INTERVIEW | Sandesh Shenoy (Trendslaughter Fest)
Trendslaughter Festival is one of the few metal only festivals in India. Started in 2011, the festival has featured underground bands from around the world like Demilich, Impiety and also Indian bands. The headliners for the sixth edition of the upcoming edition of Trendslaughter Festival is Czech black metal band Cult of Fire, their first live performance in Asia, making it one looked forward to by many.
I spoke to Sandesh Shenoy, one of the people behind the festival about the 6th edition of the festival, how the line up is curated and also their plans for the rest of the year.
Hi Sandesh, you are gearing up for the 6th edition of the Trendslaughter festival. How are the preparations going?
Greetings Mr. Trendcrusher! Everything is going smooth and according to plan. The venue and sound has been finalized and we have just announced the entire line up playing Trendslaughter VI day a few days ago. The international bands are done with flights and we expect the visas to be done by this week!
How did you get involved in organizing shows?
Well to be honest, my involvement as an organizer came out of pure frustration that there weren’t any good extreme metal gigs (with a complete extreme metal lineup) before 2011 in Bangalore. Many killer international extreme metal bands were passing by Asia and were giving India a miss because there was no one to bring them down. On the other hand, a lot of the extreme metal bands in the country were either languishing or were on ice.
A trip to Bangkok to watch the God Beheading Festival in 2010 headlined by Inquisition and other Asian bands like Surrender of Divinity, Mantak, Grind Buto, Belligerent Intent, Zygoatsis brought things into perspective that we needed to have a similar scene here. After that it was basically a matter finding support from people who shared a similar passion for such music (aka my best friends Vikram and Pritham from Dying Embrace and Kiran, a devoted metalhead) and setting up the very first line up. Our good friend and partner Vamsi joined us later in the 2nd edition.
Trendslaughter Festival started in 2011. Tell us about the origins of the festival.
As I mentioned earlier, the inspiration came from watching the God Beheading Fest and hoping that international bands like Inquisition would be able to make it here someday. We were a tight group of friends who wanted to do some great gigs and with some planning we booked our first international band Orator from Bangladesh who I met at another fest in Thailand during the same year. Then we scoured the Indian scene for metal bands playing various styles of extreme Metal and Grind – Thrash, Death, Black Metal, Doom, etc. and we finalized upon a lineup. The first Trendslaughter Fest featuring Dying Embrace, Orator, Bevar Sea, Culminant and Gorified was a great success with 178 people attending. We were not only very surprised by the response and but more because people who attended the gig were asking us to do more festivals like this.
Bands like Demilich, Abigail, Impiety have performed in past edition of Trendslaughter. How do you select the bands that will perform?
The good thing about the organizers behind Trendslaughter Fest is that we all have varied tastes in Metal. While I am very passionate about Black Metal, Vikram is totally into Grind, and Death Metal. Pritham is devoted to Heavy Metal, Kiran to Thrash Metal and Vamsi loves his Doom Metal. Together we love a lot of common bands from all these genres and that helps choose the bands to invite. In short, it’s a democracy – every band that is proposed for the festival should be approved by all members.
What has been the most memorable edition of the festival so far?
There has not been one edition that was not memorable. We’ve had some of the most humble and friendly bands at all editions and we’ve had a blast partying with them. One thing comes to mind definitely – a younger me (along with my partners) could have never imagined the mighty Demilich playing live in India! That my friend, is one for the history books!
What have been the memorable moments so far? Any funny incidents?
Well apart from crazy drinking sessions with all the bands and stellar performances, I guess the photoshoot at the graveyard with Impiety was very memorable. After unsuccessfully looking for a good place to take band pics in two different graveyards, we chanced upon a picture-perfect spot to take a picture. Just as we were about to click a picture, Shyaithan (Vox/Impiety) spotted a worker burning some leaves from the corner of his eye. He asked me if I could get the guy to burn some more leaves and as luck would have it, the worker was burning leaves all over the graveyard as part of his cleaning operation. The results of the band picture were stunning and when the band and me posted that picture, there were hundreds of guys asking us how we managed to get a picture like that.
As for the funny incident there is one that comes to mind, but if I mentioned it, a certain band member would probably kill me hahaha!
What are you currently listening to?
Lately, I’ve been on a quite a Black Metal binge. Right from the classic Polish Black Metal bands from Temple of the Fullmoon – Graveland, Veles, Fullmoon, Infernum, Capricornus, Mysteries and North to some of the later Polish bands like Sacrilegium and Thirst among others. I’ve also been keenly checking some bands from the Black Plague circle from Bosnia and Herzegovina like Void Prayer and Obskuritatem and bands from the Portuguese Black Circle like Vetala, Mons Veneris and Decrepitude. I’m also listening to three of my latest releases Bell – Secrets from a Distant Star (Power Electronics/Ambient/USA), Abominablood- Abomination Continues (Blackened Death/Argentina) and In Obscurity Revealed – Path of the Seeker (Death Metal/Mexico).
What can we expect at the upcoming edition of Trendslaughter?
Just like that the last time, the focus is on getting a killer sound and production for the fans here! Both Cult of Fire and Draconis Inferum will have their elaborate and atmospheric sets to match their brand of Black Metal. It’s going to be one hell of a night!
Do you have any more shows planned for this year?
There’s a possibility of us doing a couple of more shows this year, but nothing is certain at the moment.
Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have anything else to add?
Thanks a lot for taking the time out! Here’s looking forward to see everyone at this year’s edition of Trendslaughter Fest! Praise Satan!
Get more info on the fest here: https://www.facebook.com/events/910087065811524/
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Interview conducted by none other than Peter K aka Trendcrusher. He, much like the rest of us, is someone who has an insatiable desire to discover the most obscure bands from around the world, and is an active supporter of bands from the region. He is a frequent contributor to Transcending Obscurity in addition to running his own blog called Trendcrusher. We can’t thank him enough for sending in interviews to help continue to build the content of our site.]