You may not understand Malayalam, but after listening to Thaikkudam Bridge, you will dig out more songs from the band. Kerala’s Thaikkudam Bridge is redefining the music scene, and with several international shows across the world, the band has created a big buzz on the Indie band circuit. Their cover of A. R. Rehman’s medley to Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters is extremely impressive and I can honestly say that I like their interpretation of it better than the original. Their music is a blend of sounds, styles and rhythms and what grabs you are the elements of thrash metal, rap to balladic mixes and Indian music that they combine into an intriguing sound all their own. The band has also brought back the nostalgia and melody of 70’s and 80’s Malayalam movies, not forgetting singing in Hindi, Tamil and English.
The band was formed for a one-time gig through the musical show Music Mojo on Kappa TV that turned Thaikkudam Bridge, a 15-member group, into a rage. Their composition Fish Rock which became popular through social networking sites and of course YouTube, has taken the band all over the world.
VERUS FERREIRA met with founder-member Govind Menon for a chat before Thaikkudam Bridge took the stage at Red FM’s new IP, ‘South Side Story’, a festival of music, culture and food from Kerala, at Richardson & Cruddas in Mumbai.
Tell us about Thaikkudam Bridge.
Thaikkudam Bridge is a rock band with a soundscape built upon elements of folk and classical sounds of India interspersed with layers of progressive, pop, ambient and electronic textures. There is no staple sound here; we vary from electronic rock to metal. That is one of the reasons why no two songs sound the same. We treat every song differently.
How did the name Thaikuddam Bridge come about?
It is named after an innocuous small bridge that nobody knew of until the band was formed. It was my idea basically as we used to gather at the bridge to practise and so the name stuck.
The band consists of 15 members; do all sing and play instruments?
The band’s strength lies in nine vocalists and six instrumentalists including a violinist as a unique lead to the band. They come from the length and breadth of the country, each bringing on board a wealth of diverse musical, linguistic and cultural influences thus creating a unique musical experience that is truly global in nature yet local in idea. Part of the fifteen member band is inclusive of three sound engineers. We include folk, Hindustani and classical singers amongst us. Each of us is a full-time musician or connected with the music industry in some way or the other. There’s Mithun Raju, Vian Fernandes, Ruthin Thej, Anish T N, Peethambaran Menon (my dad), Vipin Lal, Chritin Hanna Jos, Anish Gopalakrishnan, Krishna Bongane, Nila Madhab Mohapatra, Amith Bal, Hemanth Mukundan, Rajan K S and Christin Jose.
Who are your biggest influences?
Well, all of us have different influences. Metallica, Coldplay, Alice in Chains and our legendary musicians back home and around the world. Our biggest influence is the love of our listeners. They actually give us leads to make music we want the world to hear.
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Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in. Reach him at E: email@example.com or verusferreira.com