Mangaluru: It was a “WICK”mas nite, when Doctors and aspiring doctors from the city forayed into the unlikely world of music in a big way when they performed live to a packed house at G6 Music Cafe-Valencia here couple of weeks ago, during Christmas season. The fans and friends of this all medicos band simply follow them wherever they go and perform- for the reason that they are truly amazing, and talented. And the members of this amazing and talented band call themselves as “WICK”- featuring Dr Dinesh Jayaram: MD Dermatology KS Hegde Hospital as Bassist for the band; Dr. Jeetu Mohanachandran MS Orthopaedics KS HegdeHospital as Guitarist and backing vocal; Navneet Rao as Drummer, who is also the Music producer for’ Chandbibi and the “Waste Candidates’ Bengaluru; Dr.George Jacob MS Orthopaedics on Lead Vocalist, Saxophone and drums, and the new member of the band,Dr Abhyu, an Intern at Kmc Manipal-hailing from Nepal, he’s band’s lead guitarist.
From the hurly-burly of attending to patients and the burden of studying, it indeed is a far cry for the medicos to turn musical, but these guys have made time for music and performed in quite a few gigs, which the band members say “It has made us proud. It has given us a lot of satisfaction that the audience like our performance and we feel happy that we entertain them”. Dr George says “Although the medicos struggle to find time to sit together to give shape to their musical venture. But we consider it a dream, a major achievement, though it’s bit away from our profession, but we love playing music side-by-side along with our medical profession. Music provides us the relaxation after a hard day’s hard work”.
Doctor or Musician, which career would you choose? But in the case of ‘WICK’ band members they have chose both the careers- to be Doctors, as well as a part-time Musicians. Because they feel that the joy in writing music and creating something new, when you sit down with a few friends and put together a few notes and a rhythm there’s just magic. Then getting to perform, to show others what you have made – it’s incredible. You’re terrified because you’re showing your deepest emotions and they might be rejected, but you’re thrilled because you have an excuse to be completely yourself. And these guys are doing absolutely great when they perform live on stage-they got the rhythm, they got the style and they got the charisma.
The founder of the European Doctors’ Orchestra, a British double-bass player and retired family physician named Michael Lasserson, has said, ” For the doctors, music is a means whereby one is lifted away from the essential loneliness of clinical decision-making and action into a world of a common enthusiasm and endeavour as the group searches for the beauty of sound and the composer’s intent, and those few hours have what can only be described as a healing function.”. And for that matter for Dr George, Dr Jeetu, Dr Dinesh and Navneet – music and medicine, both have been appealing because they connect things together at levels that might not be immediately apparent. And as doctors and musicians, these guys are doing one helluva job treating the patients, and at the same time entertaining music buffs.
The band ‘WICK’ has been a much appreciated live act throughout Mangaluru and surrounding areas. The band members have colourful embodiment of talents that spreads positivity around them. Their performances and their music has brought a sense of freshness which grabs the listener with a new found energy. Their unique western rock influences has brought them firmly into the spotlight of mainstream.Their music is full of life and you will enjoy their performance when they go live. It is the expression of four distinct musical sensibilities that dissolve into each other to bring forth a truly unique sound. Their music is often so well blended that you will experience the honey like smooth consistency in it. No doubt, ‘WICK’ is one of the upcoming thrilling, innovative acts on the music rock scene, with the unique reputation of enthralling audiences in any kind of setting-from college music festivals to pub gigs.
Following are the excerpts from the phone interview with ‘WICK’ band member Dr George Jacob :
Q : Can you tell us about the formation/reformation of the group? What made you and how did you all got-together?
The group started with Dinesh Jeetu and myself, we joined K S Hegde for our post graduation and happened to mention to each other our love of music and then the instruments we played. Navneet our drummer and myself got to know each other in Manipal when were in our respective undergraduate courses there. We were both on different bands as I was in KMC and he was in MIT. We met on a few occasions and played a few gigs and band competitions. I’m usually the drummer of the band but as we didn’t have a vocalist I was forced to start singing.Three years post Manipal I ran into Navneet in Bangalore by coincidence and told him about the small group were playing with in Mangaluru now. Navneet was ready to help and agreed to come play with us whenever we were scheduled for a performance.
Q : What do you feel about the music industry today?
Today’s music industry is really merging. We find a lot of bands experimenting and blending genres. It’s not the same definite genres we had before such as rock, classical, jazz and so on. We hear so many bands blending their expertise across genres to really deliver a unique niche and sound. Something else worth mentioning is the popularity YouTube has brought to covers where you have popular bands releasing tracks and then the huge community of online musician cover and add their own take not the track, sometimes making it sound even better than the original! Listeners are quite keen to listen to mash ups and covers of songs these days.
Q : Are you all planning to be a full fledged band or just a fun ?
We play for fun and our basically our own enjoyment. We all have very busy schedules as doctors and Navneet is always busy in Bangalore with various music productions and gigs. So we intend to keep playing whenever we can and yes definitely have a lot of fun!
Q : Do you think singer/songwriters are the best of their own work or do you believe some cover versions can be better then the original?
Yes as I said before some cover artists come out with some amazing spin offs on the original tracks. But we do have to remember the singers and songwriters we start form the drawing board. it always easy to colour in the picture once you’ve been shown what lines to stay with in. So in a purist fully musical point of view the creativity and genius it takes to write a strong from scratch should still be given to the original writers.
Q : As you are starting out your career in the music industry what are the steps do you plan on taking to reach your goal?
We aren’t planning a big career in music as such but we do plan on working on some of our originals and maybe uploading a few tracks online. The goal is still just to have a good time and hopefully deliver the same to the listeners
Q : What courses/classes would you recommend someone to if they want to be a successful musician in the music field ?
Becoming good at an instrument requires house of practice and dedications. Becoming exceptional and mastering it requires some theoretical knowledge of music. Believe me and ask anyone who plays an instrument there is a big difference between the guys who know their theory and those who know just their instrument. It is never to late to start learning an instrument it just takes some determination. And for the guys still in school formal music training and doing your ABRSM or trinity music exams from London is well worth the time and effort. India really lacks musicians in the brass and woodwind section, everyone wants to play guitar and percussion. Woodwinds and brass really are wonderful instruments and so rare to hear in a band in this side of the world.
Q : From your experience so far, have you found to be most challenging? And how are you dealing with it?
Challenges for a band are one finding time to practice when everyone is free and available. Number two is finding a place to practice where you won’t annoy and get annoyed by the neighbours. Equipment is a big challenge when your starting up a band, instruments and the electronics are not cheap. Luckily we had most of our equipment our biggest issues were time and place to practice. We keep volumes low and we practice just about whenever we find the time even if its over a nightcap with just the acoustic guitars.
Q : What kind of music influences your song writing? Are there any artists that inspire you?
Were are all pretty old school in the band. But we do have our favourites, we all agree on classic rock and the blues Dinesh does like his heavy metal though. John Mayer and Eric Clapton are favourite artists. Navneet does a lot of jazz and funk which is great. He plays with a group in Bangalore called Chandbibi and the waste candidates, check them out!
Q : Are you planning on releasing any music CD of your own shortly? What’s next stored for you guys? Any upcoming events?
We haven’t thought of our next gig but we would like to do a few more before we say goodbye to each other and Mangaluru.
Q: What’s your advice for budding musicians who want to reach greater heights?
Practice practice practice there are two types of musicians the really talented gifted ones and the ones that are really determined to become good. But trust me even the talented ones fall behind the hard working not so talented guys if they don’t practice alone and together as a band.
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