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They get their greatest high not from drugs, violence or booze, but from their supporters in small towns who have taken to Hindrock ~ their unique amalgamation of Indian and Western musical influences that provides a pleasing sound to the ears. They faced reality a longtime ago when they stopped making English rock and dug deep into their souls to create their own genre that had the taal and thumak of Indian folk music and the grunge of rock. They’ve played almost everywhere from the UN General Assembly Hall to India Gate, and with some of the world’s greatest musicians, but their funda is to make good music and not to hyperventilate about national and international collaborations. Their aim is to make every listener a head banging teenager, whether he’s a 45-year-old or a corporate executive. Fourteen years and three successful albums later, Euphoria has brought the Dhoom back into our lives with their fourth album, titled Mehfuz.

We caught up with lead singer Palash Sen for a chat about Euphoria and Mehfuz and came back with an in-depth look at what drives them to create one hit tune after another.

The Record: Tell us a little about the band.
Palash: The band formed in 1990 and I am the only original member of the band. With not enough patience, day jobs and wives, I was the only mad guy to stick on. DJ, "the backbone" on bass and Benny, "the fingers" on keys joined in 1992; Hitesh, "the heart" on guitars came on board in 1997; Rakesh and Prashant, "the arms" on dholak and tabla in 2000 and Ashwani, "the legs" on drums was the last to join in 2004. Euphoria has been different people at different times, and the trick has been to choose people who are like-minded and not after the glamour and money, but don’t mind it coming in anyway! But seriously, the effort has always been to choose people who are ready to play the kind of music I write.

TR: Euphoria is one of the pioneers of the English rock scene in India…
Palash: All of us started out with English rock bands but broke out of that mindset. The truth is, there will never be a market for Brown skinned English rock. We will always be compared to a Creed or a Korn and never make commercial success. There are so many good bands that make English rock, but we don’t even have one as big as Euphoria. Unless your music is commercially viable, you will never be looked upon seriously. Take for example Vishal Dadlani, lead singer of the great band Pentagram. He’s one of Bollywood’s biggest music directors today, but he’s making music that’s diametrically opposite to what his band stands for. I think its high time people woke up to this reality of the Indian Rock scene.

TR: Do you like collaborating with artists of other genres?
Palash: We have done shows with Strings and Junoon in the past, but frankly, what’s the big deal? If we get an opportunity to play with them, why not? I’m personally more interested in playing with Kishori Amonkar or Abida Praveen, of whom I’m a huge fan. We would love to collaborate with Sting, but till we get to his level, we’re happy doing what we are doing. We have worked with some excellent musicians from Delhi, however, who are not media hyped but great to work with.

TR: Have you considered composing or singing for a Bollywood film?
Palash: The way Euphoria works is that I write and compose most of our songs and the band plays them. We have the freedom to experiment with our music and I would not like to be told what style of music to make or to sing someone else’s songs. Most of Bollywood knows this and avoids us. However, there are other like-minded people who are calling up and giving us our space to compose music for them.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Euphoria in the April 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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