Rocking it right at 40
By Sonali Shenoy - CHENNAI
10th November 2012 12:09 PM
Second Coming promised us last year that they wouldn’t stay a ‘cover band.’ And one thing that a veteran musician will never joke about, is his music. So the band has been busy. Really busy. “Forty-two concerts in 16 months across five states,” their saxophone import from California, Sengen Joachim says in awe. Sengen, who was the leader of one of the popular indie groups in the 60s, The Avengers, is probably the most old school of the lot – still rocking his sax at 63. He recalls, “The music scene has changed a lot since I remember it. The DJ has more or less occupied the space that the live bands used to in my days.” Sengen pauses for a moment, “In a way I feel ‘Second Coming’ has partly contributed to a second life for the live music scene here in the South.” With names that go back as far as your parents’ rock days - Maynard Grant (drums), Reji Varghese (vocals and guitar), Philip Kohloff (vocals and guitar) and Tenny Allwood (bass) - it’s likely you’ll agree. Also in the group, are the under-40 members of the band, Mark Wilcox (keys), Ryan Fernandes (vocals), Bruce Lee (guitar) and Philip’s daughter, Tonia (vocals). Together, they put on one heck of a show that holds the attention of teens and grandparents alike. For the moment though, they’re taking some time off the stage and inside the studio. Their first album, tentatively titled, Take-2, should be ready to go early next year.
Vocalist Reji elaborates, “In studio parlance, Take-1 of the Second Coming story was the unexpected success of our live performances.” He adds, “So Take-2 of our story is the new album and writing and recording our own music.” For those who haven’t been to one of their shows yet, this bunch of yesteryear musicians re-connected a little over a year ago after a long hiatus. The idea was to make music, just for the love of it.
To get away from the daily grind, they even have a secluded jam pad set up in Yercaud. Ever so often, the musicians disappear for a while, to be alone with their tunes and hopefully make some new ones. Reji lets us in on their music hideout, “It’s a small cottage that we had designed by an Auroville architect.” He laughs, “We call it ‘Second Coming’s’ second home. We retreat there a couple of times a month to stimulate our creative juices and write some new music.”
With their versatile stage repertoire of genres that range from rock to pop to blues and jazz, one has to ask : will the same be the case on their upcoming album? “I think that’s our biggest USP,” responds Reji. “That’s why we have such a wide fan base and we definitely hope to maintain that versatility with our compositions.” Given that this line-up of 40-something musicians pull of contemporary covers as current as Adele and Maroon 5 with as much ease as they do The Beatles, we can’t wait to listen to what they have in store for us.
Asked whether there is anything that fans should watch out for, and Sengen takes the lead on this one. He responds, “I think there are two major factors - the fusion and cross over of genres and the unconventional song writing,” he says, hinting that this studio work in progress is going to be different than most. Senjen who is Indian-born but has settled in the US for 30 years now also has plans for an international tour, once the album is ready. “The western music market is one that appreciates originality,” he says positively. ”A tour of the United States, Canada, UK and Australia is definitely on.”
They say the glory days are in your youth. Try getting Second Coming to second that thought. It turns out, they’re just getting started.
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