Lakkhichhara drummer Gaurab Chatterjee on music and movies

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By ARINDAM CHATTERJEE Should Gabu focus on band or film music? Tell
  • Published 17.08.13
Gaurab Chatterjee at his Naktala residence. Picture: Arnab Mondal

Like his dad Gautam Chattopadhyay, the leader of Moheener Ghoraguli, 31-year-old Gaurab Chatterjee or Gabu has, in many ways, contributed to the evolution of Bangla rock, be it through his band Lakkhichhara or compositions for Bengali films. A t2 chat with the drummer-composer.

How is your film career shaping up?

I feel I have matured as a composer and grown in confidence. I have not cracked the mainstream scene yet, but I feel people are appreciating my work. And I play the drums in two bands — Lakkhichhara and Kendraka.

Why did you decide to compose for films?

My father composed music for his films. I especially remember him composing the music for Ashoke Vishwanathan’s Kichhu Songlap Kichhu Prolap. He, however, worked during the worst period in the history of Bengali films –– the 1980s and 1990s. Anyone doing different work would be labelled an art filmmaker. People are doing interesting work now. Bappaditya Bandopadhyay saw a showreel of mine in 2009 and asked me to do the music for Kagojer Bou (2011). At first I was tense but Bappada was very open to new ideas. I could experiment with the music; a doobki or a dotara could follow an orchestral part (like in the song Shunnyo theke shuru). I was quite tense when he asked me compose for Elar Char Adhyay (2012), for the soundtrack relies heavily on Rabindrasangeet. I arranged the score keeping the film and the essence of the tunes in mind. It was a period film set between 1930 and 1940, so I could not use the drums, guitar or the bass guitar (laughs)! It was a stripped-down affair. After that I did four songs for Damadol (2013).

What sort of changes would you suggest to improve the local music scene?

A few music channels should start showing music videos of bands and artistes who do non-film music. Record labels should come forward and support bands. And the audience should buy original CDs. These days one can create a buzz around an album only through social networking. In 2009, we released Bishesh Bishesh Ongsho Birotir Por on Big Music. It was a tactical blunder since the label folded after the album came out. After a few months, T-Series picked up the album....

How much did your father inspire you?

Baba’s music and Krosswindz’s live gigs in the early 1990s had a great impact on me. My father once again started writing songs after a break in 1993 and he began with Prithibita naki chhoto hote hote. Next came Ei muhurte. I saw Baba composing those songs in the living room. Lakkhichhara started performing live regularly from 1999. I remember showing Baba the ticket of our first gig. He passed away on June 20, the concert was on July 3, 1999 at Nazrul Mancha. It rained heavily. Yet, students packed the place and cheered us on.