Thursday, 8 May 2014


Prashant Shah, popularly known as 'Pra' is the guitar player of Scribe. Having played in bands like Demonic Resurrection and Exhumation in the past, this guy is a riff attack. With bright pants & shirts in Goa feels and a colourful personality, Pra is easily one of the best riffers around. This interview is meant for everyone to get to know him better as a person and not only the jolly jumper you see on stage. He just got married, btw. Congratulations!

Also to notify you, there's a Scribe gig happening this evening (8th May, 2013) along with Vice Versa at Hard Rock Cafe, Andheri (W), Mumbai, India.

Photo courtesy: Prashant Agarwal

Full name and age
Prashant Shah, 32 years old.

What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
All vegetarian: Indian Street Food/Gujarati(non-sweet)/Rajasthani/Chinese/Japanese/ Mexican.
I love all food with exception of maybe things that your head perceives should be non sweet and it turns out to be exactly the opposite; Puran Poli, for example. I like cooking Italian food, since it's the easiest to conjure and the only cuisine I can cook and make myself believe that I'm as good as Gennaro Contaldo.

Kindly tell us about all your precious gear! (guitars, processors, etc.,.)
Primarily I only use extended range guitars (7 or 8). I've been playing them almost 12 years.

Ibanez Prestige RG1527 w EMG 707 (bridge)
Ibanez Prestige RGD 2127 w Dactivator 7 (bridge)
Ibanez Prestige RG 2228 w EMG's
ESP 6 string modded with EMG 81 (bridge) 85 (Neck), (I have this one only for sentimental reasons.)

Strings: D'addario XL 120-7 (.54 to .09)

Axe-Fx II for the last one year on record and live. I feel it's the most convenient option if you play live. It's all the amps and stomps you ever wanted in a box, that you can carry easily on the road and plug into any setup.
I do love the sound of a real amp, however lugging around a head on a flight is very cumbersome and at times a waste of money if you land up paying for baggage.

I have a defunct Kustom (Kansas) 250 tuck and roll Head and a 4x12 cab to go with it. I've been meaning to get that repaired.  The clean channel on that amp is ethereal! I also use a Laney 1x12 practice amp at home (very rarely though).

How long have you been playing guitar?
I've been playing for almost 16 years. I picked up my first guitar, a Givson in 1998. It was sparkling red in color. Josh, The drummer in Severus (RIP), burnt it down.

What got you into playing guitar?
Metallica. Metallica. Metallica. Metallica. Metallica.
Siddharth Khare, a friend from school introduced me to the instrument, he used to play in a band with his dad. We'd listen to Metallica, Guns 'n Roses, Van Halen, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi.  He taught me my first riff, 'Enter Sandman'. All I wanted to do from that day on was just play the guitar. From then on, everything else in my life became secondary.

Have you learned to read music as well, or do you just play by ear?
Sheet music always has eluded me. Regular tablatures were just fine when I started.
However as the years passed, I started shifting more toward playing by ear.  I developed an interest in sheet music and theory somewhere down the line but somehow never got around to doing it. I study arrangements of a song I really like. Songs and structure are far more gratifying than just sticking random riffs together.

Electric vs. acoustic. What do you prefer?
Thats like comparing a sword and a knife, both are deadly if used correctly. My weapon of choice is the electric though.

What thought goes into riff construction/is there any particular pattern you follow to make riffs?
No pattern in particular. Whatever comes out with the flow. I tend to write a song idea in one go. I record a scratch single guitar take with whatever flows naturally. Sometimes I'll go on for 15 minutes at a stretch. I'll hear it back a few times to see whether I can connect with the music. If not, I scrap it and rearrange/re-record. Other times I go part by part. There's no formula.

Photo courtesy: Kunal Kakodkar

What music projects are you currently a part of, besides Scribe?
None as of now. Once I get some time, I've been meaning to do another extreme metal project, I've got a few scratch tracks done. I'll talk about it more when the time comes, as of now I have no name no members, just the direction I want to go in musically.

Do you have a day job? What is it that you do?
Yes very much so, that's what pays the bills. I'm a 3D Team leader at RedChillies VFX.  We do visual effects for films, To simplify it, we create anything and everything that you can't shoot physically. Working on a dream Hollywood project, I can't reveal which one because that would lead to genocide. I love it as much as I love playing the guitar.

I love the freedom of being able to visually recreate anything I can dream of.

Your favourite musicians (Indian)
Apart from my own band members, there are singular musicians from bands that inspire me, Indian and international, but personally, I prefer bands over individual musicians.
Indian bands I really like are Skyharbor, Bhayanak Maut, Gutslit, Undying Inc, Devoid, Extinct Reflections (RIP). So many upcoming bands! There's a whole bunch of young and killer bands in the North East of India. I keep hearing demos or singles and it's so unfortunate that there is such a huge disconnect from that part of the country.

Guitar: Warren Mendonsa, Sidharth Kadadi, Dhruv Ghanekar, Zorran Mendonsa
Bass: Rushad, Krishna Jhaveri, P-Man (Rohit Pereira)
Drums: Rahul Hariharan, Jai Row Kavi, Sid Coutto, Mayank Sharma
Vocals: Siddharth Basrur, Sid Coutto,
Any other instrument:
I respect classical musicians like Zakir Hussain, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Amjad Ali Khan. I grew up listening to them, my parents would drag me to Rang Bhavan and Dynasty Club shows to watch these guys play. The kind of dedication they have towards their craft is inspiring. I was a huge Remo fan as a kid, way before he got commercial.

Your favourite musicians (international)
Bands like Sikth, Emperor, Textures, old-Soilwork, Cannibal Corpse, Soreption, Morbid Angel, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Aeon, Devin Townshend, Meshuggah, Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris, Periphery, The contortionist, The Faceless, too many to name really, I hate this question it's so annoying.

Can we expect a release from your band(s) any time soon?
Yes Scribe, will release something this year for sure, if we don't we'll just disband. I don't think even we have the patience anymore for a record we've been working on for almost 3 years.

Whom do you look up to, as a musician and a band?
Refer to question 12 and 13. Life-altering bands were Sikth, Emperor,Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Fear Factory. I love orchestral music and soundtracks a lot as well. Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Goldman. There is so much to learn about arrangment, orchestration, layering, timing, rhythm from the smallest piece.

A message to all your fans (hello ladies!)
Thank you, Cheers and Stay chromatic.

Photo courtesy: Kunal Kakodkar

To listen to Scribe, visit their Soundcloud and Facebook

More interviews coming up this week! 

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