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Rockin' India: Half Step Down
The Buzz: Their blues-driven sound gives the band an edgy characteristic. Half Step Down consciously sought this blues sound, while sometimes settling into rock ‘n’ roll, funk and a mix of other genres. It’s really the piano that was added later on that gave the band their much needed fresh sound.

It’s their mad sense of humour and the mantra of having fun while playing that has kept them going according to vocalist Dhaval Mudgal. Their music has been well appreciated, though at Channel V Launchpad, some of the judges had a problem with the way the band sounded to which Dhaval retorted, “There aren’t too many bands doing what we do so we stand out. We take criticism in good spirit and sometimes what they say makes sense, but if the band collectively feel that what we are doing is right we don’t care what is being said.”

Half Step Down has been in existence for the past two years now and has recently stopped competing. “We don’t go for competitions unless they are very big and give us that much exposure,” says Dhaval.

The Highlights:
1) Played the Great Indian Rock in February 2007
2) Won the Jack Daniel’s award for the best debut band in 2007, national rock award
3) Performed at the I-Rock finals this year
4) Were also featured on Channel V Launchpad
5) They releasing an album by the end of this year, though their singles have already been featured in a number of compilations.

The Record Q & A (with Dhaval Mudgal of Half Step Down)

The Record: How did the band come together?
Dhaval Mudgal: The original line-up changed a couple if times; it was me and this other friend of mine called Rudy who started the band from college but he left. It was all of us with passion for music and thought we’d make it professional. Shiv Lumba (keyboards) joined us later. He was classically trained and that helped the band a lot.

TR: What is the story behind the name of your band?
Dhaval: We all discussed the name and it was a joint choice. We tune our guitars half step down from the standard pitch i.e. D#, and so the name.

TR: Tell us about each member of the band, their musical background and personality.
Dhaval: Shiv Lumba (pianist): He is a western classical musician ~ has studied music. He is one of the craziest people ~ completely mad. He did a lot of the arrangement because of his theoretical knowledge of music.

Srijan Mahajan (drummer): He has been playing for bands such as Parikrama and Cyanide. He’s more of a metal fan, a completely metal driven drummer and is the quieter one in the band.

Carl Abraham (bassist): He never comes out partying with us or anything and is an extremely quiet person and the bakra of the band. All bassists are bullied, maybe because of the saying that bassists are failed guitarists.

Karan Datta (guitarist): He is working with GE and a lot of our electronic information comes from him. He listens to old blues.

Dhaval Mudgal (vocalist): Lyrically, I enjoy Red Hot Chili Peppers, but sound-wise I am a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band and I enjoy all kinds of music.

TR: For someone who has never heard of you, which of your original compositions would be the best introduction to the band?
Dhaval: The most popular track is Overture To Outerspace, and so is Knocking At The Back Of The Head, plus some of the new stuff that we are writing which I think people will really enjoy.

You can read the rest of our feature Rockin' India: Half Step Down in the December 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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