The Local Train is an Indian Hindi Rock band originally from Delhi, consisting of Raman Negi on lead vocals and guitar, Ramit Mehra on backing vocals and bass guitar, Paras Thakur on lead guitar and backing vocals and Sahil Sarin on drums and percussions.
Known for singles like Aaoge Tum Kabhi, Choo Lo, Khudi, The Local Train is one of the biggest contemporary Indie bands of the country. Its track Aaoge Tum Kabhi was featured in the award-winning film Angry Indian Goddesses.
The band has performed in ace music festivals like NH7 Weekenders and VH1 Supersonic and will be next performing as one of the opening acts of OnePlus Music Festival featuring Dua Lipa and Katy Perry.
You have been listed across several articles around the internet as one of the best indie bands of the country. How do you feel when you look back at your journey and the love you’ve received on the way?
We started out as musicians who shared the same love for music and different genres. Our music has always been about experimenting and finding the right way to express ourselves and we tried to create music that we felt like making. We’re glad and grateful to everyone who also was a part of this journey.
Your 2011 track Choo Lo still continues to be one of your best compositions. Do you remember what the creative process was like when you made the song?
That video is a home demo we took out way back in the day. Probably our first YouTube video. Raman wrote the melody and the lyrics, and he was looking to meet other musicians to form a band that wanted to work on original music. That’s where he met Ramit and was introduced to Sahil and Paras along the way. There are many old recordings of Choo Lo that came before the demo you hear on YouTube. And I think we revisited that song again and again even after that before we took out the final version that went on the album Aalas ka Pedh.
The lyrics for your most songs are intense but you all perform them with such softness...
Every song is a different curve. There isn’t a set process for us. These songs are an amalgamation of ideas that we wanted to talk about or that inspired us to write about. We've explored new sounds as well and we’re figuring out different ways to express our emotions through our music. We experimented with stuff we liked and that’s what got us our sound.
How will you define your equation with each other? Do you have clashes or creative differences?
Having four different opinions in the band is an advantage that we’re now aware of. Of course, in hindsight! So, there are good days and bad but the four of us really work well together and have stuck it out together. The band does live together so that comes with its own share of new experiences!
Your recent music video for Gustaakh looks like a strong political statement...
We really liked how Plexus’ creative process was synonymous to what we were looking for Gustaakh. It took us over a year to make the video and hopefully, there will be some behind the scenes footage out soon. Many artists’ in the past have made strong, bold political statements if they wanted to. Every artist has the right to express their thoughts on any issue. And should feel comfortable in voicing their views as they see fit.
How different was it to record Alas Ka Pedh and Vaaqif?
Most of the first album was recorded in Mumbai at Flying Carpet Productions.
Vaaqif was recorded at home. Both times we were learning on the way and we have a long way to go. We grew a lot as musicians and songwriters during our second album as we became more aware of our strengths and weaknesses.
How does the next year look like for your band? Can the fans expect a new album any time soon?
A lot of touring and a lot of live shows! We wanna experiment more on stage now as well and yes, a Third Album is in the works and hopefully, you’ll hear something soon!
What has been your most favourite track to record so far?
We wanted to get the right sounds and we weren’t sure how to, honestly, every single one of them was a frustrating and painful endeavor and we’re glad we got through it. A lot of times we were learning new stuff recording one song and applying that technique to the next one. Now we’re looking forward to recording the new album, we’re not sure how to go about it but we’ve got enough experience doing just that.
How do you feel about performing in the same lineup with international artistes like Katy Perry and Dua Lipa? How are you preparing for this particular concert?
We’re really looking forward to this festival, in particular, it’s our first stadium gig and we are all geared up to give an explosive performance and do our bit to set the tone for the festival. We’re really excited to perform and share the stage with international artistes like Katy Perry and Dua Lipa.
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