“With its fast-growing metal scene, is it any wonder that India has its foot in the door with this nascent scene? Skyharbor is, incredibly, just one guy: Keshav Dhar.” – Metal Hammer (UK) Magazine
Such words are for the face of Indian Metal, a man of huge calibre and
talent, Keshav Dhar!!
Our Team Member,Sankalp Hazarika has a little chat with the Big Man himself!
* Hello Keshav! -
#Hello! Thanks for having me on board!
*You’ve been associated with some fantastic acts namely, Another
Vertigo Rush, Hydrodjent and currently Skyharbor. And when you look
back, it has been quite a djentle journey in fact!
*So when did you first start to play the six-string wonder. What was
your first guitar?
# I started playing guitar when I was about 17. My first guitar was a cheap
Givson (Gibson knockoff) that my teacher at the time lent me.
*Who have been your influences?
#Oceansize, Meshuggah and The Devin Townsend Project would be at the very
top of the list. More recently Chimp Spanner, Haunted Shores and
Cloudkicker have been hugely influential on my writing style.
*You started it all from a small studio project in your home. How did
it all turn up so big?
#I don’t really know to be honest! I never went out of my way to
self-promote or spam the internet to get people to listen to us. I just
focused on my songwriting and everything else just sort of followed on its
*What was your first major on-stage act? How was the experience?
#Skyharbor has only played the one show so far, at the NH7 Weekender
Festival in November 2011. It was a fantastic experience – great stage,
great sound, great crowd response – couldn’t have asked for a better debut
*You have collaborated with some big names like Marty Freidman and
Daniel Tompkins. How did it come about?
#Pretty much just out of the blue. I just woke up one morning to find a
message from Dan in my Myspace inbox (back when we still used Myspace)
(LAUGHS), and he expressed a desire to collaborate on a track. Eventually he
ended up singing on the entire ‘Illusion’ disc of our upcoming debut album,
“Blinding White Noise“.
It was more or less the same thing with Marty, except he wanted me to
collaborate on HIS album ‘Tokyo Jukebox 2′. We started out with one song
and eventually I ended up writing a ton of arrangements, guitar parts, drum
parts etc for the album. About 6 songs that I arranged, ended up on the
final album. I actually did a LOT of work on that record!.
*Any more collaborations you’re planning that may hit us by surprise?
#Well now, telling would kill the surprise right?
*Which Indian musicians have you loved playing with?
#I haven’t played with too many people unfortunately. But my favorite person
to jam with would be Akhil Sood (guitarist for my other band Another
Vertigo Rush). His approach to guitar and writing is so fucked up and
unorthodox, and it’s been a huge influence on my writing too. Actually
jamming with AVR in general has been very influential on my writing for
*And whats on your wish list?
*Skyharbor signed to the International label Basick Records quite
lately. Tell us how did it happen?
#A good friend of mine who was in touch with Barley (CEO at Basick) put us
in touch. I sent them our album and they enjoyed it, and we sealed the deal
just a few days after that.
*So when am I gonna own a copy of “Blinding White Noise:
Illusion & Chaos”?
# Keep your eyes peeled and watch the Basick website for news about this!
*What is Skyharbor’s line-up for live gigs?
# It’s the same lineup we played at NH7 with. Anup, Nikhil and myself. We
have an addition to the lineup coming soon though, and we will announce
this in due time!
*Tell us about BANDHAPPY. How is the feeling to give the aspiring
musicians your own slice of knowledge?
#Fantastic – it’s a great site and I am not just teaching but plan to take
lessons myself from some of the guys I look up to the most, who are on
*Any other projects you’re associated with?
# Quite a few actually! Another Vertigo Rush are starting to jam again after
a long hiatus, and I am involved in an experimental/ambient rock studio
project called ‘The Transport’, with my good friend Nikhil Kaul. Apart from
that I am also involved in a couple of very exciting projects which I won’t
talk about right now, but you’ll hear it eventually when the time is right!
*So what about your gear? Any customised guitars you use?
#I just own one guitar – it’s an Ibanez SZ 2020 in natural flame maple.
Lovely guitar and I don’t think I’ll ever part with it.
*Speaking about music, what’s on your playlist these days?
#Bonobo – Black Sands, Textures – Dualism, DTP – Ki, Oceansize -
Effloresce, Jakob – Solace, and the new Basick Records sampler – it is such
a kickass compilation, go get it now!!
*Bunch of International acts coming to town but no good number of
Indian bands popping out. Your take on that?
#We have some incredible bands that are getting the short end of the stick
from gig and festival organizers. Bands like Scribe shouldn’t be opening
for mediocre metalcore bands that headline shows here simply because
*At last, please share a few words for the fans and fellow musicians alike.
#Thanks a ton for all your patience and support! 2012 is going to be a VERY
active year for Skyharbor and you will be hearing us a lot – whether it be
our album or at a gig! Cheers!
Thanks a lot Keshav for your precious time. We hope Skyharbor’s debut
hits the global charts with a bang! Stay Metal! m/
Photograph Courtesy- Ajay Kulkarni