Well, our Metal brothers and sisters in India have been very busy recently and are keen to let you all know whats going on - so here is our interview with Sceptre, who have been around for 14 years now and are just releasing their second studio album. Here's what Aniket, their drummer had to say...
Hello Sceptre and welcome to MetalTalk.net – how are you all?
"Hey there... thanks for having us on board. We are all pretty stoked about the release of our second album 'Age Of Calamity' which should be out next month. Let me introduce the band guys to you.... we have Gilroy Fernandes on guitars, Samron Jude on vocals, Janus Sayal on bass and Aniket Waghmode on drums.
"Samron and me take care of the lyrics department. Gilroy comes up with the riffs and we eventually add our parts to it, while Janus manages the online affairs, booking gigs for the band and stuff like that. We've been around since 14 years now. We already have a gig coming by the end of this week alongside some kickass bands in Mumbai. Things couldn't look more promising!"
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You have a new album out next month – tell us about it.
"The album is called 'Age Of Calamity'. We had started writing songs for the album since the past one year or so. Once the songs were ready, it was time to name the album. We discussed a lot, on various topics which have plagued our country and which needed immediate notice. There was rampant corruption, scams, communal riots etc which we could talk of, but the one thing that caught our attention and we felt strongly for, was the state of women in this country. We could not ignore this issue.
"At the risk of ditching humility, I would say we have always tried to bring something new to the table with our songs and this time we had an issue which I guess no Metal band has thought of touching upon. The album is a homage to all the women of the world who have been victims of rape, molestation, murder etc. and a hard kick up the arse of a government who's deaf and impotent to deal with this issue. The title track talks about just that. The album artwork shows a woman half-stripped, battered and waiting to be further devoured by society. My favourite track would be 'Wrath Of God'.
We noticed you had been recording at Demonic Studios, what was that like?
"Our relationship with Sahil goes back at least 15 years. Over the years we have seen him emerge as a thorough professional be it with his own band or managing his label. Keeping in mind his body of work, we asked him if he could help us with the album and he happily obliged. Working with him was nothing less than a memorable experience for all of us. His inputs, level of enthusiaism really helped us to take this album to a different level."
You say your music is socially relevant, with the eyes and ears of the world turned towards India over the past few months how does your music reflect the social morals of India just now, the needs of a changing and growing culture?
"We have always tried to make songs which are socially relevent. We had a song named 'Charred' in our first album which spoke about the evils of smoking. It stood out instantly from the rest of the songs on that album as it was heavy and Metalheads found it ironic that a Metal band wouldn't endorse smoking.
"What made it more remarkable was none of us in the band smoked and continue to do so even now. So... we weren't just preaching, you see!
"We had the same approach with 'Age Of Calamity'. The rapes, murders, female foeticides over the past one year had just sky-rocketed. We strongly feel that the biggest hurdle we, as a country, face today is the plight of women here. How can we progress if the women of the country aren't safe? This was our way of saying that we are one with them and we seek the strictest of punishments for perpetrators of such dastardly acts. The recent gang-rape of a 23 year old girl in Delhi just shows how low mankind has stooped to and this HAS to end."
You have been around since 1998 but didn’t release your first album for nine years. What was the story there for such a long time before debut album?
"That's true. When we started in 1998, as cliched as it may sound, we didn't know we would make it this far. We just wanted to play live... that's it. Play to audiences in possibly every part of the country. Cutting an album was never on our radar. Neither did we have the financial means nor the right know-how to cut an album.
"We released an EP way back somewhere around 1999 or 2000 just to please ourselves and the fans. Also, a lotta line-up changes kept us from writing new stuff. It was around 2005, that we started to think on the lines of cutting a full-fledged album. The songs were ready, we knew how things worked in the Metal circuit and most importantly we had the money (whatever little was required!). We were also juggling with our jobs at the same time. That's why the terrible delay."
What were the highlights of 2012 for you?
"For my bass guitarist Janus, it ought to be the birth of his baby boy for sure! As for the band, it was definitely getting Sahil on board to help us with the album. Also, the slow realisation of how incredible the album would sound made it really special."
When will we see you in the UK?
"Oh my fucking God!! I can't even begin to tell you how badly we would like to come to UK and give you'll a taste of Sceptre. That said we aren't a totally new name in the UK actually. One of our songs, 'Revolution' from our debut album 'Now Or Never', was featured on a compilation CD which was given away free with a copy of Metal Hammer in 2011.
"We are looking at playing gigs all across India first and sell the album to the last copy. But make no mistake, we will come to UK soon!"
What are your top five all time songs and why?
"Wow... it's hard, but I'll try..
i) Metallica: 'Harvestor Of Sorrow' - the groove around this song is unbelievable. Hetfield's vocals are so fuckin good!
ii) Slayer: 'Killing Fields' - when I first heard this song, I went numb. I couldn't fathom how anybody could play drums the way Paul Bostaph did on that track. As a matter of fact, all the songs on that album are insane.
iii) Iron Maiden: 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' - do I need to elaborate??!
iv) Sepultura: 'Arise' - thrash at it's best. Heavy as fuck and downright brutal. This song was my first taste of Sepultura.
v) Decapitated: 'Pest' - I've recently dicovered this band and I just can't have enuff. The song slowly massages you before blowing your head off. So much aggression and groove packed in one song. Fuckin A!!!"
Thanks Aniket, it was good to catch up and fingers crossed we will see you in the UK very soon :-)