indie band, formed in 2015, has since released their first album and toured the country performing at major gigs. Their massive sound has managed to garner a substantial fan following since their debut album release eight months ago. They are now all set to perform at the Matheran Green Festival, India’s first and only art and nature fest. Excerpts from a chat.

How did your musical journey begin?
It all started towards the end of year 2014. All the members were doing something or the other but wanted to do something else, something that could feel close and our own. Hence the idea of making our own music led to the beginning of the journey.

How would you describe your music?
We find it hard to restrict our music to a particular genre. Our music is what we feel. Our music comes out of the varied influences of the band members. Sometimes it has elements of jazz, grunge, blues but it is primarily rock.

Walk us through the creative process behind the tracks you produce? 
The entire process starts when the band jams together. Even when a member or two are running late, the remaining members start jamming and the others join in and we do not realise when the song structure is created. Post that we just fuse together all the parts, write about what we see around and take the tracks through. There is no pre-conceived structure that the band follows but the songs create themselves as more and more jams happen.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The inspirations have been widely varying. Some of the major influences on the band have been Pink Floyd, Shpongle, Rage against the machine, System of a down, Junoon, Avial, Chris Cornell, Steven Wilson etc.

What has been your biggest challenge after coming together as a band? 
The biggest challenge for any band initially is to survive the crests and troughs in the journey. The biggest challenge is not to succumb to the unending pressure of families/friends asking us to be more secured financially, the mental pressure that comes along. But when all the members share a common vision, then these challenges become just a part of the journey as we do learn a lot from them. 

Tell us about some of your achievements so far. 
Some of the achievements are launching the debut album within a year of band’s inception, the album being reckoned by Rolling Stone magazine as the second best release of 2015, winning the Hornbill Ontour and taking our music all the way to Nagaland in the mighty Hornbill festival and headlining some big events. 

Tell us about your latest gig at the Matheran Green Festival. 
We are extremely excited to play at the beautiful vibe that Matheran Green Festival would be. We all love mountains and forests and always wanted to play our music in a festival like this. We are going to bring out the slightly lighter side of the band. Since our music talks about love, freedom and nothingness, we find this festival a perfect arrangement to bring all the like-minded people together. 

What are your upcoming projects?
Well we are working on something that we are calling as the ‘secret project’ right now. We would be launching it sometime in the 1st week of June and then there is a multi-city tour to follow. 


Text Rhea Dangwal


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