Band of the Day Revisited: Yatin Srivastava Project

Last featured two years ago, Yatin Srivastava Project are back with a new release and an update for you!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We were a New Delhi-based in the beginning of the project, but now we’re sort of all over the place. Our bassist is from London, our drummer is currently living in Mumbai and only until recently, our keyboard player was based in Bangalore. So, I guess we’re currently from New Delhi and all over the place.

How did you meet?

The project has mostly been a solo venture of mine, so it’s been a mixture of meeting other artists and musicians at different intervals of my musical journey. The whole online circle has also incredibly helped working on collaborations and getting musicians to fill in for roles as and when required. It’s like a machine with the core intact but everything else is updated as time progresses.

How long have you been playing as a band?

The project has been you could say active since 2013, but it was in 2016 when things really picked up and fortified themselves in terms of us playing as a unit.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Well when I started the project, I really thought hard about giving it a name. At the same time, I was really getting into artists that were going solo. Mark Tremonti had just started his own band with his own name on the front and I was heavily into the Devin Townsend Project too. So I just decided to not actually think over a name and just put my name on it and added the word ‘Project’ to it.

What are your influences?

Everyone in the band who is involved in the music making process is influenced by a lot of things. I personally listen to a quite a lot of different music and influences or something that inspires you can be anything. At the core is obviously the entire progressive rock and progressive metal sound, which finds its influence from bands such as Porcupine Tree, Tool, Opeth, TesseracT, Periphery etc., we’ll also been influenced a lot by artists such as Radiohead, Bring Me The Horizon, Flying Lotus, Florence and the Machine, etc.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Our music is always evolving. We never want it to be just one thing genre wise or sound wise. I personally think that an artist should be able to go from writing a heavy metal album to a hip-hop or country album if they want to. The thing I would say that makes our music unique or rather, the thing that makes us sound like us throughout our discography is the aspect of groove and its amalgamation with melody. We rely on these two things very heavily. On top of that, we definitely try our best to use all other mediums to replicate that same effect of the songs being heavily emotive.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

I think the lyrical themes match the idea of the entire melodic approach we have towards making our music. Our debut album Chaos // Despair dealt with everything from immense melancholia, to anger, hope, etc. With most songs, the instrumental section is written first, so the lyrics derive themselves from the skeleton of the song and carry forward that same idea/vibe the instrumental section/melodic structure of the song portrays.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We haven’t really played that many live shows and that’s mostly because of logistic reasons. At least in New Delhi and overall in India, small scale venues aren’t equipped with the abilities to host a 5 or 6-piece Progressive act with backing tracks, visuals, etc. I’ve always wanted to make the live show more than what it is from the record, so when we do get a chance to do that – it’s quite a lot of fun. The show, as the songs are is very dynamic, but it’s definitely more of an experience than just a performance. At least it’s the way I see it and strive for every time we play.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

To be honest, it’s actually the simple things that are wild to me. To see people singing back the lyrics of your song or just headbanging and moving out of sheer appreciation for the music – there’s nothing better than that. I guess the wildest thing I’ve done at a show is somehow continuing to play with a broken string and not absolutely ruining everything. That was definitely a tough one!

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

So as far as the band goes, we rely a lot on backing tracks because of the larger than life sound our songs have, so a lot of that is the meeting of the analog and digital world to create a cohesive sound on stage. I as the guitar player use a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 (30th Anniversary) and a .strandberg Boden Classic 7 with an insane custom paint job on it, which was done by this brilliant Indian artist Deekshita (The 5th Intercostal). We don’t use any amplifiers on stage so all the sound for the bass or the guitar comes goes through plugins that run in Logic. For that we rely on an array of Neural DSP Plugins (Nameless for the guitar and the Parallax for the bass) along with some Waves plugins for extra reverb/delay etc. Our drummer is a Meinl endorsee so he exclusively plays Meinl cymbals. His collection includes mostly Byzance cymbals along with some other bits and bobs from other Meinl collections. He also uses a Tama snare (I forget the exact model) and just a basic Mapex Double Bass pedal. As far as drumkits go, venues in India generally provide a drum kit as part of the backline so that depends entirely on what kind of gear you’re getting.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We very recently released a brand new single titled “all we ever wanted was nothing” that we released along with a lyric video!

What are your plans for the rest of 2020?

Our plans pre-COVID were to work and finish on our sophomore record and get it done and dusted, released by the end of 2020. But with the current situation and all the members being in different cities, we’ve just been trying to do our best and release as many songs as we can. So let’s see. The entire schedule we had planned for the upcoming album went out of the window, so it’s all based on luck at this point.

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!

If we were second on a bill, I would definitely put in a band like Away With The Seas. They’re this brilliant Progressive Metal band from England that recently came out with their first EP and we would absolutely love to open for a band like Periphery or TesseracT. We’ve opened for Skyharbor and Modern Day Babylon before, so it’s definitely something that would make us up our game and I think overall it would be a solid gig!

Yatin Srivastava Project: facebook | instagram | soundcloud | bandcamp | spotify | youtube

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