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What happens when four friends come together to make music to talk about dreams, fears, challenges and hopes of a 21st-century Indian? The result is The Mallroad Project, a Delhi-based indie band.

The members of band — Akhil Thakur (drums and percussion), Mahavir Singh Rawat (lead vocals and guitars), Praveer Kumar (bass and backing vocals) and Shankar J Sharma (guitars and backing vocals) — come from completely different cultural and geographical backgrounds, ranging from Himachal Pradesh in the north to far east Assam. But they had one thing in common — music.

Being extremely passionate about music, the members are corporate professionals by day and musicians by night and weekends.

Their music ranges from groovy blues to surf rock to intense hard rock, drawing inspirations from some of the greatest punk and grunge bands like Pixies, Nirvana, Black Rebel Motorcycle club and Pink Floyd, to name a few.

Songs and releases

The Mallroad Project released its first EP Naazi in 2017. The main theme of the EP was to explore the various nuances and emotions of a modern-day romance. The sound ranges from soft, soothing melodies to some groovy rock and roll.

It consists of the titular song Naazi, Nasha, Dil Kyun Khamosh Hai, and one of their most popular songs, Tu Kahan.

Their second EP, Behti Hawa, is an experimental live set performed by the band to capture the raw energy of an in-studio live set-up. Released in September 2018, the EP has a beautiful hard-rock interpretation of AR Rahman’s Dil Se apart from the titular song Behti Hawa, Tere Khayalon Mein and the captivating Saasein.

The band is now consciously moving towards talking about critical issues that plague society. Their latest release, Dehshatgard, addresses the ongoing social unrest in India. Released on March 30, this is the first song by the band that directly takes on a social issue. The band plans to create more such impactful music in the future.

Currently, it is working on its new song Thurky Boss with the aim of keeping the flame of the #MeToo movement roaring on. Through the song, the band candidly addresses the harassment faced by women, not just in the work environment but also in every other aspect of their lives.

The Mallroad Project is slowly growing in Delhi circuits. Since its inception, the band has always aimed to address real-life issues. Their creations are always about the feelings, challenges, fears, dreams, and hopes of a new-age Indian. This unique characteristic allows them to connect with their fans and have showered much love to them through these fans and listeners. The band has given numerous performances across Delhi. They have been playing live in the Delhi circuit at venues such as TCs, Depot 48, and SnS among others, and are well known in the Delhi indie music scene.  In 2016, the band played at India Bull Rider’s Bulletiapa.

VibesMojo connected with the band to share their thoughts with fans:

Q. Tell us something about your first song.

A: Our first song was called Nasha. It means intoxication. It talks about loneliness and the feeling of missing someone or something. The song talks about how we get consumed by someone special at certain points of our lives and how their presence remains even after they are gone. It is very similar to the feeling of getting intoxicated. Hence, the song was called Nasha.

Q. What got you guys into music?

Shankar: All of us come from very different backgrounds. I got into music right during my early school years when I was enrolled at a music school for lessons in western classical and Indian classical music. In that way I am a little formally trained. Similarly, Akhil had started drumming for his school band very early in his school days. Mahavir and Praveer were music enthusiasts during their school/college days and they picked up learning instruments during their post-college days. But the common thing is that all of us were inspired by the same bands during these early days. Bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin played a major part in our formative years.

Q. What are your interests apart from music?

A: Besides music, we are also highly interested in film, photography and art. Our music videos are highly indie and DIY, and they are completely handled by us. We are also very enthusiastic travellers – we love road trips.

Q. Tell us about a regular jamming session. How is it like?

A: It gets very loud and heavy. Usually, it’s mostly the four of us experimenting with sounds and feel. Sometimes, we spend hours to get a perfect drum fill or a guitar tone. At other times, we go aggressive and hard into a really intense set. Overall, the jam room is the place where we have the most amount of fun. 

Q. Where have you performed the most? And what is your favourite performance venue?

A: We usually perform in various pubs and cafes in Delhi-NCR. We usually like the places which have good acoustics. Depot48 was one such place which we all loved. We also like TC and SnS for the vibe.

Q. Any dream performance venue you guys wish to perform at one day?

A: Blue Frog. Humming Tree. Or NH7 Weekender.

Q. How do you interact with your fans?

A: Mostly through social media – our Instagram and Facebook accounts are quite active and updated.  We also receive a lot of comments on YouTube. Occasionally, we organise house party jams in Gurugram, where our best fans are invited for a more casual and friendly interaction.

Q. Any words you would like to share with the audience.

A: We would like to encourage the audience to listen to more and more Indian indie live bands. There is some really great and amazing content out there. The audience should break the bubble of Bollywood and bring back the glorious 90s when Indian indie music was its peak.

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