Thoughts of the 'Demonstealer' - Sahil Makhija

The blackened death metal band from Mumbai, that emerged in the year 2000, has set an example for a lot of youngsters who wish to execute unique ideas. As the lead vocalist and rhythm guitartist of the band, visits XIMB at the Xpressions '15 as a judge, he happens to share about his journey with the IJ of the event. Read on!
Interning IJ Ayesha Cassim
Published on: 15th November 2015
As I sit across Sahil  "Demonstealer" Makhija, the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the popular Indian death metal band "Demonic Resurrection", I marvel at the humility, simplicity and friendliness of one of the most popular faces of the Metal scene in India. I had the chance to speak to him as he was the judge of the battle of the Rock Bands, "Decibelz", of Xpressions'15, the Management-Cultural fest of XIMB. Extremely warm and obliging while being interviewed, not once did I feel like I was speaking to a star.
Starting off with his journey in Metal, he said that while he had been playing from the past 15 years, his interest in the genre started from his childhood when he heard his first Iron Maiden song. There has been no looking back since then. "Metal is the kind of music that really inspires you and brings out the desire to want to play it as well", he said, and this made him want to learn the guitar and sing and basically create music. While the journey in music has been good, he has faced lots of challenges too, starting off with the lack of interest of Indian audiences in listening to original compositions of Indian Metal bands. Instead they would want to hear their favourite International tracks. Getting the crowd to accept and listen to their music was a challenge, but eventually the bands were able to get their crowds to enjoy it. "It is still largely a phase for people. In college they are listening to people and then they "grow out" of it", he lamented, which leads to infrastructural problems too, as most of their fan base consists of youngsters who cannot afford to pay high ticket prices, resulting in difficulties in affording good venues. The independent scene, on the other hand, thrives as they have older audiences who can afford to pay more.
The conversation then naturally steers to how the metal scene can improve in India he said that the main thing would be for people to stop looking at Metal music as a "Phase" in their lives. Once that would change, it would automatically improve the situation in India. Talking about the time when he started off, he said that many bands would gradually die due to lack of inspiration or disband as it was not feasible. Today, on the other hand, there have been some bands that have lasted for more than 10 years, which makes him hope that 20 years down the line there will be more stability for younger bands.

Speaking about his experience at Xpressions'15, he appreciated the bands that performed in Decibelz and their efforts to make good music. "You can see the passion in the bands when they play, there is that 100%!" he remarked, regardless of the number of the people in the audience.
When asked about the plans for Demonic Resurrection for the future, he said that they planned to release an album and do many more shows in the upcoming year. Rounding off the interview, he urged the youth not to do drugs and buy music instead!

It was truly a pleasure interacting with such an amazing and inspirational person, and I hope to see shows by Demonic Resurrection in the future!
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