Shounak: Guitars

Shounak Roy came into existence in October 1988. He was introduced to music at an age of 3 years when his father played him two cassettes which was recorded in Europe from local radio stations. These cassettes contained a myriad of songs spread across various genres. These songs became the first musical vocabulary for him.

When he was in class 7 he heard the song Echoes by Pink Floyd when it aired in MTV. Before that he was listening and buying pop band cassettes like Backstreet Boys, Boyzone etc. But listening to Pink Floyd changed something in him. Awestruck and confused by its intricate composition, and David Gilmour’s bendy solos, he knew he wanted to be a guitarist. At the same time he was listening to Guns N’ Roses, too, and Slash was the other influence. On request to his father he got his first guitar later that year. It was a Hawaiian guitar. He got formal training in playing Indian classical music and Rabindra Sangeet and has also completed two years under Prachin Kala Kendra University. Around class 9 he got his first Spanish guitar and thus started learning primarily western songs. Godfather’s theme was the first song he ever picked up. From class 10, he was learning the guitar on his own, and because of youtube, his horizon opened up a lot. He was attracted most to the pure blues genre, which later became his primary style of playing. During his class 11 and 12 he played some shows with his friends in school, and also competed in various school fests. But he didn’t have an electric guitar, so he used to borrow it every time from his seniors. He got his first electric guitar, of course an Ibanez in first year of college, and things started getting serious. Getting inspired from him, his childhood friend Gogol who used to stay in his building also became a guitarist. His another friend Tubai, became the drummer, and they used to jam all the time in Tubai’s house. They did some shows in their campus. Let just say music engulfed this trio completely. He also did some shows in his college, and was also part of the gigging scenario with few other bands in Calcutta for around 2 years. But at the end of the college, playing guitar was diminishing day by day because of academic pressure. He was completely out of music from 2011-2013.

During this time, he focussed more on photography, which later became his another passion.

In 2013, he joined IISc as a Ph.D. candidate and joined its music club. Things started rolling again, and music again became a part of his life. Meeting many interesting people in the music club, he realized there is so much more to music than what he has realized before. He met Korak Sarkar, who is the drummer of Dark Project, in IISc. People like Pritam Mukherjee and Shantunu Chakraborty along with Korak became his comrades in music. He was doing regular shows and jam sessions with them and other members of the music club. But what these four folks primarily concentrated was compositions. They always sit together and write the compositions down, and jam them together. In 2017 Korak introduced him to his band Dark Project. He is having regular jamming sessions and learning the songs of Dark Project. He is seen to improvise the solos of the songs, and play around a bit with the structure of the songs.

His musical influence has developed over the years. His main interests include Blues artists, like Robert Johnson, Lightning Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, BB King. His most favourite bands are Pink Floyd, Rush, King Crimson and Porcupine Tree. Favourite guitarists include, Guthrie Govan, Paul Gilbert, Slash, David Gilmour and of course Jimmy Hendrix.