Rock band Indian Ocean chronicled in coffee table book
Popular rock band Indian Ocean, the first music band in India to have a documentary made on them, now has a coffee table book dedicated to them
Titled “Indian Ocean,” the book compiles rare images describing the 23-year-old journey of the band from the days when they used to sing together at a friend’s empty house in Karol Bagh to their international tours.
Former band members, Susmit Sen and his close friend Asheem Chakravarty came together in 1990 to experiment with Indian rhythms and melodies at a time when the trend among the youngest independent musicians was to do covers of known international acts.
The band’s lead guitarist, Rahul Ram joined within a year, and his fondness for vocals further increased the fan following of Indian Ocean.
The trio was later joined by Amit Kilam, a multi- instrumentalist in 1994 and the band emerged as pioneers of rock fusion genre with successful albums like “Desert Rain”, “Kandisa” and “Jhini”.
New strings buzzed in the Indian Ocean post 2010, when Asheem died of a cardiac arrest in 2009 and later Susmit decided to part ways with the band for his solo albums this year.
Published by Parragon Publishers, the book compiled by Vineet Sharma was released at an Oxford store here recently.
“I was little skeptical about the book when Vineet approached us with the idea. I wasn’t sure if each of us would get equal representation in the book,” Amit told PTI in an interview.
The same apprehension was shared by Rahul Ram who says that he wasn’t sure that a book about music could create the similar interest in fans and readers as they have witnessed for the band’s music.
“I initially thought that the book would be some critical analysis of our music going into the technicalities of what string or what rhythm was good or what note could have been better. But as the book took its shape, we enjoyed it thoroughly,” he said.
However, the book did strike the nostalgic chord among the band members when they searched for old pictures and memories came rolling.
“We missed Asheem very much during the process of this book. We were going through old images and all memories got revived from the days we were struggling to when we tasted huge success,” Amit said.
For the author, it turned out to be a challenge to give ‘equal representation’ to Asheem as his pictures were rare. “We contacted every possible person who was connected to Asheem but we could gather only a few pictures. Since he is not with us now, we could not even capture some new images. It was a big challenge for us, but somehow it worked out,” Vineet said.
Sharing the story behind their latest album 16/330 Khajoor Road, Rahul said, “Its the address of our friend’s house where we practiced together for years. We have shared quality time together there, we also had Asheem then, so we wanted to dedicate this album to that house.”
The book is not just a compilation of old images but also has a few ‘directed shots’, along with interesting anecdotes as captions.
The band, which has three new members now including Nikhil Rao, Himanshu Joshi and Tuheen Chakravarty, is set to launch their next album in April.