Indian prog rockers Rainburn return on November 7th with the release of a new album “Insignify” (read our review here). In an interview for Progarchy, singer and guitarist Vats Iyengar tells us about the meaning behind the band’s name, their working process, new songs, and more.
Hello! Thanks for responding to this interview. How have you guys been lately?
Thank you for hosting us! We’ve been good. Gearing up for the album release, and also starting rehearsals for the tour soon.
How might you introduce yourselves to new potential listeners?
I’d say our music covers a lot of ground and touches upon many different styles without sounding forced or gimmicky. We also have a nice mix of the old and the new, some modern music and some classic influences. If you like emotionally-heavy music that is creative and diverse, you should check us out.
What inspired the name of the band — Rainburn?
We wanted an oxymoron, to suggest that we cover a wide spectrum of music, from soft to heavy, moments of light and darkness – and everything in-between – in our music, so we went with this name. Our drummer, Praveen, came up with the name. It’s a pretty established tradition as far as band names go. Like Black Sabbath, for example.
How did Rainburn initially form as a creative unit?
We had a keyboard player in the beginning and only one guitarist (me). It was actually his idea that we form a band together. We added a bassist and a drummer soon after, played quite a few gigs with that lineup, even recorded a couple of demos. But as we started finding our sound, we decided two guitars worked better.
You are about to release a new album titled “Insignify.” Where did the inspiration for it come from and how did you go about the whole process of writing and recording it?
‘Insignify’ has been a two-and-a-half-year labour of love that started as a seed in my head. It took a long time to take shape and form fully but once it did, the music was created very quickly, because the concept was so clear and detailed. I think it’d take a few listens, at least, to fully digest and “get” the album. The record was mixed by Thejus Nair, a brilliant young engineer who operates Eleven Gauge Recordings in Bangalore, our hometown. Mastering was done by Tony Lindgren at Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios, where so much good progressive music comes out of these days.
What can be expected from the upcoming album? Would you say the released singles (“Suicide Note” and “Mirrors”) are accurate samples?
They’re fairly good samplers but as to whether they’re completely representative of the album – not by a long way. Apart from what’s in those songs, we have moments of funk, fusion, a bit of jazz, even a vocal fugue on the record. No two songs really sound alike.
What’s your songwriting process like?
It’s usually me writing and making demos at home that I then present to the band, and they tailor or modify their parts according to their style. But for some stuff, we changed the formula. Like, ‘Someone New’ started with Praveen composing an entire drum track that I then wrote riffs and melodies over. That was a very interesting way to write!
What are your ultimate hopes for Rainburn as a band?
To be an internationally touring band, to make some great records so we can leave a musical legacy behind and – the holy grail – to be able to sustain ourselves, financially, with our music.
Do you have any bigger plans for the future?
Well, we’ll be going on a national tour early next year – our second one. And hope to play some gigs outside India next year as well.
The last words are yours.
To your readers – If you’ve somehow managed to read this far, I hope you’ll check out our album when it’s out (November 7th). Listen to the two singles for a taste, and also to the snippets we’ve been posting on our Facebook page of various songs from the record.
To Progarchy – thank you for supporting our music.