The latest name to emerge from the burgeoning Asian metal scene, Underside hail from Kathmandu, Nepal. Despite the obvious disadvantages that go with living somewhere where metal is widely viewed with consternation, these Himalayan heavyweights’ thunderous groove-metal sound is rapidly enabling them to connect with the whole world…
How would you describe the metal scene in Nepal?
Avishek K.C. [vocals]: “The metal scene in Nepal is very different. Actually the whole music scene is small – even the commercial media scene is so corrupted and sick to the core, it doesn’t get that much attention anyways. But now the underground subculture is coming up pretty good because the people are sick of being spoonfed bullshit music by our media. We have a lot of people who support and walk with us. But the followers we have are very true and hardcore; they respect the fact that a band is trying to do something real.”
How does Nepalese society regard bands like yours?
“This is a very small country with a lot of culture and very conservative and traditional people, so change is hard for everyone to accept. On top of that, it’s a Third World country and people are just going through a hangover from the long civil war, the killings and bombings. The metal scene is still nonexistent in many parts of the country; metal is completely unknown to many Nepalis. The law hates people with long hair and tattoos or anything metal. A few months back, the cops were arresting people with long hair and giving them a haircut. So yeah, it’s fucked up but the metal scene is still alive.”/o:p
Do you deal with those frustrations directly in your music?
“The band has evolved a lot over the years. Today, our music is about insight into things from our point of view. It reflects everything – our political situation and the conservative tradition through to our corrupt system. These songs are an outlet for being pissed off with everything, the bullshit we have to deal with every day and the fucked-up system.”
What are your plans for the future?
“We’re working on a new album, Satan In Your Stereo, and then we are gonna hit the road, annihilate everywhere we go and start taking things to a whole new level. We’re taking everyone to the Underside with us to let them experience things our way!”
UNDERSIDE PLAY AT THE UNDERWORLD IN LONDON ON APRIL 17. THEIR EP, WELCOME TO THE UNDERSIDE, IS OUT NOW./o:p