Space Is All We Have: Bengaluru act Unleash Nu Metal Renaissance With Sonic Fury
It was a sonic and visual spectacle with Bengaluru ambient rock band Space Is All We Have taking the stage supported by alt-rock band Rofo (Rascals of the First Order) on August 4 at Fandom, Bengaluru.
Formed in 2013-14, Space Is All We Have played some of their songs from their 2020 album “Thank You, Universe!” followed by several new tracks from their upcoming record. Moving from an ambient space rock sound to a heavier nu-metal and rap rock-inspired direction, the band was a delight to savour live.
We got to catch up with their songwriter and vocalist Shiyasz aka Sheezy, after the gig, and speak about their journey so far and what lies ahead.
In Conversation with Space Is All We Have
1. What an insane gig! This is your first performance in a long time. You have developed a dedicated fanbase over the years for your music. Thank You! Yes, we had last played about half a year back. Whenever gigs happen, we see many familiar faces. Makes me so happy to see them come and experience the music. It’s about energy. When you see that happen, you’re more pumped up to give the best. That’s a beautiful feeling.
2. Your first record is a beautiful album. Your new music has insane energy and is heavy as hell. The new sound of the band is quite powerful. What else are we to expect from the new album? The new album is an amalgamation of all our ideas influenced by the music we’ve listened to from the 90s to 2000s like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. There’s a bit of rage in all of us. The society we live in compresses you, we become slaves to a subordinate system. The new music is all about that, society, and mental health. All of us have been through much over the years. It can be said to be a continuation to the first album which is more peaceful. That album was about being aware of your surroundings and getting into a higher state of mind. With this record, we move onto rage. It’s a mix of nu-metal, rap and Eminem influences from my side.
Adam Bentley from Arch Echo is producing the album, who also worked on Musafir by Pineapple Express. It has been in the works since covid. We’re planning to release singles from the upcoming album. We have got about nine to ten songs and are trying to figure out the best way to promote it. It should be out next month, hopefully!
3. You released your debut single Craters in 2017 after a successful stint in the Bangalore scene for several years. What have you learned in terms of the indie music industry, promotion, and the nuts and bolts over this period? The indie scene is booming now. There are a lot of bands that have made it like Peter Cat Recording Co. and When Chai Met Toast. Considering our sound, it’s trickier to break through. To sustain this full-time, we would need to have sold-out shows and sell merchandise.
Over the years, we have learned that you need to be really strong with your promotions and online presence. We are investing a lot in that. If you make music and there’s nobody to hear, there’s no point. All your hard work is lost. However, that is also a part of the music industry that can get into your head. Musicians have had mental breakdowns posting every single day. But there are some artists, rappers who have gone against that whole thing, going with a more hidden approach. We are trying to go with what will work best. All of us have day jobs so we have a new set of people helping us out on that.
4. For that matter, how did covid affect your music-making process? One of our new songs, High Society, came as part of covid as I was isolated for the longest time by myself. It talks about solitude and increasing awareness. After that, it was a streak. We knew this was the sonic route that we were taking and all the music came through.
5. Tell us more about the rap rock and nu-metal sound of the band. Linkin Park and Chester have influenced me a lot. They were my segue to his whole music, Back in the day, we used to download from torrents and LimeWire. I had the Hybrid Theory album and my favorite song of theirs would be My December. He was always talking about mental health but we couldn’t see it. We now go back to those lyrics and look back. That’s the same approach I take. Whatever I feel, I am just putting it out in the lyrics.
6. You have had several lineup changes over the years. Robert Romario contributed to the first album with songwriting and artwork. Some of you had played with other bands in a similar sonic space like Tangents and Haiku Like Imagination. Yogi from Pineapple Express, who was formerly with you on synths and keys, was the FOH engineer today. This was also the last gig with your current bassist Kashyap. Despite these changes, you’re still out there making music. Thankfully! It’s kind of like divine intervention. We still get to make music while going about our day jobs. We all have families, we have to support. Robert was one of the past members back in 2014. He had envisioned that whole thing. He had written Craters and The After Effect. He’s a brilliant guy. Even our former drummer, Danny was a major part of the first album. They all studied together with Krishna in Architecture where they formed the band back in 2013. Yogi has got a busy schedule with Pineapple Express, which has always been his dream project. But he’s our brother, he’s always there for us. He has been an integral part of the band. He’s doing sound for us. The backing tracks are his, and he’s programmed new stuff as well. Happy to have people like these around, who inspire you to do better.
7. Any final words for Space Is All We Have listeners and in anticipation of upcoming music and gigs? I just want to thank everyone who comes to listen to our music. Means the world to us. This gives us the biggest pleasure, to play music in front of people. There’s no point in not releasing stuff. Only once you release it out to the world is when everything that you’ve dreamed of manifests.