For some people music is more than just sounds bundled together to make you feel better or give the necessary kick to jumpstart the day. For some people, music is a way of life. As Bob Marley once said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. Here, for this next edition of our effort to plot the talent map of the world we give to you Yatin Srivastava from The Yatin Srivastava Project. This major foodie loves Chinese and Italian cuisine, artists like Iron Maiden, Metallica (yes, even St. Anger), Pantera, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and seriously dislikes pretentious D-bags. Trained to play the axe by none other than Sonam Sherpa (Parikrama), he’s been living in London for the past year and a half creating some soul stirring progressive rock.
The Yatin Srivastava Project had an introductory gig at Barrels, Delhi and are now looking forward to perform once more in order to promote the launch of their recent EP ‘The Dream Plays In Reverse’.
ED Team: Welcome Yatin, we’ll start from the beginning, what makes music important to you? How did this beautiful journey start?
Yatin Srivastava: Music was something that was always playing around the house. My parents love the Bee Gees, ABBA, Madonna, UB40 and so on. Although that wasn’t the music I’d ultimately cherish, it did give me the necessary exposure to music. I would say that the act of listening to music was something that my parents got me into. The first time I actually got interested in playing an instrument was when I went to the Parikrama Annual Concert where my childhood neighbor/friend was playing. That was the first time I heard Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’ being performed and I really couldn’t imagine how heavy it was, to put it subtly.
What followed was a lot of hours on YouTube listening to Metallica, Iron Maiden and so on. Also at that point of time in my life, I wasn’t pursuing anything serious as such, so I decided to learn the guitar. Later, I got formal training at the Parikrama School Of Music and was directly taught under Sonam Sherpa (Lead Guitarist, Parikrama). They gave me the exposure I needed. Later on I became a part of my school band. We played various competitions at school level and managed to win quite a lot.
ED Team: What are you major influences when it comes to music?
Yatin Srivastava: I’d say my roots would be very much Thrash Metal, the Big 4 and so on. Honestly, for me there is nothing sweeter than a fast Slayer song. Musically speaking, Porcupine Tree is my main influence. All the members of the band especially Steven Wilson have influenced me greatly and I try my best to inculcate their thoughts and practices regarding music.
ED Team: Do your parents see you as a future rock star or are they “can’t wait till you get rid of this noise you call music”?
Yatin Srivastava: (Chuckles) Haha!I guess they would be somewhere in between. They appreciate that I am into something that I am really passionate about and I’m not killing time doing nothing. They do have a problem with the heavier stuff though my dad likes a bit of Metallica and Maiden. They don’t generalize it as “noise”. They understand that it’s the music that I like to listen to and it’s my personal taste, it’s not something that isn’t welcome in the house.
They have always supported me when it comes to learning guitar as an instrument. My mother used to play the Sitar so I guess she can somehow relate. But they are pretty clear on pursuing music as a career. They wanted me to get higher education and get into a line of work that gives me financial stability, and then use that to fuel my music on the side. My dad sat me down one day and told me that if I get a record deal or something and something that is stable, then I can go ahead and pursue music as a full time job. So I really hope that works out someday because that would be the best of any world. I mean, all I want to do is play the Main Stage at Download and I can die peacefully.
ED Team: Great, those are some really good thoughts you just shared with us. Now, we’re excited to know more about your EP ‘The Dream Plays In Reverse’.
Yatin Srivastava: Yeah, ‘The Dream Plays In Reverse’ is our (The Yatin Srivastava Project’s) debut EP. I started writing the material way back in 2011 and finished writing all the songs in 2013. The EP was then tracked over the next year where I had a couple of my musician friends help me out with instruments that I couldn’t play. The mixing and mastering process didn’t take that long. The record was ready about a week or two before it was released. The artwork (done by Saloni Sinha) is very important in understanding what the EP is.
It is a concept album and all the songs are like different phases in a story, linking to each other. The lyrical content is something that is totally up to the listener’s interpretation. The underlying idea is that the protagonist has a lucid dream, and he imagines his life in totally opposite terms to how it is in reality. Ultimately it is a struggle between the dream state and reality that the protagonist goes through. These psychedelic ideas were something that I was really interested in, and was largely influenced by bands such as Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd. Having said that, the material still has a very strong sense of groove which is deeply influenced by bands such as Metallica and Pantera.
Yatin performs the song ‘Fascination’ from his EP ‘The Dream Plays in Reverse’.
ED Team: That’s something really interesting. Would you like to share some of your experiences while being onstage? What was your first time like? Are there any nervous sweat stories or were you always a natural?
Yatin Srivastava: I’ve had my share of gigs in Delhi but not in London. Although compared to Delhi it’s very easy to get gigs in London but I haven’t been able to form a full-fledged band over here. Being a part of Parikrama and my school band exposed me to performing live, so I’ve dealt with all the nervousness and anxiety many times.
If I would remember the first time, it was just me trying to pay attention to what I was playing and make sure I play it right. I was literally like a stick. When it comes to gigs, I get very nervous in the beginning – before it starts or the initial phases of the gig. But after a point of time I’m good to go. I get into the flow and then it’s just like a half an hour or an hour passes away in no time. You actually feel that was hardly 10-15 minutes, which I find rather amusing. I wouldn’t say I was a natural; I surely became more comfortable by playing over and over again.
ED Team: Hope that helps some of the upcoming musicians that might read this post. So when you’re not listening to Metallica, Porcupine Tree or the musicians you love, playing your guitar, brushing, bathing or eating how do you spend your free time?
Yatin Srivastava: That’s actually a very hard question. Let’s see, I watch loads of stuff on Netflix, and I’m really into ‘Orange Is the New Black’ these days. I play the odd PS3 from time to time, mostly FIFA. I’ve started making food so I think that’s different from eating (laughs). I also indulge in some photography from time to time; walk around with my GoPro taking time lapses. Other than that, I guess just doing coursework and being lazy doing things men do. Oh, and I also spend a lot of time on the internet just looking at music gear. I’d like to believe I’m a gear nerd.
ED Team: Okay, an even tougher question, if you had 100,000$ to waste right now, how would you spend them?
Yatin Srivastava: I wouldn’t necessarily waste it. I’d first get a Private Stock PRS and a Peavey 5150 full stack. Then maybe a small room (you can get small rooms in 30-40 grand right?) where I can build a studio for myself. That might not be the most interesting answer you guys have got. I understand, I am rather dull and boring .
ED Team: Hahaha, well we’ve dealt with our share of boring kids in the past. What’s your core belief in life? That one saying that keeps you going?
Yatin Srivastava: I don’t think there’s any one saying or a quote that I live by. I’d say my core belief would be that making mistakes is fine. You can only learn more if you make mistakes. I just try to do that, learn more.
ED Team: Lastly, what are your thoughts on Friendly Fridays?
Yatin Srivastava: I find the idea really interesting. Getting people into the musical mood on Friday when they’re not busy with their metropolitan lives surrounded by greed and money. Just joking, I think it’s a great idea because it is rather difficult for artists to get press releases and this initiative is wonderful to get the word across. And in today’s age where blogs are rather frequented, it helps musicians further. I mean, I’m honored to be a part of it. I love Fridays, and I’d like to believe that I’m friendly (laughs).
Well there you go people, another amazing person for you to look forward to. ED wishes him all the best for his future endeavours.
Stay glued to this space for more!
And oh here are links to Yatin’s YouTube stream, soundcloud and other media channels you can officially stalk him on and download his amazing music from :