Yatin Srivastava is the founder of the similarly-monikered Project. Today he takes us through our Band of the Day questions about the band, the music and the future…
Well I am originally from and still based in New Delhi, India. For a few years I moved to London, so the band members changed according to location as well.
How did you meet?
Once I came up with the idea of starting a project of my own, I contacted musicians that I had already been playing with and further, was really close friends with. Once we formed the main core of the band, we started bringing in other musicians from around the world to guest on different songs.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The Project in full swing started in 2013. Since then, although it’s been more of me working on material, the band/musicians have come in to support different gigs through the years.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The band name is actually not that interesting of a story! Once I decided that I wanted to have a solo project, I spent a lot of time trying to come with a name for the band that wasn’t mine. At that same point of time, I was introduced to the Devin Townsend Project and that concept really stuck with me. So I just decided to call the band name by my name and added Project to it. I guess the idea behind it was that yes there is one constant, which is me – but it’s always open to musicians to come and play and collaborate, to create unique music each and every time.
What are your influences?
My influences keep changing but largely my ideas are coming from bands such as Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Metallica, TesseracT, Devin Townsend Project and Karnivool. For this album, I was more influenced by some newer bands I was listening to, like Polaris from Australia, Periphery, Sikth and The Pineapple Thief.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I think what makes the music unique beyond it being progressive metal/rock is that once I take my versions of the songs and give it to the other members to play and interpret, it creates this amalgamation of influences that takes a more straightforward idea and takes it to a place that sounds very different. Further, I think we have developed some food chemistry by this time and we can sort of guess as to what we want. I think that enormously helps the whole writing/creative process.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Well the last EP and singles were focused more on this basic thematic concept of a protagonist going through different situations. With this new album, there is a story with its own concept for each song, but that has an overarching idea of ‘Chaos’ and ‘Despair’ for each side of the record It talks about a lot of stuff including dystopian worlds, the failure of society and authority, Stockholm Syndrome and so on. I think this time the vibes of the song really add to the lyrics and provide a unique experience that way in my opinion.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We don’t play live that often, but when we do we make it special. Last year we opened for Skyharbor and had a solid 30 minute set where we played songs from the EP and also debuted “Remembrance”, a single we then released later this year. Another interesting show we did was at a Jazz Café where we took our songs and converted them into three ambient/electronic based tracks and provided the listeners with a completely different experience of the songs. We always try to make each show unique and different from the last one. Production design is something I’m really interested in – including projections, lights etc and that’s something I’d certainly like to focus at in the future.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
So the whole show we play runs through Logic with samples and a click track. Once we press play, the show starts and continues. We’ve sadly had situations where the laptop has failed and stopped working mid song and we’ve somehow continued and finished the song without people noticing. I don’t really think I’ve ever done anything wild on a stage except for maybe trying to imitate Ritchie Blackmore and scraping my guitar neck on a monitor!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
So Arjun, the drummer of the band is endorsed by Meinl and uses a Mapex drum kit. I personally myself use Paul Reed Smith Guitars (I have a beautiful PRS Custom 24 30th Anniversary) along with various outboard stuff including Strymon, Tech 21 and Boss pedals along with Peavey Amplifiers. Our bassist uses an Ibanez and Chapman basses and Aguilar/Ampeg stuff for his sound. Our keyboard player uses his Korg keyboard more as a MIDI controller to use sounds from a computer from plugins such as Omnisphere, Kontakt, Absynth, Massive, etc.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are currently promoting our debut LP which is coming out on 25th May of this year.
What are your plans for 2018?
Plans for now are to release the album and put in all the work into pushing it till then and further, try and organize a tour after that and see how that goes!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
That’s quite an interesting question. Albeit the order, I would love play live with this New Delhi-based post progressive rock band Zokova and I would absolutely love to open for Polaris. I think that would be a cracker of a show.
From previous Band of the Day, Stone Theory: What do you think of the relation between social media and being a band in this day and age?
I think with the industry moving to social media more than anything else today, it is absolutely important for a band to maximize themselves as much as they can on social media. you could argue and say that it might lead to saturation but the reality is, until and unless you don’t shove something down a user’s throat in today’s day, no one’s going check anything out. I have always known that social media was an important factor and I guess that also comes along with presenting your music as a product to people. It might sound shallow but that’s the reality. Using different and unique ways to push your stuff on social media is what gets you the most traction.
From another BotD, Vanity: If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
I think one thing I would say is to tell myself to be more confident. I was very shy and reserved as a kid as far as any of my abilities were concerned. I only sort of shred it with friends and let it be that only. If I would have branched out to the public earlier than I did, I think that would have helped immensely now.
And from Regulus: What’s your pre-show ritual or what’s the weirdest you’ve heard of?
The one thing we really like to do is have the whole intro thing and walk on stage. Usually it’s just scouting around for the band members and making sure they get on the stage whilst they’re trying their best to get a drink and not get lost in the crowd. I think one of the weirdest ones I’ve heard definitely has to be Slipknot’s. I remember recently seeing that a drummer of a band always does 24 push ups before going on stage. Can’t remember what band it was, but I thought that was well funny.