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Most successful bands are those that stick together says Alter Ego Lead Vocalist
Alter Ego, a music band from Bangalore has been creating ripples with their music across the country, primarily entertaining crowds in Bangalore, where the band members reside. The band members are working professionals who strum their guitar when they are not at work - making it tough for them to balance their work and practice hours.

GIVEN THE limited hours they are able to give to their art and talent, they are still able to make those who come to hear them go wild and dance to their tunes, which giives the band further encouragement to play better music.

Nishant Lama, the Lead Vocalist of the rock band who belongs to Darjeeling, told this citizen journalist in this interview that the band sometimes has to practise during odd hours.

CJ: Your band started as Deja Vu in 2010 and changed its name to Alter Ego, why?

Lama: Guess we are a little superstitious! We felt that the name wasn't lucky for us. A lot of glitches came along the way. Some were absolutely ridiculous. So we changed the name and look what happened!

CJ: One of your band members, Nikhil, left the band in between. How tough a phase was it while searching for another drummer?

Lama: Finding a drummer is easy. Finding a 'good drummer' is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The long hiatus in between was a direct result of Nikhil leaving the band.

CJ: All the band members are working professionals, how do you balance between work and jam sessions?

Lama: That's probably the biggest hurdle we face. We jam for around 2-3 hours a week. Sometimes even that isn't possible due to other commitments.

CJ: You get to practising for just a few hours. Do you think you are able to sustain quality while performing?

Lama: Definitely not. We are constantly trying to increase our hours of practice. However, we are doing our 'homework' religiously. The jam is pretty spontaneous that way!

CJ: How many concerts have you been invited to so far?

Lama: Not bragging but quite a few. We haven't kept count!

CJ: Do you perform for charity as well? How important is money for the band?

Lama: Yes, we do. Charity is always a good thing and we like to do our bit for the society if we can. As of now, money is the farthest thing on our mind. We're just trying to make good music!

CJ: Has the band ever thought of going to annual band competitions?

Lama: Yes we have, but we do not think we are good enough to actually win. That is again due to lack of time. We've got the goods, and 2013 certainly looks like a good year to compete!

CJ: What kind of music and audience do you cater to?

Lama: We love playing classic as well as contemporary rock. Melody is a must for us and we play quite a few power ballads as well. Amazingly, our crowd is probably the most diverse you'll ever see at any given gig. We're happy that everyone enjoys our music!

CJ: How has been the response to your music?

Lama: The response has been overwhelming actually. We have a big group who make it to almost all of our gigs - now that's something! We have stood on stage almost 15 mins after gigs just taking pictures with the crowd! Our audience is loud. I become quite free and speak to the crowd from the stage itself and respond to people. I don't know if this is always a good thing!

CJ: In which places in India have you performed?

Lama: We've been to quite a few places, especially in 2011 and early 2012. Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Mangalore and Kolkata to name a few. Most of our gigs though, are in and around Bangalore.

CJ: How much original composition do you come up with?

Lama: We have around 8 original songs to our name. We play them quite frequently!

CJ: Many Indian bands break up after 3 to 4 years of their formation. Do you want to continue with this band? Will you consider disbanding at a later time?

Lama: Every band has a vision and we do too. No band wants to break up either, but it happens. We definitely want to make it big, and are focusing on just understanding each other and sorting out our creative differences, as of now. The most successful bands aren't the ones that play good music, more often than not they are the bands that stick together!

Why do most bands in India primarily have a band member from North East/Darjeeling/Sikkim? Are they the most talented. Agree?

Lama: We would definitely not agree to this. The fact that four of us are from Darjeeling is purely a matter of coincidence. We would actually prefer a much diverse band representing the true spirit of India - Unity in Diversity! Talent is everywhere. It is true that musicians, in general, are more abundantly found in the North East, but that certainly does not mean that there is a dearth of talent elsewhere! We meet talented musicians in Bangalore from all over every now and then.

If Alter Ego is a brand of music - how will you define it?

Alter Ego wishes to unite everyone through music. It's working so far. Our music has mass appeal and defining our genre now is almost impossible now. We have found our sound and it's such a great feeling knowing that a majority of the people out there enjoy our music. We did not do this consciously, however, it's just the music that came out of us. They say one great song can change the world. Amid all this chaos in the world, we are trying to do just that!

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