Vedant Kaushik: Talking Music, Metal and Future with IIIrd Sovereign
IIIrd Soverign has been out of action for about two years. The band was spearheading the Extreme Death Metal scene in India and had the fans gasping for more when the band mysteriously disappeared. After aeons IIIrd Sovereign is making a comeback to the scene, with their original line up. soundplunge_test caught up with the front man, Vedant Kaushik to know more about IIIrd Sovereign’s past and what the future holds for them.
soundplunge_test: Firstly, the question all Extreme Death Metal fans in India have been aching to ask, what happened to IIIrd Sovereign all these years?
Vedant Kaushik: Ha ha! Well the thing is…I had to leave Delhi, because I have a business set up in Assam. When I left, the band sort of went on a small hibernation, as I would call it. It was becoming difficult to manage the band in Delhi. So, we decided to take a small break. Finally now, with Jonah back in the line-up, and me regrouping with the band, things are falling into place.
ST: When did the band decide to go on a break?
VK: When we were planning on the second album, and were actually editing songs. But, you can never see what’s ahead in the future.
ST: What delayed the release of the second LP?
VK: We have almost completed all the tracks on the second album. The band was playing those songs in Delhi a lot so the inception of the ideas for the songs was being planted then itself. But the thing is there were some major loop holes we had to fix. The first, of course, being the burning of the studio which was in Safdarjang Enclave. It was a major setback for the band. Then, the band members’ work shifts. Benjamin and Reuben were working in music schools in Delhi. Then Jonah, with his personal issues, had to get back home. I had to go back too, you know. So, there were some setbacks that delayed the album.
ST: Your studio caught fire?! When?
VK: In 2008. During the month of February to be precise I think.
ST: So, IIIrd Sovereign is back now for good? This is not a one off gig?
VK: Oh yes. The thing is we were always there. The new vocalist after me also played a few gigs. WORME festival was one, Deccan Rock in Hyderabad was another where we took the stage on the second day. The band has been around only. But now, things are falling into place firmly. Jonah, our original bassist, is back. He is also one of the founding members. So really, it was just a small hiatus.
ST: Is this a planned come back? Or you just decided that it’s time to get back on the bandwagon?
VK: It’s not a reunion, like Led Zeppelin, who broke up and then played reunion gigs. No. That was never the plan. This is a planned come back from a small hiatus. We are back with the original and stable line up.
ST: Yes, that brings us to the next question. You have had a shaky line up. Any particular reason for that?
VK: I don’t know, don’t all metal bands go through that?(laughs sardonically). Jason was the first guitarist and he is happily married and settled. After Jason, Anshuman became the second guitarist, and he played for us at the Resurrection Festival. In 2006, when Anshuman left, Benjamin joined the band. I joined the band in 2007 as their second vocalist and was with them till the early half of 2010. Devraj came in as the third vocalist and was with the band for a year and a half. I had been in touch with Rueben and Benjamin on the phone, you know. They wanted me to come back because it wasn’t working out with Devraj. So, a couple of line-up changes, yeah. But touchwood, no one has left the band on a bad note. They have left due to family and work commitments. Some have left because they weren’t committed enough to the band, which often happens with all new line ups.
ST: On a more personal note, how does it feel to be back as one solid unit again?
VK: This is really great. I was in Delhi earlier in 2012, around July or August. The jam with the band was great. New songs sound good. I am sure the fans will like to hear the new tracks. I am looking forward for the upcoming gigs. We plan on promoting the second album and getting more gigs. I am really excited.
ST: We meant to ask you about it. When is the much awaited second album out?
VK: Tentatively, we are looking to release it around September or October, maybe.
ST: Now that you are back with the IIIrd Sovereign, what about your other project, “Shades of Retribution”?
VK: I am concentrating more on IIIrd Sovereign. This is the first thing first kind of stuff, you know. To be precise, I am not with them anymore as of right now. I would be singing full time with the IIIrd Sovereign now. [newsfooter]