ViceVersa, the brainchild of Bangalore-based Manas Ullas and Mumbai-based Rohit P-Man Pereira, have been creating waves cross the nation with their stand out music since the formation in 2011. The band that collects influences from various genres like Reggae, Dubstep and Rock n’ Roll have come a long way with 1 album and 2 EPs in a very short period of time and are back in action. We caught up with bassist Rohit P-Man Pereira before the live electronic band premier their upcoming single, Saviour, with Drum and Bass India.
Rohit P-Man Pereira spoke to The Owl about their previous work, their latest single, upcoming collaborations and a lot more. Check out the complete interview here:
Before we start with, we at FRR would like to congratulate the band on winning the ‘Best Electronica Artist Jury’s Choice at the Radio City Freedom Awards 2016.’
Q) It has been 4 years now, 1 album 2 EPs under your name. A bassist from Mumbai and A producer from Bangalore coming together. How did it all fall into place?
Rohit Pereira: I have known Manas for some 15 years now. 4 years back he made me hear some tunes he had been working on, I offered to put down some vocals. We both liked what came out of that and decided to make a project with these tunes. ViceVersa was born! I took one of the tracks we worked on and asked if Sidd Coutto would sing on one of them. I have known Coutto now again since the beginning, being a fan of him and knowing what a versatile musician he is, I couldn’t think of anyone better to ask. Loved what he did with the track and the vibe he added to it. One track lead to another, lead to asking him to join us on stage, lead to Coutto being full-time ViceVersa member! I in the early days was a roadie for Coutto and his band Zero, and now I have the honour and joy of saying I am in a band with him. I am blessed.
Q) We have always been curious about the writing process? Over the 3 past projects and the upcoming single. What has been ViceVersa’s biggest inspiration when it comes to the writing process? And above all, the jam session, given that you and Sidd from Mumbai and Manas being from Bangalore.
Rohit Pereira: Songwriting initially was done mostly over the internet. Me and Manas would email each other ideas. Now Manas works on one set of tracks in Bangalore, I work in Mumbai on another set with Abhishek Ghatak, our producer at Headroom Studios in Mumbai. Then Coutto adds his vocals on the tracks. Some tracks we work with different musicians, Vishal Dadlani from Pentagram sang on ‘Wave‘ on Blunt Force Aroma (BFA), Jonita Gandhi sang on ‘Lose Control‘ and Bassister coproduced it, Bangalore rapper Brodha V and Naezy sang on ‘Tear Em Apart‘ and many more collabs. I love working with different people on the tracks, each of them bringing in their on vibes and adding their flavours to the songs making it that much more special. The new single ‘Saviour‘ me and Coutto sat and worked it out in a hotel room in Goa last year in February when we were paying. There is actually no hindrances to the songwriting process and inspiration comes from anything and everything.
Q) ‘Get Rowdy’ with Mr Doss went viral and was followed by a massive 11 city national tour. How did the whole collaboration with Mr Doss pan out? And can we see a more of ViceVersa and Mr Doss?
Rohit Pereira: Mr. Doss remixed our track ‘Lose Control‘ and I liked what he did with the song. I asked him if he would be up for working on a track together and he was on. I played him this tune I had and he fleshed it out. Then took that and sat with Ghatak and viola, ‘Get Rowdy‘ was born. We did the Get Rowdy tour bringing best of ViceVersa and Mr. Doss energies to the clubs and it was insane! I loved Doss’ work ethics and his music style and sensibilities. and how he also gets my style and so yes, more from ViceVersa x Mr. Doss is happening! Mr. Doss is the selecta for ViceVersa shows too.
Q) Tell us something about your upcoming single, ‘Saviour’ releasing later this month.
Rohit Pereira: ‘Saviour‘, our new single, Me and Coutto worked on this track last year in a hotel room in Goa. We were getting ready to go for soundcheck and I told him I had this song idea for a nice chill reggae dub track and he always carries his “mobile recording set up”. We laid down the music, I sang the parts out and we almost played the song live at the gig. Thank god we didn’t! Back in Mumbai, I took that tune and sat with our producer Abhishek, recorded scratch vocals and Ghatak reworked the whole song to what it is now. Dinkar Dwivedi from Bone Broke, who also plays guitars for the ViceVersa live band set up, played guitars on the track. After hearing Coutto’s vocal parts, I replaced most of what I recorded with his vocals. You cannot sing them better than Coutto!
The lyrics to the song is about being positive and keeping away from all the negativity out there. Written over a year ago, the lyrics I guess now make more sense with all the topics of intolerance and hate being thrown up all the time, let love be the only weapon tonight indeed.
Q) Since the formation in 2012 to date what would say is the bands ‘Moment to cherish forever’ and ‘The most embarrassing’ moment’?
Rohit Pereira: Moment to cherish forever is the love we get from the fans, to see people groove and go mental to the songs we wrote, scream out the lines to the lyrics we have written, it doesn’t get better than that! But, if I had to chose, would be during the first New Wave Festival in Goa in 2014, during our song ‘All Blunts Blazin‘ someone passed me a joint on stage! That was epic! The lyrics to song goes ‘Me wanna blaze‘ and there I was, just doing that. Like a boss.
Embarrassing moment, well nothing too embarrassing, technology and equipment failures on stage is quite embarrassing each time it happens. We played in Jaipur once, last year in January, and this dude gets on stage, walks up to me, during the song, I am singing my verse for the song ‘Habibi‘, and he shakes my hand and moves me to face to one section in the audience and asks his friend to click a pic of us! Funny more than embarrassing.
Q) Over the years what are the changes the band has seen internally with-in the scene and almost the fans? This is the perfect time to independent musician out there today?
Rohit Pereira: Well the scene now is that bands and artists have to work really hard. Be it in the studio, or touring, or promoting their music, the competition out there is intense and you have to be really special to stand out from the clutter in the scene now. Limitations and trend following will get you 5 mins of fame, but to be more than that, it’s just work work work. And that does pay off, see Nucleya.
Q) Nominated for the GiMA awards, won the Radio City awards. What more can we see from ViceVersa in 2016?
Rohit Pereira: After ‘Saviour’, next up is a collab with singer Apeksha Dandekar which we are really excited about as well. It’s a bilingual track and we just wrapped up shooting a music video for it and post this, will be full on working towards releasing and promoting the release. Besides that bunch of collabs, one with Mr. Doss too coming up. And yes, hoping more gigs to happen as well.