Parikrama

Iconic Indian rock band Parikrama comprises Nitin Malik, lead vocals; Sonam Sherpa, lead guitar; Saurabh Choudhary, guitar; Subir Malik, keyboards; Gaurav Balani, bass; and Srijan Mahajan, drums – and are often joined on stage by Imran Khan, violins; and Shambu Nath, tabla, mridangam and percussion.

The band has played nearly 3,000 concerts since forming in Delhi in 1991, and is famous for shunning the studio in favor of releasing live material for download. The rock rebels reject the traditional, commercial music model to take a more egalitarian approach, inviting fans to copy and distribute their music free of charge.

“All we got to hear from the music label czars was ‘go Hindi or go bust’… and all we ever told them was: Really, why not? But why, really? So finally after all these years… we found a way out. We stay who we are and sing rock ’n’ roll,” says the band.

The sextet’s first hit single “Till I’m No One Again” was released in 1995, after its first original song “Xerox” – performed at IIT Kanpur in 1991 – was dubbed “the face of Indian rock”.

Parikrama means “orbital revolution” in Sanskrit and the band fuses European and US influences with Indian styles, mixing traditional rock instruments – guitar, bass, keyboards and drums – with the tabla, mridangam and flute. A preference to record live performances over studio sessions makes the band’s sound on stage even more important to them – and they have used Shure equipment for many years in order to achieve the highest possible quality.

Saurabh Choudhary is particularly wowed by ULX® Wireless, which he says makes gigs hassle-free. “It’s so much easier on stage with the wireless system because there aren’t any cables, and one can move round freely without anyone getting tangled.”

Gaurav Balani agreed, adding: “I feel so much more relaxed because I don’t have to worry about looking down to see if I am treading on a cable.”

Lead singer Nitin Malik described the ULX wireless system as “absolutely magnificent with a beautiful frequency response”. He uses it with dedicated mics, such as the BETA 58, and praises ULX which allows for “maneuverability on stage”.

“It’s got a beautiful range in terms of distance. I can keep jumping, running round anywhere on the set, stage, backstage, in front of the house, anywhere I go – and I don’t lose even a bit of the signal. This is a huge positive for me because I am not static on stage, ever. The physical range of the microphone comes in handy for me.”

Lead guitarist Sonam Sherpa said one of the problems he used to have was monitoring other band members because of the overall sound level and crowd noise. The PSM®1000 Personal Monitor System solved that.

“We play very loud music on stage, the monitor levels are very high and also, at times, when you are all over the stage, jumping around, you can’t hear the rhythm player or the drums. When the crowd gets too loud it can be a bit difficult to keep time,” he said. “So I thought I’d give PSM a try and it’s awesome! It’s very, very clear…the clarity’s much better than a floor monitor. Amazing!”

Drummer Srijan Mahajan, who uses the DMK57-52 drum microphone kit, described the SM57 mic as “legendary”, adding that there’s no other “mic in the world as versatile and rugged... the number of uses you can put it to is unbelievable, be it snare top, snare bottom or toms. Anything you need to mic up, like a guitar amp, it’s just perfect. Plus, it’s really great for stage use because you can throw it around and nothing happens to it.”

Mahajan said he likes to combine the kit’s BETA 52 for “a nice open, low-end sound off the bass drum” with an SM91 condenser mic because “I personally like my bass drum sound with a little bit of click. That gives me a little bit of top end along with the low end of the 52, which I can then combine and get a great drum sound at the end of it.” He added that SM81s are used to give him “crystal clear” overheads.

Mahajan makes his own mix on stage and says the SE535 in-ear earphones he uses are “some of the best things I have heard so far”.

“Being on stage, you are exposed to a lot of really loud decibel levels, which can be cancelled out because the 535s come with different sleeves for attenuation up to 37db.” He added that the attenuation protects his ears while the 535s’ three dedicated drivers and integrated frequency crossover give him a good, crystal clear sound.

India’s best-known rock band has been taking its brand of rock rebellion abroad, recently completing a first-ever tour of North America. Gigs included The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Canada Music Week festival in Toronto and a number of performances in Austin, Texas, as part of the South by Southwest music festival.

Recent India gigs included a ReachOut charity event in UB City organized by the Bangalore-based Inter Student Council League in September, along with a concert in Mumbai in October. This was in support of International Day of the Girl Child, a United Nations campaign to end child marriages and promote education as one of the best strategies for protecting girls.

For more information on Parikrama, visit www.parikrama.com.

 

What Parikrama uses

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