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Maiden opening

City band NerveRek will open for the Iron Maiden concert



READY TO ROCK NerveRek

Guess who’s opening for Iron Maiden in Mumbai on Friday? Chennai-based progressive rock band NerveRek (pronounced nerve wreck) led by Arjun ‘Chiq’ Dhanraj. First Scorpions and now Maiden! One fine morning, Arjun woke up to a “ friendly but annoying voice that started singing ‘Fear of the Dark’ ”. It was Ashwin from DNA Networks, recalls Arjun. “You guys are opening for Maiden da,” Ashwin told him.

Not being much of a morning person, Arjun hadn’t seen 9 a.m. in a long time, but this was a special occasion. Even drummer Ritesh Dharmaraj, who has a reputation of being the laziest guy on the planet, was up and about, says Arjun. “It’s time for practise! It’s time for work! It’s time to see what opening for a band that you’ve practically grown up listening to feels like! “How did the boys react?” I came all the way down from Dubai for this! What do you think?” asks Jitesh Dharmaraj, the bassist. “Imagine! Let’s ask Maiden to just take us and go,” says Ritesh. “Do you think Maiden needs a keyboardist?” wonders Shayne Fernandes. “No, I don’t think they need a keyboardist,” retorts Arjun. “But yeah, I wish they just take us and go! Like they did with Parikrama the last time. Indian bands need an opening like that.”

NerveRek was formed by Arjun ‘Chiq’ Dhanraj some time in August 2003.The initial idea was just to play shows and be recognised. As time went by, the band saw a number of line-up changes, each of which brought something new and interesting in its own way. As the band grew, the intentions became more than just to play live shows and be recognised. NerveRek became more involved in writing original music. Being the songwriter and composer in the band, Arjun started concentrating more on his musical style than the initial ‘angry rock star’ image. This led to a change in NerveRek’s musical style. The band became more progressive than thrash metal as Arjun began to get influenced and consumed by a Swedish progressive metal band called Pain of Salvation.

“The ideas and influences that POS provided, made NerveRek’s music more emotional than technical. In other words, writing music became more from the heart than the mind,” says Arjun.

Apart from their own compositions, the band also plans to pay tribute to POS by playing a couple of their tracks during their opening act for Iron Maiden. NerveRek, Parikrama and Iron Maiden will perform live at MMRDA grounds, Bandra, Mumbai on Friday. The show starts at 5 p.m.

SUDHISH KAMATH

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