When Channel V announced that Launchpad was back for a IIIrd season there was much talk and buzz on the forums and among musicians. When they announced that the format was different and it would include 7 bands locked in a house the rumors and speculation started and everyone was thinking 'what the fuck is going on' - 'whats this nonsense' and so on and so forth. I think everyone feared the worst, that the show was now going to be big brother part 2 and the music would take a back seat. When the rules and regulations came out and the much talked about contract and t & c of the show, the word was out that channel V was going to screw the bands over.
All that was so wrong!!! Launchpad III was a once in a lifetime experience. I can safely say that even though at the end of the day it is a TV show and TRPs etc are important there were always people who made sure that the show did not lose focus from the most important thing in it...... the MUSIC!!!
Well anyway when I 1st read about it I knew that Workshop in a house would be complete madness and there were some others that shared the thought. After much debate, checking, calling and figuring out that our music won't be stolen by channel V and used we sent in our entries and made it to the top 20 bands from god knows how many. This year channel V decided to allow bands singing in any language to take part which really didn't make any drastic difference. So after making a trip to the office and reading the contract which had a cool clause saying if we die we can't hold channel V responsible and after checking that Raj could drop out from Workshop after round 1 if we got through we signed the dotted line.
So the journey starts with Riju packing his bag 4 days in advance and leaving it at my place till we made it to the house. The 1st audition was at Andheri sports complex between 20 bands that were selected. Each band would get 1 song to perform. Also we were called there at 7am and were told that if we reached at 7:05 we would get disqualified which we later discovered was an evil ploy to make sure we were on time. Anyway we did shit loads of shooting and stuff and were told Vishal won't judge us that day and lo and be hold 10 minutes later Vishal walks past all of us.
Now I must make it a point to mention this as I know a lot of metal heads don't quite like Vishal for whatever reason but I honestly think the man deserves a hand/break/kit-kat/applaus
Special Edit: Also must compliment our 2nd judge bobby and from henceforth, 'Brunch with Bobby' will be the new 'Koffee with Karan' .... very interesting sessions where Bobby briefed us on our tasks and also Bobby was the man of the hour and his hindi is very good. His judging was also very fair and unbiased. It was good to have him on the panel.
Since I'm at it might as well mention Shaa'ir and Func (Monica & Randolf) and Raghu Dixit who judged us and all I can say is all these people are really tuned into whats going on and they really are a great bunch of musicians and it was really great that they agreed to be part of this show and they really did a good job judging the bands. A big thanks to all of the judges then!!! Also extra thanks to Randolf for the cool drawing he did for Workshop! :P I'll upload that sometime.
Anyway moving on. We were also told from the 20 bands 15 would move on to round 2 and Workshop made it through. We played the song 'I came' and got a great response and it was also the tightest we've ever been on stage. So the next day was round 2 which was in the Channel V studio where Vishal, Bobby and Anirban were judging the bands and we played She Folked Up My Jazz without Raj as he dropped out due to IIT pressure. So when we played the judges had their most grim faces and grilled us after which they burst out into smiles telling us they loved what we played and that we'd been had. So all said and done there was a judgment where bands at 5 at a time went on to find their fate and finally after scaring us again we were told we made it into the 7 bands that would move into the house.
Also have to mention chilling out with all the 20 bands was good fun, special mention t Anus The Menace, Fire Exit and whoever else we met and hung out with. Good times!!
Anyway So two days later we moved into 'The House Of Rock' which was this amazing place and Channel V had done it up really well. It was Prachir & Cassinis Divison from Kolkata, Faridkot, Blank Noize & The Circus from Delhi and Reverse Polarity and Workshop from Mumbai. Going into the house I thought that the only band we'd beat for sure would be Reverse Polarity and my god how wrong I was because they up'd their game and have kicked everyones ass so far!!! Anyway living with so many bands was an amazing experience. I cannot stress enough on how great it was to meet all these musicians and just the whole experience was so awesome. We had brunch with Bobby and Eliminations and did some shitty tasks like making a song in 10minutes after being given a word and even doing a cover our own way. I thought about going into detail but for now I'll keep it short so that there is stuff to watch when the show is out. But basically there was no big brother style crap, they just filmed us doing what we do, playing the fool, playing guitars etc etc. We all did a shoot with Rolling Stone, we played at Blue fucking Frog!!! and Reverse Polarity even jumped naked into the swimming pool.
A little bit about the bands we shared a house with.
Parchir - A great band, very quiet guys and I can honestly say the guys with the most heart and courage in the house, they really worked their asses off. Their bassist left them just before they entered the house and they still kicked ass. Very nice guys, I wish them the best.
Blank Noize - My main man Nikhils band and man they were very cool, it was great hanging out with them. They've already got two albums out and are good musicians, I loved their version of Glassi but sadly it wasn't good enough to keep them there. Hats off boys it was great sharing the stage. You Homos :P (this is an inside joke :P)
Cassinis Divison - Another quiet bunch from Kolkata till you get to know them better then they are life and death of the party. Great band and Rahul is just INSANE!!! The man and an acoustic guitar will have u mesmerized for days on end. He was the life and death of the party and I think they just floored all the bands with their songs. A great bunch of people if I do say so myself.
Faridkot - Serial molesters Raj and Gavin!! :P hahahhaa but man another great bunch of guys, Gavin is seriously funny!!! A great bunch of musicians, Tarun from Berkelee School of music and Raj who I think is like Warren Jr. and IP who is a great singer. Not to forget Raheja Sahab the electronica wiz who also was part of Frequency and in launchpad 2.And last but not least Gavin the great!! :p
Reverse Polarity - The underdogs in the contest and man oh man have they proved their worth!!! They just ripped each time they performed. Looks like Brother might also win the show like his sister won the Viva band thingy!! Runs in the Manchanda family I guess (:P). Great job boys!!! I never expected this and that makes it all the more special. Much deserved.
The Circus - I saw them at Blitzkrieg in Delhi and they were pretty decent but now they have improved and their bassist fucking rips!!!! The whole band is great and I really love their music, they are awesome fun to hang out with and chill with, great bunch of people!!
Workshop - Often called The Workshop for some strange reason, we had fun in the house and we loved being a part of this show and hanging out with all the bands. But finally we did get eliminated inspite of improving our performance each time (except the 1 make a song in 10minutes one) but I guess its more than just that. I guess its just depends on just that small slip up like song selection or even making 1 or 2 mistakes because all the bands are so tight and so good that it makes judging really hard.
Anyway it does suck to be eliminated but I guess we made a bad song choice and thats all it comes down to. Its going to be a great contest. The channel V crew has worked extremely hard and a big thank you to all of them: Sunder, Vivek, Romit, Suyash, Pranoy, Varun, all the camera men and sound guys. Workshop infected them all and by the end of it the camera people were dropping their camera's and laughing because we fucking cracked everyone up. Anyway there is tons of good footage and I really hope channel V makes some left over launchpad outtakes and puts them up on youtube.
I am really glad that we took part and next year I hope to join Vishal and Bobby on the launchpad Jury
Also a special thanks to my girlfriend Deepti for always being there :) and also Husain for coming for the gig at Blue Frog and supporting us and also to the future Murga Ashwin who showed up as well.
So guys don't miss the show when it airs. I'll try and get Hamza and Riju to write out some of the funnies that might not find its way onto the show
I'm sure I missed out a lot of things and a lot of people but I'll write more soon.