Avinash Srinivas of the band The Lies Inside (previously Koritsu) talks to us about the band’s songs, their good run in recent time, studio recording and future plans of the band in this interview.
Avinash - Hey man! I’ve been good. I finished college a few months back and I’ve been spending a lot of time on the drum kit, trying to learn something new everyday and also coming up with some new parts for our songs.
ID - The band you play for (The Lies Inside) was previously called Koritsu. Why the change in band name and specific theme or story behind the current name?
Avinash - Yes. We were called “Koritsu”(Meaning “Isolation” in Japanese) for almost a year, and even won a few competitions under the name. But at one point we realized we wanted a name that described our music a little better and in a more straightforward manner. “The Lies Inside” basically describes most phases of life, relationships and even what you claim to be. At the end of the day, there lies a lie in every direction, and most of all deep inside every person.
ID - Give us a brief description of how you guys formed the band. From a lyrical perspective, what do your songs deal with?
Avinash - We grew up together in the same school. Suprith (Our Bassist) was our senior.
We decided to form a band after we heard the song “Blind” by KoRn, which we still cover at most of our shows even though we play a very different style of music today. Music was our escape from the mediocrity that plagued everybody. Music was life. Still is. And always will be.
Lyrically, Arun (our frontman) writes most of our songs. Our songs deal with our personal experiences and those of people around us. Everything from drug addictions to heartbreak to isolation to just a big middle finger to people who try to drag you down.
Avinash - I first played keyboard for a song in school, 3 notes to be precise and I hated it. Haha! It was when I started listening to songs by Korn and Slipknot that I realised that drums were the first thing to catch my attention. The next thing I did was to get myself a pair of drum sticks and I tried to play along with my favourite tracks on books and pillows till I got my first kit, which was 4 or 5 years later!
ID - With respect to drumming, who are your major influences?
Avinash - Some of my major influences are David Silveria, Joey Jordison, Sean Reinert, Gene Hoglan, George Kollias, Virgil Donati, Dennis Chambers, Tommy Igoe, Richard Christy and Benny Greb.
ID - As an upcoming artist, what are your focus areas in drumming?
Avinash - My main focus areas in drumming include-
a) Working on making the song sound better as a whole.
b) Time signatures
c) Solo building
d) Working on stage presence
f) Double bass speed and endurance
g) Single footed blast beats
ID - Give us some detail about your practice schedule and your drums setup.
Avinash - Ever since I finished college I’ve been practicing for about 3 to 4 hours daily.
I start with warming up my hands by playing some rudiments for about one hour at different tempos (with a metronome).Then I start working on the feet by setting the metronome at about 190 bpm and play straight 16th notes for about 10 minutes (with ankle weights).
Once I finish warming up, I pick some random double bass patterns and work on that for a while. I also try to learn at least one new groove everyday and work on it at different tempos.
Drum Kit – Premier Cabria PK Series
Drumheads – Evans
Tone control rings – Remo
Sabian Hi hats 14”
Sabian Crash/Ride 18”
Zildjian ZBT Series Splash 8”
Zildjian ZBT Series China 18”
Drumsticks – Vic Firth 55A
Vic Firth Nova 5A
Hardware – Mapex Falcon double pedals
ID - Any exercise/pattern/drumming concept you’ve been working on lately that you’d like to share.
Avinash - There are a bunch of exercises/patterns/drumming concepts I’ve been working on lately that I’d like to share-
a) Derek Roddy’s Speed and endurance exercise which is basically alternating singles between hands and feet.
b) Hand/foot single stroke rolls
c) Studying time signatures
d) Body posture
e) Moeller technique
f) Drum kit tuning
g) Building chops
ID - Is there any instructional video/DVD that you’ve been following which you’d like to share with other up & coming drummers?
Avinash - Actually I’ve been watching and following a lot of Instructional DVDs! I feel these are some of the DVDs every drummer must watch-
a) Virgil Donati – Power Drumming tutorial
b) George Kollias- Intense Metal Drumming
c) Mike Michalkow- Moeller method secrets
d) Tommy Igoe- Groove Essentials
e) Benny Greb- The Language of Drumming
f) Also following this book called Stick control for the snare drummer by George Lawrence Stone (My personal favourite!)
ID - Are you are in touch with the latest music/metal/band scene in Bangalore, what do you think this city needs more off in particular?
Avinash - Yes, we try to stay updated on what’s happening in the city, in terms of the metal scene. But I’m sure you’ve noticed there are new bands every week and it’s a little hard to keep track unless you’re gigging every week. Besides, I think we’re still one of those new bands. We’re still getting to know everybody.
ID - From a personal stand point, how would you rate the drum instructors in Bangalore & what do you think they need to do to upgrade their teaching skills?
Avinash - I started taking classes only after I finished college which was around 3 months back! So I can’t really rate the instructors. I went to Ryan Colaco for a couple of months and now I go to Krishna Anand (Who are both great teachers!).
I’ve heard that there are some really good teachers out there and I feel they must start teaching some basic drum theory and notations which is very important to become a better musician.
ID - You guys recorded and put out a couple of songs recently. How did you prepare for your first studio experience?
Avinash - I was really nervous about recording since it was our first time. I had a lot of things to do like tuning the kit, making arrangements for cymbals, getting used to playing with a metronome etc. Ryan helped me out with tuning and he even lent me his cymbals. I had to spend a lot of time practicing the songs with a metronome and tuning the drum kit, which was a little nerve-wrecking but a great experience!
Avinash - I used my drum kit, cymbals and pedals for the recording.
ID - How was the whole experience of recording like for yourself and the band?
Avinash - Recording was a lot of fun. Hectic, but fun. We had a group of extremely patient people working with us at the studio. Drums took forever, as it always does when you record with your own kit and try to get the sound right. But overall we knew we had written some good stuff, after all, we had heard our songs in parts a billion times and still weren’t saturated or bored.
ID - What were the lessons that you learnt from this experience & what tips do you have for the next first-timer?
Avinash - Metronome is a drummer’s best friend! Haha! Make sure you practice with a metronome always. That way you’ll save a lot of time and money at the studio! J
ID - How do you go about writing your parts in the songs?
Avinash - Arun and Suprith finish writing the lyrics and their guitar parts first and then I have a listen to the tracks a few times and record it if I can. I go home and try to come up with some parts and we try it out the next time we jam. Sometimes Arun or Suprith will know what would make the song sound better and they give me the parts.
Avinash – Hopefully a lot of shows. Arun has been out of the country for a few months, so when he gets back, we start gig hunting. As for our goals, we’re hoping to record “Watch Me Die” sometime soon. This is the song most people like and know us for. Apart from that just get out there and make people headbang. m/
ID - What’s your opinion on an initiative like Indian Drummer?
Avinash - It’s a great initiative and a platform for bands and artists to connect with fellow bands and artists. It also gives us an opportunity to share our views and experiences with each other, and that in turn would help all of us learn a lot.
ID - Anything you’d like to add or say to your fans, friends, family, and this space is all yours.
Avinash - I speak for my entire band when I say that the support and love we receive means a lot. All the feedback, appreciation, criticism, has helped us grow and better ourselves with every song and jam session. We hope to live up to the expectations and look forward to having more and more people listen to our music.
Thanks a lot for doing this interview Avinash! We wish you and your band the very best! Cheers!
Photo credits to - Swathi Chatrapathy