Almost everyone comes across a point in their teenage days when they think about starting a band and wowing the masses with the music they’ll create. For most part, this remains a fantasy as people are either daunted by the task as hand, thinking of it as a futile attempt that won’t really pay off. On the other hand there are some people who go through with it, against all odds and actually make their dreams come true. One example of that is Unohu. Started in 2012 by the Karkare brothers, Sarthak and Shashwat, who were in school at that point and later expanding to include Yohann Coutinho, this power trio isn’t just one of the youngest bands in the scene, but is also one of its most accomplished. Winners of the first edition of Bandcubator, finalists in the Converse Rubber Tracks event and performers at the NH7 weekender, Ragasthan and PUMA loves Vinyl music festivals, amongst others, Unohu has certainly come a long way in a short time. With moody music at its center, Unohu’s compositions are packed with a blend of genres, something that is reflected in the diverse range of artists that serve as influences, stylistically speaking. This is perhaps one of the reasons why their recent second EP ‘Babel’ has turned out to be the fine release it is.
The 4 track EP, which rages against the socio-political situation of today, displays what we love about Unohu best, yet offers a different, more mature side in comparison to their debut EP Asunder which clearly reflects the band’s growth over time. With classy riffs, groovy basslines, and energetic drumming aplenty, Babel has great loop potential especially given its short duration, which is about the only gripe since we couldn’t get enough. Sarthak does a commendable job on the vocals as well, with his distinct voice being perfect for the role of the outraged citizen. With Babel being as good as it is, one can only wait in anticipation till this young trio releases their first full length album which is hopefully soon. Till then, Unohu who to keep an eye out for.
We got a chance to talk to the band about a bunch of topics, including their latest EP. Check out our interview with this powerhouse of a trio!
Q) Four years, several shows and accolades and two cracking EPs; what’s the journey been like?
It has been extremely gratifying in every way. We’ve been inundated with the kind of love and support we had never dreamed of. We can expect more from ourselves because we know we’ve been pushing ourselves every step of the way to do more, and its paying off.
Q) There is an old video of your second gig ever at Control Alt Delete III where you guys are 14 & 17 years old. If you had one message for these familiar lads below, what would it be?
Make more mistakes to learn that much more.
Q) Who have been your influences from the indie scene over the years? Do you remember the first indie gig you guys attended?
Skrat have been an indubitable inspiration. Stalwarts such as Blackstratblues have been a pleasure to watch and learn from, because the one thing you learn from them is that you can really pursue whatever you want if you love and enjoy it enough. In their case, it’s visible every time they take over the stage. Other bands closer to our age, such as Spud In The Box, have been equally important, if not more.
Q) Could you tell us a little about each song from your new EP ‘Babel’?
‘Babel’ is a political standpoint. It’s about resisting political onslaughts and carving out a space for yourself as an individual, to know where you stand and belong. In that context, ‘Call My Name’ and ‘Incognito’ are songs about resisting a herd-mentality that obscures and reduces people to numbers and faceless, nameless masses. ‘Waiting For Caesar’ is an assault on a system, created by us, that makes us complacent and complicit in electing leaders who misguide and mislead us. ‘Time’ is simply about accepting the fact that time, as a force, has its own way of dealing with things; that often some things are beyond our control, and that is a fact with which we must reconcile.
Q) Sarthak and Shashwat, you guys are brothers. How is it having a brother as a band-mate? Do you think it affects the songwriting process in some way?
It’s really no different from having friends in a band. The environment is unbiased and rather conducive to let everyone’s opinion be shared and critiqued. We do not play a song live unless we are all conclusively on the same page and content with what we’ve made. The only advantage is that we can practice more, given the fact that we share a room and live together.
Q) You have said that Porcupine Tree has been a big influence. If you had a chance to present one song from your new EP to Steven Wilson, what would it be and why?
We would probably make him listen to ‘Time’. He’d dig the vibe. It’s a dynamic, melodic and melancholic song.
Q) What was it like winning the Bandcubator earlier this year? Could you recall some of the other special highlights of your journey so far?
Winning Bandcubator was an unanticipated success. It was overwhelming and really took us by surprise, given the extravagant rewards we won. But in no sense would we like to belittle the achievement, because we really learned a lot along the way and met some amazing bands and new people. Some other interesting highlights would include the time we played Ragasthan and the Weekender in 2014. It was a real high for us and really cemented us as a band. What we prize most throughout the journey is how we’ve changed as people and all that we’ve learned because of having started out young.
Q) You have an EP launch tour ahead of yourself. Could you describe your expectations from the coming future in a Unohu song lyric?
“Are we waiting for the night?
Until forever, we’re losing the light
Are we waiting for the night?
Oh forever, till the light”
This is from one of our new songs titled ‘Forever’.
Cheers to Unohu for that great interview! Do like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their YouTube channel for the latest updates regarding the band. You can also check out their debut EP ‘Asunder’ below:
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