Bicycle Days: A four year trip3 min read
Manipal: Whether the name is commemorative of April 19 when Dr. Albert Hofmann first took LSD intentionally or just a random stroke of genius before entering the NLS Strawberry Fields, Bicycle Days are here to stay.
Flashback: Five strangers wanting to jam at NLS’s Strawberry Fields get together for their first gig in November 2009 and are placed second at the music fest despite having ‘no idea what the hell we were doing.’ Wasting no time, the psychedelic alternative rock band from Bangalore release their debut EP ’42’ in early 2010 and win the AVIMA Awards 2010 in the “Most Genre Bending Band Category”. Currently, they have finished working on their debut length LP titled Calamitunes. The band has Shreyas Dipali on Drums/ Percussion, Karthik Basker on Vocals/Guitars, Rahul Ranganath on Guitars, Nikhil Narendra on Samples and Abhishek on the Bass.
Wrapping up after their headlining act at Shadja in KMC greens, TMJ caught up with them minutes before they skedaddled off to the airport.
How did this four year journey begin?
It’s a long story. We didn’t go to the same colleges and didn’t even know each other. We basically wanted to play at Strawberry Fields and hence the band got together through social networking sites and through mutual friends. That was our first gig and we were runners up.
Do you follow any ritual or quirk before going on stage?
Oh! We can’t reveal that (smiling).
Which has been your most memorable performance till now?
Hmmm. Manipal (laughing)! Ya, we really like coming to Manipal, this is our second time here. We like the fact that people know our songs, that helps while we perform. Manipal is always fun as people are in high spirits. Even guys who don’t really get the music, they are very open and say ‘cool, this is fun’.
The lyrics of your songs have social and spiritual aspects. Why?
Well we are spiritual people. Everybody is, in a way.
Could you tell us a little about your new album?
We just finished recording, in fact we played the songs last night. We’ll be putting it out soon. The video is also happening.
Do you have an inspiration as such?
Radiohead and Tool. Well it’s just phases, and we listen to lots of bands.
Is there any artist/band that you would recommend?
Y’all should check out this band from Kolkata called Pink Noise. They are not really new, but they are rediscovering themselves, and they are crazy.
What is it like being a band in India?
It’s kind of slow. There is nothing much happening. Everybody is always talking about a ‘scene’ in India, but there’s no scene. It’s gradually happening, and even the local scene in Bangalore is very little. I guess we’re in this transition phase where there is going to be a scene. So it’s a good time to be here.
Tell us something we don’t know about Bicycle Days?
Our bassist owns a skateboarding company.
Any last words to the budding musicians here in Manipal?
Work hard and always always record your music. Record your music and put it on the internet now!
Sub-edited by Bhavya Balakrishnan