Rock On!! is probably the best Hindi rock CD that indierock never gave us.
Ehsaan Noorani - who along with Shankar Mahadevan and Loy Mendosa makes up SEL and whose guitar riffs power much of the signature sound of Rock On!! - was nice enough to tell us about the making of the music exclusively here on the Drift.
Aspi: Hi Ehsaan, congratulations on a terrific CD - its a straight rock album but its different in tone and texture from regular Bollywood albums. Did you get specific directions on the songs from (director) Abhishek?
Ehsaan: Farhan and Abhishekh briefed us on the kind of songs that they were looking at for Rock On!! which was essentially rock. They played us the kind of music that they were listening to while penning the script. Naturally the music was going to be totally non Bollywood in terms of format and style.
Aspi: How long did the album take to put together?
Ehsaan: All the songs were composed in about 5 days! We composed like a rock band with the drums and bass set up and we all played live to the recorder . We cut this album like a band does which is essentially live...no programming.
Aspi: You picked interesting singers on the album. Is there such a thing as a good Hindi rock voice?
Ehsaan: Farhan was naturally the first choice since he is the actor in the film . It was a nice move on the part of the director to make Farhan sing as it gives the music and the film a sense of realness like Hollywood films have. Suraj (Jagan) is a great rock singer and was the first choice for the Zehreelay song . Caralisa (Monteiro) and Dominique (Cerejo) who sung the two mellow songs are fine singers with totally different voices and we chose them because they are completely apart from the typical film voices.
Aspi: Ehsaan, could you tell us something about each song on the CD?
(This was) the 2nd song we composed essentially based around the guitar riff which opens the song!
Pichle Saat Dinon Mein
This was the first song we composed. We literally jammed on the guitar riff that I came up with and the song fell into place in about 20 mins! The words are very interesting about how one loses everything but can't afford to lose love. The guitar solo was the solo I played on the first draft of the recording and we decided to stick with it.
This song came later as we thought it would be nice to have a title song! The song has a nice 80's vibe which we went for on purpose.
Ye Tumhari Meri Baatein
A beautiful traveling song which Dominique sang with such wonderful soul. She really is an awesome singer! I like the texture of the entire song which has a lovely ambient quality to it.
The heavy metal song on the album which Suraj has rendered like a true rock star! Suraj also inputted on the composition of this song. Javed saab freaked us (out) by writing the words for this song. He totally related to it! The guitar solo on this song is totally unlike my style of playing and it came magically in one take I don't think I will be able to play it again.
Tum Ho Toh
The rock ballad on the song has a wonderful vibe and it is completely different from the other songs (an angle you will see in the film). It was challenging for Farhan to sing and he did a great job.
Sinbad the Sailor
Javed saab created a great hook by coming up with the Sindbad the Sailor words. There have been songs like Achilles Last Stand and Brave Ulysses in the past so this concept is really cool. It has a great jangle to it.
Pichle Saat Dinon Mein (Live)
Essentially a live version of the song to give people a feel of the film.
Caralisa's vocals took this song to a different level! I composed this song in English to get the right feel after which Javed saab wrote the words (in Hindi). Loy has played a million dollar piano solo in the 2nd interlude.
- m hasn't heard this yet but recommends Khuda Ke Liye
- j is intrigued by the CD
- Sidekick is curious about a rock CD amongst the relentless punjabification of music
- srini hopes the album inspires the Indian rock scene
- girlie girl listens to two songs and likes them
- indianpaduser hands out some Farhan love
- Tania - tired of mahiyas and kudias - looks forward to the CD
- svr is looking forward to the music but wants to hear from Vishal Shekhar
- Ehsaan's answers motivate HR to have a listen
- The father-son effort make this a special album for Mind Rush
- The music sounds dated says Anon
- Ehsaan explains the reason behind the 80s rock sound of the album
- What's this movie about? asks m
- leera reviews Rock On!!
- The brief recording time surprised j
- Never Mind!! has a listen and lists her favorites
- Its a combination worth listening to, says Kanan
- svr analyzes Mahalakshmi's singing in Jhoom
- meena hopes this CD will stop some nearby eye rolling
- 'Anu Malik' stops by
- So does 'Bappi'
- Pitu proposes a Chollywood club
- Singh is King! Mind Rush celebrates India's nuclear vote
- Anon hands out the Worst Music of the Year award to Mehbooba
- girlie girl shares her hair care
- As does m
- and j
- and Kanan
- Amrita wants to check out Rock On!!
- Pitu hands out curly hair love