Early this year, Malayalam newspaper group Maathrubhumi kicked off their entertainment channel Kappa TV with a bunch of interesting programmes in its arsenal. While the channel itself has received good response, one of its most appreciated shows was Music Mojo, Kappa’s own version of the studio jam session a la Coke Studio and the like. The show featured a lot of interesting-yet-unheard bands in its first Season, but few have met with the kind of phenomenal success that Kochi-based Thaikkudam Bridge earned with their set of videos that went up on youtube last week. Having quite literally sprung up with the Music Mojo session, a lot of our readers were keen to know more about the band, and so we decided to get in touch with the band’s main man Govind Menon. And here is a primer on Thaikkudam Bridge!
Your fb page says just “Built for Music” about the band. Tell us more. The origins of the band and so on?
We have put more on the FB page.. U may have a look at it now! We are still working on the page. There will be a lot to look out for there in the coming days!
As for the origin…..here’s the story.
A few months back, me and my cousin brother Siddharth (a vocalist member of the band) were discussing about doing a cover. Just to satisfy our creative instincts….
We started working on the Rahman Medley. Soon Music Mojo caught our eyes and we sent them the cover as a demo. They liked it and thats how we got associated with the programme.
Since I have been in the film industry for over 4 years now, I roped in some of my most talented circle of friends…..Mithun Raju (the lead guitarist), Ashok Nelson ( rhythm guitars), Vipin Lal (Vocalist), Christin Jose (Vocalist), Ruthin Thej (Keyboards), Abin Thej (Drums), Piyush Kapoor (vocalist, guitars).
Siddharth roped in his truly remarkable musician friends in the form of Vian Fernandez (Bass guitarist, Vocals), Krishna Bongane (vocalist), Nila Madhav Mohapatra (vocalist).
Inspite of the varied backgrounds, we hit it off really well.
Everyone decided to gather together and soon jam sessions were on!
Why the name Thaikkudam Bridge?
And the place we met for the jam sessions and rehearsals was of course near Thaikkudam Bridge, thaikkudam being a place in Cochin. Its as simple as that. Nothing fancy about the origin of the name, huh. : )
By the look of it, we have been able to garner good reviews and so yes, we are really excited to take this forward…..
One of the most notable elements in your songs has been the vocalists. You have featured not less than 5 vocalists in your episode of Music Mojo. And from varied backgrounds too. Are all of them part of the band?
Thats right. 8 Vocalists, some of them are multi taskers too. One of a kind, huh? Its a matter of doing justice to whatever we put across in front of our audience. Each
and every vocalist as well as every member is a specialist in their own genre. They are all the members in the band.
A brief profile of the main artists if you will? Some of them seem to have rather interesting backgrounds.
Myself, well, I had my heart in this field from a very small age. I have been composing, programming and assisting music directors in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi for some time now. Its an exciting and huge platform for me to quench my creative thirst!
Mithun Raju has been in the field for a long time now. He was the first guitarist of Motherjane. He is actively working with many music directors in the industry.
Krishna Bongane and Nila Madhav Mohapatra are originally from Mumbai and are disciples of the same ustad, the prodigious Rashid Khan of the Rampur-Sahaswan lineage. They also have students.
Siddharth Menon is a singer and has performed along with Vian Fernandez in the Sony TV reality show, X factor. They were the finalists in the show. He is studying in the A R Rahman’s music college – KM Music Conservatory in Chennai.
Vian Fernandez is also basically a music composer, music teacher in a college in Mumbai and has performed shows worldwide.
Vipin Lal is a music programmer and has worked for a lot of music directors of the industry.
Christin Jose is a singer basically and has worked in albums, shows etc. He has lent his voice in my film for the promo song.
Piyush Kapoor specialises in Rock and Western music. He was also a contestant in the X factor show and has since travelled a lot all over India performing for various concerts and bands.
Ashok Nelson is a composer as well and is based in Kerala. He too has performed and travelled and has been associated with various bands and composers.
Peethambaran is my father and is a singer. He has performed a lot during his younger days especially with Ouseppachan and Johnson master. He was the Voice of Thrissur , 3 to 4 times way back in the 70’s and so this is a comeback for him. He is the senior most member of the band.
Ruthin Thej and Abin Thej are brothers and the sons of Thej Mervin (music director). Ruthin is into music programming while Abin Thej, I should say, is the youngest member of the band. He is currently pursuing his academics. But very much a tB band member.
We also have an efficient sound and tech team comprising of Amith Bal and Rajan K.S. who are freelance mixing and mastering engineers and has worked in various films across various languages. Hemanth is the tech support/Sound Tech Advisor. He works for AR Rahman as Music Tech and Gear Tech. He works for various other musicians in the industry too and is based in Chennai.
Most of your songs have been covers, but for two original songs. Interesting set of songs too that you chose for covering. A word on how you go about choosing the songs to cover?
While choosing the cover songs, we always had the audience in our mind… The goal was to make music for people. What they want to hear…. These songs are evergreen… each and every one of them….. Some of them forgotten, some of them never reached the people like they had to.
The two originals are Fish Rock and Shiva, as you know it. We had a gala time making them! B-)
You have been doing the arrangement for all the music so far I take it?
Yeah. That’s right. I arrange the tracks.
Covers or originals, which do you prefer?
Well, it has to be originals.
The soundtrack of the upcoming movie 24 Kaatham North is composed by a Govind Menon. Is that you too?
That’s right too. I am that Govind Menon! : ) I have done 4 songs for the film (one promo song included ) and the Background Score too. It will be an Onam release. Really excited about my first venture in films as a Music Director.
So what is the plan ahead for Thaikkudam Bridge? An album in the offing?
Well, There are a lot of shows pouring in from everywhere. So immediate future of the band is definitely live shows. We will definitely work on an album after the shows. (and a big one at that considering the number of vocalists!!!)