Sriram (singer), Srinidhi (guitar) and Varun (keys) seem like the unlikeliest characters to ever come together and form a band. Yet in Hyderabad, they are the likeliest characters to do so as well. More laidback than the most laidback Hyderabadis, they all went to the same school but only came together as a band, forming Yama Yama this year, in their mid-twenties.
In the intervening years, Sriram went to Tisch at NYU to learn acting (he’s subsequently done a Telugu web series called Grill, Srinidhi survived an atrocious degree in the Christ University in Bangalore but he had a great time outside Christ in Bangalore where he “met and lived with the most interesting people from all over the world.” Varun meandered lacklustrely through a lacklustre degree in one of Hyderabad’s many lacklustre colleges where, with characteristic self-deprecation, he says “I learnt nothing.”
Ask them what their band’s philosophy is and they say they do not have any, really. It is the classic Hyderabadi response. Ask them what their music is like and they say ‘Oh a bit of everything really. We don’t have one style.”
But there is a philosophy lurking there and there is a definite sound. But like all good Hyderabadis, they make you do the work to find out. The band has an idea of feeling music, viscerally and bodily.
As Srinidhi, the most articulate among them, says “We are not about lyrics and set themes. We are about people experiencing us as sound, feeling the rhythm, entering the sense of a sound.”
That is an interesting anti-narrativising philosophy right there and a refreshingly interesting one from most bands who talk the talk but rarely walk it or who have a fixed signature and repeat it.
“They do disco, electronic, blues, some punk and this eclectic mix marks their sound. They have their own songs but also do many covers “of just about anything, but our covers are very different from the originals,” says Srinidhi.
They bring their interests to their music. Sriram sings but also brings his experience in clowning and physical theatre into his singing because singing is also performance. Srinidhi is going to Chicago to do some unspeakable corporate degree but hopes to soak in the Chicago scene but also do courses in music which the US cafeteria system allows and Varun just soaks in the great vibe of doing nothing.
They come together on Friday evening to perform their last gig for some time “though we are not breaking up,” Srinidhi insists, before he heads of to Chicago. The band will play an acoustic set at Hyderabad’s new coolest cultural venue Aaromale café in Film Nagar tomorrow (Friday) at 5 pm. Tickets can be bought at https://rzp.io/l/doQ2qsa