An interview with Sanjeev Thomas

m_c11f91be7c7a4441ad8b224cbf0aac13As the next guest in our series of interviews, we bring to you Sanjeev Thomas. Sanjeev owns a studio in Chennai called Rainbow Bridge with its headline band by the same name. Another distinguished honor for Sanjeev is that he has been the lead guitarist for A.R. Rahman in his studio recordings as well as live concerts.

So where and how did it all begin for you?

I was born and brought up in Kuwait where I picked up the Guitar at the age of 8 after some coaxing from my dad. Although I learnt the guitar for some time, there was a lot of theory involved which got me bored and I had left it for some time. I completed my schooling in Kuwait and then moved to Chennai where I completed my degree. Although I was good at studying, I could never really see myself doing a day job.. I wanted to be a rockstar. So after playing the guitar for a few years, I started a few bands such as Buddha Blown and Buddha’s Babies. Then I started my own studio called Rainbow Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge Band started as the headline band for the studio.

How did the band come about? And what is the funda behind

the name Rainbow Bridge?

I started the Rainbow bridge studio around 5 years back.. And since the studio needed a headline band, I formed the band. The name just came from the studio’s name. Rainbow bridge basically stands for all kinds of artists coming down under one roof.

Fusion is too generic a term to classify your music. How would you describe Rainbow

Bridge’s music?

I had a couple of bands before Rainbow Bridge(Buddha’s Babies and Buddha Blown).  Rainbow Bridge started by taking those songs and reinventing them. We do all kinds of music and it would be difficult to classify it into any one genre. This is what we call the Independent or indie rock.

Where is the Indian Rock scene headed? Would it ever be as popular in India as it is in

the west?

Be it India or west, the Indie Rock scene does not have popularity. It has always been an underground movement. However, the west has the infrastructure to support upcoming underground artists. India so far does not have that. So, most of the upcoming artists find it difficult to sustain themselves and end up either going into mainstream commercial music or quit music altogether.

Playing alongside A R Rahman is a dream come true moment for any Indian musician. And

you have been playing with him for quite some time now.  Tell us more about your

experience with the maestro.

Around three and a half years ago I got a call inviting me to work with Rahman on the “Vote for Taj” campaign. It was a shocker for me. Ever since, I have worked with him on a number of projects which include studio recordings and live concerts. Live concerts with Rahman are always great fun because there are a minimum of 75,000 people at any concert. A particular concert I remember was one at Cochin. I had entered in a crane that was high above the ground and balancing ourselves in the crane while playing the instruments was a real adventure.

Being a guitarist it is quite obvious you would have your idols. Could you please name


Having been brought up in the late 70s/80s, I was initially a huge fan of disco music. So I would say, my first influence were the Bee-Gees. Later on I got into heavy/death metal where I liked bands such as Sepultura. . Ony after this did I discover the 70s Rock’n’Roll with bands such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin etc.

Any plans of getting into mainstream commercial/bollywood music?

I am already into commercial music. I do production for a lot of commercial movies and albums in my studio. Although as a youngster I was against pop music, I have grown to believe that no kind of music is bad music. So now I produce all kind of music including hip-hop, bollywood etc. Although I would always have a soft spot for indie rock music as I started off with that music.

What are the future projects, both on your individual front and the band front?

The first thing I am looking forward to is the release of my album later this year. The album will have a variety of genres of music. Secondly, I am looking forward to the world tour with Rahman. I am also doing a lot of projects in bollywood with the likes of Anu Malik and Pritam. Although I have always been a guitarist, I am also looking forward to my career in singing. I am already singing for my own band but I am also recording a few songs that would be released in movies in the upcoming year.

We eagerly look forward to the release of Sanjeev’s album and wish him the best for all his future projects!

For more on Sanjeev’s music visit his myspace page here:


Meherbaan – Instrumental