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FEATURES
  INTERVIEW WITH DEMONSTEALER

Roxy

roxy the rock dog

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anarchadia

Here at MetalTalk Towers we like to aim to keep up with the movers and shakers Metalwise across the globe. Last year we were extraordinarily lucky to catch up with some of the real groundbreakers in terms of Metal from countries where this is a new form of musical expression embraced by homegrown talent.

Some of these artists have been amongst the very first Metal artists to be successful in their own countries and therefore are considered leaders in Metal in their own right. This month we have been able to catch up with one of the leaders of the Metal movement in India - they call him 'Demonstealer', here at the Towers we now call him 'friend' and ourselves 'lucky' to have been able to find this very busy and hugely successful artist in one place long enough feature him in MetalTalk.net.

Article continues below...

 
 


Who is Sahil 'Demonstealer' Makhija and what motivates you to create Metal?

"My journey into the world of Metal began about 16 years ago when a couple of my friends gave me some Iron Maiden and Metallica to listen to back in school and from there on my thirst for Metal music only grew. I quickly discovered a love for Pantera, Death, Sepultura, Fear Factory, SYL, White Zombie and Manson after which I discovered my love for black and death Metal and later on power Metal bands like Blind Guardian, Nightwish and Kamelot.

"I pretty much found bands in each Metal sub genre that I liked and could relate to. I started my first band, or rather attempted my first musical collaboration, right after school in 1998 with my friend Sunil who also introduced me to home recording at the time and we wrote a few songs but it was only in 2000 that I was able to form my own band, Demonic Resurrection. Since then I've been part of the Indian Metal scene with my bands Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death, Workshop, Hellwind and my solo material.

"I've been involved as a promoter doing the Resurrection Festival from 2004 till 2010. I ran India's only record label for extreme Metal called Demonstealer Records as well as a home studio setup for Metal bands to record in called Demonic Studios. More recently I've started DSR Booking and PR which is India's premier agency for Metal PR and booking all my bands and started an online Heavy Metal cooking show called Headbanger's Kitchen.

"I can't really explain what about Metal motivates me but 16 years ago I latched onto it and have never let go. I like to believe I live, breathe, sleep and eat Metal :)"

You first came to the attention of the media in 2000 when you created Demonic Resurrection – how were you received in India?

"The truth is back in 2000 there really was no 'media' per se for Metal and the scene here was all about cover bands and playing your own music was like not something bands took to naturally, they would always throw in one or two songs they wrote apologetically into their ten song setlist. I always knew I wanted to play my own music and not someone else's and that is exactly what I did.

"It was DR and a bunch of other bands like Kryptos, Zero, Pentagram, MyndSnare etc that kind of were playing original music despite audience resistance at times. I mean we've done shows where we were heckled, booed and even had bottles and stones thrown at us because people didn't want to hear original extreme Metal. We took all that in our stride and we released our music and just generally made a name for ourselves with our music and work ethic.

"We did receive a lot of support over the years from media world over and even our local press we've got more than favourable reviews. I think the industry here has grown with us, there isn't a full fledged Metal music industry as we're piggy backing on the indie scene in general but slowly as the average age of Metal heads is moving from 16-21 to include people who are older we're seeing signs of an independent industry.

"DR and Kryptos are probably the two oldest surviving and actively playing Metal bands and some bands like Millenium and Dying Embrace that started back in 1990 and had disbanded and been dormant for ten years are all making comebacks now. So the scene is thriving and growing here and we've been received well :)"

anarchadia

Tell us a bit about Demonic Resurrection – we hear you are working on your fourth studio album. How is that going?

"We've just about finished the songwriting process for the new album and we're planning to hit the studios in January and we're hoping to have the album out around middle of 2013. This album is going to be faster, more melodic, more brutal and just more demonic in general. Our sound has really progressed over the last 13 years with all the various lineup changes and obviously we've grown and improved as musicians.

"In 2000 when I wrote and released the first album I was a 16-year-old kid with a dream and some basic knowledge of guitar playing and home recording. Over the years I feel like I've become a musician now and I know what I'm doing and what I want to express. Mephisto who joined us on keys in 2003 is instrumental in bringing in the symphonic element to our music. Viru and Daniel who joined us on the last album also I think now are move involved and instrumental in the sound that has come about and we've got our new bassist Ashwin who joined us in Feb this year who just brings this awesome death Metal finger-style bass playing sound to the band and I think the new album will reflect a more coherent sound than the last album. It's definitely more physically challenging for Viru to play on the drums and we've really kind of pushed his limits on this."



You have created another band – Workshop – tell us a bit about them, including what your definition of 'humour Metal' is?

"Workshop has actually been around for a while now. It's beginnings were back in 2007/2008 when I jammed with a few local musicians to launch ESP Guitars in India at a guitar clinic and the drummer Hamza who I jammed with enjoyed the music we did for that clinic and pestered me for a while to play together in a band and we ended up doing a very spontaneous set at a college show here with impromtu lyrics and a really fun atmosphere on stage opposed to the more serious Metal image I have with DR.

"It was through this that Workshop was born (because we held a guitar workshop) and we kind of decided we wanted to be a fun band with a whacky image and generally write fun music and make people laugh since the three of us at that time were known to be quite the clowns of the scene (lots of bad jokes being cracked at social gatherings). We took this image forth and recorded our debut album in 2009 called 'Khooni Murga' which loosely translates to murderous chicken.

"Since then we've toured like crazy and had some ups and downs and line up changes and we're now ready with our second full-length album called 'Made Love To The Dragon'. You can say we're a blend of hard rock and stand up comedy. Workshop is my side project and I've always been one of those people who can't stick to one thing and likes to do everything so this is just another expression of me and my personality.

"It doesn't really come in the way of anything I do with Demonic Resurrection because the Indian scene still doesn't have a long drawn own cycle for bands writing and touring like in the west. We all have day jobs, write music all the time and record it when we can and most gigs are all through the year during the weekends.



Are you still involved with Reptillian Death? What are your plans for them?

"Reptilian Death started out as a spoof death Metal band with a five part song called '5 Easy Ways To Murder Someone' and I guess you can see by my spoofy attempt that this is where my funny bone for Workshop comes from. I took the band live in 2001 when DR couldn't go for a festival and I wanted to play the festival at any cost so I made RD a live band and since then it has sporadically been on and off and even released a full-length in 2004 and an EP again in 2006 with constant line-up changes to the band taking a more serious musical route.

"I can safely say that in 2013 the world will know Reptilian Death because we've done some crazy stuff in the last two years getting a new album together with a complete overhaul of the music, the image and everything. I can only say 'wait for it'.



You seem to be very busy – what are your priorities in life and how to you balance all your undertakings?

"As I mentioned previously I am part of five musical projects, I have a day job with Furtados Music (a local importer for musical instruments), I also run my label, booking agency, studio, PR and have that cooking show on YouTube as well.

"For me DR has always been my priority and it will remain that way. I am most grateful to my employers, Furtados Music, who allow me to work from home and give me enough free time to handle all the other stuff I do. I guess for me it is all about time management. I'm fortunate that I still live with my parents so family is always around me and I have an extremely supportive and understanding girlfriend.

"I'm pretty much working 24/7 and I shuffle between the studio and my bedroom. I guess one of the ways I balance all my bands is because everyone else in my various bands have day jobs and can only commit a certain number hours a week to doing music so it balances itself I guess."

We noticed you at Bloodstock this year – how did that go for you?

"Bloodstock was an awesome and much needed experience for us. As Metalheads we enjoyed our first camping trip, watching our heros and meeting a few of them as well. It was a fantastic experience. As a band we couldn't have asked for a better response to our set or a warmer welcome from the UK media. It was a great experience. We met a lot of fans and bands and it was a truly fantastic trip.

"We hope that 2013 will see us return to the UK to tour or to play some festivals but the trip is extremely expensive for us so we're going to weigh out our options and offers in 2013 and see what we can manage. We loved playing in the UK and we can't wait to come back."

Which other bands do you work with?

"We pretty much work on our own as a band and we're signed to Candlelight who released our last album worldwide and we work with a few booking agencies but no bands really. With Workshop I've had the pleasure of having Mattias Eklund (Freak Kitchen) and Christophe Godin (Metal Kartoon) each do a solo on the new album. I'm also hoping that on my solo album I'll be able to collaborate with a few different musicians."

Tell us a bit about what is going on in the Metal industry in India – who should we be keeping an eye out for?

"We've suddenly had a huge number of festivals pop up and tons of bands coming down. Last year alone we saw Gojira, Lamb Of God, Children Of Bodom, Slayer, Testament, Periphery etc and it's been a massive year for Metal in India. I expect this year is going to be much bigger.

"I'd say look out for Indian bands like Kryptos, Albatross, Bhayanak Maut, Undying Inc, Inner Sanctum, Zygnema, Skyharbor, Bevar Sea etc etc as there is some serious talent here and it's only a matter of time before it explodes onto a global level. We also had a bit of a humorous old school Metal vs new school Metal war going on for a while but like most things in India it's restricted to Facebook but yeah we hope that 2013 see's more Indian bands as well and it looks like a massive year coming up."

Who are your top five Indian Metal bands and why?

"Well that is a very tough question indeed but I'd say personally speaking I love Exhumation who are no longer active. I'm more of a fan of Prashant Shah, the guitarist who writes some killer riffs and he was also actually the first member of Demonic Resurrection and he now plays in Scribe.



"I'm a huge fan of Kryptos... and I have been since about 12 odd years now. I think musically there aren't too many bands I enjoy on a whole but I like select songs of each band and I think in general bands like Zygnema, Bhayanak Maut, Inner Sanctum, Albatross, Skyharbor, Undying Inc are all awesome at what they do and I listen to them from time to time and enjoy their live gigs too. I think people should check them out."

And you can do so at the bottom of this page...

What are your plans for 2013?

"Oh wow - 2013 is hopefully going to be MASSIVE for me personally as well. In January Workshop will release the second full-length album 'Made Love To The Dragon' and in Jan/Feb I will hopefully be busy touring to promote it.

"March will see a huge announcement hopefully from the DR camp and also the new album should be underway. I think in April I should be able to release the new Reptilian Death album and probably in June/July the DR album and hopefully be touring all the while somewhere or the other and maybe end of the year start working on my second solo album.

"I shall continue to do my cooking show and hopefully have some Metal celebrities on it as well in 2013 like I did in 2012 and hopefully I can just fill up 2013 with touring and writing and recording and more touring :)"

What are your all time top five favourite tracks and why?

"This is the mission impossible question and can never include all the songs I want to but I'll put my cult classics down as best I possibly can:"

1. Strapping Young Lad - Detox



2. Dimmu Borgir - In Death's Embrace



3. Death - Scavenger Of Human Sorrow



4. Blind Guardian - And Then There Was Silence



5. Behemoth - Conquer All



"I really wish I could add like twenty tracks more but since it has to be five I can only list the ones above and mainly because they just blew my mind when I heard them. Strapping Young Lad just had a mad angry energy that was infectious. Dimmu Borgir for the the amazing atmosphere the song has. Death for blowing my mind with those riffs and Richard Christy's godly drumming. Blind Guardian for writing an operatic experience like that song and Behemoth for just being fucking Behemoth :)"

We loved catching uwith Demonstealer and btw we think we know what they mean by Humour Metal...

anarchadia


















3.1.13


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rival sons RIVAL SONS RETURN TO UK FOR DECEMBER TOUR
The band appear on Letterman in the US on October 9th, and will have an exciting UK TV appearance to announce soon...

linkin park LINKIN PARK PLAY TWO NIGHTS AT LONDON'S 02 ARENA IN NOVEMBER
Following their exhilarating headline sets at the European summer festivals, Linkin Park return for their own headline tour in November...

evil scraecrow AT LAST! A NEW VIDEO FROM EVIL SCARECROW
"It's an emotional thing for us to watch back. We hope that translates to everyone that watches it too!"

sabctuary SANCTUARY POSTS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'EXITIUM (ANTHEM OF THE LIVING)'
Sanctuary continue that legacy that they started decades ago, delivering yet another fresh take on "classic-sounding" Metal...

electric mary ELECTRIC MARY ANNOUNCE MINI ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Australian five piece Electric Mary are back to spread Rock n' Roll's genuine flavour to Europe...

accept ACCEPT REVEAL LIVE CLIP OF 'PANDEMIC' FILMED IN FRONT OF 750,000 PEOPLE AT WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL 2014
UK fans can catch the band live at The Forum in London on the 27th November 2014...

hornet HORNET ANNOUNCE NEW EP AND SINGLE
"We really wanted to just expand the sound we already had by incorporating more of our influences to make our sound more modern and diverse..."

jimmy barnes JIMMY BARNES ANNOUNCES NEW 30th ANNIVERSARY ALBUM 'HINDSIGHT'
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Barnes' debut as Scottish born Australian rock singer-songwriter...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE SUPPORTS ANNOUNCED FOR FORTHCOMING TOUR
London based hard rockers Neonfly will support in the UK mainland, with Northern Irish Metalheads Conjuring Fate doing the honours at the Belfast and Dublin shows...

within temptation WITHIN TEMPTATION TO HEADLINE BLOODSTOCK 2015
Within Temptation appear as a UK exclusive. Prog Metal titans Opeth will also appear on the bill...

emigrate EMIGRATE CONFIRM NEW ALBUM FOR UK RELEASE VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
'Silent So Long' is the second album from the band formed by Rammstein's Richard Kruspe...

highway to hell WINNERS OF HIGHWAY TO HELL 5 ANNOUNCED
Texas Flood are the overall winners from an outstanding field, winning a contract and an appearance at Hard Rock Hell...

grim reaper THE LEGENDARY GRIM REAPER RETURN TO LONDON
Get down to the Boston Music Room on 27th September for Grim Reaper with Amulet and Dark Forest...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR NOVEMBER 2014
The 30th anniversary celebrations continue with a world tour including a trip to North America and a nine date UK leg...

eric martin MR. BIG SINGER ANNOUNCES UK SOLO ACOUSTIC TOUR
Eric Martin will play nine unplugged dates in December 2014 with a mix of solo and Mr Big material...

absolva ABSOLVA ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST
British classic Metallers Absolva are delighted to announce the appointment of new bassist Karl Schramm...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PLANS AND UPDATED TOURING SCHEDULE
Manowar will headline Loud Park Festival in Tokyo on October 18th 2014 and will then resume the 'Kings Of Metal MMXIV' World Tour...

skyscraper SKYSCRAPER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'MONDAY MORNING'
This dynamic band has been taking critics by storm with their inimitable brand of melodic hard rock...

the more i see THE MORE I SEE ANNOUNCE OCT/NOV TOUR WITH SAVAGE MESSIAH AND BULL RIFF STAMPEDE
Featuring world renowned guitarist Gizz Butt, the band always deliver incredible live shows that combine passion, energy and breathtaking musicianship...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND REVEALS Z DETAILS AND ANNOUNCES SPECIAL ROYAL ALBERT HALL PERFORMANCE
Devin Townsend is extremely pleased to announce the release of long-awaited new double-album...

blastfest AT THE GATES, DARK FUNERAL, ROTTING CHRIST AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR BLASTFEST 2015
Bergen, Norway, former home of the legendary Hole In The Sky Festival and considered thee black metal capital of the world...

exodus EXODUS REVEAL SPECIAL GUESTS ON NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT'
Bay Area thrash Metal provocateurs Exodus proudly announce the special guests appearing on their latest showcase of unrefined rage...

panzer PANZER STREAMING LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'THE LAST MAN ON EARTH'
Brazilian thrash/stoner act Panzer have just released a new lyric video on for the second track of the album 'Honor'...

bush BUSH ANNOUNCE OCTOBER 20th RELEASE FOR 'MAN ON THE RUN'
Multi-platinum alt-rock band Bush have announced an October 20th release date for their highly anticipated new album...

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'LIVE FOR THE FIGHT'
The video features Luke Appleton (Iced Earth) who is playing bass for the band on the forthcoming European Tour...

giants of rock GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL: FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED
The reformed Family and pomp rockers Magnum will headline the event...

weapon uk ESTRELLA TO SUPPORT GILBY CLARKE ON TOUR AND ANNOUNCE A NEW SINGLE
The band are currently gearing up for a thirteen date trek with Clarke that includes dates in Wakefield, London and Edinburgh...

weapon uk WEAPON UK ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER
Weapon UK have tour dates confirmed in support of their critically acclaimed album 'Rising From The Ashes'...

amulet AMULET DEBUT ALBUM 'THE FIRST' RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER: FIRST TRACK NOW ONLINE
The album track 'Mark Of Evil' has just been uploaded to Soundcloud. Raise your fists and bang your heads on this one...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER'S GUITARS STOLEN FROM GERMAN RECORDING STUDIO
German police are examining evidence and the studio for fingerprints and DNA evidence to help catch the criminals...

jimi jamison JIMI JAMISON OF SURVIVOR PASSES AWAY AGED 63
Jimi Jamison, lead singer of Survivor, very sadly passed away on Sunday night...

distorted harmony DISTORTED HARMONY UNLEASH FOOTAGE FROM 'CHAIN REACTION LIVE!'
The Tel Aviv quintet are looking forward to bringing their show to Europe this November...

ensiferum ENSIFERUM TO BEGIN RECORDING SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM NEXT MONTH
"We are convinced that this will be a ground breaking album for us and the whole genre. Modesty? What's that?"...

les-fest wildfire LES-FEST WILDFIRE ANNOUNCES FURTHER ACTS FOR SUMMER 2015
Max Raptor, Anihilated and more join the stellar array of main stage bands...

mystery deeexpus THE HOUSE OF PROGRESSION & THE MERCH DESK PROUDLY PRESENT MYSTERY & DeeEXPUS LIVE
It's a night of Prog at The Borderline on Tuesday 9th September, one of three chances to see this unique pairing...

butcher babies BUTCHER BABIES ANNOUNCE DETAILS FOR UPCOMING 'UNCOVERED' EP
The breakthrough Metal act have chosen five of their favourite tracks to get a makeover...

avenged sevenfold AVENGED SEVENFOLD RELEASE NEVER BEFORE SEEN ORIGINAL VIDEO FOR 'UNHOLY CONFESSIONS'
Take a fresh look at the 2004 track taken from the essential 'Waking The Fallen: Resurrected'...

reckless ambition RECKLESS AMBITION AND DIRTY LIONS TO PLAY THE ROCK PATCH THIS SATURDAY
Anyone who hasn't seen Reckless Ambition, then you are in for a real treat...

meshuggah MESHUGGAH ANNOUNCE 25TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS IN EUROPE
Celebrate 25 years of musical deviance on this tour which includes a date a London's Roundhouse...

mr big MR. BIG CHANGE RELEASE DATE FOR NEW ALBUM "...THE STORIES WE COULD TELL"
The original line-up are back with some of their most powerful material to date and their signature hard rock sound...

well eavy 'WELL 'EAVY - VOL. 1' COMPILATION TO BE RELEASED BY HANGMAN - AMULET'S OWN LABEL
Get down to the free entry release party in Camden on 29th August...

slipknot DEF LEPPARD TO PERFORM NFL PRE-GAME SHOW AT FIRST LONDON NFL GAME OF 2014
Joe Elliott: "I know what the atmosphere in the ground is like for 'our' football so I'm really looking forward to performing there before the NFL game..."

slipknot SLIPKNOT REVEAL NEW ALBUM AND TOUR INFORMATION
'.5: The Gray Chapter' will be released on October 21 followed by US dates with Korn...

hard rock hell HARD ROCK HELL 8 ANNOUNCES MORE ACTS
The Vintage Caravan, Blue Pills, Horisont, Spiders and Santa Cruz have been added to the line up for November...

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