01
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11

Grilled & Killed: Riju ‘Dr. Hex’ Dasgupta

In the Indian metal scene today, there is no one quite like Riju Dasgupta. Extremely popular with metalheads who wait for Dr. Hex to appear with his fretless bass guitar, Riju has built his avante-garde horror metal band into a force to reckon with and a monster to fear. For the annual year-end interview, Mehta Kya Kehta throws a few questions at the bassist and driving force of Albatross.  
Are you a LaVeyan Satanist?

To begin with, this is the greatest first question I’ve ever been asked in any interview. To answer your question, LaVeyan Satanism is the closest I’ve ever come to identifying with a religion…but I’m not a LaVeyan Satanist per se. I’m an atheist, which is essentially the first step to embracing the religion, and I think Anton LaVey…and more recently High Priest Peter Gilmore are two of the most intelligent men I’ve ever come across, and are probably the two smartest religious leaders in the last 100 years. However I draw the line at the silly rituals, which in my opinion defeat the whole purpose of the beautiful philosophy. As I write this, I’m reading ‘The Devil’s Notebook’ by Anton LaVey, which is incredibly funny. The man’s insightful knowledge, contempt for the world in general and more importantly, how the puts the same across happen to be hilarious.

I think another name for LaVeyanism is ‘common sense.’ We’re currently growing up in a generation which is using its mental faculties to make its own decisions; which is questioning the premise of the deities it worships, of the choices it is forced to make by society, etc.. So in a way, we’re growing towards a LaVeyan state unconsciously. One of my favourite teachings from ‘The Satanic Bible’ is the constant pursuit of knowledge, and I strongly urge everyone, especially readers of this blog to check out Mr. LaVey’s writings. If more people read the Satanic Bible, there’ll be fewer wars in the world.

Dinner Is You was traditional heavy metal. How different is the playing style on Kissing Flies and which subgenres of metal will we hear Albatross playing in the future?

The biggest difference to the band’s sound has been courtesy the anything but stable lineup, and the various influences each new musician brings to the table. Vignesh has taken on the mantle of primary songwriter now and his Schuldiner/Akerfeldt influences have taken our songs towards a more death metal direction. Also Nishith Hegde, our new guitarist, is the best lead guitarist in the universe (and all parallel universes), and the stuff he’s played on the album will make you drool from multiple orifices. Added to this is Biprorshee trying new styles vocally…including a very nice screech. Jay’s played some very interesting patterns too on the album(courtesy his prog. metal leanings) and I’ve finally learnt to play the fretless right. Finally Niklas Stalvind from Wolf is the best producer for our sound. After working with him, we can’t work with anyone else. Wait till you hear his vocals on the album also. (/Brag Mode)

In terms of subgenres, Kissing Flies has thrash, progressive, death, black, avant-garde and (a lot of) doom metal influences, all over a heavy metal foundation. We try not to drift too far into metal subgenres we do not enjoy. So if you’re expecting Electronica on the next album, my friend, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Although I hope you had fun on Day 1 of the NH7 Weekender.

Huh, what? – I didn’t go for that shit! Will we see the other members of Albatross in fancy costumes at live shows? 

Doesn’t look like it. I’ve raised this topic several times with them. So far, I’ve convinced them to not wear 3/4ths on stage and look like Lamb of God…which is something they’ve thankfully not protested against. One thing I can guarantee you is that you’ll not see Jay in any costumes, or clothes for that matter at our live shows.

I like that you’re releasing EPs instead of forcing full-lengths out. Has there been pressure on you to stretch an idea to put out an album?

I’m glad you think so! To be honest, I don’t see the point of releasing a full length album unless we have a good enough story which spans across 10 odd songs without filler tracks in the middle. You know…people tell me that Albatross should release a full length album all the time because that’s what is essential for an upcoming band like ours. But well, unless it comes naturally you’re being untrue to yourself as artists and being dicks to fans by giving them an inferior product. We also work in conjunction with the other band on the split EP to create a kickass product together. For example, for the Vestal Claret split ie. Kissing Flies, our sound is quite doomy, ominous and plodding…and they’re making their tracks quite progressive in line with our sound.

There are 2 more split CDs coming your way by mid 2013, with 2 other kickass bands. Both of them are quite kickass, and we have a great deal of mutual respect. Old school is taking over the world again. I am a happy man.

Albatross is progressing at a comfortable pace. Is this the lineup that’ll take the band where it needs to go?

I certainly hope so. This is the most committed lineup so far, with the most potential. You know, the biggest enemy to metal bands is well…real life. I’m sure everyone’s got a voice at the back of your mind asking you why you’re spending so much time and money on something you can never make your full-time career. The best you can do is ask this voice to shut up and kiss your ass.

Back in 2007, when Old Monks split up for good, I’d decided to quit music and focus on my career. But I know such an existence just makes me miserable. So Albatross will exist until the day I am not kicked enough to continue. And I’m really fond of the current lineup…as friends, as people and as musicians, and I only hope this dream continues for a long, long time.

I’m enjoying Dinner Is You, waiting for Kissing Flies and looking forward to lots more horror metal from Albatross. All the best!

Thanks for all the help from Day 1 man. Horns up! And let’s do a gig when Solar Deity is ready. The world will be a different place post the gig.

Photos by Prashin Jagger

MUST READ: On The Horror Trail With Albatross

ALSO READ: Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija | Rohit ‘P-Man’ Pereira 


7 Responses to “Grilled & Killed: Riju ‘Dr. Hex’ Dasgupta”


  1. 1 Ritesh Mayekar
    December 1, 2011 at 10:11

    Kickass interview and all the best for Kissing Flies \m/

    Like

  2. December 1, 2011 at 14:53

    My ears are waiting to attune with the aural projections from kissing flies 😀

    Like

  3. January 4, 2012 at 23:44

    Can i be a member from nigeria

    Like


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