Featured Artist

Cosmic Rock

(photo by Danz photography)

Our Featured Artist this friday night is none other than famous guitarist and all around awesome guy, Srikanth Panaman of the group Bevar Sea. Formed in Bangladore India in 2007, Srikanth and his fellow musicians Ganesh Krishnaswamy, Rahul Chacko, Avinash Ramchander and Deepak Raghu crank out some mighty stoner metal. We had a rare interview opportunity for one of India's finest underground musicians and spoke a little about his history, influences, band and many interesting subjects.

 

1.Hey Srikanth howre you today bro? It’s good to speak with you.

 

Hey G, it’s an absolute pleasure to speak with you. I’ve been a fan of your music for many years and we ‘met’ I first reviewed your album, so to be interviewed by you is a bit strange I must admit. Hope you’re well man.

 

 

2. Hey brother it's great to speak with you and I'm honoured you enjoy my music too. Thanks very much for the kind words my way. I remember that many years ago, I appreciated it very much. It's very cool to talk with you now about your music too. Yes thanks all is well here and to you as well. Tell us a little about your background and musical history. Did you grow up in Bangalore India and how did you get into music?

 

I was in my teens when I discovered rock and metal through tapes but eventually MTV’s headbanger’s ball and some local shops helped during the formative years. I grew up in a small town but used my visits to the big city to bring back some new tapes to listen to.

 

 

3.What were some of your favorite albums and artists growing up and in what ways?

 

I got into music starting with a lot of 70s and 80s hard rock and heavy metal, and those styles are still what I listen to a lot. I remember mixtapes with bands like Queensryche, Dio, Accept, MSG, Scorpions, UFO, Yngwie, Sabbath, Floyd, Priest, Saxon, Def Leppard made me go from being a casual fan for the first two years to being obsessed with guitar-heavy music for life. This was the mid-90s and by late 90s, I discovered the internet and things got way worse for my parents a.k.a better for me. I started working full time as a 22 year old in 2004 and that’s when I started collecting CDs seriously. It’s still my format of choice.

 

 

 

4.Very cool yeah. Were there any concerts you saw that really inspired you and in what way?

 

Hell yeah! Seeing Deep Purple and the Scorpions in 99/00 was life changing. I was already into them both big time and coming from a rock/metal music deprived country like India at that time, it was my first big exposure to anything live and so larger than life. It was just incredible, and was the beginning of many more concert experiences to come. A decade later, I’d play live on both small and big stages, but during those early years I was happy being a fan and my only goal was to check out new music that would kick my ass.

 

5.When did you first start playing guitar and form a group?

 

I started very late. I picked up a cheap acoustic guitar in 2004 when I was 22 but it didn’t interest me at all. In 2006 I wanted to make a euro trip to see some metal festivals and when that fell through, I thought of just splurging the saved up cash on a lot of CDs, and I also bought myself an electric guitar and an amp. I slowly picked up some basic riffs and started writing music and formed Bevar Sea by 2008. Just before that I was in a bedroom band called Dirtbucket which never went anywhere, but it allowed me to write music and work in collaboration with other people. Those songs died when the idea of that band died and when I decided that I was writing better for Bevar Sea’s scope.

 

6.Have you lived your whole life in India?

Oh yes, I’m very much a product of South India. My people come from a state called Kerala, and I grew up in a state called Tamil Nadu, and I’ve lived for the past 15 years in Bangalore which is in a state called Karnataka - all neighbouring states in the south!

 

7.How did you form your band Bevar Sea?

Bevar Sea was a casual rehearsal band for the first two years with a revolving door of band members until late 2010 when we got good enough for us to consider playing live and recording. I was listening to way too much Kyuss and Sleep during this period and wanted to have my share of fun with that sound. After a couple of those early jams, the ideas evolved, the sound got broader and we started to have an idea of what we wanted to be. We wanted a different type of singer initially, but my old friend Ganesh who used to sing for a local metal band called Kryptos wanted to try the dirtier Lemmy/Matt Pike type vocals over some of our songs and we liked that right away. Songs that followed were written to work with his voice better too, so we started to have that chemistry as a band. We had the songs for the first album written and ready before we went on stage for the first time in early 2011. We finally recorded and put the first album out in 2012 and started working on the next bunch of songs for the second album which came out in 2015. We played a decent amount through this period and made some good friends along the way as well. 

 

 

8.How would you describe the band to someone who is new to your sound?

 

I want to say rocking doom metal?

 

9.Right on. What is the underground scene like in India for your style? Do you have any other bands in your area you’d like to recommend to listeners?

Dying Embrace was the first doom related band in India and they got back together around the same time as our live debut, coincidentally with the same drummer. We’ve played a lot of shows with them and we’re also great friends with them so it’s always a good time. Our drummer formed a band called Shepherd soon after Bevar Sea started playing live. They were sludgy with some punk and Seattle influences, and they put out a great full length album. There’s a band called Dirge that has just put out a good sounding debut album which I know you’ve checked out and reviewed. It’s a very small scene for doom, stoner, and sludge here - almost non-existent.

 

 

 

10.I would love to see you guys and some of the others in  perform in India one day. Dying Embrace, great yeah. Yeah okay I know the Dirge guys, that's right,  yes we did a review of their new EP recently. Very cool. Do you have any favorite books or films?

 

I’d like to say I’m big on films but honestly it’s been years since I’ve got to do a marathon of great movies like I regularly used to. I’m a fan of westerns (spaghetti and hollywood), science fiction, martial arts, samurai movies, classic funny stuff from both Britain and USA. Shoot em ups, dumb 80s style action flicks and so on.

I read every day but getting through entire books have been more of a rarity than movie marathons. I do keep some pop science, music and career related books lying around for when I need to though.

 

11.What is one life skill you feel everyone should have?

I’m boring myself to sleep just thinking about my answer but it has to be about planning a retirement fund from when you’re young. I wish I knew how to be smarter with funds 10 years ago myself!

 

12.What are some of your best victories in your music story thus far?

 

Putting out a couple of albums completely the way we wanted to and having it reach non-local audience felt great. At this point in band’s career, we just want to continue writing and recording hoping to repeat that very achievement.

 

 

13.Very great yeah. Mistakes or regrets in your journey you learned from?

 

Could’ve started sooner, could’ve played more often when I was younger, but honestly no big deal. I’m still on course for three albums before I turn 40 and that’s better than what I’d have imagined when I was a wee lad.

 

 

14.What advice would you give a new artist just starting out?

 

Learn how to record yourself. Keep a steady job and never lose focus of your career - good gear and good recordings don’t come cheap. As young songwriters, learn to discard the first few songs you write and start over. Never play for ‘exposure’. Play every gig as it’s your last - it might just be ;)

 

 

15.Any news from Bevar Sea you’d like to share with your fans?

Like most of 2017, 2018 was a quiet year for us. But we’re halfway through writing for the third album and we’ll eventually get to a studio next year and put this out.

 

Awesome brother, great to hear from you. Keep us updated on all your news, rock on G