This exciting band from India (yes, you read it right) is fresh and full of life. As one of the titles of their tracks – you feel the summer in your lungs when you listen to them! They’re like a mixture of The Strokes and Beach House – and who’s gonna say no that?
The F16s play alternative dance music borne out of frustration with a barren and flaccid cityscape. The band has 2 EPs out, one named ‘Kaleidoscope’ Consisting of seven songs, which acts as an effective acid test, laying the groundwork for an arresting live set and the other EP titled ‘Nobody’s Gonna Wait’ recorded at the Converse Rubber tracks Studio in Brooklyn, NYC.
If you’d like to listen to their whole album Triggerpunkte, here’s their BandCamp profile, too.
Sound: Kaleidoscope proves how a band can use electronica to win over both bassheads and rock fans. On the same page as bands like The Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Vampire Weekend, The F16s also drive into the dance floor with electronica influences ranging from trip hop to dubstep. While the other members knew their electronica and had similar musical leanings, guitarist Krishnaswamy got an initiation. “There’s so much electronica out there. I’m barely scratching the surface right now.” The guitarist adds that newer material is moving into “much calmer territory” although The F16s continue to work on heavier, rock-oriented songs. At their live gigs, they follow American elecro-alt rock band Mutemath’s lead and switch instruments around for a noisy closing jam, all drums beating and guitars on overdrive.
Big Break: Even before the release of their debut seven-track EP, Kaleidoscope in August, The F16s were playing festivals such as India Bike Week, the first edition of which was held in Goa this year. As soon as the EP released, the band performed in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Work and Play: When we spoke to them, three out of five members, who are still in college, were prepping to reappear for some of their exams, but Fernandez says that their sole focus would be music once college is out of the way. That, and evading the police. Says Fernandez, “We used to get caught by cops. It was for the usual – drunk driving and bar fights. We ended up in the police station once and spent time taking a couple of pictures and just talking.”
On The Cards: Although The F16s usually stay away from college competitions, they played at Hornbill International Rock Contest in Nagaland and later head to perform at the semifinals of IIT Bombay’s Livewire band competition. The band agrees they could use the prize money to fund their album and jams. Says Krishnaswamy, “It costs a bomb to jam and we can’t afford to book a jam room for a whole day.” Fernandez says Kaleidoscope was recorded entirely from the band’s earnings from gigs and competitions over the last year, but feels competitions often don’t take music seriously. Radhakrishnan adds, “We do competitions for two reasons – one is to reach out to new audiences and college organizers, who can get us more gigs, and the other is the money.” The F16s will also play at the three-day Magnetic Fields Festival in Rajasthan and a few gigs in Delhi and Gurgaon, before winding up in Goa to usher in the new year.