KALIKA is New Face of Experimental Rock

Kalika is an experimental rock outfit based out of Maastricht in the Netherlands, who are on the verge of releasing their sophomore EP effort entitled “Data Religion.” The new EP comes roughly a year after the release of their debut EP “Enter Kalki.”

Singer Prannay Sastry spoke for our website about the new release.

Hey Prannay. How are you doing?

Doing great, thanks!

You are to launch your second EP with Kalika titled “Data Religion.” How do you feel about the release?

I’m really excited and a bit nervous about it! “Data Religion” is an unconventional piece of music, so I’m curious what people think of it, really. Some close friends and family have told me what they think of it, and the response has been very positive, so that makes me happy! I’m inclined to trust their judgement because I’m not the type of person to surround myself with people who will support me blindly. Let’s see…

We’re all really excited to take our new material out there and perform it live! We have got a couple of local gigs (in Maastricht, NL) lined up in May, and we’re looking to try out a couple of new songs shortly before we release the EP. We’ll be playing on the 16th and the 18th of May (details on our social media). If you’re around, you don’t want to miss these shows!

How much of a challenge was it to work on the EP?

Working on the EP was a test for us in many ways. Besides the music, everyone in the band has been dealing with a lot of uncertainty in their (professional and personal) lives. The guys and I were trying to find our niches in life and uncertainty was the name of the game then, and it still is. I’m always thankful that we were able to stick together and make this EP happen. In some ways it’s pretty miraculous that it all came together so smoothly.

Also, as I’m sure most people know, our job wasn’t done once the music was recorded. There’s the whole promotion/publicity aspect of it that was new to us. Putting yourself out there can be very unsettling! We’re just pushing forward because we really believe in what we’re doing!

With regards to the music, the challenges were mostly to do with recording the EP on a low budget. We recorded it ourselves, and that was another learning process, but an enjoyable one.

Kalika - Data Religion

What is your opinion about the current progressive metal scene?

There’s a lot going on in the progressive metal/rock world right now and it’s a challenge to keep up with everything. It’s definitely still growing, which is a very positive thing. It’s exciting because it offers something new to a lot of listeners who’ve grown up listening to more tradtional music. The genre is also really inspiring musicians to push themselves further and hone their art.

On the other hand, some people in that scene tend to view music as merely an intellectual/technical exercise. That’s an attitude I can’t get behind. Music is a powerful thing! It can help you feel connected, overcome obstacles, open your mind and so much more. It is NOT a competition, nor is it some brute skill that can be cultivated through mindless practice (though that may be a small part of it). That’s one gripe I have with the progressive metal scene at the moment.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

I live in a consumerist world, where a lot of music is available to me to stream for free. I take advantage of this – seriously. It’s hard for me to pin-point what exactly influenced me because I like a LOT of music – spanning all kinds of genres. I’ve drawn a lot from artists that I’ve actually seen live, though. Opeth, Anoushka Shankar and Tesseract were stand-out live shows for me and I think they had a huge impact on me musically. 

What are you listening to these days?

I heard a LOT of Kalika when I was mixing the EP… They’re okay, that band. Besides that –

The new Periphery album. My favourite song on that album is Garden in the Bones. Follow Your Ghost is pretty badass too. I rediscovered this band called VAST –‘Touched’ is one of my all time favourites by them, but they have plenty of other top notch songs. Also rediscovered some good old Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. My girlfriend and I have been listening to Tinariwen, Mulatu Astatke (this guy is a genuis!), Tosca, Boozoo Bajou while cooking/just taking it easy. I do like me some ambient electronica – Massive Attack, Sound Defects, Air when I’m sitting down to relax.

Your 5 all-time favourite records?

Porcupine Tree – In Absentia

My sister Madhuri, who is nearly 7 years older than me had discovered this album when I was a mere youth of 10 years or so. One day, she left a stereo CD player on my desk. It had In Absentia in it. I listened to that album, and I think it’s safe to say it changed things for me.

Opeth – Ghost Reveries

Kaushik (my friend who mixed 2 songs on Data Religion) introduced me to Opeth when I was around 14. I heard Harlequin Forest and I knew instantly that that was my jam right there.

Gondwana Orchestra – When the World was One

I was introduced to this album by Angus, the guy who played trombone on My Friends are Virgins from our first EP. Listening to this album makes me peaceful. I will not even bother trying to explain it any more than that. You have to experience it yourself! Magical album.

Nirvana – In Utero

I was once a teenager. Nirvana’s sound seemed very real-world and materialistic to me. That resonated with me then.

Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer

Stumbled upon this album a lot later in my life! ‘One of us is the killer’ made me rethink what heavy music can be. TDEP is my go to when I’m looking for motivation.

Honourable mentions (would feel sad to leave these out):

Karnivool – Themata

The Sound Defects – The Iron Horse

VAST – Visual Audio Sensory Theater

Ali Farka Toure – The Source

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “Data Religion”?

This might disappoint your capitalistic, gear-hungry side, but I’ll oblige. The list of gear we used is pretty short (we’re open to any and all gear donations, by the way). We used an electronic drum kit to track all the drums on the EP. We used 3 bass guitars (2 of which were borrowed, if you must know). Guitars – a PRS SE Custom 22 and an Ibanez 7 string guitar. For guitar sounds, we used primariy AmpliTube 3 and the Helix LT2. We had a couple of mics, an AT2020 (a very affordable condenser microphone) and, you guessed it – an SM58. There’s a bit less of the additional percussion on this EP, but we recorded some bongos on Poison Mouth and Polarity.

 

Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?

We’re really excited to take our music out on the road to support the EP with some live shows! For that, we’re currently preparing our live set and rig. I’m learning to work with new technology, like in-ear monitoring and programming MIDI for guitar tone changes etc. Those things really help when you’re handling both vocal and guitar duties.

We’re also already writing new material, and jamming to it. We’ll make progress with that in our spare time. All I can say about that is things are looking really good so far.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Glad to have you along for the ride! You certainly have a very evolved musical taste, my friend, so congrats on that. Hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows – don’t hesitate to say hello if you’re ever there!

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