RK : First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview. Congratulations on completing 22 years of musical journey. How does it feel to have been active for so long?
Motherjane : Thanks so much.The pleasure is all ours.Its been a very adventurous journey so far. Very fulfilling we must say.
RK : MOTHERJANE has started their journey in 1996. Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? How did you all first meet each other? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
Motherjane : Actually Motherjane was formed to curb a situation - Clyde, Mithun(founder guitarist ) and I were in the same college at that point and members of the college band. I was the cultural secretary and had booked one of the local bands for a performance at the college. A week prior to the date they had to back out owing to some technical issues. Motherjane was formed like a contingency plan to curb this situation. We had only a week's time to jam and get onstage.We did just that and from there started our journey.
RK : What do you consider to be the incisive moments in your work and/or career?
Motherjane : Lots in fact... One I would recount was the one when we decided to play Strawberry Fields in Bangalore in 1998. That officially launched MOTHERJANE as a band onto the indie music scene.
RK : Let’s talk about Rock in India 2008, where MOTHERJANE opened for Megadeth and Machine Head. How was the experience?
Motherjane : That was mindblowing, it was such an experience to see the legends standing right next to us. And we watched them throughout their set up up until their performance. It was a tremendous learning experience. We were just blown away by the way the techs were working - so methodical and disciplined. Hard core professionals.
RK : How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
Motherjane : We think its better not to separate these two concepts as most of the hooks and tunes come from our improvisations at jams. But again its a very subjective topic. There are no hard and fast rules. Whatever works for you goes in my opinion.
RK : What was the inspiration for your newest single “Namaste” and what’s the story/concept behind “Namaste”?
Motherjane : Namaste is a love song for humanity. We live in tough times today and we wanted to put this song out there to remind everyone that we are all one. We might be different manifestations but we are all connected, not only to each other but also to everything in the universe. If we realise this, we can rise together unleashing limitless access to an infinite power that dwells within all of us. Namaste had been on the backburner for around three years until our vocalist Niranj heard it and pushed us to finish it. And we are glad we did.
RK : Since you are on the scene for quite a long time we are sure you went through many challenges. Do you think in India perusing music professionally specially in band circuit is still not a preferable option for all?
Motherjane : It completely depends upon your commitment levels and focus. I think, with the changes in the music industry and scene, one can make a living if they are willing to think parallel and try out new ways of doing things. When we don't do what we are supposed to do we don't get results and end up blaming the scene for it. Actually its much easier now to reach out and get things done compared to the scene 10 years ago.
RK : Where do you think you are all happiest: In the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Motherjane : Both are equally fulfilling, but the stage outweighs the studio, to be precise .The adrenalin rush on the stage is unmatched. To hear ourselves onstage itself is a satisfying experience to us. We record almost everyday now and it's great to hear the song evolve from the 1st draft. in the studio -its like one thing leads to another,we let synchronicity takes its course and add those elements which happens by accident. Like the Scott Adam's quote - Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep.
RK : Let’s talk about your music video "Clay Play", the concept behind the track is magnificent, What is the message you seek to send through this music video?
Motherjane : The message that we are communicating to the audience is - Don't take life too seriously. When you start to get into the 'do or die' mode we tend to do things without the fun element and chances of screwing up are more. The more flexible you are with life the more better it is. Ultimately spiritual awareness unfolds when you are flexible as Deepak Chopra puts it - is so true. Rigidity oftens knocks us off balance and puts us often in the unhappy space. Flexibility means we are more open to change and are detached.
RK : Any current plans for future releases?
Motherjane : We are currently in the process of the 3rd Motherjane record, which will be out soon. It's produced by the ace producer - Rex Vijayan of Avial who has also produced our tracks Jihad, Clay Play and Namaste and has handled guitars in Motherjane through '1999 to 2002.
RK : If you could put together and play a dream festival with any bands / artists, who would you choose?
Motherjane : Korn, Metallica, Opeth, Planet x , Avial, Cog, A Perfect circle, Depeche mode, Meshuggah, Skyharbor, Pseutopia.
RK : What was the inspiration for your first album “Insane Biography” in 2002?
Motherjane : Insane Biography being our first record - it was an attempt to let the world know about us. We started playing the songs in concerts even before we made the record and it was going well with the fans too. The whole album was recorded under a week's time. And that was the 1st album by a band in Kerala on ProTools.
RK : If you had all the money and time in the world, what song either yours or someone else’s would you love to re-create?
Motherjane : We would rather make new songs than recreate old ones, ours or someone else's. We wouldn't want to do anything different with our songs. It was created then for a reason. No point in dwelling on the past when you can create something else in the present.
RK : How has 2018 been treating you so far? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year and how close are you to reaching it?
Motherjane : The goal has been to do the 3rd motherjane record and we are almost there. We are getting done with the pre-production stage. Hope our fans will love this record. Apart from putting our heart and soul into this record, We have ventured into uncharted territories with this one.
RK : What advice MOTHERJANE would give to fellow bands when picking up a studio?
Motherjane : There are quite a few good studios in India right now. To record acoustic instruments make sure the studio has the right mics and mic Pres.Everything else you can record at your home studio provided you have a decent audio interface and DAW.
RK : Thanks for the time to answer the questions. We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your followers.
Motherjane : As a Culture & Lifestyle site we think you guys are doing a great job, by featuring such wide array of artists across the world and enlightening the masses. More power to you. We sincerely wish you guys all the best with your endeavor and hope you become more and more influential in the coming days...