Agam, the seven-member contemporary Carnatic rock band from Bengaluru known for their innovative sound, performed at Hard Rock Café on Thursday night. The stage, however, could not accomodate the band of seven and two members opted to be the audience for a change.
The band derives its name from the ancient Tamil word Agam, which means “inner self”. They intend to explore and contemplate the countless aspirations and sentiments of the inner self through their music. Giving a brief history of the band, Harish, the vocalist, who also plays the violin, says, “It all started with Ganesh, the drummer, and me jamming together in early 2004 like we used to do for our college band. Others joined the band and Agam’s character started to take shape. But, everything changed when we won the band hunt reality show judged by A.R. Rahman in 2007.” Vicky, the bassist says, “It was like the genre found us rather than we finding it.”
Guitarists Suraj and Praveen bring the rock element into the band. While critical acclaim hasn’t been the band’s concern, Ganesh asserts, “We would like to be successful commercially and with critiques. A lot of people assume an independent band doesn’t need commercial success. But whom are we kidding? We are here to perform for an audience.” Suraj says, “Our music ranges from Carnatic to Hindustani to ghazals to Sufi, but all with a western touch.” Vignesh claims, “We infuse life into a myriad of emotions. We don’t do a song, which the band doesn’t believe in completely. It’s the belief in our music that gives us the freedom to express and the create.”
On the musicians they like, Harish says, “We worked with Shreya Ghoshal and loved her. She is a tremendous singer. Other bands we like are Indian Ocean, The Raghu Dixit Project and, of course, Dream Theater.” Ganesh says, “Our main goal is to entertain the audience. So enjoy our music.”