Genre-fascism is last thing you can expect from FuzzCulture. The Delhi-based duo, comprising drummer Arsh Sharma and vocalist/guitarist Srijan Mahajan, would rather let their music be a melting pot of styles than a water-tight container of a particular variety. “If we were to describe our music to the uninitiated, it would probably be rock inspired electronic music with a mixed bag of influences ranging from punk, glitch hop, hip hop and metal,” says Srijan, who teamed up with Sharma in 2012 to form the electro outfit.
FuzzCulture comprises guitarist Arsh Sharma (right) drummer Srijan Mahajan
The past two years have been quite eventful for the duo, but it is the last couple of weeks that have been the most action-packed. FuzzCulture recently released its debut album, No, and is currently playing gigs across the country as part of the launch tour. The video of one of their songs, a rather groovy number titled ‘With open eyes’, has also managed to catch quite a few eyeballs on the indie circuit. It shows an elderly man enjoying a night of debauchery only to return to a medical facility and prepare for the imminent death. How did they settle on this out-of-the-ordinary idea, I ask the boys. Arsh replies, “The video was conceptualised by the team at Vh1 in Bombay and they sent us the script which sounded quite interesting to us. After a few back and forths, we managed to zero in on a concept that sworked for us.”
Before teaming up for FuzzCulture, Srijan played for Delhi bands like Half Step Down, Parikrama and Cyanide, and continues to do so, while Sharma also still performs with rock outfit The Circus. But the boys have been able to do a neat balancing act between all their projects. “It requires some planning and coordinating but it works out most times,” says Srijan. Being just the two of them may allow them to be more focused and hence quick when they write music together, but that doesn’t mean that creative collisions are rare either. The boys confess that they have their share of “infuriating” arguments over musical decisions. “But we tend to agree after a point and the songs come out for the better, so all is good! We had a blast writing the last song on the album, ‘Raw eggs’ since we wrote it in the jam room and it was different from the rest,” tells Srijan.
The cover of their debut album, tited No
While many artistes today prefer to release music independently fearing creative restrictions that music labels usually pose, FuzzCuture considers itself fortunate to have found an encouraging partner in Univeral Music, which they are signed to for their album. “Initially we were apprehensive about if we'll be restricted from doing things our way if we sign on with them but Subarna Roy and Devraj Sanyal (of Universal) have been extremely supportive of our vision to do what we'd like with FuzzCulture,” says Arsh. When I ask him about his favorite bands on the scene, he names Delhi metalheads Skyharbour and Chennai rockers Skrat. “They're very fresh and sound unlike anything else coming out of our country.”
Unlike most artistes, FuzzCulture didn't have any inhibitions about getting a major label's backing
In the two years of their birth, the young band has pretty much checked most boxes that artistes aspire towards – an album, a nation-wide tour and a label’s backing. Add to that their remarkable stage presence and you have an already successful band. Arsh assures that more good music is in the pipeline. "There's a lot more where ‘With open eyes’ came from and you can expect some stuff very soon.” With so much going for them, do they have any fears now? Srijan chuckles and says, “We sometimes fear an unresponsive crowd and the odd stalker!” Fair enough.