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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Singh

Spud In The Box Prep Debut Album Lead Feet Paper Shoes

The Mumbai alt rock band talk about hauling a lot of rare gear and taking their time with their first full length album

Spud In The Box have been taking their time to meticulously plan their debut full length album Lead Feet Paper Shoes over the past year, but as it turns out, too much is never enough. When asked if they’ll have a second single out following their new song ‘Manic’ ahead of the album release, guitarist Hartej Sawhney says, “After your suggestion we might need to hold an emergency band meeting after this to determine that.”

The album, due in mid-December or early January, features concept art (by photographer Parizad D, designers Mira Malhotra and Nihar Apte)and lyrics that tie into a bigger theme, although Sawhney prefers listeners figure that out themselves when they get the album. He does, however, add, “To put it vaguely, album was written at around a time when we as individuals were going through a lot of changes and transitions and trying to deal with them. So like any other person we tried on different things, masks and personas to figure out what works best and find what we're growing into.”

There’s a mix of slightly old live staples and all-new among the 12 tracks on Lead Feet Paper Shoes, like ‘Manic’, ‘Headrush’ and more. Sawhney says about the new songs, “One is a track where Rohan (Rajadhyaksha, vocalist-keyboardist) decided to have an all out synth party and another is a slower, mellower waltz-ier number. In fact they're so new that we don't even know how we're going to be translating these into a full band setup yet. But it's fun and exciting to figure that out.”

The band did a mix of what looks like splurging, borrowing and begging in terms of equipment – they booked time at Yash Raj Film Studios in Mumbai with sound engineers Shantanu Hudlikar and KJ Singh and used everything from grand pianos to wood-crafted pedals and an ukulele. Sawhney sums up, “Between Joshua, Sid, Ankit, Shantanu, KJ and I, we had about 10 different guitars used on this album. Strat for your twang, Les Paul for that big stadium rock power chord, Jazzmaster picking behind the bridge, a Jackson for the high gain stuff and a little bit of a seven-string we tried to experiment with.”

But even without a new album to their name, Spud In The Box have been gaining credibility for being dependable collaborators in the circuit. While Rajadhyaksha has been part of live sets with the likes of drum and bass producer Ox7gen and guitarist Siddharth Talwar has filled in for blues act Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, the band collectively took fans on a nostalgia trip at the launch of Indian independent music history web series Standing By in October, by covering everything from ‘4 Times and Once After’ by Superfuzz to ‘Colourblind’ by Colourblind. Sawhney talks about it like a historic night. The guitarist adds, “We'd love to do it again. Monica (Dogra, vocalist of Shaa’ir + Func) happened to be in the crowd before we played ‘Embrace’ and joined us on stage for the song with zero rehearsal but slaaaaaayed the song. It was awesome.”

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