False Flag are crust/hardcore band from Pune, India. The band are one of the the few current independent metal/punk bands releasing politically inspired music in India.The others being Heathen Beast and Chaos.
We are glad to premiere Spectrum Disorder, the first track from their self titled EP. The track is reflective of the current political environment in India which can be summed up with the lyric, “As many opinions as many Assholes”.
Find out more about origins of the band, theirs soon to be released EP and the unique cover art in my interview with guitarists Rohit Chaoji and Shaunak Phadnis below.
Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): For those who are not familiar with the band, could you briefly tell us about your origins?
False Flag (Rohit): Few years ago, Shaunak,Prathamesh and I started jamming randomly to on-the-spot improvised grindcore. We abandoned the idea for the band mid-way, partly because we shifted our focus to a death metal project that never materialized and also because it was uninspired. However the inspiration came during Bangalore Open Air 2015,when a part of the would-be band witnessed Napalm Death live. Thus, False Flag was formed with Pushkar, Prathamesh, Shaunak and I as the first lineup.
TO: Why did you decide to start a crust/hardcore band? What about the sub genre appeals to you?
False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): To be honest, hardcore/crust is very stripped-down, no bullshit, honest music to me. We appreciate things that don’t have a pretense. I remember thinking around that time why there aren’t ANY crust punk bands around when the climate was ideal for it. I still don’t understand why but i guess subconsciously that led (at least me) to this.but also we were listening to a lot of Negative approach, anti-cimex, skitsystem & rakkaus at that time and ended up wanting to make songs like those bands. the songs fell in place quite fast and easily haha. The napalm death gig was a MAJOR catalyst as well. Sonically, this sound can be blended with almost every form extreme music. its fascinating. there is A LOT of scope to experiment i think since a very bare-bones stripped down crust punk song is very simple in structure etc.
TO: Your Self titled EP is quite political especially the track Spectrum Disorder. What is the inspiration behind it?
False Flag (Shaunak): Yes, This song was a response in the aftermath of the JNU incident so its more anti-right i guess. FTII,JNU,HCU,JU,Ramjas. it just seems like one or the other kind of smear campaign from either end. also,repeatedly calling a certain something fascist does not gain you any traction at all. that much should be obvious. It seems as if the function of an ideology is to choose which “facts” should matter & justifying oppression of certain values/speech,violence of certain kind. especially the latter part does not help establishing any communication or successful dialogue at all. you can’t talk censorship and close down screenings of films in theatres or college campuses. You can’t claim to be tolerant and shut down someone because they criticized you. Also,its just fucking frustrating when we are too caught up in calling out people as bhakt/libtard/presstitute/anti-national/sanghi/fascist. like, to what end are we doing the things that we are doing? I don’t care if you are right or left, or what the state is; a strong and vehement critique of the state should always be established.
TO: The cover artwork by jonty paul is quite unique. Tell us a bit more about it.
False Flag (Shaunak): haha yes. so, jonty likes to design hypothetical album covers. I have no idea how he comes up those things but i have seen him do it. He sent this image to me one day randomly(he hadn’t even heard the songs or any demos) and it just made complete sense. We did not want to go for usual high contrast black & white aesthetic in the first place. This gritty/dark style
just fell in place with the overall mood of the songs. it resonates quite well with it. In my imagination, The Album art reflects with the second song on the EP “sisyphus’ lament”. In some sense the image is the depiction of the words of the song.
TO: Do you have any shows planned in the coming year?
False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): We don’t have any shows planned as such yet. but we would LOVE to play as many shows as we can. actually, It would be GREAT to play a gig in bengaluru(*hint hint b’lore friends haha*)
TO: Thanks for answering all the questions. Do you have any final words?
False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): Thank you for doing this interview with us! to everyone reading this i am sure you’ll enjoy this small piece of emotive hardcore/crust music we put out! Please listen to it and read the words. We would love to hear your thoughts/ideas/stories and be inspired from them! Cheers!
False Flag’s self titled EP is out on 25th December. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more details.