An Interview With SAURAV X TAMRAKAR

Saurav Tamrakar, is a Nepalese underground guitarist, composer, and a music instructor. This good-looking axe master is best known as a riffer for the Nepal-based metalcore act  Breach Not Broken and the Finland-based hardcore act, Defiant.

Originally from Nepal, Tamrakar is active in Finland’s underground music scene for the last few years. Although he being a new face to many new audiences, he has made an astounding mark in the underground music scene from Nepal to Finland and around the globe. He has been active in the underground music scene for more than a decade. 

Recently, he has returned to his homeland for some personal reason and formed a new Nepali straight edge hardcore band, Manasik Karagar, and released some original material. The underground guitar hero is spending a quality time with his family and is stuck in Nepal due to the nationwide shutdown.

And here we Himalayan Headbangers got a chance to chit-chat with him.

Let’s find out everything about him, his new band, his musical journey, and some personal stuff.

Hello Saurav!, How is lockdown going? Could you please share your experience on being back to your homeland (Nepal) after being away for such a long time? 

Tbh, I feel like I was here all this time. I have such a deep connection to this place. Specially my hometown, Damak. When I returned back, I felt like I wasn’t out for so long. I felt like I was back after few months even though it was after half a decade. 

Is there any event/reason or is it just a random visit?

I lost my grand-father. My initial musical inspiration and a true hero. I had to show up to pay my love and respect to him. 

I’m so sorry for your loss; you have my deepest sympathy. We got that you have formed a new band here in Nepal, and also released some original material, could you please tell our readers about your new band and your plans on dropping the debut record?

Yea, we just dropped a demo. My buddy Mausam and me has always been into Metal and hardcore since we were kids. We recently are really into the Straight Edge culture. We thought this is the right time we introduce a new strain of underground music here in Nepal. Straight Edge Hardcore. Nepalese Style. 

New Record, end of this year. “Bhumigat Sangeet”. 

What is the main reason behind your band name, Mansik Karagar? I have to say, I find it quite unique. Are there any specific reason for this name?

We create jails for ourselves within our heads with self-destructive habits like drugs, alcohol, victim mentality, and self-sabotaging.

We sing about such fucked up things in this band. That’s why it has been named “Manasik Karagar”, the mental prison we create for ourselves.

What makes your music special? Could you please share with us the message behind your demo track, “Aswikaar”?

We are surrounded by a disease potential to harm the individuals/society i.e. alcoholism. The song simply portrays the consequences of this disease and urges people to simply not accept the alcohol culture.

Humans have the potential to feel, enjoy and endure life without any substances. IMO, its the hard way of living. Take in everything, CLEAN.

If you had to swap instrument in the band, what would you pick?

Drums. I’m a big rhythm guy. Just love playing around with the rhythm.

What are your favourite songs to sing in the shower?

Many. RN, Townes Van Zandt.

Of your music, do you have a favorite? If so, can you pin down why it is your favorite?

Latest Defiant record is my fav. I think it’s a kind of record which needs time to brew before it hits you. That’s the exact kind of record I’ve always wanted to write. I don’t like hype and unnecessary attention on my music.

Will you be gigging or touring over Nepal? What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?

Next year October. We are planning a tour with Manasik Karagar. From Siliguri to Pokhara. All the cities in between. Let’s see if we can pull it.

What are the biggest challenges you have experienced in your music career?

Balancing your mental health and music career. Both of them has an intensity to it. It tends to collapse sometimes.

Saurav X Tamrakar: Image by Liro

How do you find the current music scene of Nepal? What was the music scene like in Nepal before­ you left the country? What difference have you found since then?

Haven’t attended any shows. No shows yet. However, I’m connected to underground bands out here. I like what they are doing. I’ll find out more next year.

Name one song that you hate wholeheartedly.

Nothing comes in my mind, rn.

Name one album that you wish you’d made.

I think it doesn’t exist yet. I like seeing the future than clinging to past. That means, more awesome music on it’s way.

What was the weirdest experience for you on stage? Any?

While we were playing as Breach Not Broken. I used to feel different kinda’ energy. When my eyes met with my brothers in the midst of all that chaos, we deeply, mutually, knew what we were doing. No words, no explanations, nothing. It’s a different kinda’ connection you don’t find so easy.

If you could play on your dream tour, what bands would be on it?

I definately would wanna go on a tour with bands like Code Orange, Vein, Converge etc. But if I have to be realistic, I think a tour with Neck Deep In Filth would totally rock.

If you were talking to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

Be less cocky. Learn more. Talk less. Study more.

Recently you have released your debut album from Defiant? What were the responses from fans? Any plan to hit the road this year?

I think it’s basically revolving around just friends rather than the fans yet. Tbh, I really haven’t focused on the responses. As I said, it’s something that needs time to brew. So, I am focused on dropping a new Defiant record rather than putting my energy on responses.

We were booking a small European tour in 2020. It was going good then this corona shit happened. So, I think we might be able to book it again in 2022. Let’s see how this unfolds till the end of this year. Booking a DIY tour is a pain in the ass.

Defiant: Image by Juno

What is your favorite track from your latest album “Kill Your Idols”? What inspires this album?

I cannot choose one. This album is special for me.

As the name says, Kill Your Idols, we have too many things/people/ideas to compare ourselves to. Its just such a pitiful way of living the life.

Self-realization of your singularity is what inspires this album.

What was the best moment or funniest moment you had when recording the album, “Kill Your Idols”?

Aleksi and me talking about nerdy pre-production stuffs and eating chips while recording Heikki’s vocals.

Why Breach not Broken is on hiatus, is any chance we can see you guys together performing? Any plan for a new EP or Album?

Breach is at rest right now. I think thats what it is for now. I’m sure we’ll ressurect it at some point. I don’t like doing things just for the sake of doing. So when we come back. We’ll come back hard!

You have engaged in multiple bands, doing your project, your YouTube channel, and your personal life, how do you managed it all? Isn’t it difficult – creatively, physically, and mentally?

I’m a hyper active person. I have made all of these my new norm.

Name your biggest inspirations as a band and also any local bands worth checking out.

Rage Hybrid. Guys were nuts! We are good friends. Humble dudes.

Check out Neck Deep In Filth, Void Turned To Message, Discord, Strangle, Jennifer Lawrence, Toerag, and Nainsook. Basically follow Vehement. I archive bands that I think its worth checking out.

Who are some of your favorite artists right now? One artist/band in Nepal you would like to collaborate with?

Roshan Sharma. I would like to do an instrumental collab with him. Really like his unique approach on guitars. Just met him yesterday. Great guy.

Sunny ST, another fav artist. Great guitar maker and a magnificient guitar player. Saves my ass always when I fuck my guitar up.

At last, do you wanna share anything else with our readers?

Keep checking out Himalayan Headbangers Zine to stay updated on music.

Why would you even listen anything from me? Just kidding. Thrive!