When you simply look at the Project boys, you will not catch the air of their talents. They are the exact opposite of haughty adolescents and if you see them even once with their lips bent downward, it will be a shock. As I talk to them, I find out that the name for their band comes from the roll number of the two of them while at school - 087 and 071 - and the idea of the band being a project. They tell me that the initial push came from friends and since they had taken a year gap after their high school and were always hanging out wasting time, they started creating music. I found out that they did not start as serious musicians or with the desire to be famous. They tell me that they are going abroad to study and this makes me think that the project will break up. They say no and that the courses they are going to study while abroad makes me believe them. They have divided their courses with one studying composition and the other studying production. They plan to remain in touch through technology and continue making music. On Farkera Aaune, they are unsure. With questions, I find out that both of them were untrained when they first began. At this point, I remember their music and this makes me smile: it is only very obvious.

Genre: Instrumental/ Experimental Rock Label: Independent release

Project 8771 is an electronic music duo from Kathmandu, Nepal consisting of Anurag Baral (Rhythm guitar) and Pranav Karki (Bass guitar/ software controlled synthesizer and cymbals). They are in the process of releasing an eight-track album (name yet to be finalized). They have posted six songs in reverbation already and are getting noticed thereof. Two of their best original compositions are Aaija Nidari which has a nostalgic feel and reminds me of ‘Explosions In the Sky’ and the other is Shuturmurg which has lots of variations and gets you in a trance-y mood. All of their originals are an ode to a genre that has its roots in the 1960s UK and US musical scene. They have been formed for only five months. However, let me proceed with a warning here; Project 8771 is a band to watch out for.

Their song creation process is generally followed by one of them creating a riff and the other one filling in. On why they have only created narrative styled instrumentals, they respond with the loss of vocalists and quickly add, “We have been together since grade 4 so we are very comfortable with showering each other with instant criticisms. If we find somebody who has an exceptional base with vocals and is comfortable with criticism, we are open to taking in vocals in the future.” They use GarageBand and Logic Pro for fillers while mixing and arranging and they give titles to their songs focusing on nothing but the fun aspect. Some of the titles for their songs are Besari Chilayo, Bhakundo Bhoot and Shuturmurgh.

Commercialization of their music is a ‘complete no’ for the Project boys. Reason one: if they go commercial, they will be controlled by their fans. Reason two: music should be free. So, where will they get the money from? They recommend side projects for an answer and all of us nod. On what they have to say about the Nepali underground music being monopolized by metal, they agree. “More than metal being bad, it is the population of people today who listen to metal just for the heck of it. The audience is musically uneducated and metal is supported to follow the crowd and look cool. This distorts the entire picture.” Pranav remarks. “We cannot blame the genre. It is also because the underground scene has just begun to establish itself here. In the beginning, such things are bound to happen. Gradually, the audience is expected to educate themselves and only then will the situation become better; it is the same story everywhere,” Anurag adds.

An independent release is the next idea we discuss; which they see as being very helpful as established studios are way too expensive today to take risks on their own. “An indie release is advantageous for you because you get the comfort of recording at home; any time you want to and of course not to forget the cost!” they laugh. Their influences run long and include Buckethead, Aghora, Guthrie Govan, Ayurveda, The Who, Explosions in the Sky, Led Zeppelin, Tool, COB and Porcupine Tree. From the local scene, they like Jindabaad, Monkey Temple, E.quals, Mukti and the Revival and Suvaprabhat.

I realize as I leave that this is one band who are indifferent about being marketed. Making music is all they are focused on. If they don’t have fans, they don’t care. If they do, all the better! They don’t expect to go commercial and that is in the Project’s wish list. As I think about the entire Q & A while listening to their music, I think about the breakups of young Nepali bands. I pray that Project 8771 does not break up. For here in Nepal, it is not talent that we lack, but our preset conventions that get in the way.

Be the generation to change- for good! Support Nepali music. Like them at www.facebook.com/project8771 and enjoy their free music.