Zygnema is a thrash metal band from Mumbai, India and they have already won a couple of national awards. STALKER.cd would like to say that we discovered them first outside their country, but that would be adorning ourselves with borrowed plumes, as among others the Wacken Open Air bookers did that job way before us and brought them to this year´s Metal-Battle. The four guys from India didn´t win the Metal-Battle, but our attention.
With their groovy sound, excellent riffs, socio-political lyrics and kick-ass stage performance, one would think they´ve been signed a long time ago, but their self-titled debut „Born of Unity“ was self produced and they still looking for a contract. We took the opportunity and did an interview with their bass-player, Ravi Satpute, to introduce you to this outstanding new act.
Could you introduce the band members for us?
My name is Ravi Sapute. I play the bass guitar for Zygnema. Then there is Sidharth Kadadi -we call him „Sid“- he plays lead and rhythm guitar. Mayank Sharma is our drummer and Jimmy Bhore´s our vocalist.
Who are your idols and where are your roots?
Roots sounds amazing and brings it to the point. We love Sepultura. We really idolize these guys. And then there bands like Testament, Opeth and so on.
How long has Zygnema been existing and is this your first time outside of India?
The band exists since seven years. This is the second time in Germany and the first time in Wacken. Last time in Germany we played in Osnabruck two gigs with Nutellica, the official cover band of Metallica. Beside this we travelled also to Dubai to play.
You played at the Desert Rock festival?
No, the Desert Rock is shut. They don´t do it anymore. We truly wanted to play that one, but that didn´t work well. Nowadays you get only this club gigs where you just go and perform. We came across bands from Netherlands and Australia who were touring through Arabian countries -a good experience.
India isn´t one of the first countries one would think of if it comes to fine thrash metal. Could you tell us something about the metal scene there and how the acceptance in public is?
The culture is very different. People don´t support metal; people don´t know what metal is. Guys with long hair are odd to them. It´s strictly against what parents wish for their kids. In our country you have to stay with your parents even if you have passed the age of 20 if you´re not married. Some people stay with their parents even when they are married and having kids. It´s basically a joined family. People in India are not used to live in big houses. My parents don´t even know what metal is.
They never heard your music?
They heard me, but they don´t know what I´m doing for real. It´s like „it´s all good, so you´re doing music.“ Seven years ago they found out that I´m doing music and started to support me. It´s a pretty good chance and I believe that is why I´m now here at Wacken, wearing black and all.
We come from Mumbai. It´s basically the heart of India, overcrowded and people are into Bollywood. Establishing metal in this country was a challenge for all those who tried. Until maybe ten years ago it was hard to find other metal heads and hang out with them. Sustaining metal in a Bollywood dominated country is achingly challenging. Now the culture has changed a bit and bands like Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Slayer, Opeth, Meshuggah, and such bands are finally coming to India. I think there is a big cultural shift going on. People get to know what metal is and we have metal festivals – small ones, lasting only one day, but they are there.
Are you a big band in the Indian metal scene, or is it more like the prophet out of his own country and you have more success abroad?
We have Facebook and Myspace pages. I wouldn´t say that we are famous, but then again we are one of the good ones from India; that´s why we made it to Wacken. Last year we won in the Indian version of Rolling Stone Magazine a metal award for the best metal album in 2011 and for the best band.
A Zygnema is also an algae. Is there any relationship with your band name and this species?
Actually yes, our front man coincidentally came across the name when he studied phytology.
How would you describe Zygnema´s sound?
Grooving heavy metal with elements of thrash metal.
What are your lyrics about and who is writing them?
Our singer, Jimmy, does all the lyrics for us. Our lyrics are based on personal experience, social problems, and politics. We try to bring a message out to contribute a bit on forming the world into a better place to live in. Like for example the song „Discriminate. “ It´s about the biggest racist issue of India. It´s about how normal, hard working people are treated badly only because they are no Maharashtrians.
Any last words for our readers?
I know you guys support metal, but have also a look at bands from other more unusual countries. You never know what you miss out. There are great bands from Japan and from China…. there are many good bands from Asia in general.