Bloodywood is a multi-genre band that fuses traditional Indian folk music with heavy metal and rock. The band was formed in 2013 by Karan Katiyar, who plays the guitar and sings lead vocals. They are also composed of Jayant Bhadula on vocals and growls, Roul Kerr rapping as well as various touring members. The band’s unique sound has garnered them a huge following across India and beyond. Their music is heavily influenced by their cultural roots and they often incorporate elements of Bollywood music into their songs.
At Academy Manchester, RAMzine’s Dale Unsworth (Lamestream Lydia) had a brief chat with Bloodywood’s Raoul Kerr, delving into the band’s message and their take on nu-metal.
RAMzine: I wouldn’t say you guys are political but then again, the type of music you make and the people you are… make it political?
Raoul: Yes. We are a political band as in we are social… what happened was that all of us wanted to make music that carried a message and music that could make a difference. We just never talked about it to each other. And when we had the opportunity to do ‘Ari Ari’, the decision was to interpret it as “despite our differences, we are on”. ‘Ari Ari’ is, for all intents and purposes, the Indian version of “OI!” it’s just a chant, it doesn’t mean anything. But “there are many eggs in the key” also means we share one life. But then, we decided to call it “despite our differences, We are one” and interpreted it that way.
It was just so natural the way it happened, withhout even talking about it before, we were like “Yeah, f*ck yeah, let’s do it this way”.
Then we followed with ‘Jee Veeray’, which obviously talks about mental health and battling depression. And it’s the perfect combination. It’s being able to make a difference and make a difference to the world, maybe change the world, and make kickass music at the same time, and it’s everything we want to do with our lives. So, yeah it was a very natural progression [for us].
RAMzine: Musically speaking, your band falls into the nu-metal category. A younger audience may view this genre as ‘cool’ by those but it was actually quite unpopular in the late 90s and early 2000s due to its controversial nature. Rap enthusiasts felt that nu-metal was too metal while metal fans didn’t appreciate the rap elements. Essentially, nu-metal became an “othering” genre.
Raoul: Yeah I feel you, I get that. The thing is, that’s where I think I agree and disagree with you both. Because I’d say it’s the genre, people love to hate or hate to love, because it’s both. Because when you think of Limp Bizkit, no one epitomises it more than them in the sense where they got lots of sh*t publicly from within the music community, in the metal community, as well as the rest of the world. But at the same time, they also have one of the biggest fan bases ever, their success was crazy during the early 2000s. So you know, there’s one thing to just hate someone, but the point is, there are so many people who love them too, myself included. I mean, I may not be into it for the lyrics and what they’re talking about, but the music and the energy is undeniable. And also in defence of Limp Bizkit, when you hear the cover of ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, I guess it’s more Fred Durst than Limp Bizkit, it really does speak to the depth of the person, like people are just trashing on and stuff it’s like, dude, this guy’s way more than this dude who’s just fucking around. And even Linkin Park, would you include Linkin Park in that category?
RAMzne: Just to clarify that we love nu-metal here! Linkin Park was initially categorized as such, but the genre evolved into a more experimental form without any specific label. Some people tend to be fixated on categorizing and naming genres. I’m surprised that Indian Folk Metal isn’t included in your genre description, even though to an extent it is.
Raoul: It came with us, that sub genre came with Bloodywood. So maybe it’ll take a little time before it is described that way, but I know what you mean, man, I totally understand what you’re talking about. But I would be on the side of the people who just be like, “Yo, it just sounds great.” But I am also someone who’s really, or we also as a band, are just people who would want to have a good message, or like just substantial lyrics and stuff that’s not harmful or toxic or doesn’t tie into the stuff we believe is wrong with the world. So yeah, like we can appreciate people musically, but the people we really love and respect have both the music and the message, which is why we do what we do.
RAMzine: You guys have a lot of very positive aspects of your music as well as the outside charity work. Which is fantastic.
Raoul Kerr: Thank you. I guess our end game is to use our music but then also the platform that music creates for us as individuals and as a band, to use that position we gain over time, whatever that may be, if it’s fame or the position of global influence, like the money that comes with it. The bottom line is, it’s all a form of power, right? And we want to use that power to reshape the world however we can. So the end game is to become the biggest band that we can become and to make the biggest impact that we can. It’s just the goal for so many and it ends with the younger people that are also really socially conscious.
RAMzine: It’s also important because you’re also influencing a very young audience, which is the right way to go.
Raoul Kerr: Definitely. Yeah, it’s part of our responsibility. I feel we have a really diverse age group of listeners, the younger audience is definitely growing fast. But we also have people on all sides of the spectrum listening to it. So it’s almost like anyone, especially the younger kids, we want them to grow up and like continue the fight and do whatever it takes after our time is done. But also anyone who’s willing right now, there’s no time like the present, so it’s both it’s a combination of the promise for the future, but also the biggest shot we can take at the present.
RAMzine: Fantastic. No time like the present!
RAMzine: All right. So we’re gonna end it by asking you to sign some stuff. if that’s cool?
Raoul Kerr: Sure man!
RAMzine: Yeah. I had to go around trying to find your album but couldn’t really find it in time.
Raoul: Okay no problem.
RAMzine: It is on order.
Raoul: Haha, thank you!
RAMzine: In the meantime, we had to settle for a bootleg.
Raoul Kerr: What’s this? Welcome to Bloodywood! HA, okay I dig it! What is Collinwood I’ve never seen this, what’s this dude’s name? George Clooney looking like a badass. I’ve never seen this ever.
RAMzine: Neither have I. The only thing I know about this thing as George Clooney is in it, and it’s another heist thing. And I remember seeing an advert for it in 2001.
Raoul: No way dude, I have to watch this movie. Look at this lineup also. Yeah, it’s worthwhile. Like this guy’s the dude from shameless, like the US Shameless.
RAMzine: Yeah, that’s William H Macy.
Raoul: All right. Where am I signing though? I don’t want to ruin this cover though, it’s too crazy to see George Clooney all turned up.
RAMzine: That’s amazing. Thank you so much.
Raoul: My pleasure man, thank you for covering us and helping us put the word out. See you guys. Thank you!