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Ska Vengers – The Interview

[Artists, Discovery, Recent Event Audios]

We finally got hold of Stefan Kaye (Backing Vocals & Keyboards) from the band Ska Vengers. A recent interaction with Diggy Dang (Ska Vengers Bandmate and guitarist) informed us that Stefan was the main person and band manager behind the art of answering questions.

Current music scene in India with reference to Ska, and the genres related to it.
He felt that this question was a bit confusing. He tells us that genres related to greater or lesser extent to ska would include jazz, R&B and calypso (that came before it) and rock-steady, reggae, punk dance-hall, dub, hip hop that came after. “There is not exactly a surfeit of decent live outfits in India that reference these styles.” He says that the Ska Vengers is their public service contribution.

Perception of their first release by the audience.
Time was a big factor now as Stefan had just returned from a gig in Kerala. So we cornered him and asked the question once again. He then went on to explain that he didn’t think many people have actually heard the track since it was released only on a compilation CD that wasn’t widely distributed. It was a good sign that it wasn’t criticized by anyone including Rock Street Journal.

Musical vibe and experience alongside Apache Indian and Arundhati Roy.
Street noise in the background drowned by the traffic, and the bustle of vendors created an ambience fit for a live radio interview. As Stefan was gearing up to address this question, we blocked all exits just to make sure he doesn’t bolt. He then tells us that they did jam with Apache Indian on a live version of Chak De that sounded slightly more acceptable, to his ears at least (chuckle) and the collaboration with Arundhati was pretty interesting. As he explains, “The first half was an on stage question and answer session with Ms Roy which was rudely interrupted by demonstrators who attempted to destroy their musical equipment before being bundled off by the cops; and the second half was our performance. We wanted to bring the two elements of her book launch together so we had several rehearsals together in which we developed a piece of music with her narration. This was very rewarding for us and she certainly seemed to get off on the whole process as it was for her, the first time she had been actively involved in a musical performance. She shook some tambourine on one of our numbers too I seem to recall.”

Favourite venues and cities to perform at so far.
He admits, “Almost all our gigs to date as Ska Vengers have been in Delhi. Probably the most rewarding gig though was the other day on a cliff top at Varkala Beach in Kerala at ‘Rock n Roll Cafe’ with a basic sound system but heaps of enthusiasm.”

Debut album coming up this month.
His face lights up as he tells us, “The debut album is currently being mixed and should be out before the end of the year. I am very happy with the results so far and I really can’t say anything more.”

Tour duration & cities covered.
First tour will begin in October and will feature the full line up:

20th Oct – Blue Frog, Mumbai

21st Oct – High Spirits, Pune

23rd Oct – Sutra (The Lalit Ashok), Bangalore

4th Nov – Out of the Box, New Delhi

Photo credit Sarah Lankford
Photo credit Sarah Lankford