By Abish Shakya
Photo courtesy of Mero Mazzako Karyalaya
“We’re a progressive band and we knew that our music would not have a mass appeal but we wanted those who would follow us to align with all the tiny details and extra efforts we put into things,” says Bishwas Bhatta, guitarist of Kamero.
When progressive rock band Kamero came out with the music video of the song ‘Pragmatic Delusion’—a single from their debut concept album Absence Paradox—in 2017, you wouldn’t believe that it was a music video of a Nepali band created by a Nepali production house. Ahead of its time, the concept was complex and the VFX was mindboggling. The art direction, set design and cinematography was intense and Jazz Productions—the creators of the video—certainly amused us. Now, the music video of their song ‘Nepenthe(s)’ is on its way.
Nepenthe(s) is the seventh single of their nine-track album Absence Paradox which tells the story of ‘Chhenaam’ through the lyrics and tone of the songs, but it is open to interpretation. The song title is an amalgamation of two words: ‘Nepenthe’ which is a fictional medicine that is believed to cure all human sorrow whereas ‘Nepenthes’ is a carnivorous pitcher plant that eats insects. This is in line with the central character ‘Chhenaam’ who is in a state of semi-consciousness being dragged through a hallway which sometimes resembles a hospital whereas other times seems like purgatory. This will be represented in a different context with the underlying theme being the same by Jazz Productions.
With such a brilliant concept, Kamreo could not refuse the offer to go ahead with yet another spectacular music video with the usage of green screens and massive CGI. Though the projected budget was high, and it was not possible for them to finance its production completely on their own. “As a band, we seriously undermined the financial aspects of the scene,” expresses band manager Abiz Basukala.
As they could not invest all the amount personally, they raised some from the fundraising platform GoFundMe but it still wasn’t enough despite the unexpected overwhelming contributions. They then organised a Fundraiser Gig at Club 25 Hours, Tangal on January 27 to collect some funds to go ahead with the production. With an amazing support from the attendees, supporting band Kaagaz and everyone else involved, the concert went really well and they did collect some funds to continue the project.
Kamero is a pioneer of this field in Nepal with a never been done before ‘concept album’ in the Nepalese music scene along with the effort they have put to go an extra mile to introduce a next level music. Another unique aspect of the band includes their live VFX which they demonstrate on stage. As much as they prioritise on the music, they also prioritise on live projections making their performances entertaining even to just watch.
It was in 2014 when Kamero was formed when the students of Kathmandu University (KU) became victors of the 6th ICMC 2008, which included Abiz Basukala (Live VFX and manager), Manish Sainju (vocalist), Bishwas Bhatta (guitar) and Ritavrat Joshi (bass) got together with Sushant Roy (drum) from Next and Alok Bhattarai (guitar) to embrace their love for Tool. Their first ever performance was in the ‘Tool Tribute Concert’. Bhattarai has now been replaced by Suramya Sthapit (guitar).
“Though we did not plan on taking a firm direction earlier, we began progressing and you can’t stop growth,” expresses Bhatta. Basukala adds, “We just went with the flow and we thought we should at least make an album.” As the signs were all right, they composed songs and decided to record songs.
“We had no recording experience and we were making stupid mistakes. Dibesh dai from Cobweb was extremely patient and supportive throughout the process who has helped us with everything from the recording, venues, sound systems to get to know the people,” says Basulaka. The band then recorded and released their debut album ‘Absence Paradox’ in 2017.
The music video of Nepenthe(s) is going to be delayed a bit but the official album launch gig of Absence Paradox will proceed at the Purple Haze Rock Bar on June 2 under the banner of Purple Haze Underground along with guest band Jindabaad.
For the creative force they are, we hope that Kamero will reach heights with their creativity and compositions that no other Nepali band has reached before.
“WE’RE A PROGRESSIVE BAND AND WE KNEW THAT OUR MUSIC WOULD NOT HAVE A MASS APPEAL BUT WE WANTED THOSE WHO WOULD FOLLOW US TO BE MIND-BLOWN.”—BISHWAS BHATTA, GUITARIST OF KAMERO.