Old Tunes, New Expressions: A Quest from Veteran American Guitarist Marty Friedman – The New Indian Express

Express press service

After the resounding success of the Hindi version of Quest (2021), which featured a guitar solo by veteran Japan-based American guitarist Marty Friedman, formerly with thrash metal band Megadeth, Delhi-based band Antariksh are now back with Quest English Resumption.

“The idea was to create a song, which sounds new and fresh but still very close to the original”, explains Varun Rajput, leader and founder of Antariksh. The band, who have completed 10 years, are on several short tours which they will do on the Bluetree 2Stroke Tour which will hit the city on October 16th to “celebrate the milestone”.

In this week’s Soundscape, we talk to city musician Rajput about his latest release and more. Extracts…

Varun Rajput, founder of Antariksh

What had been in the works for a decade?
It’s true. Quest had a long journey to see the light of day. The song was originally written in English over ten years ago for my first band Feedback, during our college days.

For all these years it sat comfortably in an ideas folder on our computers until early 2019 when I had the idea to revisit and recreate it. I took the idea to the rehearsal room with my bandmates and developed it until we had something concrete.

Then we finally started recording it in the summer of 2019. The final song was produced, mixed and mastered in 2020 and released in January 2021. Cut to 2022, we have an English cover version of the song, which has brand new lyrics, melodies and some cool new guitar parts.

How did Marty Friedman arrive? Were you a fan of his work before hooking up with him on Quest?
I always consider it a bit of luck and a bit of perseverance. The idea of ​​having Marty perform on the song came to mind when watching him deliver a riveting performance at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender [music festival] in Shillong in 2019. Coincidentally, on the way back to Delhi, we realized that Marty and his gang were on the same flight as us.

I was lucky enough to finally meet him at Delhi airport. We talked briefly… Since I’d seen him perform live the night before, I imagined how epic it would be if Marty played on Quest, which we were recording at the time. I mustered up the courage to ask him and he asked me to write to him.

Once back in Japan, I sent him some of our music. Marty didn’t just take the time to listen to a bunch of songs – he liked it and mentioned that it sounded a lot more “international/UK-US rock” than he expected coming from ‘India. When he heard the Quest demo, he agreed to play it. Within days he recorded and returned one of the most incredible guitar solos I have ever heard.

La Reprise is your first bilingual attempt, isn’t it?
When I started composing in 2006, I was playing in English progressive rock bands. It wasn’t until 2012 when we formed Antariksh on an experimental basis that we thought of trying to perform and write in Hindi.

Last year, I had this thought that I didn’t want to feel limited by any particular language. That’s when I decided to start writing in English too. Also, when we released Quest last year, it did very well in some western countries despite it being a song in a foreign language. It was then that I thought the impact would have been much greater if the song had been in English. In the future, Antariksh will write Hindi and English songs.

TRACK – QUEST RESUME
BAND – ANTARIKSH

After the resounding success of the Hindi version of Quest (2021), which featured a guitar solo by veteran Japan-based American guitarist Marty Friedman, formerly with thrash metal band Megadeth, Delhi-based band Antariksh are now back with Quest English Resumption. “The idea was to create a song, which sounds new and fresh but still very close to the original”, explains Varun Rajput, leader and founder of Antariksh. The band, who have completed 10 years, are on several short tours which they will do on the Bluetree 2Stroke Tour which will hit the city on October 16th to “celebrate the milestone”. In this week’s Soundscape, we talk to city musician Rajput about his latest release and more. Excerpts… Was Antariksh’s founder, Varun Rajput, Quest in the making for a decade? It’s true. Quest had a long journey to see the light of day. The song was originally written in English over ten years ago for my first band Feedback, during our college days. For all these years it sat comfortably in an ideas folder on our computers until early 2019 when I had the idea to revisit and recreate it. I took the idea to the rehearsal room with my bandmates and developed it until we had something concrete. Then we finally started recording it in the summer of 2019. The final song was produced, mixed and mastered in 2020 and released in January 2021. Cut to 2022, we have an English cover version of the song, which has brand new lyrics, melodies and some cool new guitar parts. How did Marty Friedman arrive? Were you a fan of his work before hooking up with him on Quest? I always consider it a bit of luck and a bit of perseverance. The idea of ​​having Marty perform on the song came to mind when watching him deliver a riveting performance at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender [music festival] in Shillong in 2019. Coincidentally, on the way back to Delhi, we realized that Marty and his gang were on the same flight as us. I was lucky enough to finally meet him at Delhi airport. We talked briefly… Since I’d seen him perform live the night before, I imagined how epic it would be if Marty played on Quest, which we were recording at the time. I mustered up the courage to ask him and he asked me to write to him. Once back in Japan, I sent him some of our music. Marty didn’t just take the time to listen to a bunch of songs – he liked it and mentioned that it sounded a lot more “international/UK-US rock” than he expected coming from ‘India. When he heard the Quest demo, he agreed to play it. Within days he recorded and returned one of the most incredible guitar solos I have ever heard. La Reprise is your first bilingual attempt, isn’t it? When I started composing in 2006, I was playing in English progressive rock bands. It wasn’t until 2012 when we formed Antariksh on an experimental basis that we thought of trying to perform and write in Hindi. Last year, I had this thought that I didn’t want to feel limited by any particular language. That’s when I decided to start writing in English too. Also, when we released Quest last year, it did very well in some western countries despite it being a song in a foreign language. It was then that I thought the impact would have been much greater if the song had been in English. In the future, Antariksh will write Hindi and English songs. TRACK – QUEST COVER BAND – ANTARIKSH

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