Ember Eyes’ debut album depicts the band’s musical journey for the past three years.

Many people, especially musicians, look at the local music scene as a thriving industry but one that has yet to offer widespread economic benefits. Despite this, there is no stopping the creativity that emanates from newcomers in the music scene. Ember Eyes is one such band – all set on a path to become known as serious studio musicians. 

“Our band was formed in late 2012 as an experimental rock band with the aim of recording an album from the start,” says Amod Silwal, the guitarist. Along with Sanjay Singh Hamal who is on vocals and rhythm, he started Ember Eyes with drummer Surendra Koirala and bassist Sunil Pahadi. With the inevitable change in line up, they now have Tshewang Tamang on bass and Sarin Bajracharya on drums. 

As we strike a conversation, Amod puts much stress on the word ‘album’ – that makes its importance more obvious. Like him, the other band members also share a similar excitement when talking about their first record. The band initially burst on the scene with the release of their first single – ‘Parivasa’. What followed were two other songs – ‘Sochdha Sochdai’ and ‘Paila’, along with their music videos. 

“The first songs we ever composed were Parivasa and Beyond the edge,” says Hamal. When they eventually etched their third composition – ‘Sochda Sochdai’, the band decided that it was high time they recorded. ‘Parivasa’ got them the recognition they needed, along with genuine praise and appreciation. “The rest of the songs were still to be arranged, we had not finalized their structure. It was done only when Tshewang joined the band bringing along his creative input,” informs Silwal. 

Tshewang, who has been musically acquainted with Amod and Sanjay prior to the recordings of all the songs, stars in the second and the third music videos. He believes that musicians in a band have their own way of bringing in a new style of music adding to the potpourri – making the ultimate composition. “I guess there’s always a time and place for everything,” he says as he recalls his first meeting with the two founding members of the band, which all started when Amod personally asked him whether he was interested in playing bass for Ember Eyes.

The respective music videos that feature Tshewang have already received considerable number of views on YouTube and as it keeps getting more, the members are all set for some upcoming gigs, much like their solo concert during the album release event or even bigger ones.  

So far, the band has performed at events like ICMC, GEMs Music Festival and Banepa Fest. Their days in the recording studio outnumber their live performances prior to the completion of the album. These musicians went to a total of four studies to work on their album: ‘Phoenix’, ‘Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory’, ‘Opus’ and ‘Nekhvam’. Likewise, Amod personally took over the mixing and audio production of four of the songs in the album, mastered by Sanzip Rai. 

Unlike the other band members, Silwal also earns a living as a senior music instructor at a reputed college and works on several projects in different recording studios. To him, music is something that is related to the word ‘soul’, which becomes obvious during a conversation when Sarin turns to a popular quote – ‘Competition is for horses, not for artists!’ 

Being the lyricist and singer, Sanjay tries to incorporate his personal experiences in most of his lyrics, which also in some ways portray the band’s struggles during these three years. As Tshewang recited the chorus of the song ‘Sochda Sochdai’ during the interview, Hamal seemed to ponder deeply on something – a definite sign that the band has potential to be a storehouse of talent. 

When asked about the style of music that will be the trademark of the band, Silwal, who usually composes most of the songs, says, “I guess people should look at Ember Eyes as a band that represents new age rock music; one that is definitely unique and distinct in its own special way.” 

Now with an album on their hands, a new drummer who is full of energy to be a part of their upcoming songs and shows, the band members have entered a different stage of musicianship. For now, they are stepping up to this reformed stage prepped with a bit of warm-up – one that is definitely musical.