Interviewer: Bimit Verma
Published: July 28, 2015
Interviewed: Sahil "Demon Stealer " Makhija
of Demonic Resurrection
on July 19th, 2015
Demonstealer - Vocals/Guitars
Mephisto - Keyboards
Nishith Hedge - Lead Guitars
Ashwin Shriyan - Bass
Viru - Drums
Location: Mumbai, India
Label Candlelight Records
Metal Master Kingdon: You lead the charge in the Indian Metal Scene. Do you think metal has deserved its recognition in India?
Demonic Stealer: Thank you for the kind words but I haven’t led anything to be very honest, I just did what I had to do to be able to play the music I love. When it comes to recognition I feel too many metal heads care about what everyone else thinks of metal when frankly to me that just is so not what metal is about. So me personally I don’t care if it’s ‘recognized’ because I’m not even sure what it means? You know does it mean that iTunes recognizes it and has a ‘metal’ category? Does it mean that mainstream musicians approve this genre? So in that respect I have nothing to really say. I will say that everyone who is involved in Indie music or non Bollywood knows that India has a thriving metal scene and a lot of popular musicians from Bollywood like Vishal Dadlani, Raghu Dixit etc all give the scene a thumbs up. Are they going to jump in and start playing metal? Fuck no :P
MMK: During your formative years you faced some problems, could you elaborate on that?
DS: The question should be, where did we not face a problem? We did everything ourselves right from making our music to record it to releasing it. We organized our own shows we did our own PR and we managed ourselves. We had problems with band members coming and going, we had issues with band members who parents didn’t want us to play, we had problems with neighbors for being too loud. It’s all part and parcel of being in a band and today we’ve come up stronger than ever from these experiences.
MMK: According to you, which is the benchmark album in your career? Which accomplishment are you particulary proud and did it help the band to grow as a crew , and individually?
DS: I can’t remember the last time I heard a musician say his latest album wasn’t his best and I guess that holds true for me as well. ‘The Demon King’ is our best album yet. However each album was a landmark release in it’s own right. The first album ‘Demonstealer’ was one of the first indie albums that was home recorded and self released at a time when most bands played covers. ‘A Darkness Descends’ was our first proper professional album that broke Indian metal to a lot of people across the world and it was the first of it’s kind in India. ‘The Return To Darkness’ was our first release with Candlelight, a major label from the metal world. So each album has it’s own little contribution.
MMK: The music industry describes you as a blackened death metal band. Is this how you view the band too?
DS: I call us Demonic Metal because it means we have no boundaries that define us and we can play whatever we want without being ‘labeled’ or ‘boxed’. However to make it easier for people to understand I call us Symphonic Death Metal.
MMK: What is your vision regarding the heavy metal scene in India?
DS: To one day have a proper touring network and enough fans who support the music and buy it.
MMK: Do you have themed albums?
DS: Our three releases ‘A Darkness Descends’, ‘Beyond The Darkness’ and ‘The Return To Darkness’ are a trilogy where the story continues from one release to the next. The latest album was a story as well. If you read the lyrics and listen from the first track to the last, you’ll be able to follow the stories.
MMK: How do you react to when someone says "Metal sucks"? Are your friends and family supportive of the scene? Supportive of your band?
DS: My friends and family have always supported what I do, it may not be music they enjoy personally but they support it. When someone says ‘Metal sucks’ I generally don’t give a shit :P There are enough metal heads dissing other forms of music so this is probably just all part of the big circle. I prefer to just do my own thing and focus on what is important.
MMK: What's the best show you've ever played, and what was presumably your worst?
DS: The worst show would have probably been our 2nd gig where we played as a 3 piece band with 2 guitarists, no bass and a drummer and I sang all out of tune and I hit all the wrong patches on my processor and hit all the wrong notes in the solos. There are too many good shows honestly to say one was the best, some of the most memorable were ‘Great Indian Rock Festival’ in 2005 and Inferno Metal Festival in Norway in 2010.
MMK: Are there any non-metal musical pieces that inspired you or the band? If yes, please list them.
DS: I grew up listening to music from the 60s and 70s and a lot of pop music from the 80s and 90s as well so all that sure has inspired and influenced me in some way. There is no particular band or singer that inspired me but all that music is the non-metal stuff I would enjoy listening to. Everything from Bon Jovi to Duran Duran to Depeche Mode and 90s techno!
MMK: Are there any new metal songs that you'd like to suggest to our readers or something from the old archives?
DS: Maybe check out Strapping Young Lad – City (the album), Old Man’s Child – The Pagan Prosperity (the album) and from newer bands check out the latest from George Kollias, Amogh Symphony, Albatross, Skyharbor , Bhayanak Maut, Zygnema and Arcturus.
MMK: Anything else you'd like to add?
DS: Thanks for supporting us! Cheers & Stay Demonic!