If you’re a Malayalee like me, the first thing that you’ll relate the word to is the food since avial is a vegetable dish to us Mallus.

Getting to the point – Avial, the band!

It’s been around quite a while now and their debut self-titled album which came out in 2008 under the label “Phat-Phish Records” created a new genre of music. Simply put, that genre is “Alternate Malayalam Rock”.  If you’re listening to the band for the first time, you’ll hear some insane guitar riffs and licks with really progressive drum and bass parts, followed by the vocalist belting out lyrics in fluent Malayalam

Avial is Rex Vijayan(Guitars), Binny Issac(Bass), Tony John(Vocals), and Mithun Puthanveetil(Drums).  Their first album was actually a bundle of surprises; because it had everything you would expect and had that rich new sound that not many bands can accomplish. It has Indi-rock and folk parts and the album takes you on a trip you’ve never been on before.
These guys are amazing. Rex Vijayan is sponsored by Gibson Guitars, and Tony John always wears a lungi while singing!

Anyway, getting to the point, I spoke to Rex Vijayan from the band and if you’ve been an Avial fan like me, you’ll know how that would feel! So I tried not to squeal too much and here’s what the result was

Arjun : Alright, first off. Your newest song, “Ayyo” . What’s that all about?
Rex : Well, firstly are you a Malayalee? (I said yes) Ok, then you know what it’s generally used for (It’s used to show distress or frustration. E.g., “Ayyo, what have I got myself into!?”), but apart from that, it actually does talk about the entire concept of someone’s past life, and what they have been through. You need to listen to the song to understand fully. (Ok – so now you know what to do.)

A: What was your most recent show?
The most recent one we did was at Cochin for the International Art Fest. This year they chose to do it in Cochin, and I have to say that the Cochin crowd was phenomenal and it was pretty awesome.

A: Recently, you guys did a show at the Blue Frog in Mumbai. How did you like the atmosphere and what kind of response did you get from them?
Well, doing a show in Bombay has always been the same. The crowd’s super awesome, and we had an amazing time there. Nothing went wrong with the show.

A: Ok so, the first album took a good 4 years to come out. Do we have to wait the same amount of time for the second?
(laughing): Well, the first one took ALMOST four years. And it’s been 3 years since that album’s come out. But you can definitely expect a new album in another 6 months!

(I’d like to pause here and say that I almost fell off my seat when I heard there’s going to be a new album in six months.)

A: This may seem like a really clichéd question, and I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, but how come you chose Malayalam lyrics for your songs?
Ok, the thing is that we could have chosen to play English music, because we’re all highly influenced. But I personally feel that there’s something fake about writing English music because I’m not a foreigner. When we sing in Malayalam, we know that it’s completely original and we’re really proud of that.

A: Is there anything else you’d like me to mention on this article?
There is one thing actually. We started off the year by composing an OST for the Malayalam movie, “Salt n Pepper”. The movie features our song “Aana Kallan” and we would like for you to put the word out there.

Well there you have it, people. You heard the man. Go watch the movie!
Also, do check out Avial’s new website, www.avial.in. They have some killer artwork and other things that will definitely induct you in the Avial Fan Club.
Follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/avialindia

  • Aniket Dasgupta

    Avial is one of those few Indian bands that has never pretended to be something. Love them for being original and mallu.!!