Reuben Bhattacharya / Visual Amnesia
Kareem C: You guys are a fresh band out of the UAE. Tell us about how you guys came together?
Jude:  I’ve known Bam since high school. Once I came back to the UAE, after getting done with college back in India, we started jamming together and after coming up with some riffs we decided to start a band. That’s how the project started off. We were originally called Ciojn, but because so many people used to go “lolwut ?” we decided to use the literal pronunciation of the word itself, which is Kaihon.

Lalit: I came to Dubai for work a year back. I was completely clueless about this place and I didn’t know anyone in the music scene personally. It took me a couple of months to get adjusted with the place and sort everything out. I visited a few gigs to check the live music scene here, and I must say I quite loved it. In order to keep my voice in check, I started doing vocal covers on YouTube and posted the first one on a few facebook music groups & forums. Jude & Bam then contacted me and talked about the project. I heard some of the music the guys had been working on and agreed to join them.

Describe Kaihon’s sound; what are your influences?

Jude: That’s really hard to describe.  I hate putting a label on things, because I think they alienate the listener and set up walls where there shouldn’t be any. But if I was really pressed for it, I’d say we’re a death metal band that likes to keep things on the groovier side.

Influences, well that’s another really hard question to answer since between the three of us, there are probably 15-20 bands that influence how we write music, and that number increases every few days.

But I would say I’m primarily influenced by Strapping Young Lad, Cynic, Lamb of God and
Crowbar. But recently, I do find myself listening to a lot of Kvelertak and Opeth’s latest album  is really interesting.

You guys recently put out your debut track, "Pathological". Was that the first song you wrote? Let’s hear more about it.
Jude: "Pathological" is actually the second song we wrote and decided to release that as a single because it is one of the more straightforward tracks on the EP.  Like I said we try to keep a particular theme in mind for each song written, and try to have both the music and the lyrics reflect that. It could be anything: an ideal, a word or a state of mind. For instance, for "Pathological", the theme in mind was acceptance, the story of a person trying to not shy away from who he really is as opposed to who he’s trying to be. We try not to get too preachy but it creeps in anyway.

Pathological is part of a debut EP that you guys have been working on. Tell us about the writing and recording process, when we can expect it, and other details.

Jude: I handle most of the writing and the recording process is usually me recording everything at home and keeping the other guys updated on what I’m working on. We then meet to refine and tweak the material until we come up with a final product that we’re all happy with. 

The EP consists of 5 songs and should be sent in for the final mixing and mastering stages by April, with a tentative release date of late May- early June.

The three of you have played in bands in different scenes, but two of you have been involved outside of the UAE as well. Tell us about how your respective experiences have helped the band. How would you differ the Dubai (UAE) scene from the others?

 Jude: Well, I was lucky enough to play with some very talented musicians in my previous band, but as far as the intrinsic side of being in a band goes, I’ve learnt that musical prowess isn’t the only thing that’s key to making a band click. 

While ego and respect for ones work is important to any artist, being in a band is about compromise, and finding people who share your vision and drive makes it easier for you to write music that is genuine.

The Dubai scene has exploded in the past few years that I’ve been away. I’m really happy to see so many people supporting the local scene and showing up for gigs, and it only seems to be getting more expansive.
I come from Goa, which is known more for its clubbing scene, so there wasn’t much scope for live music there, let alone a metal band.  If there were any gigs, which came around about every 5-6 months or so, you’d be stuck with a crowd of about 10-15 people, 30 if you were lucky. And half of them would be waiting for you to get offstage so that the resident DJ could start his set.

So I can tell you guys here in the UAE that you are very lucky to be having such stellar gigs so frequently. There has been a lot of unsettlement on the scene due to some very unfortunate circumstances that are allegedly the result of some underhanded cloak and dagger bullshit. But I am sure, without a doubt, that the metal scene will only grow stronger from it.

Lalit: I have been playing for various bands in India for more than 9 years now.  I’ve interacted & played with various musicians, artists, and people. Every single individual brings a different experience and learning. It can affect you positively, negatively or go both ways as well.
Reuben Bhattacharya / Visual Amnesia
With Kaihon, all of us share the same frequency and the same zeal to make it work – musically as well as personally. We respect each other and the efforts put in by the other person. Also, after spending years in the Indian music scene, the people that I have worked with and the friends that I have made, were of great help to us.  I have known Keshav Dhar (from Skyharbor) for years. I informed him about my new project in Dubai and asked him if he would be interested in producing us, which he gladly agreed to. When I went back to India for a mini-vacation, I ended up recording my vocals at his studio and then later on the song was mixed and mastered by him. 
As far as the music scene in Dubai is concerned, I am highly impressed. Dubai has a very active music scene. There are gigs happening almost every weekend. The amount of crowd support for the bands that perform here is amazing. It’s like a closely knitted family, and everybody helps out. I really can’t wait to get back on stage.

What are some of your favorite bands from the UAE and the Middle East?

Jude: I would say Voice of the Soul and Alpha.Kenny.Buddy (AKB) are my favorite acts in the local scene. Both of them put on a killer live show and I always find myself having a good time when they’re playing their set.
I was also recently introduced to a local band called Static Theory that has some very talented musicians. Also, a shout out to the dudes in Apeira. They’re cooking up some amazing stuff that I can’t wait to hear.

Lalit: I haven’t seen all the bands here but bands like Voice of the Soul, Benevolent, Svengali, Point of View, Alpha.Kenny.Buddy (AKB) are clearly my favorites. It’s always a treat to see these bands live.

Any final words for Metality readers?

Jude: Thank you for the support ! We can’t wait to get on stage and play for all of you guys and hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.

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