The alternative rock band Minaxi has just released a new LP and are prepared to give listeners something to appreciate from all aspects of music. Shrenik Ganatra, Liam Christian, and Steve Carlin come together as a band to document their views on life, love, freedom, and more. Also drawing inspiration from Hindustani pop and Pakistani rock, Minaxi blends cultures and tones for one unique sound.
“Stargazer” by Minaxi gives you a glimpse into the band’s recent LP 'Khwab', and is the first single off the album. The song starts with a bang, introducing a spirited guitar instrumental reminiscent of 90s rock, which reappears several times throughout the song and keeps you engaged. This track is driven by rich instrumental melodies, rather than lyrics, leaving lots of time to appreciate the musicality behind the song. “Stargazer” quiets down as the lyrics emerge to draw attention to the vocals, painting a picture of someone wanting to break free from a mold. The strong, vibrant lyrics complement the solid drum beat and guitar, leaving you feeling empowered and ready to dance. They sing of forgetting about the world around you long enough to learn to be true to yourself, and then the song fades with intense sounds of guitar feedback.
Check out “Stargazer” by Minaxi, here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Minaxi! Congratulations on the release of your new record, how long has “Khwab” been in the works? What does this album mean to you?
Thank you very much!
We formed the band in June 2018 and began working on material for Khwab. However, several songs were written well before the idea of this band became a reality. September 23, 2017 is when I wrote the demo for "Saturnine", and it was my first forays into incorporating the blend of shoegaze and psychedelia into the music. We ended up with 27 songs by mid-2019 out of which 10 strongest ones that fit the narrative of the LP were picked as A-sides. We have planned several B-side releases throughout the year as well.
When I first joined Minaxi, I hadn’t been in a band in New York before, and it meant, for me, a sense of community and collaboration that I was really craving at the time. The release of the album and the album itself is for me a symbol of friendship and collaboration and a reminder of why I love to do this.
I joined Minaxi last June after Khwab was recorded, so for me the album is a blueprint for future songwriting.
To me, it's a symbol of friendship, collaboration, accomplishment and evolution as an artist. In the two years that we had been working towards the album, we have evolved as people and artists. Listening to the final mixes and then going back to our rehearsal recordings from 2018, proves so! We also set the bar high on our collective performance. For instance, we recorded all the drums, bass and scratch tracks without a click track and in a single take. You may already have noticed this but if you didn't, the next time you listen to the album, you'll probably have renewed respect for our former drummer Andrew Coral, who did takes upon takes to get the drums right.
How do you structure your blends between Hindi and English? When you write music, are you more focused on one language rather than the other?
I approach songwriting from an emotional standpoint. Each song has an inherent emotional quotient, and the lyrics just happen to flow with the said emotion. Therefore, I don't approach a song thinking that it's going to be set in Hindi or English. It all happens in the moment; sometimes the words come out of your mouth in Hindi, some other times they're in English. It's something I have little control over, to be honest. I let my instincts guide me.
What is a unique aspect that each of you brings to the band? How long hasMinaxibeen working together, and what does “Minaxi” mean?
Hearing a song in a different drummer’s context helps me think about ways I can improve a song’s structure or incorporate a new fill or backbeat into my repertoire. Minaxi’s sound relies on lots of big, sweeping effects, so I enjoy figuring out how I can be the anchor that locks it into place.
While I play the bass, I am first and foremost a writer and guitarist. I think that allows me to see things from Shrenik’s perspective and contribute with more than just my own instrument in mind.
I bring the songs. It's all I got, haha!
I come into our rehearsals with the song and a blueprint for the sound. We then work it out collaboratively where each band member adds their own personality to the music. Playing a song to the band for the first time, to me is equivalent to the feeling of falling in love. The band playing it back together is the love that's being reciprocated. It's a weird analogy but it works in my head.
We've been together since June 2018. Steve joined in June 2019.Minaxi(me-naak-she) is a feminine name of Indian origin. It translates to a woman with beautiful, fish-like eyes; or a goddess who never stops watching over her devotees.
What challenges have you come across from putting out an album for the very first time? What is the advice you would give to musicians in a similar situation?
We're still figuring out the best way to approach the business side of things, you know, as the game is changing rapidly and a lot of what you discover is dictated by algorithms. Getting the masses to listen is a challenge but the solution to the same is the endless promotion and reaching out to independent blogs, music folks, etc. for features. We have been fortunate to have received support from our friends, local blogs such as bands do Brooklyn,Left Bank Magazine,The Deli and international press such as Rolling Stone (India)and rock Street Journal. However, we have been proactive on our social channels by populating them with content/visuals on a regular basis. It has helped attract a wider audience to our music.
I'd say in addition to writing good music, keep pushing out content. It will help in the long run.
Thank you once again for having us and supporting our music.