Vin Sinners are back with an all-new album and line-up — and it’s been six years in the making.
‘VS III’, their third album to date, drops on April 22.
Lead vocalist Vin Nair told Gulf News tabloid he chose his daughter’s 20th birthday to launch the comeback record, because the album is a gift to her.
“There is a song on the album called ‘Make Your Stand’. We tied up with the Nord Anglia school choir to sing the chorus, which talks about the importance of leaving behind a world that’s a better place for the children,” said Nair.
“I’ve got a child, who’s not a child anymore. She’s turning 20 years old on the day the album releases. The overall essence is that we need to think about what we’re leaving behind for our children,” said Nair.
Nair says he has done a lot of growing up since he first began his journey in music, and the new album reflects that maturity, he believes.
“We were a bit rushed back in 2013 and 14. We were much younger. We had a few things to learn. Now I’m 47. I’m a lot happier with the final end product that we have. It’s a lot more intelligent, intuitive and balanced,” he explained.
Nair estimated the average age in the band to be about 50 years old. Lead guitarist Michael Schiller is 60; drummer Thomas Mielenz is 55; bass guitarist DJ Praful is 52; and rhythm guitarist Josh is the youngster of the band at 28.
But, while the album represents a growth for Nair, it travels back in time, too.
“I always have a stash of lyrics that I keep going back to. One of the songs on the album called Hell on the Loose was written in 2001. There’s lyrics from different eras,” he explained.
“As a band, we have always believed in melody and heaviness. The opening line we were introduced with at live shows was: ‘It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s melodic.’
“However, we’ve not stuck to the usual four-by-four beats here. We’ve tried a few progressive elements. It’s an 11-song album that’s very diverse. As a musician, you don’t want 11 songs that sound exactly like one anther. You want people to know that there’s a lot of thinking that has gone into this music; it’s not a copy-paste process.
“We’ve gone from being just a regular, out there, hard rock band to being a little more intuitive about our music.”
The current Vin Sinners line-up is scattered between the UAE, Germany and India.
“Michael Schiller [in Germany] doesn’t speak a word of English, but here I am, communicating with him on a daily basis. It’s so funny. You should see my WhatsApp conversations — you’ll think that I’m fluent in German. I’m using the transliterate on the option on WhatsApp where you can choose a translation,” he said.
Music influences have poured in from each member of the band, but Nair penned the album’s lyrics.
“A lot of people know me to be a nationalist, obviously not a fanatic, but a person who believes in my country. Perhaps because of the fact that my dad was the armed forces,” said Nair.
“So, a lot of the music revolves around a certain sense of pride for the country that you’re from. And it doesn’t mean it’s just India. People are from all over the world, they have their sense of pride. It also talks about the essence of pluralism.”
While this marks a new chapter for the band, Nair is still in touch with old bandmates such as lead guitarist Tazz Khan, who is credited on a new track on the album, titled ‘Our Last Chance’.
“Everybody who’s even played a single note on a song deserves the credit, nl matter what. Bad blood is something that can change in two minutes. It can go from good to bad, and bad to good, in two minutes,” said Nair.
“When you’re creatively inclined, you tend to have a lot of high-strung people around in the same room and that can get a little tough because everyone’s pulling in different directions. However, no matter what happens, it’s so important to recognise, appreciate and respect every single person’s contribution.”
Looking back, he says: “I wouldn’t exactly call it a fall out. The old band just decided that we basically didn’t have much direction to work on, so we took a hiatus. Between 2014 and 2017, all I did was write new ideas and musical concepts. But the structured work started to happen from 2017 onwards, when we began recording demos,” he said.
Nair is glad to be surrounded by enthusiastic bandmates who share his love for his craft.
“At the end of the day, for me, Vin Sinners is my life. It’s the band that I created from the beginning. It’s got my name on it. And the most amazing part is that I can see that these guys are so into it as well,” he said.