“Music is to the soul what words are to the mind” said Modest Mouse and it is probably these words that Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ), the path-breaking band from Bangalore, India most identifies with. TAAQ who describes their music as ‘Bangalore Rock’ makes music whose sound is as unique and layered as the fast-growing city of its birth. If that got you thinking there is more. Imagine a Phish-meets-Steely Dan-via-Mahavishnu-Orchestra vibe and that is what the TAAQ sound is all about and more. The team of TAAQ comprises Bruce Lee Mani – Vocalist & Guitar player, Rajeev Rajagopal- Drummer, Leslie Charles – Bass & backing vocals and Tony Das – Guitar & backing vocals form the band. Rajeev Rajgopal says, “we started as the Christ College Band in 1996. Listening to the music heroes of that time inspired us big time to play music. Once we got the hang of it nothing could beat that feeling, hence we’re still at it 23 years down the line.” The band has not just played all over the world but has released seven studio albums to date and the eighth album is out this year. They have supported acts like Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and Guns N’ Roses and won awards for individual musicianship as well as overall contribution to ‘Indian Rock’.
The band’s name incidentally was coined backstage before St. John’s Autumn Muse in October 1996 in a hasty but well intentioned play on the ethnic origins of the then members of the band -three Malayali’s and one quarter Malayalee. Describing their music – Bangalore Rock Rajgopal says, “we wrote original music from the very beginning in 1996. Our songs reflect the lives we lead here in Bangalore. This city has transformed unlike any other city in this country or even planet. This extreme change and diversity that it brought along made a huge impact on our sound and music. It could not be labelled any one genre hence we called it Bangalore Rock.” The team has already recorded and released seven albums one of which is a triple CD so you could count it as 10 albums already. “Our repertoire of over hundred songs covers every phase of our lives across these 23 years. The upcoming album is called “A world gone mad” it’s one of our darkest albums and is a reflection on the craziness we have been seeing and experiencing around the world,” adds Rajgopal.
This weekend the band will be performing ‘Fell On Grunge Days’ at Fandom. “Nirvana, Pear Jam, Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots all great bands from the Seattle grunge music scene. We have played in Seattle few years ago and the vibe of grunge music has always been close to our hearts. We are going to bring out some of our grungiest songs along with a few covers of these great artists at Fandom this weekend. Our music is not simple repetitive easy listening material, one needs to have the intent to dig deeper to understand and hopefully enjoy it.” Looking ahead the band’s future plans are simple – “Compose, Record, Release, Tour and Repeat.” So if you are looking to Rock On you know where to head to this weekend.
- What: Thermal And A Quarter-Fell On Grunge Days LIVE at Fandom
- Where: Fandom, 1st floor of Gilly’s Redefined, # 413, 100 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala, 560034 Bangalore
- When: Saturday, 9th of November, 2019 8.00 PM
- Tickets: Rs. 499 + Rs. 200 cover paid at the gate
This story first appeared in Deccan Chronicle Bengaluru dated Nov 8, 2019 here: