Grammar, War, Their Love for Cindy Lauper,
and the Letting Out of All Emotions.
a moniker that comes to signify the exact opposite of what is
transmitted in their eloquent music Irepress are the latest and brightest of
instrumental heavy bands to have an album released by a
respectable indie. Samus
Octology literally has it all, yet unlike their sub genre
peers (sorry bros!) it wastes little time building moods and
concentrates its powers in heavy dynamics. Not so quickly after
checking it out we got in touch with the Boston bros Shan and
Sheel who joined by Jarrett answered a few of our questions.
-Your logo reminds me of the one from The Goonies, am I just
Shan: Your shit smells the best my
friend. The Goonies are the exact way we lived our youth and try
to still live by.
-Whatís you first musical memory?
Shan: Man, honestly besides riding
in the car with my parents when we were toddlers listening to
Roxette on the radio, it was definitely going to these Indian
community gatherings and watching my dad and mom sing at these
thing. Usually after a while we would go out to the parking lot
and play pickup games of football. Sheel remembers those days. "Charayu!!!!"
Itís tough to pick out one though. My older cousins from Jersey
got me into 70's classic rock. I remember listening to a lot of
Michael Jackson on our record player. Also, I remember my uncle
giving me this mix that had "Maneater" (Hall & Oates), and
"Horse With No Name" (America) on it. I loved it, but I canít
lie, I love Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.
Sheel: Specifically being at a Hindu temple with my
parents and watching the live Indian classical musicians perform
and everything my brother Shan mentioned.
Jarrett: My parents taking me to see the Beach Boys and
Roy Orbison when I was five. I was addicted from that point on.
-Why the moniker Irepress?
Sheel: It actually is not a real
word. I guess the correct spelling linked to the meaning would
be 'IRREPRESS,' but thatís not even a real word. Itís cool that
you can search 'irepress' in a search engine and we are one of
the only things that appear because we chose a word that doesnít
belong in the dictionary. It means the opposite of this:
reēpress Ėverb (used with object) 1- to keep under control,
check, or suppress (desires, feelings, actions, tears, etc.).
2- to keep down or suppress (anything objectionable). 3- to put
down or quell (sedition, disorder, etc.). 4- to reduce (persons)
to subjection. 5- Psychoanalysis. to reject (painful or
disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings, or impulses) from the
conscious mind. Ėverb (used without object) to initiate or
Jarrett: When we started this band we were really focused
on putting the idea of emotional release into the music and we
searched for a name that would convey the same thing. We all had
the same feeling that music was where we went to let out
everything we felt whether it was the good the bad or the ugly.
The act of repression is pushing things so deep inside that they
no longer exist and music, for us, was the exact opposite. The
name 'irepress' is meant to be just that, the letting out and
releasing of all emotion without any sense of holding back or
pushing things inside.
Shan: Itís pronounced ih-ruh-press, not I-repress. C'mon
everyone say "it", and now use the way you say "it" and start it
-Samus Octology is great. I am surprised, especially
because instrumental music rarely manages to hold my attention
but this did. How was the process of creating these songs?
Shan: Well we pretty much were
given the choice to quit or just keep writing after we lost our
singer, Shomik Bhattacharya. Guess what we decided to do??!?!
Everyone pretty much comes up with their own parts. Sheel and I
usually work together and the rest work their parts out. We put
Ďem together and then we have a tasty enchilada. We have been
playing together for 10 years, so I mean writing together comes
to us the same as farting.
Sheel: I wish we recorded it live instead of tracking
separately. The performance would have been better. I also wish
we had more time and money to work on overall sounds. (drums,
-From 2 singers you went to being an instrumental band, why? Any
chance that you will ever incorporate vocals into your music?
Shan: We have tried experimenting,
and who knows, on our next album we may have a few. Right now
vocals are put on hold. Let the music do the singing. I
personally wouldnít mind hearing some vocals in the future if
everyone agrees, but we will see.
Sheel: We lost both singers when we went all went off to
college. We continued to write music without singers and we
ended up staying instrumental because we were happy the way it
was going without vocals. I love singing and melodies, but I am
not sure if vocals will ever play a predominant role in this
band in the future. We have talked about having guest singers
come and pick tracks off Samus Octology and put their
spin to it. People have taken stabs at it before and there have
been some recordings that might surface at some point in the
-There are a few bands that we could consider your musical
peers, do you feel influenced by any of them?
Sheel: I donít really know exactly
who our peers are, but I can take guesses. I have never actually
heard the music of a lot of bands that we are compared to. We
have been compared to Isis, Explosions in the Sky, Pelican and I
am not personally influenced by any of them. I actually just
heard Explosions in the Sky for the first time this year. The
songs on our record were written almost 5 years ago so I would
say none of these songs on the record were musically influenced
by whoever our peers might be, but we do respect the amount of
success that the bands I mentioned have achieved. Right now, I
am influenced by Michael Jackson and the people I play music
with inside and outside of the band.
Shan: I donít even need to ask who you think our musical
peers are because everyone out there does. For the record, we
started writing instrumental songs in 2001. None of us heard any
of the instrumental rock/metal (or whatever you want to call it)
bands out there now. So for me, it is a 100% NO that we are
influenced by them. Personally, Iím influenced by Cyndi Lauper,
and Gilbert Gottfried. To me the Deftones, Pink Floyd and a lot
of Eastern Influences, like Nitin Sawney, and Zakir Hussein are
-What do you hope that I as a music fan get out of listening
to Samus Octology?
Shan: For me I hope you interpret
it in any way you want. For me listening to music is a personal
experience. I take in the emotions Iím feeling at the time,
mixed with the worlds beauty and brutality, and thatís how I
describe our music. Itís brutal beauty. Itís not our job to tell
you what you should get out of it, but we just hope you respect
the musicianship and like it as a whole entity.
Sheel: The ability to feel like you are Robert Parish.
-Thereís something thatís starting to bother me about
musicians, I mean everyone has their own opinion, but sometimes
when I read the stuff they have to say about politics I feel
embarrassed that I spend time listening to music made by such
morons, whatís your opinion of politics in music and music in
Shan: First off I can probably
agree that none of us agree with what is going on overseas. To
me itís about human casualty, American or not, and its all over
politics. Itís all opinions. We are all human beings and in the
grand scheme of things is it really worth losing your life over
so a bunch of politicians names can be written in books. You
never see the dead soldiers names written in books. Only those
who were Ďpolitikiní.
As far as I can say in regards to bands speaking down about
politics. Well thatís their opinion obviously. The majority of
people in this country have never even left their homes, so for
people to talk down about this country/politics is just nonsense
to me. In other countries these musicians would be incarcerated
or shot for speaking down about their own country. Here in the
U.S we have the right to speak about what we want to without
getting in trouble. Go overseas and see what our military faces
everyday. We have many friends who are fighting the battle, or
have fought it, and they are more than happy to be living in
this country. I feel privileged to be here. I have seen the
lowest form of poverty (India), and couldnít even grasp what
those people are going through.
Poverty in the U.S is nothing compared to that outside of the
U.S. Sure I donít agree with every policy that this government
addresses, but Iím not gonna go and bad mouth everything they
do, because they give me the right to live in peace. After all
isnít peace what every motherfucker in Miss America beauty
pageant contestant wants. People take things too much for
granted, and they should just be happy they arenít having to
live in malaria, or any disease stricken villages, and drink the
same water that people shit and piss in. Sheel, and I lost one
of our close family members on 9-11, and trust me, all we wanted
to do was be angry at the people who allowed this, but you know
what you canít continue to be angry at the world or at the
U.S.A. You have to take the positive things out of it and live
your life in harmony with what is going on in the world. Embrace
I donít have anything against musicans talking about politics in
music, but just make sure you are aware of the policies to the
fullest. After 9-11 happened Irepress put out a 3 song EP where
our singer, Shomik Bhattacharya, spoke about his experiences
with 9-11. He was in the heart of NYC when it happened. Although
his words were moving, we just didnít want to be viewed as this
anti-America band. Thatís about all I have to say about this
subject. The only thing I have to say about Music in
Politics/War is props to those drummer boys who used to walk
playing the snare during the civil, and revolutionary wars.
Those guys got balls!!. Yeah I took that a little literally but
thatís all I have to say
-I am always searching for musical gems I might have missed,
please list a few albums that you consider important in your
Downward is Heavenward-HUM
Relationship of Command-At-The-Drive-In
Opposite of December-Poison the Well
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence-Glassjaw
And the Glass Handed Kites-Mew
Songs of Early Summer-Cursive
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness-Smashing Pumpkins
Adrenaline/Around the Fur-Deftones
Rage Against the Machine
Until Your Heart Stops-Cave-in
Last Night in Town-Everytime I Die
Shan: All albums by Pink Floyd, Adrenaline by
Deftones, Youíd Prefer to Be an Astronaut by Hum, The
Blue Album by Weezer, Thriller by Michael Jackson,
Sheís So Unusual by Cyndi Lauper, All of Zeppelins albums,
Kwelity by Talib Kweli, Aenima by Tool,
Liberation by Karsh Kale, Sacred Chants of Shiva by
Craig Pruess, Sea Change by Bedroom Heroes. I could list
a hundred more but I canít think of Ďem right now. Iím sure that
albums that my other mates listed are on my list that I didnít
-Whatís next for the band?
Sheel: Hopefully an awesome tour.
Shan: Well we already have 4 songs fully written for the
album due out in 08', and I think the stuff is definitely more
interesting. It is still Irepress. We plan on doing some tours
this coming year. Maybe late fall get on a full US tour, and
spread our music to some unknown territories. Besides that we
will continuously write, and play shows as much as we can. The
best part of Irepress is we donít plan how we want our songs to
sound. We just write and it seems that whenever we finish a
song, we all say. ĎDamn, this is the best song weíve ever
written.í The new stuff is a lot more driven and more powerful.
We believe it will cause necks to snap and dicks to erect, and
pussies to purr.
Irepress Official Site
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