According to front man David Abraham, there are times when we come across two paths in life. One of them seems really appealing and it looks like the obvious choice to you. However, due to certain circumstances, you are forced to choose the other path. Later in life you realise that you’re much better off along this path and that the other one just had this net, called the Koniac Net, waiting for you to get entangled in. So if you ever were to catch their gig, even by mistake, like I did last summer, you’ll soon realise that it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to you. David’s brainchild, that started off as a solo bedroom project, is simply an alternative rock powerhouse that has really made its presence felt in the indie circuit. With his mellow voice, charismatic vocal melodies and gritty lyrics, you are bound to put their songs on loop. From heavier songs like ‘The Ardent Companion That You Are’ to the nostalgic tune of ‘Rose Coloured Glasses’, the band showcases a great versatility in their compositions while still staying true to their roots. The guitar melodies are subtle and atmospheric but give a great sonic texture to every song. The best part about their music is probably how well structured their songs are. Many of their compositions have completely contrasting guitar parts, tempo and vocal melodies when heard individually. But they are always beautifully juxtaposed in a manner that seems natural which just speaks volumes about the massive potential this band has. It’s no wonder that they were picked as the runners up in the Hard Rock Rising 2014 competition amongst approximately 10,000 participating bands. So keep in mind that even after you say ‘Farewell’, their powerful songs might just be ‘Chasing After You’.
We talked to David Abraham about the band, his influences and his journey so far:
Q) You were bed-ridden with typhoid when you decided to record your debut album. You’ve come a long way since. What’s the journey been like?
I can’t really complain. It’s been a good & educational journey so far. I’ve learned how to manage myself without any prior knowledge or education in business, management, or marketing. I’ve met some unbelievable & kind people from every corner of our country, as well as the rest of the world. It’s overwhelming discovering so many people who are willing to help you, simply out of their love for music, while not expecting anything in return. It restored my faith in human nature. The irony here is that the content on “One Last Monsoon” (debut album) revolves around me being misanthropic, as well as the extermination of our species.
Q) You keep citing The Deftones as your greatest influence. You also portray love and passion for various other bands. For a musician, how important is it to stay true to their roots and influences?
I’ve always believed in music being true & unique… since a very young age. I suppose growing up surrounded by brilliant music tends to change the way you listen to & understand everything from bad to mediocre to exceptional. For me personally: it’s very important that I stay true, not because I am trying to impress any given person, but because I know, down to my very core, that I just do not like pop, commercial, or regurgitated music, and hence, I cannot bring myself to listening to or composing the such. I’d feel like a hypocrite, and plus, it would make me cringe endlessly.
As for other bands: everyone is different and has their own views, beliefs, and likes. Hence, I can’t really condemn a band for selling out. However, as an obsessed lover of music, it does hurt the fan when a band moves into a more commercial area. For instance bands like Weezer and Sugar Ray selling out at the turn of this century really broke my heart.
Q) You talk about how over the years, your band members have given various inputs which has only made the band better. How does the Koniac Net write a song? What’s the creative process like?
There is no particular process. The amazing thing about all of us is that I can bring a brand new idea to them, and they will tell me honestly if they like it or not. Usually they feel it, considering all of us think alike, and understand our music and the direction we want to head in. Once the rest of the members give me their approval, either they work on their own parts themselves, or we spurt out ideas at our rehearsals. So far, it’s been a leisured experience, since the band members have had some fantastic ideas that have taken my initial song ideas into different & wonderful directions.
Q) The first song you ever wrote was ‘Simple’ in 2000. You claim to have written almost 400-500 songs. Which are the special ones, for you and the band?
Yeah, I’ve jotted down a hell of a lot of ideas. I’ve got about a 100 song ideas on my phone at the moment, all of which I would love to do with the Koniac Net, or as a side project. At the same time, not all of them are great… there have been many that I return to months/years later and think : “Wow, this is horrible. I’ll keep it as part of my works, but this is never bracing anyone’s ears.” The main / special ones are about 20 songs I recorded back in my college days (2000-2005), which I have been wanting to release as a double CD since 2010. All members have heard the tracks, love them, and have been excited all these years about getting down to performing & recording them. So, we’re really looking forward to this. Shall hopefully begin at the end of the year since we are working on another album before it.
Q) You talk about the obvious demerits of being a musician. You also say how people abroad want to discover new music. What are the Indian fans like? Is there anything in the independent music scene ecosystem that you would want to change?
I think any fellow musician will agree with me on this one: that Indian music lovers still have a ways to go, in terms of seeking out new music acts. Abroad, it’s ALL about discovering new talent. Over here, yes, many DO want to seek out new acts, but it isn’t as common. Most fans tend to want to see bands that have already made a name for themselves. However, we have to take into consideration that this here music revolution started only about 5 years ago. In light of how new our country is to this, A LOT has been accomplished: you have numerous venues around our country supporting independent acts, plus big companies like MTV, VH1, GQ, Rolling Stone, Converse, etc. There are countless festivals that happen, what seems like, every month. We’re coming up in the music world, and what we have accomplished in such a short time is something we should be extremely proud of. I am very optimistic that in another 5-7 years, the hunger for new & unique artists will have increased 10 fold.
Q) When we were at your gig in HRC you came off the stage and screamed with the audience in you last song. You are interactive with the fans and put up a great live show. Are there any memorable moments in the journey so far?
Ziro Music Festival stands out as the most memorable. I LOVE interacting with the audience… I love receiving their energy, as it feeds the entire band, and therefore allows us to put on the best show possible. We want you to pay attention to our music, but at the same time, we want you to leave with the proverbial “full belly.”. Unfortunately, the only song I can jump into the crowd with is a cover track. We’ve talked about writing more songs through which I can touch the crowd. See what I did there?
Back to Ziro: we went there hoping that we’d at least receive a decent applause. To our surprise, the minute we took the stage, the crowd kept getting bigger, and they roared with approval after all our songs… even for 3 brand new songs that we had never played before. And for the last track where I jumped down into the crowd: there was a point where I forgot my lyrics when I realised that the audience was trying to pull me past the barricades; some tried to tear off my shirt, forcing security guards to push me back. We are not a commercially huge band, so when something like that happens, it takes you by surprise. None of us were expecting that kind of frenzy & acceptance at Ziro, since this was our 1st time playing there. It was overwhelming, and definitely one of the best shows we’ve had. We hope to play there and the North East in general more often.
Q) According to you, MTV being aired from Singapore showcased some of the best music in your younger days. You claim now the scene is growing in every avenue. But the scene is still nascent. What do you think that DIY fan-initiative like Indie Bullhorn and many others should do in order to support acts like you better?
It’s difficult to say “they should do such and such.” Music is flourishing here. As you so aptly put it: it’s nascent. With that said, I know how much of an investment towards an independent band can be. There are so many companies & people financing projects from their own pockets, and a lot of them don’t recuperate. I want to say that I wish companies were able to invest in taking a few bands abroad to play, because we have gotten a lot of positive feedback internationally, and we have had fans beg us to play in their respective countries… but we don’t have that kind of financial backing. I can only hope that a few companies find a way to help us tour internationally… a method that would prove fruitful to both us, and the sponsors.
As for the Singapore MTV feed: there is nothing in this day & age that can compare to the music scene then. It was something magnificent: MTV only had 2 reality shows, and the rest was a beautiful blend of genres & rotation. Even though pop was strong then too, the charts were dominated by genius artists like Catherine Wheel, Stabbing Westward, Nada Surf, Pond, Suede, Reef, IAM, NTM, etc. You could turn on your TV any time of the day, and there was a 97% chance that a fantastic video was playing at that moment.
Now, you have to search for something that you might like, or that is unique. It’s just a different age… I can also argue how brilliant YouTube is for musicians & music fans.
Q) In many interviews you talk about the your dream double CD. You also want to tour abroad. What has the Koniac Net been up to? Are there any releases on the way?
Hahaha, I mentioned the double CD in one of the questions above. The Koniac Net has been on a winter hiatus. We began working on our 7-8 song album. It started out as a 4 song EP, but we composed a few new songs that we really loved, and we’re very excited about the composition part of them. In a few weeks, we shall be regrouping, with our goal being releasing this album for of you as soon as possible and when we are 100% satisfied with it.
A huge thanks to David for having that interview with us! Please do check out the links below. Also, do like tKN’s Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their YouTube channel to keep in touch with latest updates.
Here’s the link to their website.
Here’s the link to their Bandcamp page.
You can buy their music at:
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Picture credits to My Bhutan/Sarah Keayes and Joey Katare.
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