With a power packed performance at Season VI of Harley Rock Riders under their belt, and an upcoming album almost ready to drop, Celestial Teapot, winners of the Find Your Freedom contest certainly have a lot to look forward to. Fresh graduates from Pune, their dream is the album-tour-album-tour life. We caught up with the band’s bassist Tushar Verma, post HRR and here is an excerpt from our conversation with these young up and comers.

Why did you choose to participate in the Find Your Freedom contest?
Tushar: We have a deep love for massive stages and loudness, I mean, who doesn't?! Honestly, we saw it as an opportunity to kind of break-through the initial cocoon every new indie artist is born in. Every musician wants to take their music to people in places other than your hometown and this was our perfect chance to do just that. Mutemath headlined last year and Megadeth and The Wailers this year, at a festival with the tag line IT MIGHT GET LOUD! We definitely wanted to be there.

Talk a little about the band and the band’s origins. How’d you come up with the name?
Tushar: All of us are from the beautiful city of Pune. Nishant, Kartikeya and I had been jamming for some good 3 years shuffling through a few drummers and vocalists. Finally, thanks to Facebook, we met Ashwin Naidu (drummer) and it just clicked. Our first jam wasn't the most encouraging one, with only us to blame. But Ashwin really got that professional mindset into the band that really woke us up and it just went uphill from there. He's the mentor/musician we really needed and added to that, he's a brilliant human. Plus, it's a lot easier when you find a drummer with a jamroom inside his house.

Initally, we didn't think that we'd end up being an Instrumental band. Our songs are pretty simple to absorb but just difficult to explain in terms of genre, I guess. It's vocal-less, yes, but we often try to make music that would get the listener singing. Composing without lyrics is liberating and we have tried it with vocalists too. We essentially write lyrics through our melodies and arrangements. No bias, no genre-riding or trying to be something. Instrumental Rock it is and it feels like home.

The name was one big mess. Every weekend we would rummage through all kinds of wackjob names and at least one of us would find it pretentious. We had a hint of a gig coming up and we needed a name, and a dear friend of ours, Nikhil Gaikwad suggested Celestial Teapot which is a brilliant satire/analogy on atheism by Bertrand Russel. I think we all felt that it was really catchy to begin with, nothing pretentious and had a deep meaning to it which coincided with our beliefs.

How was the experience of playing at Harley Rock Riders?
Tushar: Surreal. The mini gooses entering that arena. Then seeing Megadeth soundcheck ..butterflies. And seeing your name up there with the likes of Indus Creed and Scribe just makes it wow.

We felt like artists and not a band on hire. And that massive stage with the bikes and the amps and the visuals and everything was just so exhilarating and powerful. We started out really nervous but that stage just gives you that "freedom" to be yourself and we really enjoyed ourselves barring the few initial jitters.

Also, to be one of the only three bands from Pune playing at the festival was a big moment of pride and joy for us. We'll always be grateful for the immense support we received from the people back here and bands like Abraxas and Noiseware for guiding and supporting us throughout the two days, especially after what went down on Day 1.

Which other Indian bands do you look upto?
Tushar: Bands like Indus Creed, Skrat and Scribe have been bands we've always admired and we were truly awe-struck to be playing at the same festival as them so early in our day. Last year's edition had Pangea and Blackstratblues, artists who give you great music and the assurance that a vocalist isn't really that important. F16’s were a sheer joy to watch. All of them individually are ‘never miss them when they are in your town’ bands. Basically, there was great music all around and we were just glad and pleased to have been picked to be a part of this.

When do you plan on releasing new material?
Tushar: Very soon. We'll soon be releasing our debut albumand we’re calling it, 'One Big Sky'. Definitely coming this December and we have a suprise or two. For those who want to know, all we can give for you now is a wink. We did release our first single from this in October called 'Opia' which is out on SoundCloud.

The Find Your Freedom contest this year was a roaring success with Celestial Teapot emerging as deserved winners. We came across a bunch of great new talent while running the contest and hope to give another lucky band their chance next year.

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