In India 2014 If anyone reading this is unfamiliar with the theory that may or may not go under the name of the "blue ocean strategy" (from now on, let's say it is) - congratulations, you may learn something new even this dull day!
The blue ocean strategy is when a company, or another kind of sales-aiming (or publicity-aiming) entity - like a band - seeks it's success not in the red ocean, where it came from, where all it's competitors and friends also came from, and where they all dwell, but the blue. The blue ocean is the place where one's (in this case, metal music) products and arts is much less heard of, constituted and consumed than in the red one. In other words, the place where one might fish for success if one finds the constant competitivity of the red ocean tiring.
You've probably nailed the metaphor by now. The red ocean if course Sweden, the place with more bands than audience. (More about it in, er, almost every previous post of this blog) The blue ocean being places and lands where it's more audience than bands.
Like, for example, India.
Well, we had to find out, didn't we? So after a few phone calls, mails and handshakes, Lunkan Music & Media took us via MetamorphiK Productions to two fully packed arenas in Hyderabad and Silchar.
If we enjoyed it? Let our constant outlets, smiles, clawhands and capitalized hashtags on social media for the last week speak for themselves (or: OF COURSE WE ENJOYED IT! *thousands of happy faces*) so that this blog post may take it's time to focus on issues not as painfully apparent.
India has been the weirdest country to tour in so far. It's literally like someone took Sweden and turned it inside out:
Cold - Hot
Calm traffics - Lethal traffics
Drinkable tap water - Undrinkable tap water
Meatballs - Chicken rools
Women - No women
No people - People
Closes at 15 - Open 24/7
Beer ticket - Red Bull, Smirnoff and Kingfisher unlimited heaven ticket
30 people in crowd - 3000 people in crowd
Safe backdrop - Stolen backdrop
Personal chair backstage - Personal crowd away-pusher backstage
Jockeboi yodeling at TV - Indian guy yelling at TV
Fireworks - Fireworks (but for YOU)
Expensive - Cheap
Coffee - 'Coffee'
And so on...
There really is something extra, like an additional nerve or additional layer of prestige in the far backs of your brain, that gets you when you're playing a massive stage in front of thousands of fans. It's not like you sharpen up, you realize that there is much on stake, that you HAVE to play the RIGHT FUCKING NOTES, because there is so many people watching, and the band's reputation carefully balancing the edges of bliss and despair.
It's rather this: you're having so much fun living the DREAM, ( not the 'dream' which is something akin to winning SpinOff) that you enter something of a hyper mode - a drug-like sense of awareness that sharpens your every sense.
I mean, is there any other explanation as to why we were able - actually ABLE - to pull off a 68-minute set more air-tight and energetic than ever before, with a brand new stand-in singer and two live premieres - not to mention the cascades of slight nervousness flowing through the bands collective blood?
Other than having rehearsed three times a week for the past year with the Postal material, I mean?
And it's all thanks to you, great people and loving audience of India! It's an old saying that in metal, it's the crowd and band working together to en-fuel and empower each others energy and motivation, and we, as a band, have never experienced such a pure wave of energy coming from an audience like that. Likewise, we as a band have never before experienced that collateral feeling of wow, we manage to dispose of as much energy as we've received!
Energies, 2000+ crowds, being treated like fucking Slayer at the accommodation centers aside - India made it's best to shower us with unforgettable moments far away form the stage, too.
The incredible food, which we indulged without falling victim to much sickness. Butter masala and naan-bread tops the list for me, while I would guess Staffan enjoyed his, er, rice. The near-death experience that hit most of us with several deathflashes. I was not there, but I heard the horror in Elias's voice as he contemplated life after death. (I, for one, really enjoyed those cabs :) )
The places and cities themselves, of course. Silchar as the - for urbanized Swedes - pretty village, Kolkata as the chaotic overload of Indian shopping madness, and Hyderabad and Mumbai as the playful, sunny somewhere-in-between. The hotel with pool, best use? Pissing of working colleagues on Facebook. The pleasant time we had with the Providence guys, whilst fighting to stay awake.
The great treatment we had both in Hyderabad and Silchar. The crazy after-party in the former and the surreal soundcheck in the latter. The great interviews. All the free WiFi.
And of course the many laughs shared with Sumeet Suvarna, sole runner of MetamorphiK, who put a tremendous effort in guiding us around this crazy country. The running joke was that we were a pale, lame gear and backstage crew following this rising pop-star around, what with Sumeet laughing and drinking and talking about awesome things, with maybe Elias making a silent comment about herbal tea and 'Occupation' plot-twists.
India - we will be back. Never before has those four words been truer. Only next time, we will try not to bast 10 flights over 12 days. Maybe Sumeet will arrange for a custom limousine until that time. That would be very much like him.