Heathen Beast is an Indian Black Metal band based out of Mumbai. Barely two years old, this band started making waves with its very first three songs EP ‘Ayodhya Burns’ (based on Ayodhya verdict) which released in 2010. The three atheists Carvaka, Samkhya and Mimamsa (the three atheistic schools of Indian philosophy) are different in a way that their music is influenced by Indian context and lyrics are hard-hitting. In fact, the the video of one of the songs of their latest EP ‘The Drowning of the Elephant God’ was censored. The Viewspaper talked to them to know more…
Greetings from The Viewspaper, Heathen Beast.
The Viewspaper: First of all, we would like you to introduce yourself to our readers? When and how was the band formed? (We would especially like to know who writes the lyrics for all your songs as your lyrics are really powerful)
Heathen Beast: We are the formation of three, Carvaka is the vocalist/guitarist, Samkhya is the bass player and Mimamsa is the drummer.
We officially formed in 2010 but we’ve been family friends since we were kids and have been jamming since some time now. Earlier we would jam on more regular music but together we got more and more into the heavier sounds of black metal and more importantly the message and the essence of the music. So, we took that and made it our own and formed Heathen Beast.
The music is written by us collectively it either starts with a riff or drum beat idea and we later lay down lyrics and vocals. Carvaka writes most of the lyrics with some inputs and ideas from the rest of the band as well.
TVP: What challenges did you face while starting out? How difficult or easy are things now?
HB: Our main challenge was to get people to listen to the music. Being a new band that doesn’t play live was a bit of an issue but once a few people heard it then the word spread. More recently, Carvaka has moved to Kolkata making it much harder to write music together so we have to work differently. I think because we do this more for fun and not as a professional, we don’t have much troubles or difficulties. We know that this is our weekend getaway and that is perfect for us, also we don’t play live.
I think maybe the biggest challenge is to listen to the music as a whole and understand it as art and understand the message, people are still very focussed on small things like how does the production of the music go or they compare it to a modern standard or something, we create this sound and music because we want it this way. If we had it sounding any other way, it wouldn’t be the way we want to express it. So that part I think people still don’t understand, they think music separate and production separate.
TVP: Why did you choose this name for your band? What is the reason behind not disclosing band members’ identities?
HB: Without knowing us, without putting faces, you judge the music and music alone, which is why we kept it this way. The name was something that just fit our style of music and our message.
TVP: Your band is an Atheistic Black Metal band. How would you define atheism? What are your views on God and Religion?
HB: We do not believe in God or the Devil, it is just something used to control the herd of humanity. Religion is a plague upon mankind and it was devised with good intent but anything that wields so much control and power is bound to get corrupted. Today, religion is the face of true evil; it destroys and defecates on our society and the minds of people, the blind herd that follows it like lambs to be slaughtered. We abhor it.
TVP: After a successful release of your first EP, “Ayodhya Burns”, which was well-received, recently, you released your second EP “The Drowning of the Elephant God”, tell us something about it? What kind of response are you getting so far?
HB: So far the response has been amazing, we took a chance and explored more Indian sounds with this one and it has gone down well with the metal fans. We are really really happy to see people embrace the music and sound. Lyrically, we took 3 subjects and wrote about it and I think our message is loud and clear in all our songs.
TVP: From conception of an idea to recording of a song, what is the process like? How much time does the whole process take approximately?
HB: We meet once in a week and we jam on riffs and ideas and develop and record those ideas and it’s a pretty slow and long process for us since we do this only when we have time but we sit on the song and take our time crafting it to perfection. We were pretty sure we wanted to release an EP, so it was just working on 3 songs perfectly and then getting down to recording them. For our new material, Carvaka will record his riffs at home and send it to us and we’ll develop the songs in a different way for the next release. It took us almost 2 years to put together the latest EP; hopefully the next release will not take as much time.
TVP: How do you see banning of the original video of “Bakras to the Slaughter” to release a censored one? What are your views on the Freedom of Expression?
HB: Well, the world can’t really handle the truth so I guess we live and accept these norms for now. A change is coming soon; the uncensored video is still there on Vimeo, so those who can stomach the brutality will watch it.
People should have the right to express themselves freely but when walking on someone else’s territory you must respect their rules.
TVP: What inspires/influences the lyrics and music of the Heathen Beast? Which are your favourite Indian and International bands?
HB: India inspires us, the country, the people, our daily lives, our problems, religion, god, the ways of the world. We show the world, what it turns a blind eye to. Our favourite Indian bands are Solar Deity, Kryptos, Dying Embrace, Bevar Sea, 1833AD, Demonic Resurrection, Stark Denial, Exhumation, Insane Prophecy and many more. Internationally, we love Norwegian Black Metal. We also love a lot of Indian classical music.
TVP: Black Metal doesn’t have that big an audience in India? What do you think is the reason for that? How do you think it can be promoted?
HB: Well, mainly metal itself has a small following and anywhere in the world black metal forms a small part of the metal audience. There are many upcoming black metal bands in India and the audience is also growing, I think black metal doesn’t need promotion, when people connect with the music then it automatically spreads.
TVP: What are band’s future plans? Is the Heathen Beast going to perform any gig or release any full length album for its fans in near future?
HB: We honestly don’t know what the future holds for us. We will start writing new songs soon, depends on how long it takes us. We’ll decide if we release a full-length album or another EP. But, we will have new music for sure soon. No plans of playing live.
TVP: Thanks for sparing time for the interview. Would you like to give out any message to your fans, youth and people in general?
HB: Open your eyes to evil around, don’t blindly follow religion, ask the question ‘WHY?’ Don’t be afraid to follow your own path. Hailz!! \m/
All the best for your future endeavours!