By Prasanta Phukon
Thunder’s Cave, the metal core band from Nongstoin, is going a few notes lower this season to record a cover music video for Christmas.
The five-member band is working with Nongstoin-based Khmih Creative Society, which fosters art and creative expression and promotes young artistes, for the Christmas music video. “The song is a cover of Mary did you know written by Mark Lowry in 1984. It talks about the coming of Jesus our Saviour. Sometimes there are misconceptions about how we celebrate Christmas today with worldly pleasures. But this is against the will of God,” said band manager Pdiangbok Diengdoh.
The song was recorded at Groove Pro Studio in Nongstoin and was mixed and recorded by Maitphang Syiemiong. When asked about the release date, the band members said they want it to be a surprise. “Soon before Christmas,” was what Diengdoh had to say.
Formed in 2012, Thunder’s Cave is probably the first Indian metal group to record a Christmas video. Over the years, only a few metal bands globally have turned their inverted crucifixes around and switched from the heaviest, loudest and most rip-roaring odes to mellowed Christmas songs.
The band, which has already got a foothold in the local music industry, is going places. It recently completed a tour of Bengaluru.
The group — comprising John Gilbert Marwein as vocalist, Bankitbok Rani and Khrawbor Myrthong as guitarists, Banjopbor Myrthong as drummer and Amos Syiemlieh as bassist — made an impact in 2015 with its first album, Mait Shaphrang, which consisted of Khasi metal songs.
A year later, the band’s song on cleanliness was adjudged the best theme song at the ‘Battle of the Bands’ at Nongkhnum music Festival. Now, the young musicians are working on their first official video of the song We Will Rise, the teaser of which is already on YouTube. It was shot in Nongstoin by local filmmaker Rinaldi Kharbani.
“We will release the video soon and we are planning a second album as well,” said John.
Thunder’s Cave is the first prominent band from West Khasi Hills and the journey has been a difficult one.
“Coming from a rural area where most of the youth look for government jobs, it was not at all easy for us to break the convention. It becomes more challenging when there are less promoters of music in the state. It is really difficult to risk a secured career but this (the band) has become a stepping stone in our life because all of us are passionate about music and wanted to do this. However, we will not be reluctant to take any alternate job provided it does not affect our music career,” said Bankitbok.
Pdiangbok sounded determined while talking about the problems faced by artistes, especially musicians, in the state and their struggles. “We cannot afford to record albums and there was no one to sponsor us for the album we released. We had to spend ourselves. We have faced several difficulties which almost broke us apart. But it is not good to leave it (the task) undone as we have to take up the gauntlet and overcome through hard work and patience,” he added.
According to Banjopbor, if music did not happen then they would have had a normal life with a regular job.
Initially, the band played hard rock but they decided to change the genre of music to metal core in 2016. John said though there are many talented and well-known bands in the state, “we are inspired by Snow White and Adroit and of course some Western bands”.
“Every song that we perform gives us great joy. We enjoy every moment of it,” he added.
The members feel that they still have room for improvement through hard work, dedication, self-motivation and mutual understanding among themselves.
“It is impossible to predict what will happen next but we hope that we will be able to write more songs, go to the studio and record more songs and videos to become great rock stars,” Khrawbor said.
The musicians sought local music lovers’ support as they get ready for the release of the Christmas video and look forward to the happy tidings in the next year. “We also wish our fans and well-wishers Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” they said.
For newcomers in the music industry, Thunder’s Cave has an important message. “Understand the type of music that you are doing. There may be ups and downs initially but you should stay put and focus on your goal,” they said.
Photos courtesy Thunder's Cave.