Saturday, 31 August 2013

Interview with Delhi 2 Dublin in Bristol

Delhi 2 Dublin are a band from Vancouver Canada who mix Celtic music with the sounds of India. They are known for getting everyone dancing during their live shows and even they crowd surfed at a gig in a canoe! I caught up with them when they played at the Trinity Arts Centre in Bristol.   

Why Delhi 2 Dublin, Why not Cork 2 Calcutta or Limerick to Lucknow?
Tarun: It started off as Bombay to Belfast. But we looked at the poster with the presenter of the show and the organiser who was funding the first Delhi 2 Dublin show and saw “Bomb” and “Belfast” put together in big writing. We decided that it was probably a bad idea as at the time the situation was a bit sensitive.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Indian Irish electronic reggae dub music… It's all rock and roll!

Your music doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. What are the advantages of being genreless?
You are able to do a lot more without anyone questioning it so we play folk festivals, electronic festivals, Indian melas and corporate events.
T: Kids’ birthday parties! That would be fun!
S: It’s so wide, you can't do that with every single band. We can represent cultural events like Canada day. We did Canada day when William and Kate were there. We get to do that stuff whereas certain bands don’t fit that or certain electronic bands don’t get that opportunity, so that's the best part.
Ravi: We met Will and Kate!
T:Will was totally into it! He was like, what’s up homies!
S: We called him Bill.
T: Billy Dawg! 

You’ve proved that Celtic music can mix with the sounds of India. Why do you think it works so well together and why is it loved by fans from different backgrounds?
I think there's a kind of magic, somehow those Irish and Punjabi things come together. Some people have these crazy theories about how there is actually a common root, a comment ancestor and that the music originated in north India. Then the Celts either travelled south and were exposed to it or people from India travelled all the way out and there are definitely similar parts. I was reading this crazy article about how some scholars have started to see druids as a Brahmin style tradition -their robes and mysterious Lord of the Rings stuff. So there is some crazy relationship between the two. When the music meets, it's like you’re at a party where two long lost relatives are seeing each other for the first time and every time we play, that same magic happens. We're putting the same things back together again and it's like a celebration. The shorter answer would be that it's like the two great drinking cultures of the world come together on one stage!

How do you go about putting a track together?
It varies. For me the best way is when T comes out with some beats first and then I just go into the studio and work on it then bring it back out to the band. Sometimes it will come out of a rehearsal where we're just screwing around and someone comes up with something and that turns into something else. Sometimes it's where we're working with a songwriter and we’re like okay we're going to write the track today and you work really hard to make a song because that's what you’re doing. It's not just one person sitting and writing the lyrics. It's quite a collaborative but also individual. We'll take time with stuff on our own and then work on them together.

How do you think you've changed musically from album to album?
We got better! We've matured as a group, you can hear it if you listen to our albums. Together and individually we've matured
T: I think we’ve realised that songs are really important, whereas in the beginning it was a lot of groove based stuff. We realised that the music that we listen to and that we really like is songs. So we started writing songs which is really satisfying. It is also really nice to see people sing with us, that's the main difference

You've had many of your songs remixed. What made you hand over your music to other producers to remix?
I think that in the electronic world that is a very normal thing where people get other DJs to remix their track. It reaches a wider audience and it’s interesting. Especially for a band like us because we get the tracks back and we can incorporate that into our set. We end up meeting so many people and T knows so many people in the electronic scene. It's a great way for your friends to work with you and you to work with your friends.
T: It gives us more material to play live. Sometimes the remix is more fun to play live than the original. We’ll play the original for 6 months and then think ok we’ve got it, this is boring! Then we start playing the remixes.

What’s your favourite remix?
It’s not really remix but it's a mash up that we did. Praise You by Fat Boy Slim and Jogi by Panjabi MC. For me it’s fricking magic, it’s awesome.
S: Chrome Rock’s remix of Turn It Up that is available on our download card. It is so new to me and I love it. It’s super sweet. It’s just great and brand new.

You've journeyed all over the globe, do you have any travel tips?
You don't need as many clothes as you think you do and you can do laundry on the road.
Sara: Saves space for shopping too.
R: That's false! Doing laundry on the road is false!
T: That is because your mum does it all for you!
S: Not all of us do laundry on the road but one can do laundry on the road if one chooses! On longer tours, four of us may choose to do so and one of the members of the band will just fly home and come back with fresh clothes!
R: I always have the biggest techi.
Sara: Lots of underwear! If you don’t get to do laundry at least you have clean underwear!
T: Almond butter and those eye patches that block out the light
S: The ones that make you look like a pirate!

Is there a band mascot that travels with you?

S: We have a skull but the guy who is supposed to bring it doesn't bring it!
R: I don’t want to break it, that‘s why!

Is there anyone that you'd like to work with?
Rick Rubin.
S: We’re going to work with DJ Swami and Tigerstyle. We've worked with Swami before, he's awesome and he's a genius. We've never worked with Tigerstyle. I have never met them and their beats are so sick so I'm really excited about that. Hopefully something good comes out. Sometimes it just doesn't work and it's no one's fault. I’m just stoked to meet them and see how they work.

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