Interview: India’s Thrash Metal Powerhouse Kryptos

kryptos

With just over 2 months to go for the end of the year, there’s been another killer release from the Indian metal scene; Burn up the night by heavy metal band Kryptos. The band are one of the oldest surviving metal bands in India. Over the past 18 years they have released 3 albums.

Burn up the Night released through AFM Records features a straight up 80’s heavy metal sound which will appeal particularly to “old school” metal fans. I enjoyed the album as the songwriting and production contrasts with the sterile sounds of upcoming bands

I (Peter ‘Trendcrusher‘ K.) spoke to vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis about their change in sound, music videos and their recent European tour.

Your new album ‘Burn up the Night’ feature 8 tracks of 80’s heavy metal. What prompted the shift in sound?

I wouldn’t call it a shift in sound exactly. It’s more a ‘stripping away’ of all the other influences on our music, because we’ve always had a very traditional/80’s metal base. On the last album this ‘base’ was pretty apparent, but the only difference was the production and overall sound was a lot more aggressive. On Burn Up The Night we stripped away all the other ‘extreme’ layers and concentrated solely on our 80’s metal influences, both in songwriting and production. And I think we made it work pretty well.

How has the return of Ganesh on bass and the addition of Anthony on drums had an impact on the songwriting and recording process?

Actually Rohit and I pretty much write all the songs, right from the riffs to putting the songs together. However, with Ganesh back, he contributed hugely towards the lyrical side of things, plus on the conceptual side as well. Anthony fit in great because we wanted someone who could keep things simple and tight, especially in the studio. But at the end of the day, we’re all in this together because we all get along really well and we all love the same kind of music. It just makes things that much easier. None of us are outstanding musicians by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that we all know our strengths and weaknesses, and we write music accordingly.

You released a video for the first single from the album ‘Full Throttle’. What are your thoughts on music videos in the age of Youtube, Vimeo etc.?

I’ve always loved music videos. I mean, back when we were growing up all the rock and metal videos we saw on TV were pretty instrumental in getting us into this music. I still get nostalgic when I watch some of them today. I still remember one of the first music videos I ever saw was Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory. And my mom was like ‘’Look at this guy with long hair and tattoos. Don’t grow up and become like him ok’’. And I was like ‘’Sure ma’’ haha.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

I can see a lot of traditional metal coming back with bands like Skull Fist, Enforcer, Evil Invaders, Ambush etc, which is awesome. There’s a lot of good music floating around. You just have to look for it. Not sure about what the worst thing happening in the scene right now is, but I’d probably say people aren’t really ‘connecting’ with the music they listen to at the same level as it was maybe 20-30 years ago. Everything’s so fast-paced nowadays, that I don’t see many people actually stick with an album for a while. It’s always about a song here or a song there or something like that.

How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?

We all grew up in households that pretty much played a lot of 50’s and 60’s music, so it kind of rubbed off on all of us. Ganesh and I were classmates in college, and that’s when we decided to form a band. Back then we weren’t really sure how far it would go. We certainly didn’t expect it to get to this point 18 years later. That’s a fucking long time haha. When I think about it, it’s pretty crazy. We were playing in a garage with shitty equipment and a water pump running constantly and a decade and a half later we’re playing Wacken and all these gigs and festivals in front of thousands of people. What a trip. But we still have a long way to go. Considering we didn’t expect to ever get to this point, I’d say we’ve already exceeded any and all expectations, but we want way more than this.

What’s your goal? Are you thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

Haha none of the above. We just want to play our music, drink our booze and have a good time with everyone we meet. That’s what it’s all about. People have forgotten what it’s like to just have a good time. Yeah we all have day jobs, which suck, but we have to do what we have to do to keep the band going. As far as hobbies go, when we’re not drinking we’re playing video games or watching football or something like that. Yup, REAL exciting haha.

When you’re not listening to, writing or playing metal, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?

All kinds of stuff. A lot of 70’s and 80’s stuff like Thin Lizzy, UFO, Priest, Saxon, Rainbow etc plus some retro wave synth stuff, which is really cool.

burn-up-the-night

You recently toured Europe and performed alongside bands like Exodus, Testament and more. How was the tour? Were there any funny incidents?

The tour was great. We did a run of about 11 gigs across Germany and Switzerland and played some really cool festivals like Headbanger’s Open Air. Plus we supported Testament and Exodus for a few gigs, which was great. The guys in Exodus were totally awesome. We had a killer time with them. Really cool guys. Haha singing a Def Leppard song with them during soundcheck was pretty funny. We totally butchered it.

What are your plans to promote the album? Do you have any more shows/tours planned for the rest of the year?

The album is already out in Europe and the U.S as we speak, while the Indian release should happen around November. We’re working on some gigs here in India to promote the album and then hopefully go back to Europe next year and hit some festivals and clubs. And yeah, we hope to have another video out by next year along with a limited edition vinyl and tape release of the album, so things should be pretty busy.

 

– Peter ‘Trendcrusher‘ K.

A hearty thanks to Kryptos for their time and energy. Be sure to check out their latest album Burn Up The Night available via AFM records.

2 thoughts on “Interview: India’s Thrash Metal Powerhouse Kryptos

  1. bcs November 30, 2016 / 11:43 pm

    I really love Kryptos. So glad I found out about these guys. Their style of thrash is spot – on. Hope they go far.

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