Kryptos is a Bangalore-based heavy metal band. Formed in 1998 by Nolan Lewis (vocals/guitars) and Ganesh (ex-vocals/bass), Kyptos has gathered a lot of fame with its three albums— Spiral Ascent (2004), The Ark of Gemini (2008) and the recently released The Coils of Apollyon— and multiple gigs in India and abroad. According to Kryptos, “it has strived to create original, melodic metal, which combines the aesthetics of 80s thrash and pure melodic metal.” In a candid interview, Vocalist Nolan tells us more.
A very warm welcome Kryptos!
The Viewspaper : Please introduce yourself to our readers? How, where and when was Kryptos born?
Nolan: Kryptos was formed by me and Ganesh (ex vocals/bass) in 1998. We were college mates and shared the same taste in rock/metal music, so we decided to form a band. Ching Len joined in on drums and that’s when Kryptos was born.
TVP: What challenges did you face while starting out? How difficult or easy are things now?
Nolan: Of course the main challenge was practicing regularly and finding gigs. Back then, there was no internet or mobile phones or things like that. The only way to know of gigs happening was through word of mouth or maybe through a poster you see somewhere. Plus, if you wanted to play a gig you had to sit next to your landline at home waiting for a call from some college competition you registered for. Also, finding a place to practice was really difficult; not to mention our equipment was really poor. We used to play through old stereo-speakers and things like that because we didn’t have amps. Nowadays, everything is at your fingertips so it’s definitely a lot easier.
TVP: How did you people zero-in on this name for your band?
Nolan: We wanted to get a name that sort of represented the music we play. Kryptos means ‘hidden’ in Greek and since our music doesn’t really fit any genre since we blend traditional metal with doom and a little death metal, we don’t really fall into any category. So it’s almost like a mystery in that sense.
TVP: You have already released two albums (Spiral Ascent and The Ark of Gemini). Tell us something about your recent release “The Coils of Apollyon”? What kind of response are you getting so far?
Nolan: The album is pretty much a confluence of all the things that interest us and is probably our best work to date. It has a lot of esoteric themes and the music just reinforces those concepts ten-fold. The response has been really good so far. We have released it in India through Iron Fist Records and the worldwide release should happen very very soon. The feedback we’ve been getting from people has been really positive so we’re really pleased with the way things are going.
TVP: If you have to choose one, which one would be your favourite creation thus far?
Nolan: Definitely the new album but then again each release has its own story behind it and a lot of things attached to them. So, it kind of depends on our mood actually, haha.
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?
Nolan: Well, we just bring a bunch of riffs to practice and I usually have a concept for a song, so we try and make the riffs flow according to what the song is about. It’s almost like telling a story but without knowing the end. We just make it up as we go along. The process could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of months. It all depends on when those bursts of inspiration come along.
TVP: What inspires/influences the lyrics and music of Kryptos? Which are your favourite Indian and International bands?
Nolan: Our music is heavily influences by bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Coroner, Candlemass, Dark Tranquillity, Kreator etc. These are some of our favourite international bands as well.
As far as Indian bands go, some of our favourites include Bevar Sea, Dying Embrace, Shepherd, Agnostic etc
TVP: Metal (Heavy Metal in Kryptos’ case) per se doesn’t have that big an audience in India? What do you think is the reason for that?
Nolan: I think it’s because metal isn’t really music that one can just casually listen to. It demands a lot of attention from the listener and in today’s world no one wants to take the time to really think about things. They prefer music that’s easy to comprehend. It’s the same with anything actually—it could be books, movies etc. People are just becoming way too lethargic and would prefer not to think too much about anything.
TVP: You people played in Bangalore this month along with Kreator? Can you elaborate a little bit on that? What are band’s future plans?
Nolan: It was great to play alongside them and Suidakra. Really fantastic to watch such amazing bands up close and it was a huge honour for us to meet Kreator as well. As far as our future plans go, we’re not really sure right now since things usually happen on the spur of the moment but we do have plans to tour Europe extensively next year.
TVP: Thanks for sparing time for the interview. Would you like to give out any message to your fans, youth and people in general?
Nolan: Thank you and to everyone reading this, always believe in yourself and do what makes you feel good regardless of what society tells you. You have one life, so make the most of it.
All the Best for your future endeavours!
Nolan – Thanks, cheers!