Sunday, March 10, 2013

David Abraham


Born in Bombay, India, David Abraham spent most of his pre-teen & high school years glued to the Singapore MTV feed that India used to broadcast in the 90's. Obsessed with music, especially that of the alternative, grunge, shoegaze, hard rock, heavy metal, hip hop, & house genres, David began learning how to play the guitar (which he was unable to pursue at a young age due to the hectic school & tuition life of any given student in Bombay) by observing a friend of his. It was only when he started attending university in White Plains, New York, that he began studying basic guitar & music theory, which resulted in the first original composition of his in 2000, "Simple," which made it as one of the 10 songs on his debut 2012 release, "One Last Monsoon."

In the span of 5 years, David had written over 200 original songs, and created 3 demo albums that have only made their way to friends & family. While still in New York, post university, David formed a short-lived band by the name One Last Monsoon. They only performed 3 live shows. However, after being discovered at their first show at The Pussycat Lounge (their very first show), they were fortunate enough to be invited to play at the renowned CBGB, which, until today, David considers one of his most imperishable moments.

A few years after returning home to Bombay, David was hit with a severe case of typhoid and was home-ridden for several months, which directly resulted in his decision to release an album commercially. "One Last Monsoon," entirely written & performed by David, was primarily recorded in his bedroom and with friend, engineer, and current guitarist Jason D'Souza. For David, this particular album is a tribute of sorts, to the artists that he respects & loves, as well as the indie & alternative genres themselves. The last song off the album, "Anesthetic & the Withdrawal," is personal tribute to shoegaze/alternative band Swervedriver.

Within a few months of the album's release, songs off "One Last Monsoon" had already gained airplay in the U.S., U.K., France, Sweden, Australia, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Canada, Scotland, Denmark, and more. 3 tracks were also used in 3 episodes of Australia's comedy/drama series FLAT WHITES, including 4 songs that were incorporated in 3 days of coverage and a short film by Vogue India for their Fashion Week in Delhi. After receiving numerous requests to tour internationally, in June of 2012, the Koniac Net transformed from a one-man-project to a 5-piece band. Then in August 2012, the Koniac Net released their debut music video (produced by  U.K. production company, Karakoori Productions) for their single "This Time Around". 

R. How would you describe your music?
DA. Considering I have already determined what the theme to my 2nd album is going to be, I wanted to keep my first album more indie & alternative-based (with a sort of misanthropic feel to it) as I figured it was a good starting point, considering these 2 genres are what I grew up with, and still listen to and love. I've been told that my music sounds like that of Matt Pond PA and the Stills, and I myself (after recording the album and listening to it as a whole) heard minute elements of Spacehog & the Smashing Pumpkins. However, a radio personality in Chile mentioned that she heard Chris Isaac too, and a random fan in India compared me to the Deftones. I began promoting my album as Indie/Alternative, but after getting such varied responses from across the globe, I have left it to the fans & listeners to figure out how to describe my album, which, in the end, allows my music to become more personal to them.

R. Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
DA. There are so many trajectories via which ideas converge & inspire me. I've actually never really sat down and thought about particular ways in which I get inspired. It varies from randomly humming a tune, recording it on any given hand-held device, and then working around that hummed tune, to simply practising on my guitar and suddenly (accidentally) creating an initial progression, that I work around until I have a full-bodied melody & song I am proud of.

There have been a number of times when I have spawned a melodies in a state of being half-asleep, to which I force myself to wake up and record that dazed-fabricated tune. Occasionally, I have dreamt of song melodies, and if & when I wake up and remember it, I immediately do a rough recording of it.

As for my lyrics and themes: I try to stay away from the cliche "love" and "I've been heartbroken" motifs. For a while, I considered myself a type of misanthrope, which inspired the general ambiance of my album. A majority of my songs were inspired by the whole concept of us being wiped out permanently as a human race. After coming back to India, I have been exposed to more greed, spite, jealousy, hatred & bigotry than I have ever experienced (whether this is coincidental or not, I can't be sure), and it got to the point where I realised that my lyrics soared out in a more passionate & genuine form because I was writing about what I felt at the time… that humanity has displayed more evil than good, and that we have overstayed our welcome on this planet. Historically, and biblically, mankind has been given a number of chances to improve, but it seems like nothing has changed. A majority of the songs off "One Last Monsoon" deal with this particular theme.

However, on the other end, as a proud "geek," I also tend to get inspired by (and therefore incorporate elements of) themes of fantasy & science fiction. All in all, I allow myself to be inspired by any given subject matter or daily event / experience… as long as I am passionate about it.

R. Why did you pick Koniac Net as the band name?
DA. I had this name for one of my mix cds I made (when cds were still used). It represents that point in your life (that can happen at any given moment) where you are presented with 2 paths, and even though "Path A," at the time, looks better than the other, for reasons unknown, you are FORCED to take the less appealing "Path B".

Later in life you realise that this "Path B" has turned out to be the FAR more fruitful & lucrative trail, while the more appealing choice was in fact a metaphorical net (similar to that of an Angler Fish's protruding fleshy light). It's a name that's been with me for over a decade. It also precipitated during a time in my life when I realised how comforting scotch, whiskey, cognac & Southern Comfort were at trying times.

Hence "the Koniac Net" - a paradoxical/oxymoronic, optimistic & cynical representation of how life's surprises/plans for you have reason & purpose, and are justified at random points of time in our lives, even though we might not be aware of it.

R. In 2012 you released your debut music video "This Time Around." Tell us what's the message behind the song?
DA. This particular song was written based on a daydream I had which involved me standing on a miniaturised planet that was made out of tiles and reflective glass (almost like a disco ball), in an invisible storm, and the tiles slowly started to break & fall apart into an abyss of darkness. I honestly do not know how, but it was from this daydream that the following theme was produced…

"This Time Around" is about people who try too hard to fix any given situation. It revolves around how we sometimes try to repair things that don't necessarily need to be fixed. Occasionally, there are situations that need just a little attention & working on, and even after that which is broken is repaired, we continue to hammer at it, thinking we're doing good, but in reality, only damaging it furthermore.

Parallel to this, is the fact that we tend to let our egos & pride get in the way, and are too stubborn to know when to stop, or when to listen to others that advise us to halt. As a human race, we always consider our own individual selves correct; free from error & poor judgement. However, in the end, instead of preserving something, it's this very arrogance that results in far greater destruction.


R. As a child growing up, music surrounds us; what type of music did you hear the most back then? How does it differ from what you listen to now?
DA. Due to my parents, I was (since I was born) fortunate enough to be exposed to the godfathers from the Golden & Funk eras: the Beatles, Bowie, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, Sam & Dave, Stevie Wonder, etc. Although, at that age, I couldn't really perceive their genius. I then moved onto Guns N' Roses & Metallica, which was the first time I felt something ignite within me… I wasn't just listening to it, but instead loving it. My middle to high school years (that spanned a majority of the 90's), however, were & still are what made me what I am today. It was only when I discovered artists like the Deftones, Toadies, Teenage Fanclub, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Dinosaur Jr., Weezer, the Screaming Trees, etc., that I began to realise that I did not just love listening to music, but had completely & utterly fallen in love with it. However, alternative & hard rock were not the only genres that conjured up these feelings. I used to listen to a lot of hip hop (mostly West Coast, as that was what I was initially exposed to) and new funk/house.

During my college years, there was this in-explainable urge to further expand my knowledge and love of hip hop and rock. It's how I re-discovered the music from my parent's generation (artists like the Faces, Robin Trower, Van Morrison, Black Sabbath) as well as hip hop (Pete Rock, Diamond D, DeVante Swing, King T). This expansion of love for these various genres is why I try not to stick to just one sub-genre. When writing (an indie song, for example), I can easily be influenced by a Pete Rock beat.

This past decade, nothing much has changed. I still listen to every single CD/album that I ever bought (which ranges in the mid-hundreds), and they still play a very important role in appreciating good music. Personally, if it wasn't for those artists, I don't think I would have immediately fallen in love with the indie scene(s) when I first heard it emerge in 2003 (the Still, Stars, Cursive, Broken Social Scene, etc.). It's also why I love the indie-electro genre so much. I don't believe that a certain type of music should be only heard (and therefore left behind) during a certain decade or era. The way that the Beatles still inspire all of us, artists from various genres of music from the past 40 years inspire me, and hence, I could never abandon any of it. It's just impossible.

R. What is on the horizon?
DA. Considering I have handled, and still am handling the promotional & management aspects of my music, it's been difficult to do everything that I would love to do. I am proud of the fact that I have been able to get my music to a multitude of radio stations around the globe, and have played in some fantastic venues & festivals here in India, but I have 2 main goals that if achieved, will mean that I have accomplished everything I have set out to do & be:

1. I am doing my very best to somehow plan out a North East (of India) tour. Unlike most of India, rock music has been appreciated in the North East for decades, and hence, I would love to play all seven Sister States of my country.

2. I recently signed to Artist Push: a promotional & management company in Los Angeles. My dream would be to somehow pull of an international / world tour, and am hoping that with their help, and further exposure, I will be able to accomplish this desired ambition of mine.

However, until I can accomplish these results, I am currently working with my band on an EP (one that will be written, for the first time, as a band, and not just me) which I would like to give out for free, to fans & supporters of our music. I am also working on some the Koniac Net merchandise.

Last but not Least…

R. If you had only five minutes on earth to perform one song that could leave a great impact on the world today, what song would you perform and why did you choose this particular piece?
DA. Hahaha - dear lord. Many-a-time have similar questions been asked, and each time, it has been a task to answer to the point. To be honest, I'd probably die still trying to choose from the 100% that I could easily pick. I have pondered over this question for two days now, and I keep coming back to the same conclusion: it's impossible to choose ONE.

Since my version of "impact on the world" would be melody, as opposed to lyrics with any kind of "positive"message, I know for a fact that I would go with one of the following: 1. Deftones - "passenger," Soundgarden - "overfloater," Superdrag - "sold you an alibi," the French Kicks - "keep it amazed," or the Kissaway Trail - "61."

I've picked these songs as these bands (amongst MANY others), to me, are the epitome of melody & music in their most beautiful & magnificent of form. If I could perform these songs, and have their melodies affect the world even a faction of how they affect & transform my very soul, we'd all be in a state of euphoria for those entire 5 mins. 

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Japan loves you!!! Your music is amazing. Please come to Japan to perform!!!

Anonymous said...

Japan loves you! Your music is amazing. Please come to Japan to perform soon!!

Anonymous said...

Really great interview. Glad there is good music out there in india.

Gateguru said...

Great Music !!!! Brooklyn Loves you too !!!