Aswekeepsearching Talk Upcoming Third Album ‘ROOH’, Their Exciting New Visual Revamp & Much More

Aswekeepsearching Interview

Unarguably one of the country’s finest bands, Indian post-rock outfit Aswekeepsearching is currently readying the release of their highly anticipated third album ‘ROOH‘, due out on September 27th, 2019. Currently, on a nationwide album listening tour for their upcoming LP, we at TBB caught up with the 4-member act (Uddipan Sarmah, Shubham Gurung, Robert Alex, and Sambit Chatterjee) recently following the release of their latest single to talk all things ‘ROOH‘, the band’s renewed identity, the visual side to their vision and much more!

Read on.

 

We’re officially looking at album #3 from Aswekeepsearching! Take us and our readers through the journey that’s been since the arrival of ‘Growing Suspicions’ in 2014.

Shubham: It has been a very thrilling and uplifting journey so far since the release of our first EP. We got to tour, explore and gain experience from so many places and grow an audience/fan community that we only used to dream about back then. Our fans have become our first priority now and keeping them engaged and interested is what we try to achieve through our music with every new release, and that’s what we’re continuing to do with ‘Rooh’.

 

You guys finally began recording ‘Rooh’ earlier this year! How long has the whole process been like, right from planning, writing down ideas to finishing it up?

Uddipan: We started writing songs after the Europe Tour. Most of the songs have been inspired by our time there. If anyone has attended the listening sessions, they know the stories behind each song. The process of completing this album has been smooth. From June 2018 to Dec 2018 we wrote the songs. Jan 2019 we started pre-production. We did three rounds of pre-production this time. Finally, after restructuring, trashing some songs and being sure of all, we took the album to the studio in April 2019. In June we sent the files for mixing and mastering. It was in July that we started the listening sessions.

 

One of the most highly anticipated albums to come out of the country’s indie music space in 2019, the wait for ‘Rooh’ has been a test of patience. What you can tell us about the concept of your latest LP, and what it means to you as a collective outfit to have put such a cohesive piece of work together?

Uddipan: ROOH, meaning soul, is the third studio LP by Aswekeepsearching. The album is a musical adaptation of the band’s experiences, struggles, emotions & self-awareness over the years. This album has solid stories, which are very close to our hearts, something I believe we never had before for the last two albums. I am so happy that I can write and sing these stories to everyone.

Following up on that, you talked to Rolling Stone India earlier this year about ‘Rooh’ featuring a healthy bunch of collaborators from the musical spectrum! Can you shed some light on the album’s vision which Aswekeepsearching hopes to achieve with the collective effort, and how was it like shaping up the music with each individual?

Shubham: We have always been extremely self-critical when it comes to songwriting and maintaining the band’s sonic identity. Since everyone in the band has various influences of music, it can sometimes be difficult to reach a final point at which everyone is satisfied with a particular song. Collaborating with other musicians helped us to ideate a new perspective and direction on shaping the songs. This is what made us grow and write a more ‘mature’ sounding album.

 

Keeping in sync with the new album, you guys have also worked with renowned Indian visual artists, Aaquib Wani and Anoop Bhat to shape up the band’s new logo and album artwork! Can you take us through the whole visual revamp, and how important do you think it is for you to craft out a visual side to the band’s identity and the project?

Uddipan: With this album and the new branding approach, we are heavily focussing on art in general and the ideology of minimalism. Our brief to both Aaquib and Anoop was easy, “Let’s create a dot maybe.” Haha and the best part of our vision with art is that both of them aligned to the thoughts and that made the whole process so much easier. We have changed as humans and at this phase of our lives, we want to practice being minimalist with our lifestyle and nothing best would be to project the same into our work, our creativity. Let’s all aim to have our moment of peace in this hectic world.

 

Back in July, you guys kicked off your nationwide Album Listening Tour in support of the upcoming album! What has been the biggest challenge for you guys bringing ‘Rooh’ to life, and also the biggest reward?

Sambit: July was a very interesting time because we had just finished the Reunion Tour and I was kind of given an idea to join the band as their permanent drummer. Soon enough, that happened and right after that, Uddipan left on this quest. He was constantly traveling and sharing his travels through videos and photos. What got clearer is that we definitely have a passionate bunch who will do anything to listen to our music and that’s rare and new at the same time. This is the biggest challenge I think – to not just give people a good time at gigs but to get their loyalty, to be loyal and to deliver and make them feel a part of your journey. I know we’re already doing it because people have traveled far to come be a part of our journey.

Aswekeepsearching

Photo Credit: Taaha Dhariwal

As the band and you get ready to step into the next phase of your artistic journey as we inch closer to the release of ‘Rooh’, what else can we possibly expect from you guys apart from the music coming out?

Sambit: Yes this is quite an exciting new time for AIIIKS. I have known the band from its beginning days and have been close friends with all of them. I’ve played on their album as well! I’ve played the tabla, guitar, percussions, and whatnot. With ROOH, I come into the band, as their drummer, so musically, there will definitely be a change and you’ll hear it at the live gigs, but I don’t know how, because that is something I’m figuring out myself. Once we write some new songs together maybe I’ll know how to weave through this.

 

2019 has already turned out to be as one of your most action-packed years till date – What are some of the biggest things that you’ve learned, be it while recording ‘Rooh’, heading out on the ‘Setlist Tour’, and even transitioning from Gautam Deb to Sambit Chatterjee as the newest permanent member of the outfit?

Robert: As cliché as it sounds, change is the only constant. Everything from our music to our work ethic, image and approach has undergone distinct change, but we feel it’s for the better. Things are a lot more fluid now. We will miss Gautam, however, Sambit’s transition to drums was only natural, since he has been a close part of the band for the past 3 years now, and there are no new adjustments required at all. We are all well versed with each other since we have been performing together for a couple of years.

 

Before we let you go, what do you want your fans and listeners to take away from this highly ambitious project?

Shubham: Each song has a different story and emotion behind it which is connected to our personal lives and experiences as a band. It’s what changed us and took us to where we are today, not only as musicians but as people.

Robert: This album is yours as much as it is ours, one of the by-products of our interaction over the years. We believe that if you appreciate something, it should be shared with people you think would appreciate it as much as you would. It’s all about building a community.