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Chords and Conversation – Daira

With the Sessional Examinations having recently concluded, Chords & Co. managed to rope in one of India’s finest upcoming bands, ‘Daira’, to help everyone relax and gain some insight along the way. The event was scheduled to be held on the 23rd of March at 6 pm. In typical rock and roll fashion, the event began an hour late. However, it hardly felt like an inconvenience to have to spend some more time at the verdant Manipal Amphitheatre.

The anticipated arrival of the band was greeted with an enthusiastic applause. However, the band made it extremely clear that this was intended to be more of a workshop than a gig, but they went on to perform two songs in order to set the mood. One of the members of the band couldn’t make it, as he was “busy making money”, chided Piyush, as the lighthearted nature of the band immediately shone through. The first track was the intro to their debut album. With its groovy and retro auras, it had an upbeat milieu to it. As the vocalist, Piyush Kapoor ran up and down the pitch scale with effortless fluency, the band had succeeded in getting the entire audience to sing and clap along.

Daira then treated us to an unreleased track (‘Mahoul’) from their next album. The song brimmed with vigour and vim, there were also parts where the tempo slowed down to give restful moments. Elements of progressive-rock were definitely evident. However, one could also hear traces of jazz in the jam-section of the song.

After the song came to an end with a high-pitched scream from Piyush, the band opened itself to questions in an interactive session. During this session, they explained that they do not like to identify themselves to any music genre in particular. To do so, according to Daira, would be confining themselves only to that particular genre every time they set out to make a new record.This was why they preferred to go by the term,”rock and roll” instead. They went on to elaborate on why they their focus is on playing original content and not perform covers of other songs. To them, playing too many covers would be sponging off the fame of the song’s creators. They were also concerned that their covers might mantle their own work.

Of all the banter going around that evening, there was one item of conversation in particular that appeared to bode well for this band’s future prospects. They reflected on how modern-day bands no longer make music to please themselves, but are simply engaged in a chase to attain notoriety. The band also said that they would never adhere to their fans’ wishes when it came to making music. It was something they did to express themselves, an outlet for their emotions. To make art in accordance with someone else’s taste defeats the very purpose of music, by trampling over one of its fundamental pillars – originality. With all this in view, it gave one the notion that this band would not be quick to go commercial anytime soon. Granted they keep to their words.