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Death From India: An Exclusive Interview With Members Of SYSTEMHOUSE 33

By The Hermanator, Contributor
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 @ 7:30 AM

"If you spend just one hour on a song and you think itís going to be great then youíre probably going to be stuck in your city or wherever you are from."

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Before any of this pandemic had hit the States and basically decimated the music business, SOULFLY and TOXIC HOLOCAUST made a tour to celebrate the new album from SOULFLY. On March 5th, the tour made a stop at Caponeís in Johnson City, Tennessee. This is a small venue of about 200 capacity. I knew this would make for an intense setting for a possible great show. I was correct. What I had not expected was the intensity that came from one of the supporting acts of the tour - SYSTEMHOUSE 33. These guys managed to whip up the audience and made for a great opening act. I had never heard of the band so I decided to try and find a little more about them.

I found out that these guys had come all the way from India. This was not their first international tour. They had previously become one of the first Indian bands to tour with SIX FEET UNDER in Europe in 2015, did a USA stint on the Metal Alliance Tour of 2016. In 2019 they did a tour of Europe, so this band was one that had gotten some exposure to playing in front of big crowds.

After their set, I managed to get 3 of the band members to conduct an interview for KNAC.COM. Samron Jude, the founder & singer, Shawn the bass player and Vigneshkumar the guitar player. Parker the drummer was the only one not present for the interview. After introducing ourselves this is what followed:

KNAC.COM: Where are you guys from?

ALL: Bombay, INDIA!

KNAC.COM: How did you guys get involved in Heavy Metal?

SAMRON: Itís a different story for everybody. I was playing in wedding bands. I went to a college festival where we were doing covers of bands like the DOORS, VAN HALEN and such. This guy comes to us with a CD and tells us, ĒWe have to play some real metalĒ. The CD had some PANTERA on it. So thatís what we did and thereís no turning back.

VIGNESH: Like he said, it is different for everyone. For me, it was like listening to bands like METALLICA when I was 10 or eleven. I gradually started to listen to heavier bands like DEATH that started to influence me. The United States is a great source of inspiration when it comes to Metal bands. I think that was what really drew me into this music.

SHAWN: I was in High School when a friend gave me an MP3 player with Metal music on it. I had no way to delete it, so I was forced to listen to it. So thatís how I got into Metal.

KNAC.COM: How did you guys meet each other?

VIGNESH: So, the Bombay Metal community is like one big fraternity. We all know each other.

SAMRON: We all play in different bands, so it really depends on who wants to tour that will help make up the band. It certainly is hard for a band from India. Since we all have our own jobs, we could afford our own tickets.

KNAC.COM: But how did SYSTEMHOUSE 33 specifically form?

SAMRON: So, the band was formed in 2003. I was playing in a few wedding bands. I said to myself that I didnít want to play in front of some folks that didnít want to hear my music. The youth, on the other hand, wanted to hear my music. The kids didnít want to hear any Elvis Presley. So, I would ask them, ďwhat do you want to hear?Ē And it was Metal of course. So, we managed to get our instruments, a bass guitar and drum kit so we could learn to play these songs. We then would get a slot in between the wedding bands. We would fool them and tell them it was ďsoftĒ music, but it was all heavy metal. Which would shock them. This started in a town called Nagpur, which is a town in central India. And from there we took off and started writing extreme music influenced by PANTERA, SLAYER, and SEPULTURA.

KNAC.COM: Who is the main songwriter in the band?

SAMRON: That would be me! I started writing in 2003. Iíve involved a lot of producers and local artists to work on the albums. That collaboration would help make the albums bigger while always working on the sound of the band. Itís an ongoing process. We keep doing that. Like the last album End of Days, we all wrote different parts and songs together. We collaborated with different artists as well. People that were not in the band or had been in the band that wanted to contribute to our music worked on the album. So, we keep doing that to push the band and push the boundaries of Metal within the band.

KNAC.COM: Who got interested in bringing SYSTEMHOUSE 33 to the United States?

SAMRON: We had wanted to play the United States since way back in 2003. We had seen all these videos you know like Ozzfest and all these concerts, and so we would tell ourselves, Ďman we need to play in Americaí. Not many in India like this kind of music, all they like is that Bollywood bull. That stuff is what we dislike. Itís like crappy music from bad bands. At least in that time, a lot of the bands were doing ripped off or songs from the West. The bands would take these songs and put their regional language to the songs. It was frustrating. So, we didnít want to be a part of this. And America is more progressive when it comes to music and the heavy metal concert culture. Not so much from countries like India, where we are from. The scene is not active like when we started out mainly due to lack of venues & sponsors, but we hope gets better. It has its ups and downs.

VIGNESH: We all like Metal for the same reasons. Itís about pushing boundaries. Itís about going extreme. Especially when it is live. We get our inspiration from countries like the US. Itís the best outlet.

SAMRON: Look at it right now. We have played seven gigs on The Summoning North America Tour 2020 with SOULFLY and weíve got a tremendous response to our music. Itís been a blast. This is what weíve wanted because we worked hard on the music and we donít get that from India. I guess because not many understand what it is.

KNAC.COM: Once you guys had the album and decided to come to the United States, what was the first label to approach you guys?

SAMRON: We donít have a label. We are looking for a label that can help us do better than what we can do as a band. Especially if they can set us up with a lot of tours as we create newer music. Maybe get us some funding for better studios, better equipment, you know just help to upgrade the band and to make better music. You need to work with the best stuff around. We have tried to do that on our own. We save all our money and spend it on the music, on merch. Itís different for us because we try to do everything we can to stay in ďMetalĒ. But it is tough in India. In 2016, we did the METAL ALLIANCE TOUR with DYING FETUS, ACACIA STRAIN, JUNGLE ROT and more while promoting the album Regression. That was the first tour we did that helped get us exposure globally. It also helped inspire our new album, End of Days.

KNAC.COM: So, talk about that record. How did you guys approach that album?

SAMRON: So, we are always writing. It seems like every two years we get enough material for an album. Thatís why we have six albums thus far. You know, itís something you need to do to get better. We donít really focus on saying we are going to make an album in five years. We hear a riff and we work on it. We start tonight and we do it. After Regression, the theme for End of Days was inspired by the current state of affairs and the prophecies of the end of the world.

VIGNESH: I think itís something as simple as us hanging out and creating something together.

SAMRON: We just create music together. We have a studio in Bombay at my place and meet as often as possible. And the only thing I ask is, ĎHey, letís write a song!í, because itís not easy to write a song, it takes time. Itís not going to be a ďmasterpieceĒ right from the start. You need to work on it. Then if you get to that level maybe you will. Because you know, there is so much competition. If you spend just one hour on a song and you think itís going to be great then youíre probably going to be stuck in your city or wherever you are from.

VIGNESH: You need to do something that is going to push the limits every time. Because you have your fans, and yourself that are looking for something that is pushing your creativity every time. Making something that has not been heard before, at least thatís what we believe.

SAMRON: To add to that, if youíre not writing music, someone else is. Writing Metal music, how can you be better than that? How can you be better than that person or that band? So, you get on with it and you start writing right now.

VIGNESH: But itís all friendly competition in that sense. We are all brothers you know. At least in that sense. You know in Metal.

SAMRON: In India itís different. When I started off, I would say, ďoh man thatís a masterpiece.Ē You would always feel that. But later, you would realize, maybe not so. On our last album we had 5 or 6 six songs that we scrapped. At the time you are writing you are saying, ďman thatís good,Ē but then five months go by and you say, man we have better songs than that. So, you push yourself. You look at America. You have the best of everything - the best in equipment, the best in guitars because people are pushing each other to be at their best. If they did not do that, then we would not be like we are now. We donít get exposed to that mentality in India. You donít have the METALLICAs or SLAYERs that come around to inspire you. I mean, Iíve only seen METALLICA once and SLAYER twice in twenty years.

KNAC.COM: So, what do you want to tell the fans of America to help them discover SYSTEMHOUSE 33?

SAMRON: We might be from India, but our minds and our hearts are in America and we are all united by heavy metal as evident in our music. Do give End of Days and Regression a listen, we perform tracks from these 2 albums on tour.

VIGNESH: We are all the same. The music that you guys like is the music that we like. I think that a lot of the people that come to our shows are a witness to that.

SHAWN: We just want everyone to have fun. Metal just makes you want to have fun so why not have fun America with SYSTEMHOUSE 33?

KNAC.COM: So, again what is the name of your new album?

SAMRON: Itís called End of Days. We released it April 4th, 2019 when we went on tour in Europe with ORPHANED LAND. We did 22 shows there to promote that album. This is now our second leg of the tour to promote the album here in the USA while supporting the mighty SOULFLY.

KNAC.COM: Where can someone from here get a hold of that album?

SAMRON: Itís now available on our store. You can go to https://Systemhouse33.com/shop for the physical copies and Google play, CD baby, iTunes, Amazon music and everywhere else. Thank you for the support!


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