14
Jun
12

Getting Nostalgic About Kinky Ski Munky And Striking A Deal With The Riot Peddlers

Of all his misdeeds, Ashwin Dutt should not be forgiven for taking such a long break between two fantastic bands. His list of wrongdoings is long and makes for a fascinating read, but not all of you may have been lucky enough to look at it. Those who’ve known the guy from the time he had hair on his head – and that scalp has showed no signs of growth in many years – will love to hear the name Kinky Ski Munky. Looked upon with suspicion by the metal bands of that time for being alternative and loved by girls, and loved by girls for fuck-knows-what-reason, Kinky Ski Munky had clambered up to the top of the scene in their trendy sneakers. I was in Demonic Resurrection back then, and preferred smoking grass in the lane outside Razz Rhino (Once upon a time, when Mumbai was Bombay, there was a discotheque called Razzberry Rhinoceros, which on Thursday nights…) to seeing a bunch of punks the ladies adored. It was while mixing cheap whisky in flat soda that a friend dragged me in. He liked the band and I was too stoned to protest, and that night, as guitarist Michael Lee broke a string and the band had to wrap up after playing Pearl Jam‘s Last Kiss, you too would’ve got a good idea of why Kinky Ski Munky were such a hit.

Over the next year, Demonic Resurrection played shows in and out of Bombay with Kinky Ski Munky, and I got to hang with Siddharth Basrur and Ashwin Dutt a lot. Good guys who introduced me to bad drugs. The band had lots of charm. A quarter of the music scene was ready to play bass for them. Judges at Independence Rock would be creaming themselves as the band launched into Alice In ChainsWould? in the middle of their set, and I swear I saw everybody at IIT Mood Indigo get up from the ground and run to the front even before KSM had finished the first two bars of Stone Temple PilotsPlush. That’s the kind of popularity they enjoyed. Everybody loved them. Even the metalheads who looked perpetually stoic would diss non-metal bands at shows, but they always standing around in their black tees and with their arms crossed during KSM‘s set. Channel V was going apeshit over them. We, in Demonic Resurrection, were more than happy to have filthy, long-haired guys headbanging during our sets. Some female attention would’ve been nice, but this was good enough.

Kinky Sky Munky spiraled out of control after that. Not that there was anything else left for them do. Bands didn’t think about playing abroad back then.KSM had played all the shows they’d been offered, become extremely famous, done all the drugs they could find. They ran away from the nookie, so they could take the cookie, and smoke it with their friends. Mikey, too mellow a fellow, couldn’t possibly have salvaged the situation. Managers were around to score the booze and be famous by association, and the organizers then didn’t know bands could be pimped all the way to Inferno and back. It was all very real, very underground, very small. Bands were just how they were. Not smug assholes who transformed into the united epitome of coolth when they got onstage.

The grunge bands that came after KSM just weren’t as cool. Kinky Ski Munky left a void that is still gaping at the underground music scene. Siddharth Basrur went to rehab and has been clean for almost a decade now, and has shot back to popularity. Mikey plays only and nothing but tasteful guitar to this day. Ashwin Dutt had only wasted his time playing in bands which took him across cities but not places. Until two years back.

How he met Arun Singh Ravi, how they decided to start a hardcore-punk outfit together, why they asked an extreme-metal enthusiast to play bass for their band – these are boring questions they’ll have to answer in interviews after they live up to the hype. The question that needs to be answered is: why the hell are they taking so long to release a collection of songs they’ve always had ready?

I gave a listen to The Riot Peddlers‘ first single only because it was Ashwin’s new band. So he has gone and joined another band, I thought. But there is something to be said about a song that has a chorus so powerful that the band begins the track with it. The force of Sau Rupiya hit hard and I had the damned song on repeat for a long time. The Riot Peddlers was an instant hit with me and I become their fan. Now let me tell you how I become a fan of people and things. I don’t become a fan by ‘liking’ a page on Facebook. I don’t become a fan of every thing people do just because they’re in a band. Everything musicians do does not inadvertently become cool or great. No, it doesn’t.

But it’s easy to become a fan of The Riot Peddlers because they’re not selling themselves to you. They haven’t befriended you on Facebook so that you can join their fan club and learn how “old school” they are and what all you need to do to qualify as a worthy metalhead. The don’t play every show they’re offered in the same city every month pretending they have something new to offer to the same old crowd. They’re too busy spitting cannonballs of gall. The cheekiness that comes out when you sing along with the chorus of Chai Pani will get you slapped and kicked around by cops if they hear you, but then you are tickling greasy-palmed authority’s scrotum by singing that annoying little number. There’s more where that came from: Platform is about being frustrated at railway stations waiting for a delayed, packed train to arrive; Bollywood Song is about how vexing Hindi film music can get. You get the idea – it’s silly and fun but not immature; it’s highly relevant without being anal or obnoxious; it’s great music that pisses a lot of people off.

But The Riot Peddlers are so lazy that they didn’t get a band pic clicked even when Animesh Das joined as bassist – they morphed him in. Animesh, a death/black metal fan, still doesn’t feel the need for it, and is only too happy delivering backing vocals in the most painful way. Arun Singh Ravi doesn’t shy away from putting up a fight when he needs to – he showed it last year by taking on an errant cop who had made the big mistake of picking on him. Ashwin Dutt works mostly under pressure and occasionally on alcohol. I’m not at all worried about how it’s going to sound. With Ayan De as producer, there’s no way anything can go wrong. But The Riot Peddlers should get Sau Rupiya and Chai Pani redone at Midicore Studios and let the whole record blast with consistency. We’ve waited two years for this release, so they might as well take a few months more. We already know how good it’s going to be, so they might as well make it huge.

FILM: Shanghai is dull and overrated 

PEOPLE: Vishal Dadlani is an asshole

OPINION: When did metalheads turn into whiny pussies?

ESSENTIAL LIST: 10 beers you should drink every damn day

CURRENT AFFAIRS: Anna Hazare is a toothless old cocksucker


11 Responses to “Getting Nostalgic About Kinky Ski Munky And Striking A Deal With The Riot Peddlers”


  1. 1 Mili
    June 14, 2012 at 13:13

    I loved Kinky Ski Munky!!!! Even that obnoxious P Man was bearable with them.

    Like

  2. June 19, 2012 at 06:14

    “Good Guys who introduced me to bad drugs” I am loving this sentence. It should be in a movie.

    Like

  3. 5 SP
    June 25, 2012 at 03:59

    LOVE the taunts

    Like


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