music

The ‘Hoax Call’ Diaries – [ Episode 4 ]

We went in at about 7:30 pm, just before dinner.

Sam took the stage.

“Ladies and gentlemen, before I start with our first number, I have a condition. You know, I am a very bad singer and I really cannot pull it off unless you sing with me. So people, get ready to enjoy the summer back in 69”, screamed Sam.

The reaction to the above ‘well-scripted’ dialogue was unbelievable. People roared back to it getting a chance to mouth the song they know with the band.

And as the opening reef of the song echoed in the open air, I could sense a rush of adrenaline down by spine. Everybody in the crowd screamed rather than sing. And Sam, all of a sudden went in the crowd with his cordless mic. People jumped and people hooted as together everyone screamed the chorus part. The dance floor in all other departments seemed to be empty. People were rushing in like a wave into the crowd to see who was playing.

Once, we ended the first song, Sam came back and fixed his mic to the stand.

He shouted, “The next one is an O.C (original composition). This song is dedicated to all the beautiful ladies out here. We call it Juliet.”

The crowd, who had already screamed their vocal chords out screamed again, and this time, I somehow managed to hear female voices more than the male ones.

As the song went, to my surprise, I found the crowd clapping on the beats. It was really odd to see a hyper-excited crowd sober so well with the change of the song.

When we ended, there was a roar of applause and trust me, it was so hard that I couldn’t hear what Sam said next.

“You’ll have to repeat it”, I said.

Sam nodded and repeated.

“That was all we had tonight. Thanks a lot for your response. We are the Hoax Call with Dg on drums, Prashant on lead guitar, Deep on bass and me, Sam on vocals. Thank you”, said Sam and signed off.

There was a moment when all the four of us looked at each other’s eyes and we said the same thing in our hearts.

“Well done guys! We rocked! ”

As we were unplugging our instruments, I saw a group from the crowd, especially girls approaching Sam and congratulating him for the show.

“And I thought it was a team effort”, said Deep pointing towards Sam who was busy with all the attention.

“He is the vocalist dude. He would always get more preference”, laughed Dg.

I didn’t comment but I was equally jealous like the rest of the guys. “But that was just a part of the long journey”, I thought.

The brilliant performance of ours needed a celebration and so we went to the hostel terrace to celebrate it in our style.

We, were four of us and a school friend of Sam’s named ‘Demon’. His name was no way ‘Demon‘but must be something that we never knew; thanks to Sam.

He was forever a demon in our school. So we gave him this nickname”, chuckled Sam.

Demon had become a common friend of our band. He was not from our college, but I swear to God that apart from our batch mates, even the guards were certain that he studied here and lived in our hostel.

I was high on my beer. Deep was making pegs for the rest of the gang (I didn’t like whisky then); Dg went to create history by pissing from the terrace on the ground and Demon was capturing that moment; Sam was busy finishing off the last packet of chips.

It was just then, my phone rang.

Chapter Four

His phone rang.

“Your cellphone is ringing!” said Deep.

Daddy was lost in a train of thoughts and took him some time to react to the incoming vibration in his pocket.

He pulled out the cellphone to check who was bothering him at that moment. It was Kriti.

“Damn! Why does she need to call now and spoil my mood!” thought Daddy.

Deep could not help but smile at his irritation.

Pick it up dude”, suggested Deep.

Daddy gave a disgusted look and answered the call.

As Daddy was busy talking to Kriti, Deep looked at his phone. He had the Hoax Call logo as his wallpaper.

“The last performance”, he murmured to himself.

“Four years are way too less”, he thought.

Deep

Deep Speaks.

Daddy spoke for the first time after hanging up the call.

We were all curious about the call after he signalled our attention while talking with someone about something that sounded interesting.

We were all looking at him expecting him to say something.

But he was busy finishing his bottle of beer which was no longer ‘chilled’.

So after about 3 minutes of suspense, Daddy, finally broke the ice.

“We guys have been selected to participate in the battle of bands, in Rourkella !”

“Rourkella?” asked Sam, “When did we apply?”

Even I had the same confusion. When the hell did we apply for some band contest in Rourkella?

“Well, Delhi Public School in Rourkella is organizing this contest and I had asked my friends to see if we could participate. The answer is yes; we can.“ Daddy clarified.

 “When is it?” asked Dg who had been pissing off the terrace few minutes back.

“Next month” said Daddy.

So, you guys should begin practising. What’s the first prize?” asked Demon

“8k it seems”, winked Daddy.

Where do we stay there?” I asked.

“In my place”, Daddy replied.

to be continued….

(This is a semi-fictitious and more of an original account of a musical journey of four different souls who at some point in their lives dreamt to make it Big.

The result was Hoax Call, an alternative rock band which started well but could never end!)

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The ‘Hoax Call’ Diaries – [ Episode 3 ]

 

Chapter three.

The music room was always small. But in the dark, it looked like a huge coliseum ready to welcome the wounded gladiators. The amplifiers, the keyboard and the huge drum set looked like treacherous monsters hiding a secret that was never to be told. Dg squeezed in trying to figure out the darkness giving his pupils enough time to see through the dark. A small ray of light entered from the other door. It was open. The street light near the other end of the music room which directed towards the college gym was responsible for the slight illumination. Dg tried to switch on the light when he heard Sam from outside the back door. He was sitting near the gym.

“Don’t switch on the lights please”

Dg did not switch them on. Instead, he followed the trail of light outside the door where Sam sat.

What is the matter with you?” he asked.

He did not respond. Instead he threw a question back.

“How did we get the name btw?”

“What?” Asked an irritated Dg

“How did we get the name ‘Hoax Call’? I was trying to remember. This weed kills your memory cells you know. Do you remember?” Sam asked.

Dg knew it would take time. So he sat beside. “Do you have a smoke”? He asked.

Back in the green room Daddy was restless. This was his last performance in college life. He wanted it to be great. But what suddenly he realised was that the journey so far was not that bad.

As he sat there fixing his processor, he went back in his memory lane. A simple jam what he thought had installed a hell lot dreams, a dream to make it big.

 

 

Daddy Speaks.

“How is the name, ‘Hoax Call’?” I said.

“Not bad.  But why such a name?” Sam asked.

“You don’t always have to have a reason. Why are ‘Scorpions’ called ‘Scorpions’? Is there a reason?” Deep wanted to know.

“There might be a reason. Besides, if you want to know why we want to name ourselves Hoax Call I have a reason!” Dg added.

 

Daddy 1

 

 

Well, I was the one who suggested the name and truly speaking I didn’t have an answer to Sam’s query because the name was just a random name that came up in my mind. Besides, I felt this name was far better than “Rubber Band” which the other three had zeroed.

“Go on Dg”, I wanted to know what he thought.

“Well. If you see our band, it’s nothing but a miracle. One month back we didn’t think we could make it. But tonight’s jam made me realise we can really go far. And that makes us unpredictable; just as unpredictable as a hoax call.” Dg said.

That was not a bad justification.

Truly speaking, I had been with different kind of people in my life so far, but these guys were different. They had the wish to do something out of  music. And the worst part for me was that they thought me to be a pro guitarist and so I had to overdo my abilities.

But whatever it was, the band kicked off really well. The first performance on stage was rather unusual. It was not any cult fest in our college or so. The plan was something that came out of Deep’s mind. A perfect plan for the perfect launch. Till now we had been practising in the music room. The people in the college had no clue of our existence. It was the mid of August.

Metallurgy dept had shortage of fund to organize a DJ night like the rest of the other branches. It was what we called, “Departmental Gathering”.  So, in order to cope up with other branches they needed something to make it “cool”. Deep came up with the idea of a rock show instead of a DJ night. The idea was well accepted by the organizers. And in return for Deep’s favour, they agreed on giving us a 20 minute time slot for our performance.

“This is just what we needed. We will go just before dinner. Crowd will be more then.” Said an excited Dg.

Dg was never wrong in his planning. He was like our Manager.

But the problem was, we were not the only band performing. There were many more. But they were already recognized in the college. We needed to do something different to catch the attention of the audience. The question was, “How and what?”

“We are not a heavy metal band guys. We are not even punk rock. What are we?” asked Sam.

It was true. I am not ashamed now to admit the fact that we were not that good at that time. Not that good to blow people’s mind with a growl or a guitar reef or a double bass drum solo. But we had one thing that the rest of the guys didn’t have.

I had always felt that in a live show, it’s always the performance that comes prior to the musical part of a song. The rest of the bands were very good with their music but lacked a front runner who could sway the audience with a performance. In a live show, when the crowd is busy banging their heads and raising their voices, it really matters how well you can gel with them; how well you connect with them.

Sam, unlike the rest of the vocalist was very energetic on stage. He had this special talent of making the stage alive.

“We are an alternative rock band. But what makes us different from the rest is you Sam.” Said Deep.

“Yes, you have to make the audience sing with us”, said Dg.

I agreed. The first time we perform in front of the crowd, we all wanted it to be the best. So we zeroed in the cover of the most common song by Brian Adams, “summer of 69”. The reason was that we wanted the crowd to sing with us. Apart from that we had an original composition named “Juliet”. It was a romantic Hindi song that Sam wrote about two years back.

The night was beautiful. There was a slight breeze just after a heavy shower. It was an open air concert. The lights were fit in and the monitors where checked.

We went in at about 7:30 pm, just before dinner.

Sam took the stage.

 

to be continued….

(This is a semi-fictitious and more of an original account of a musical journey of four different souls who at some point in their lives dreamt to make it Big.

The result was Hoax Call, an alternative rock band which started well but could never end!)

The ‘Hoax Call’ Diaries – [ Episode 2 ]

Chapter Two

Sam B speaks.

“Let’s make a band. I had dreamt of it every time since school!” I said.

“Even I wanted to do something with music. But are you sure? We are no way ready.” Asked a doubtful Dg.

“You are a tabla champ dude. And it’s you who told me that you can deal with any kind of percussion instruments. Then why not drums?” I insisted.

“Am not worried about drums dumbass! I’ll manage the drums. But can you sing? And besides, we do not have a bassist or guitarist yet.” Said Dg.

It was just 2 years since we joined college. I was already famous as a singer.

But what Dg said made absolute sense.

I had never been a singer my entire life. It was only when I was eleven, my mom realised I got her genes. She was a trained classical singer. She tried teaching my sister but couldn’t succeed.

“She couldn’t manage scales”, she used to say.

I was never an option.

One fine day, my mom found out that I could sing. Then on, I sang during various functions in school but always in chorus.

When I came to college, nobody cared about my background. It was in my first year, that I shook the entire auditorium with a daring act of singing “chatura naar” from “Padosan” all alone.

I managed both the parts of Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey so well that I was instantly famous as a singer in the college. But what I lacked was proper exposure to rock. Till now, I heard sufi bands and some Bengali pop songs. Dg’s question about my ability was just.

“I’ll manage. But what about the bassist? Will Shrek be ready?” I wanted to focus on other important things.

“Shrek” as he was famously known was the best bassist in our batch. He was a NRI from Middle-East. But what separated him from the rest of the lot was his down-to-earth nature.

“He’s already playing for ‘Morphine’, besides he wouldn’t play with amateurs like us. He has a class dude”, said Dg.

“Then?” I wondered.

“Well Deep was interested in learning Bass from some time. Let’s boost him up. May be he will be a saviour”, said Dg.

Dg always had a softer corner for Deep. After all, Deep was his first roomy as well as his first friend in the college.

I had no option but to agree. I accompanied Dg to his room where I saw Deep fidgeting with his brand new laptop.

“Hey Guys, wassup? Look what I found on LAN. A new MMS scandal.” Said an over-excited Deep.

“Deep, we need to talk.” Said Dg firmly.

Deep was not the serious kind of guy. He was always casual. But the best part was that he was innovative. Whatever he did, be it watching movies or dressing himself, he was unique. And that’s what made him special. He was that fair, fat, bi-spectacled Bengali guy who could change your mood in seconds with some stupid joke.

Within seconds, I saw him getting serious for the first time.

“Well, I’ll start taking lessons from Shrek today itself. I’ll try to learn asap!” said Deep.

And suddenly, there as he spoke, I saw a different zeal in his eyes. I knew at that very moment, he was the guy our band needed.

After having sent Deep to learn Bass guitar, the next hurdle was to find a guitarist. And that was tough.

For weeks we tried the stalwarts famous with the six-strings in our college. But none of them agreed. Either they already had a band or thought themselves to be too professional to jam with amateurs like us. We had almost lost our hope.

“Let’s wait for next year. May be we can get some new first-years to play for us.”  Dg said.

Sam B

But deep inside I did not have the energy to wait another year or maybe I felt that getting along with a junior would not be easy in a band.

But then, God had different plans. It was a Sunday night. I was enjoying the chocolate ice-cream, Shukla ji had given me after dinner in my college mess, when I saw him. I had seen him play the guitar during our “Freshers” eve in our first year. But I didn’t speak to him ever.

He was sporting a long hair and a full length beard. He was wearing a Nike T-shirt and something that was a bit more than underwear but way too less to be considered a short-pant. He had a table tennis bat in his hand and was giggling like a fool with some fat guy near the mess.

I always had an ego problem right from my kiddo days. And that look on his face made me feel he might show some attitude. So I decided to go for some background study before approaching him.

Two days later I had all information I could gather. He was Prashant Agarwal, Metallurgy Dept., Rourkella and a “trained” rhythm guitarist.

The last part especially the “trained” word resulted in an extra urge to approach him and forget the word ‘ego’.

So, Dg and I decided to talk to him. We were going to his room when we saw him on the way itself.

“Damn! He was wearing those pants again. Doesn’t he have a better pair of shorts?”  I wondered.

“Umm.. Prashant!” I called him.

He was busy giggling again. On calling him he came towards us. We were expecting some tantrums and some extra pleadings from our ends to coax him to join us. But he surprised us well.

“Well, a band seems a great idea. But I am not that well a guitarist guys. I can just play chords. Let’s jam and see how things turn.” He said.

We were surprised that he agreed so easily. And we were really impressed but the impression he gave us was short lived when he decided to turn and add,

“And by the way guys, call me Daddy. My friends call me so”, he winked.

We didn’t know how to react.

“Daddy? Seriously?” I thought but decided to stay mum or else he could change his plans.

“What do you think? Can he manage?” I asked Dg after ‘Daddy’ left.

Dg didn’t answer but gave me that same look which he gives me during exams. It meant, “No bloody CLUE!”

It took another three weeks for the three of us to prepare ourselves to jam with a trained guitarist.

My part of the journey into the world of rock was a little bit tricky though. Some friend of mine whom I had opted for a suggestion to try some rock bands as starters had some unknown hatred towards me. He didn’t tell me on my face but I guessed it when he suggested me to listen “Lamb of God”, “Marilyn Mansion”, “Slayer”, “Bullet for My Valentine” and similar likes to start.

As a sufi-fan and zero rock idea I ended up listening to Gothic death-metal bands. For nights I couldn’t sleep as the heavy music jammed my ears completely. It was after few days of ‘torture’, I took the help of my ever-friendly companion named “Google.”

Slowly I started with alternative rock starting from “Guns and Roses”, “Pink Floyd” slowly to punk rock with “Green Day “, “Dashboard Confessionals”, “Fallout Boy”.  The world of rock suddenly seemed to be so thrilling, so soothing that I realised what I had missed all these years.

For weeks I tried singing trying to change the texture of the voice I had, which to some extent was possible. Then one day Dg calls me to inform that we would jam for the first time.

It was our first step. The first day at music room was pathetic.

Daddy started playing some famous Hindi songs which either I didn’t know or which Dg couldn’t manage in drums. And forget Deep. He was busy figuring out the notes on the Bass guitar with each chords Daddy strummed.

Finally, after repeated trials, we did “Adat” from “Jal”. It was Daddy’s favourite song and so was mine. Dg gave a normal four-by-four beat to save the day. And I couldn’t hear the bass even though Deep promised to have played throughout.

Two nights later, Dg called me.

“Dude, listen to the song ‘But It rained’ by Parikrama. Try getting the lyrics and the song. Next week we will try practising that.”

Next week when we met we had a song in our mind. And each one of us had prepared our parts.

The chord shifted well and so did the beats. In all, the cover of the song was nicely done. For the first time I felt, there was a side of mine not yet discovered.

And that night, we realised, we had that “different thing” inside us. What we needed was a pinch of luck and a tea-spoon of experience. The recipe for the dream band was ready!

That night the only question we had in our minds was, “What do we call ourselves? What could be the name of our band?”

to be continued….

(This is a semi-fictitious and more of an original account of a musical journey of four different souls who at some point in their lives dreamt to make it Big.

The result was Hoax Call, an alternative rock band which started well but could never end!)

The ‘Hoax Call’ Diaries – [ Episode I ]

 

Chapter One

 

“Let’s burn it down baby”, he smiled.

Deep looked at him with a doubt?

“Are you sure Sam? We are already two joints down. We need to be on stage in another 15 minutes.”

Sam was desperate. He needed to separate himself from the real world. He wanted to be in a state of trance.

“I can’t resist”, said Sam.

With one blow on the matchbox, he lit up the third joint.

As he inhaled the thick smoke of the weed (ganja), he realised, he was letting off all worldly attractions.

Deep was too scared. So, he let Sam relish the third joint himself. He wasn’t scared of getting caught. He was scared of screwing it on stage. He was the bassist after all. And he very well knew that Dg, the drummer wouldn’t spare him for any mistake on stage.

Dg was very particular with his band. It was he and Sam who had dreamt of making a group to quench the thirst for music they had.

Sam, however, lately was lost; lost in his own life.  Dg knew him well. It was only he who understood Sam completely.

“Stay with Sam, do not let him get high!” warned Dg as he sent Deep to monitor Sam before the show.

But Deep was himself a little more attracted towards the sinful paths of glory.

As he saw Sam, take the last puff, he knew he was in trouble.

As the last rush of weed mixed tobacco entered his blood, Sam sensed his heart beat rising. He could hear his own heart beats as loud as a thunder racing ahead of time, trying to make out a song with a very different beat. His eyes very getting closed. There was a constant smile on his face. (The side-effects of Weed. You just can’t stop laughing.) His cheek bones were paining because of the constant stretch of the muscles as he couldn’t avoid an obvious smile.

Deep saw his eyes turn blood red.

“You can sing right? You won’t screw it?” asked a worried Deep.

“I need to stay alone Deep. I am locking myself on the other side of the music room. Call me when you have 5 minutes to go” said an already-high Sam.

 

band_pic_(4)

 

 

Way back near the dressing room, Prashant (who was better known as “Daddy”) was tuning his guitar, when he saw a worried Dg come.

“What’s the matter Dg?”

Damn. Both Deep and Sam are missing. We have another fifteen minutes to go. I needed to make sure that Sam remembered the sequence of the songs.” Said Dg

“Don’t tell me they are getting high!”

Dg didn’t reply. He just shrugged.

“Damn. If Sam comes high and screws the show, I am going to look for another vocalist for the band. If he has personal problems, he better solve it. I can’t always be a laughing stock on stage. You better tell him!” snapped “Daddy”.

He was angry. And his anger was just. It had been thrice before this that Sam had gone up on the stage dead high and ended up fooling the name of the band.

Daddy had been patient till date thinking he was playing his part well. But soon he realised, that at the end it’s the band and not individuals who ride the show.

Dg knew such a point would come when there could be a disrupt in the band. “When people lose their ways, their priorities change,” he thought.  He wanted to help Sam, but he wasn’t ready to let it out.

Deep came in some time and informed that Sam had locked himself up.

“Ask that Romeo to come here soon Dg or else I’ll start packing my instruments and head back to the hostel.” Daddy gave that disgusted look.

Dg had no other option but go.

“What’s wrong with him? How can he be so damn foolish?” He thought.

As he reached near the music room, he heard the performing band scream on stage,

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is our last song. Hope you enjoy it.”

He knew, he had a maximum of five minutes to get him back on stage.

He took a deep breath and used the key he had stolen back in his second year for easy access to the music room. The door creaked as it opened. It was dark inside.

 

to be continued….

 

(This is a semi-fictitious and more of an original account of a musical journey of four different souls who at some point in their lives dreamt to make it Big.

The result was Hoax Call, an alternative rock band which started well but could never end!)