We had the good fortune of connecting with Bhaira and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bhaira, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Performing on stage in front of people that lose themselves, that chant our name, our lyrics with a constant back-and-forth of “who’s louder, us or them?”, while the thick walls of sound breathe life into us. It reminds us that we are alive. It’s simple. It’s our truth. The façade of a normal life that encompasses heartbreaks, anxiety, depression, tears, feelings of helplessness and feeling powerless end as soon as we step on the stage. All that exists is bliss.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
[Sanjay] This is a hard one. Not because we don’t know what makes us different, but there’s way too many aspects to it. There are a multitude of things coming into play. Musically speaking, our approach to composition isn’t bound by anything except our love towards dark and heavy music. We feel an emotion, we translate it on to instruments. As much as our core is in metal, we aren’t bound by its limitations or norms. To tapper it all down, we push the boundaries of what is acceptable. Ever since we were kids we were always outcasts amongst our family and friends, thinking and doing things that were never considered “normal”. We are just staying true to what we inherently have within us. We are most proud of not knowing when to give up. Not only did we have to fight our way through external battles, but also had to put up with a lot of internal battles. Despite all the hardships, we are still standing strong, smiling, and being optimistic. Stemming from that is what we are most excited about right now, our first official studio album “Dying to See The Light” which pretty much sums up our lives, from start to finish in the order of events that took they place in. [Ajay] As a band, we are absolutely ready and prepared to take on huge crowds and perform at metal festivals and arenas. We have had immense experience in performing at packed venues that are twice the size of Whiskey-A-Go-Go on a regular basis and multiple shows every week in venues that are the size of the Whiskey constantly for five years in Tokyo, Japan. Was it easy? No! Was it fun? Fuck yes. In the initial stages, we were performing to just a handful of people, heard a bunch of “no”s and as the crowds started increasing we had to face heckling and racial profiling, but by the end of the show the same people who heckled and racial profiled us were starting mosh pits and singing our lyrics out loud. There is probably nothing more exciting than proving someone wrong purely with our performance and crowd engagement in a live show. The things we came across taught us to be thick-skinned and develop an attitude of nothing-to-lose. We were fortunate enough to equip ourselves with these two virtues, if we may say so, at a very early stage of our career! Despite being brothers, we have the most contrasting personalities and circumstances growing up. I was the protected child, Sanjay was the supported child. That in itself stirred up enough anger and hate towards Sanjay. I was never “good enough”. He was the “perfect child”. Listening to the constant comparison forced me to find solace in friends. I wouldn’t return home until it was late at night past Sanjay’s bed time. It wasn’t up until we discovered our abilities in composing and playing music together that we have grown closer. There was hardly anytime we spent together for a good seven years before he started playing drums. At the age of eleven and after two weeks of drum lessons, he got an opportunity to perform at an event. It was here where I became a fan of his drumming. I saw a great potential in that fat kid and wanted to support him any which way. This made me pick up the guitar and start learning it all by myself. I found my calling because I picked up my guitar for him and he ended up being the only one supporting me in my love towards playing guitar and singing when people didn’t even recognize me as a guitarist only because I wasn’t professionally trained. That is up until we played our first ever live show in Tokyo. Bhaira is not just a metal band, it is the tether that brought us together. Not only did it bring us, brothers closer, it has sparked a bond between people we have never met in our lives until they heard our music. I think it’s safe to assume that Bhaira, is not just a metal band. It is an entity that brings people together and we couldn’t be more proud of this fact.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
[Sanjay] Ah! We’ve been around quite a lot! But then again it all really depends on the person. So far, whenever we’ve had friends/family come over we always ended up going to Griffith Observatory and hiking around it. The Grove’s a nice, chill little place. We’ve also been to Santa Monica, Venice, 3rd Street Promenade and everything around that area (Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen over there is one place I’d definitely recommend! Indubitably one of the best places for Indian food I’ve ever had in LA so far!); LACMA, MOCA were great places to go to! I know I enjoyed going there for sure. Obviously the wonderful Whiskey-A-Go-Go! Oh! not to forget! Hollywood’s always interesting — there’s always something happening there — in fact, Ajay and I, both went to college over there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
[Ajay] Hands down it’s Metallica. If it wasn’t for Metallica our life would’ve been different. [Sanjay] Probably the exact opposite of what we are today. [Ajay] We always ask ourselves, “what would Metallica do?”, whenever we face any issue in our life. This band, the gift of music that we have, it exists even to this day and it’s all credit to Metallica.
Other: Our debut single // music video: https://youtu.be/nyAAgLI-pXQ Ajay’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aj_bhaira/ Sanjay’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theonlysanjayyouneed/
Kotokhira (Lera); Stamka; Yuhki Komano