Catching up with Mumbai-based musician, Vrishank Menon.
DEATH BY FUNGI is arguably one of the angriest, heaviest bands around right now. With their unique brand of hardcore, they’re quickly winning over more and more fans across the country. What many fans don’t realise is that Vrishank Menon, founder of Death by Fungi, showcases the sort of versatility that’s rare amongst metal musicians.
While he’s not busy ‘playing fast and destroying’ with DBF, he takes on the persona of Little Whales and plays the sort of music that would make the manliest of men want to talk about their feelings. In doing so, Vrishank quickly destroys the ‘narrow-minded metal head’ cliche. Moreover, the music he makes is fresh in terms of what the indie music scene in India has witnessed so far. While on one hand, he’s bridging the gap between the chaos of punk and heaviness of metal, on the other, he’s making a serious case for emo.
I started playing guitar when I was 5 and drums when I was 8. My dad got me into Metallica, Slayer and Iron Maiden in the third grade and that’s when I started liking faster, abrasive music. By 13, I was huge into punk and hardcore and I started writing tunes for my hardcore band, Death By Fungi which became a full band when I was 16. At the time, I also played guitar with some friends in high school and played a bunch of those battle-of-the-band type of competition but we never won anything.
Vrishank describes DBH as having a ‘fast, frantic, constantly changing sound’, and Little Whales as ‘calm and soothing’. However, most people don’t realise that for someone to create music that varied involves listening to a lot of different types of music. Vrishank lists Propagandhi, Mike Kinsella, Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine as his primary sources of inspiration.
I try not to base my identity too much on my music. If you ever listened to Death By Fungi, you’d think I was someone who is very angry, and if you listened to Little Whales, you’d think I’m very emotional, either of which I’m not. It all just helps me deal with the different things I feel and isn’t representative of me, as a whole individual.
Vrishank was also nice enough to list some of his favourite albums of all time.
I’d need weeks to answer this. Off the top of my head:
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Owen – Ghost Town
Propagandhi – Supporting Caste
Slowdive – Souvlaki
Madvillain – Madvillainy
MBV and I-Spy were close runner-ups.
Since this series is all about the best of Indian indie music, we asked Vrishank to pick out one local artist he loves.
I’m really listening to a lot of Prabh Deep, this Punjabi rapper from Delhi. I love the Sez beats and he’s got a really good flow. I think I can relate to it a little more because he raps about family and stuff like that.
If you like what Vrishank is doing, then support his music. Buy the music, go to his gigs, or even give him a high 5 if you ever see him around. Make sure to check out the latest DBF / Shepherd split once it’s out too – it’s been shaping up to be one incredible record.