1) It’s been almost 2 years since we discussed your career and plans. Tell us what happened after that?
Life happened! We have been meeting with a lot of my musician friends and collaborating. During these two years, we also lost our dear friend Prasad Salian, which was a big blow to us personally and professionally. We are dedicating this album to him, and we hope he listens to it from heaven and finds a little bit of all of us in it.
2) You are a brilliant rock guitarist, very few who could really transgress genres with ease. What helps you adapt to various styles of music?
Ashwini says laughingly, “I would like to say a little about Claver. I think what makes him stand out as a musician is his ability to play multiple instruments. He started on the guitar at a very young age, when he was five years old and has been playing ever since. However, he also can play the drums, the keys and almost every other string instrument. This versatility allows him to bring something different to each performance and song he composes. Of course, the technical prowess with music-making tools goes without saying, but his wholeness as a more open musician makes him one of a kind”.
3) How did you arrive at the album The Word? Tell us the story of this project?
Claver: ‘One day, Ashwini and I were out for dinner, and we were talking about all the geopolitical unrest and everything else that is happening on our planet and how we feel about it. Ashwini, from her south Indian heritage, grew up listening to brilliant Indian classical musicians and is great at enunciating difficult Sanskrit words. As she talked about it, a lightbulb went off. We were inspired by Prathivadhi Bhayankaram Aṇṇan’s Suprabhatam, sung by Mrs MS Subbulakshmi. And we came up with Awakening. You are awakened, you give in your word, and your time in this universe ends.’ The whole album is a journey of a sort.
4) You have a great sound here, and I would say that it is a very compelling listen. What stands out is the overall sound of the song for Awakening. How did you decide on what the sound should be?
Ashwini: ‘Like Claver mentioned earlier, the Awakening song is our own spin on Venkatesha Suprabhatam, the Sanskrit poem of the Suprabhātakāvya genre, which is a collection of hymns or verses usually recited early in the morning to awaken the gods. We wanted to make something as powerful, if not more, and get to a point where the song will incite rage, anger or simply some kind of reaction.’
How did you go about the production process?
Claver: ‘I first Strike a tune, then build it into a hook, then come up with lyrics, add those in, arrange the music around it, and record it simultaneously. Sounds quite simple in words, but you have unique challenges every time. This answer was like a guy Ritchie love scene from RocknRolla, haha. Anyway, after that, just rinse and repeat every song.
5) Tell us about Ashwini Torvi and her music career?
Claver: ‘Ashwini comes from a musical family and has been singing all her life. Coming from a hardcore business background, music has been her passion for all her life. She also took an interest in rock music during her teenage years and hasn’t looked back. Ashwini’s voice can go from a rocky/grungy tone, like in the song ‘Dug Your Grave’ from our album Diverse Delusions II, to soft and sensual, like the song ‘Maybe’ from the same album, to cheeky and fierce, like the song ‘Deer On Ice’ from Diverse Delusions I, in a click of a button.
She also won a challenge from the company Smule. She visited their HQ in San Francisco in the United States and got to perform there.’
6) Do you have anything more planned together soon?
NO! No clue, hahaha.
7) We saw the Awakening video directed by Sunil Cherian. Tell us more about it.
Ashwini: Sunil Cherian has been friends with Claver for over 22 years. He called Claver up for some music so he could do some experimental video. Claver sent the Awakening song to him. Since then, Sunil has been keen on doing this project and helping bring this song to a larger audience. He is a genius taskmaster from the advertising world, does not believe in Plan B, and ensures the final product meets his visual expectations.
Claver: Btw, Sunil also said that Ashwini looks like Samantha, the south Indian actress, hahaha.
8) Are you doing any live shows?
Claver: Yes, of course. We have a long standing collaborative relationship and friendship with veteran musicians from the industry, and we are going to perform very soon. Some of the names are : Aniket Waghmode (drums), Micu patel (guitar), Janus Sayal (bass), & Yousuf Tareen (vocals).
8) Where can we get to listen to The Word?
Ashwini: ‘You can find all our songs, including the album “The Word”, on every music streaming platform.’ Also, we urge everyone to check out our youtube channel! Come and have a chat with us in the comment section 🙂