Enough and more has been said about how Bangalore city is the rock and metal capital of our country. It is not inaccurate either for such a claim to be made, and the fact that international musical heavyweights such as Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Sepultura, The Scorpions (who made their second visit to the city) and America among others visited the city last year as part of their tours just goes to reinforce that statement further.
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This exposure that the city has been enjoying over the past decade or so has led to a vibrant musical scene, giving artists a chance to express themselves musically through every conceivable genre including jazz, blues, fusion, rock and metal to name a few.
Rock Ethos, a free-entry rock music festival, which is Bangalore’s answer to the Great Indian Rock festival (New Delhi) and Independence Rock (Mumbai) will be held for the first ever time this year on the 10th of February at the Palace Grounds starting from about 12 noon all the way till 10 PM.
Vishnu Pandit of V&P Sounds and Raj Hansoge of Buenos Entertainment, highly influential people in the music scene within the city wanted to come up with an event which would showcase the immense talent and potential that rock and metal bands native to the city possess, and out of this idea was born ‘Rock Ethos’.
Fifteen popular bands from the city including the likes of Bhoomi, Kryptos, Myndsnare, Galeej Gurus, Slain, Inviktus and MotherJane will get to perform on a state-of-the-art stage, and each band will be given 45 minutes to perform to a sizeable 5000+ crowd, if initial estimates based on the turn-out for similar festivals such as the Freedom Jam are any indication to go by. (No professional label will be playing.)
Taking to reporters at a press conference held in Cubbon Park as a curtain raiser to the event, Pandit and Hansoge stated that the festival would also include pyrotechnics, gaming zones, a food court serving multiple cuisines, a lounge bar among other incentives that a music fan in the city would want to attend the festival, should the music not prove to be reason enough.
Rock Ethos aims to promote original music in India, while also attempting to advocate a strong stance against music piracy and by serving as a means for the talent within the city to be acknowledged and recognized by its musical peers all across the country, and across the world as well, if the festival is able to scale up the way the organizers foresee.
The festival aims at being listed among the top bracket of metal festivals all across the globe, such as the Download Festival (UK), Wacken Open Air Festival (Germany), Roskilde Festival (Denmark) and the Dubai Desert Rock festival, to name a few.
Commenting on the rise of rock music as a popular means of expression all over the world, Suraj, the lead singer of MotherJane said, "Rock music is an exciting medium of expression, which has very low entry criteria attached. Anyone with passion and zest to play this type of music can get together with like-minded individuals and follow their dreams to perform and express themselves musically, unlike say, classical music where one has to undergo many years of practice and acceptance from one’s peers to be able to perform on stage."
Rock music, with its total lack of exclusivity is a genre that has, since its inception in the early sixties become a way of life. It is a popular misconception that its only angst ridden people, the so-called ‘rebels without a cause’ that are the ones who use this to voice their frustrations. Rock music is highly cathartic, but can also be used to express positive emotions, just like all other genres. However, what is a differentiating factor is that this brand of music evokes a response from the listeners, and they can’t be mere passive spectators to the proceedings.
As Suraj said in response to another query, "Rock music makes you want to react. You do it either by tapping your feet, swaying your body or banging your head. But you can’t stay detached from it. That is the beauty of this mode of expression."
With a lavish stage, high quality sound and an overall atmosphere that aims at recreating an international rock festival experience, Rock Ethos 2008 promises to be a rock music fan’s dream come true.