The Kolkata alt rockers provide the soundtrack for the Quashiq Mukherjee directed Bengali film Gandu. We speak with vocalist Neel Adhikari about how that happened.
Kolkata alt rock band Five Little Indians have scored the soundtrack for the indie film Gandu. The grimy black and white, explicit underground Bengali movie has been made by the mysterious but intrepidly experimental filmmaker Q, aka Qaushiq Mukherjee, whose last release was Love In India. The film is premiering at the South Asian International Film Festival in New York.
We spoke with Neel Adhikari of Five Little Indians about the film and the soundtrack.
How did you end up scoring the film?
Well Q is a very good friend of ours. We hang out together sometimes, we watch movies and all that. He came and saw FLI at a gig, and he loved the vibe of he band and he thought it’d go really well with what he was planning to do, because all the songs in Gandu – he’s rapped it himself. We’ve provided the music behind it. So we’ve done a bit of backing vocals, but all the rap, it’s basically rap-rock, it’s all done by him. And the other thing that was special about the recording process for Gandu is that we practiced as a band, we came in with his lyrics and arranged the songs and everything, and then we went to the studio and took the entire thing, including vocals, live. So the end product, after the mix, has come out really organic and really in-your-face. It doesn’t sound slick, it’s slick in a very unslick way.
What’s the film about?
It’s about a loser. It’s about a guy who comes from a lower middle class Bengali family. But this guy’s into writing rap, he writes rap music in Bangla, and he gets pally with this riksha walla. His name is Gandu in the film, his real name is never revealed. Because people think he’s a bit of a misfit in his surroundings, everyone calls him Gandu, so he starts introducing himself as Gandu as well. He makes a friend who’s the second character, his name is Riksha. He’s a riksha fellow. They get into dope, they kinda form a band, he gets into the Asian Dub Foundation – there’s a scene where they play also – it’s about dope, it’s about sex, it’s about perceptions of religion, it’s about fear, it’s a full downward spiral.
Do you think this will get FLI a lot more exposure?
Actually, that isn’t something that we were thinking about when we were doing the film, we did it because it was creatively very stimulating. It was a super story and we really enjoyed doing the music, what comes out of it is something that was completely up in the air, and whatever comes we will accept it gracefully.
What are you working on now?
Right now we’re working on our album, we’ve got a host of new songs that we’re sitting on, and simultaneously, we’re recording the older songs. Our producer Miti Adhikari who’s worked with menwhopause, The Supersonics, he’s actually my cousin – he’s coming down in November, so we’ll be getting the final stages of the album done, and then he’ll take it back with him to the UK. You can expect it somewhere around January. We’re planning to release it ourselves. We’re not going with a label because we don’t want to give the rights away.
Watch the trailer of the film below (NSFW):