In Conversation with Rishabh Seen
1. Mute the Saint snippet tracks you shared sounds next level! Really excited about the debut EP. I believe it's due on 1st of December worldwide. Can you share with us some of your upcoming plans with the band?
Rishabh: Thank you very much, glad to hear you liked those! Yes, our self-titled EP comes out on 1st December and will be available physically and digitally, worldwide.
After spending a year finishing this record online via emails I think the first thing after the record comes out, on which we will focus is, touring. I really want to start with touring in India and then focus of taking this abroad. We are looking forward and are in talks with a few venues and promoters, for a multi-city tour with the full band from February onwards. We will share all and exact dates with everyone via social media.
2. How was your recent gig experience with The Aristocrats in Nepal?
Rishabh: A dream come true! You know to me this is something I never saw coming to me in a thousand years, at least especially when I am playing such weird music in a weird fashion you know? I am one of those people who expect the least from the world, so when I was asked to do this simply because "I could do justice to that concert’s musical level." I was just blown away and couldn't believe it. I have been very close to Bryan Baller since more than a year but it was just insane to finally meet the three of them and get to play my own music in front of them, which they specially came to watch. We all did hang around, went to see the monkey temple in Nepal and the I opened for them and I honestly never realized that people were actually cornered or felt something related to my music in a place like Nepal where I have never been.
After the concert, all three of these legends just said some words which almost brought tears to my eyes. For example, Guthrie Govan hugged me and said ,"I have heard all your videos and your band's music and it is fucking awesome what you are doing. Taking pride in your own vision and standing up for yourself needs courage, so never be afraid to be yourself my musician brother. I'll make sure next time I am in India, I buy or at least play a sitar" – I was just experiencing goosebumps hearing this.
3. Could you run us through your studio and live setup?
Rishabh: Since I am an acoustic instrument player, both my studio and live setups are minimal. For my studio setup, I simply use the – Focusrite 2i2, Rode NT1 microphone, AKG C411P pickup and Ableton or Cubase as the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This had been my studio setup for our upcoming record, but after I have been honored by Laney as their endorsee, I have started to use my A1+ amp for recordings. For example, that latest Steven Wilson cover, I ran my Rode mic through the second channel which has phantom power, used the EQ from the Amp and then recorded directly with it and it sounded massive! For live, I use the exact same setup, just without the Rode NT1 microphone.
Rishabh: I have always been a huge fan of the raw and acoustic sound/nature of the sitar and I actually fooled around with a lot of products- amps, pedals and pickups and what was just not able to maintain that acoustic character but still have the freedom to EQ it accordingly and/or use some effects which wouldn't take that character away but instead boost it. I often noticed that amps sounded nice without EQ levels but as soon you start equity, the quality of the tone becomes more metallic and sounded processed which is a very minor thing but to me sounded totally opposite to what I wanted. Being an acoustic instrument player, I wanted an Amp that sounded very real and full and had a lot of detail and depth. The A1+ not only gives me that, but also allows me to manipulate and hit the exact right frequencies to make a Sitar sound even stronger and bright, maintaining its acoustic nature. With so many other fun and interesting features it’s an all-in-one – Powerhouse!
5.What is next for Rishabh Seen? From Animals as Leaders covers to Steven Wilson covers. Tell us more.
Rishabh: More music than ever – In just a span of 13 months, I have released 9 videos out of which 2 are originals with my band, Mute The Saint and all these videos and my own music, has been well appreciated globally, and received more than 1.50 million views which I feel is bizzare when it comes to a combination of Sitar and Metal. To me, this just shows the possibilities. As much as I love and get inspired by all that, I think all this will hardly determine how long and how passionately I make my music. One thing is for sure, I am going to be working more and more hard on all this now, because I can see some hopes attached to what I am doing as well and how this has brought the attention back to the Indian music scene to some extent from the west. So more music, more videos and more concerts than ever from 2017 onwards!
6. Are there any more releases that we can expect from your solo avatar as well?
Rishabh: Yes, for sure! In that case, 2017 has a surprise for everyone. I shall be releasing a solo full length album as well featuring some legends and idols of mine but again with the idea and approach of sitar- this time being a bit more focused towards the ambient, post rock-ish , shoegaze sound along with Indian classical. Details for this shall be out by mid- next year.