Gangtok: We grow up with a dream of being a rockstar, performing to thousands in attendance, and getting mad attention from fans. That has been our portrayal of a rockstar but very few reach there, let alone someone from Gangtok, Sikkim. The rock aspirants in Sikkim settle for cover songs and that solidifies us as a legend among our friends, taking in their song requests, at parties and gathering, strumming a guitar, singing, and slapping our thighs for drums.
We may come through as Chris Adler from ‘Megadeth’ and ‘Lamb of God’ fame, amidst slapping out thighs playing 2 by 4s in our makeshift drum at such gatherings. But, Sikkim’s Girish Pradhan is truly a rockstar to be reckoned with, because that dream of playing with Adler has been realised for him. Not in a mere tour while he comes to India, which in itself is a great deal for someone from Sikkim or any part of India, but as the frontman of his band Firstborne.
Adler and Pradhan of Bengaluru-based band Girish and the Chronicles, came together in November 2019 for a clinical workshop on music and 3-city gig in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. But Adler was so impressed with Pradhan that they decided to form a band and have now come out with their first 5-song EP, which is self-titled Firstborne.
Adler’s project also features James LoMenzo, who was part of bands like White Lion and Megadeth, and Myrone, a Los Angeles-based guitarist. Collectively, they released their EP on June 19, also as a commemoration to the ongoing protest for Black Lives Matter across the US.
Speaking with EastMojo, Pradhan shared, “It’s a huge privilege and honour. Since school, we see dreams in Gangtok of being part of rock bands, heavy metal bands with their own hopes and aspirations. This is one step further showing that musicians in Sikkim do have potential and I feel honoured and responsible.”
It was during his tour to India that Adler asserted on working with Pradhan, and to his fellow guitarist LoMenzo, Adler termed finding Girish as ‘striking gold’. Ever since then, Adler has been sending tracks to the Gangtok lad. “I send back demos to them and they were ok with it and wanted to take it forward. I used to record and keep sending it. Over the month we started making lots of tracks and it became a reality. They make tracks in LA through zoom calls, where we discuss and make music, recording live, and writing lyrics together,” he said.
One song, in particular, caught the attention of the music legends and it was Pradhan who had penned it. Anthem, written completely by Pradhan, became the hallmark for the EP, urging the band members to release the entire EP on June 10, the day slavery was abolished in the US.
“I have written most of the lyrics. Anthem was completely written by me. It’s not poetic in nature but speaks straight on point when before the coronavirus, there was so much protest happening in India and it speaks about such scenario when people were dying on the roads, riots happening, taking all of that, I wrote the song. In the US, Black Lives Matter protest had started, taking both the scenarios, this song placed itself as an Anthem. The lyrics video starts with ‘Anekta Mein Ekta‘ which was my perspective and the songs are now picking up on music sites and social media since its release,” he said.
On the feedback being received by the band since the release of the EP, Pradhan shared, “In five days, it’s going good. Hardcore Lamb of God fans may not have expected such music as it is a more classic heavy metal and Hard Rock sounding, I may have been chosen because of that as my specialty lies in the genre. But others in the band and their fans have been giving positive feedback”.
The EP includes five songs and two lyric videos of songs Primordal, Anthem, Roll the Dice, Apocalypse, and Hunter Hunted, all of which are available on various social media platforms and music sites.