Demonic Resurrection has been the one Indian metal band that has withstood time and made a name for itself both nationally and internationally . Sahil Makhija aka The Demonstealer ,the frontman of the band ,has seen it , done it and conquered it all. The band has paved the way for other Indian metal bands to dream big and find success no matter what . We caught up with The Demonstealer himself to get an insight into the life and career of India’s favourite metalhead !!!
Hi Sahil welcome to Anylouder . How have you been ?
Hey guys, I’ve been great. Thank you for having me.
What’s the latest news on the band front ?
We’re busy promoting our upcoming album ‘Dashavatar’ and planning our tours for the rest of the year. Also working on a lot of content like videos etc.
This may be kind of a cliche but how did you come up with the goods way back in 2000 against all the cultural ethos of the country and also the fact that metal was still very scarce in the county as far as a scene is concerned ?
Honestly it was just the music that inspired me and fueled my passion. I just knew one thing, I just wanted to be a metal musician and make my own music. I guess it was just that desire that drove me to write music, record it and release it. It did not matter what may or may not have been possible, I knew that I would find a way to make things happen. I am very lucky that my parents and family have been hugely supportive and they never tried to stop me from making music. They always encouraged my artistic side.
Tell us a bit about how you came up the name Demonstealer ? Was it taken straight from the album or does it have a different story ?
I was inspired by many black metal musicians like Shagrath, Galder, Ihsahn, Samoth etc who all used their stage names and created a unique identities for themselves. As a 16 year old metal head I was not very well read on European mythology nor had I read ‘Lord Of The Rings’ yet (from where many musicians derived their name) so I tried to come up with a ‘cool’ stage name for myself and it was a choice between Demonstealer or Demonslayer and in the end ‘Demonstealer’ seemed the less cheesy of the two. So I stuck with it.
As far gears and stuff are concerned , it is a mandatory for any musician , atleast the basic stuff. How did you cope up with that being just teens in the beginning ? Did any of the parents support the guys ?
I think like all bands we started out with basic entry level gear, we had that much support from our parents that we all owned an instrument but over the years we grew up, saved money, got jobs and upgraded our gear like all other bands/musicians do. I do however remember Mephisto didn’t have money to buy a professional keyboard so I convinced my parents to let me buy one by saying I was going to compose jingles and music for ads and so they let me break an FB of mine and buy a keyboard. Till date that keyboard hasn’t done 1 ounce of commercial work 😀
Why did the original members leave after the first album ? What challenges did you face to again build up a band from scratch ? How much are the albums inspired by Hindu Mythology ?
There were always things that came in the way, persona differences, different priorities in life, not being serious enough about the band and so on and so forth. For me, I knew that the band would continue with or without anyone. As long as I was alive, I’d keep DR going. So I always managed something. None of the albums before ‘Dashavatar’ are inspired by Hindu Mythology. The Demon King was an idea based originally on Ravan but I wrote my own story in the end and didn’t borrow from mythology at all.
Was the Sam Dunn interview a big break for you guys into the global scene ? Tell us about the meeting with Sam ( outside of the documentary )
Of the various things we’ve done as a band that is one of the things that got our name out there, however it didn’t change our fortune in any way. It was however a good starting point for us. Meeting Sam was really cool, he is quite a cool guy and he knows his metal. Enjoyed whatever time we did have to hang out and talk metal.
From where you started to now what has changed in the metal scene as a whole and more importantly the underground scene ?
It’s gone from a cover band dominated scene with no original music to hundreds of bands writing and releasing music. From almost no international metal bands playing in India to almost every big metal band having come and played here, from no festivals to have shows like BOA and Deccan Rock and so on. Lots of change and still a long way to go.
Well how did Headbanger’s Kitchen come about ?
I love cooking and eating and I was doing well on Facebook with a small blog I started so I thought I would expand to video and that’s how the show came about. Like everything else I do I had to add the ‘metal’ element to the show.
How was it like to share stage with the likes of Opeth , Amon Amarth and Textures?
It’s always been a pleasure being on the same stage with such iconic bands. Though if I’m honest it’s often over glorified because most bands have this hope that the ‘bigger’ band will check them out, which is often not the case, or there is some hope they’ll like your music and ‘give you a chance’. So in that respect it’s often not the case but it’s always just nice seeing your band name next to theirs 🙂
How was it working with Michael on the artwork for your third and fourth album ?
Working with Michael has always been a pleasure, he’s a great artist and he really understands what we want when it comes to the artwork and he really delivers awesome work.
Apart from cooking what does the Demonstealer do when he is not making music ?
Honestly I do nothing much apart from cooking and making music. I spend time with my wife when I’m not cooking or making music.
Give us a sneak peek into your future projects ?
Honestly right now the only thing I’m going to be doing is releasing singles from my youtube page. Maybe 3-4 songs this year. That’s the general idea. I’ll of course be working hard to promote the new DR record and play as many shows as possible.
Thank you Sahil . Leave a message for your future projects .
Thanks for the interview. Thank you for all the support, cheers and stay demonic!