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Interview

Inner Sanctum Discusses Their Debut EP "Provenance"

India's contributions to the metal scene may not be the most well known in the world, but Inner Sanctum are on a mission to change that. The thrash tinged death metallers released their debut EP "Provenance" in September of 2009 and recently performed at the Deccan Rock Fest. The track "Quarantine" from the EP is available for streaming through Inner Sanctum's MySpace page. Guitarist Rajeev, bassist Michael, and vocalist Gaurav filled me in on the recording process for "Provenance" and the EP's lyrical content.

xFiruath: Tell me about the sound of Inner Sanctum. How would you describe your band to a metal head who hadn’t heard your music before?

Rajeev: We are pretty much a straightforward death/thrash band, whose sound is groove laden coupled with melodic elements. But we don’t really like to get into the whole genre game. To a metal head, we would say buy our CD, come to our gigs, and you describe the band’s sound to us.

xFiruath: How long has Inner Sanctum been around and when did you first get involved in music in general?

Michael: Inner Sanctum has been around for a little more than 2 years. We started off in July 2007. All of us have been involved in the local music circuit before this either as listeners or musicians for various periods of time.

xFiruath: Who would you say is your biggest musical influence and what makes you want to play that style of metal as opposed to any other?

Michael: All of us listen to a lot of metal, most of our playlists are predominantly metal, so for us forming a metal band wasn’t a surprise. We all have different musical influences, but as a band we would say, Martyr, Gojira, Testament, Bloodbath, and the likes.

xFiruath: Where did you guys record “Provenance” and did you do your own production?

Gaurav: “Provenance” was tracked in Bangalore India at Resonance Studios. We didn’t really want to get the album mixed and mastered in India when we decided to record. We searched for producers who we thought would help us achieve the sound we were looking for. And after an extensive search we zeroed in on Lassie Lammert from LSD studios, Germany.

Michael: After the recording we were flat broke. So maybe you guys could contribute something towards the next release, we could set up a fund if you required, it would be as good a cause as Red Cross or Oxfam “Support a band from a 3rd world country” haha.

xFiruath: Who did the awesome cover artwork for the EP?

Michael: Gaurav did all the artwork for the EP. We figured that it would be best for him to do it rather than pay someone to do the artwork. The album art took its toll on the band, even more than the recording process. We probably spent more time on the artwork than the recording process, haha. The artwork is more or less a visual representation of the EP title.

xFiruath: What do the lyrics deal with on the album and is there a continuing theme between the songs?

Michael: Again Gaurav writes all of our lyrics with the rest of us contributing occasionally. There are 4 songs on the EP and all the songs have a general theme of a dystopian world, though there is no real continuity between them.

Gaurav: The first song titled “Agent of Chaos” is based on Heath Ledger’s Joker, implying how sadistic and psychotic the human mind can be and how in some freaky manner it’s actually inspirational. “Quarantine” is about a government body sending a bunch of revolutionaries into exile because they are considered a disease to society. “Human Disregard” is basically about the failure of human beings as a species, talking about its low points such as crime, war, religion and the likes…yeah we like clichés hehe. “Eye of False” is about how the government and religion is tyrannical by nature and glorifies all ills in order to blind us from the ugly truth about life. It’s about how they like to dictate our beliefs so that they can never be questioned and project themselves as divine beings.

xFiruath: Has Inner Sanctum played any live shows at this point, and do you have any upcoming shows planned?

Rajeev: Yeah we have played quite a bit in the local circuit. We have played a few gigs outside Bangalore, but we are looking to play out of Bangalore and the country more extensively in the future. Live shows are the best way for us to get our music out to people. As of now there are no shows planned, but we just finished playing alongside Amon Amarth and Textures at the Deccan Rock Fest.

xFiruath: What is your local metal scene like in India and how has your band been received so far?

Gaurav: Well honestly, it has a long way to go to be recognized internationally. There is a lot of talent but no one has the time to really sit and write interesting material. Nothing new is being churned out here. It’s the same stuff you hear around the globe. This is because none of us can really take this up as a full time profession. So bands struggle a lot as most of us do this as a hobby and because we love playing live, but at the same time we go to college, study and work. So it will be a while before the scene here reaches the level of the American or the European scene.

Rajeev: As for how well the band has done so far. We feel Inner Sanctum has done pretty well for itself. We have had a great response so far. And are now looking at pushing our music throughout India and the rest of the world.

xFiruath: What albums or bands have you been listening to most recently?

Michael: Boris, Have a Nice Life, From Monument to Masses, Made Out of Babies, Converge, Electric wizard, Church of misery, Fall of Efrafa, Behold! the Monolith, and the new Baroness for me.

Gaurav: Lately for me its been a lot of post-rock stuff along with a fair amount of metal and stoner albums. To name a few bands Maybeshewill, Long Distance Calling, From Monument to Masses, Vader, Nervecell, Revocation, Katatonia, Another Vertigo Rush, Disbelief, Baroness, and many more.

Rajeev: Long Distance Calling, Disillusion, Seemless , Disbelief, Behemoth, Dave Matthews, and From Monuments to Masses.

xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss, from politics to religion to the hottest chick in metal?

Gaurav: All of it, Politics is for pussies. Religion is something that we all should be ashamed of. The fact that a primitive concept meant for uneducated morons is embraced by us is a fucking embarrassment. The hottest chick in metal – Christina Scabbia, boing, boner achieved!

Michael: Not really into politics or religion. As for the third one, I would have to say Julie Christmas, maybe not the hottest chick in metal, but she’s awesome.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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