Head over to HEADBANGER’S KITCHEN!
Sahil Makhija, is a renowned face in the Indian Heavy Metal culture, being a part of it for almost a decade now (probably more). He is the founder of Demonstealer Records as well as the frontman for established bands, the likes of Demonic Resurrection, a black metal act, who have had successful stints at revered platforms across Europe, such as the Bloodstock Festival, under their belt, alongside Reptilian Death, a death metal act with their debut album “The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence”, that was just released a couple of months back, doing the rounds. Sahil fronts another band known as Workshop, which specializes in a genre called Humor Metal, which has toilet humour inspired comedic anthems in both English and Hindi.
Not so long ago, Sahil had unveiled his next initiative called “Headbanger’s Kitchen” a cookery cum talk-show where the biggest names from the industry as well as the flag-bearers of Indian Metal have made appearances. Thus, without much more delay The Circle Pit decided to catch up with the Demonstealer to get the gist of his latest efforts. If you need another incentive before you head over to the official Youtube channel, then here
are some of the artists he has hosted on his show: TesseracT, George
Kollias, Lamb of God, Gojira, Karnivool, Hacride, Undying Inc., Andy
James, etc. Need more? We think not.
SM = Sahil Makhija
AD = Arkadeep Deb
AD – Greetings from team Circle Pit, Sahil. How busy has the Demonstealer been these days? What’s cooking?
SM – Greetings. I’ve been fairly busy these days. I’m mixing the new Demonic Resurrection album currently and am driving myself mad to make it sound the best that the band has ever sounded. Also the new Reptilian Death album has released worldwide via Old School Metal Records and there is lot of work on that front as well as working on DR and RD tours for 2014 in UK/Europe.
AD – Give us a little background story to what is “Headbanger Kitchen”.
SM – I’ve always been fond of good food and I started cooking at a very young age. It was mostly because I like to eat and I am quite a fussy eater so perhaps to make food that suits my palette I started cooking. I did even aspire to be a chef but I got derailed by my love for heavy metal music. I started a food blog on Facebook couple of years ago and after lots of positive feedback I decided to make video episodes of these recipes and that turned into Headbanger’s Kitchen. I got to mix my love for food and heavy metal into one show.
AD – The question on all our minds, how does an accomplished musician shift gears from fronting as many bands as you do to hosting a cookery show alongside managing all these acts?
SM – I honestly don’t know the answer. I just do what I have to do. I’m a normal person all the time really it’s just about performing. I wanted to be an actor as a child and perhaps that lets me switch different roles easily. I don’t know really I’m just shooting theories in the dark here.
AD – What made you realize the prospects of having a Heavy Metal inspired cookery show of your own?
SM – I don’t think I’ve realized anything yet. I just am a creative person and I like doing things so when the idea came around we did it. Perhaps one day it will become something more than what it is now and if it does I’ll be pleased as punch.
AD – “Headbanger’s Kitchen” is primarily about a new recipe themed around the musician guest on the episode. Who are the artists who have guest- appeared on your episodes so far?
SM – We’ve had about 20 guests so far right from International Metal stars like Mark and Randy from Lamb Of God to local heros like Vinay and Sunneith from Bhayanak Maut. LINK.
AD – When you started “Headbanger’s Kitchen” did you envision it to be an established web-show that runs on for seasons or was it more like a one-time idea that just struck gold?
SM – I just had a vision to do the show. There was no plan for number of episodes or how many years or anything. For me I don’t think that way, when I start something I generally plan to run it till the day I die. It may not always be active and regular but it’s there. So we’ve been taking things as they come.
AD – There must have been some amazing moments on the sets with so many revered figures from the industry gracing the episodes. We would love to hear an anecdote or two from the sets.
SM – I had a blast shooting all the episodes and each guest was awesome. One of the funniest things was in the early days we used to shoot the cooking and interview sections today and I was interviewing Scribe who showed up 5 hours early! Needless to say they were locked away in my brother’s room where I’m not sure what they did but let us just say it resulted in a hilarious interview. Similar thing happened with Jack from Bevar Sea.
AD – How far do you plan to take the “Headbanger’s Kitchen” concept? What can be expected from the show next? Is a televised rendition on the cards?
SM – We are working on crowd funding for a new season of 12 episodes. Currently there are no plans for TV. We’re open to offers but there are none as of now. We’re going to follow the same format as now. However we are always open to suggestions.
AD – As a chef, you must have some preferences which you come back to regularly? Which dishes would those be? We would also love to hear the Demonstealer list his favourite dishes as well as the one’s he recommends for people with a demanding taste-bud.
SM – My all time favourite dish is a nice juicy grilled steak with either fries or a baked potato with butter and sour cream. Recently after my vacation to Italy I’ve been going quite crazy over pasta as well. So I do enjoy a nice basic tomato based pasta or a simple olive oil, salt and pepper or a spaghetti carbonara. There is so much great food in the world.
AD – The Indian cuisine has also found space on the “Headbanger’s Kitchen”, keeping in mind the episode “Heaviest ChholeBhature of the Universe” featuring Gojira. Given the global conception that Indian Cuisine centres around tongue-melting spices, how has been the reception to this particular episode been? Do you plan to portray the other sides to the Indian cuisine as well?
SM – I will be very honest. I’m not big on Indian food because I personally don’t like too much spice in my food. I started cooking Indian food only because I realized it makes no sense to feed my international guests food that they might get to eat regularly. Like why feed Gojira a burger or a steak? So I started learning to cook Indian food and to be honest I’m enjoying it a lot and I love learning new dishes. Also because I’m cooking it I get to keep the spice level low which makes it more enjoyable for me. The amount of Indian food I cook next season will depend on how many international guest s are there on the show. LINK.
AD – While most musicians resort to crowd-funding and as such, you have initiated a novel business initiative where foodies can get their hands on the fine specimens of your personalized recipes, with a Payable-on-delivery financing system to boot. How often do you conduct these? Is it bankable stand-alone enterprise or just a mere spin off from the “Headbanger’s Kitchen” segment?
SM – I am actually resorting to crowd funding as well. After the show started going online people wanted to taste the food and so I started doing take away orders from home. People got to eat the food and I make a little cash on the side. Most of it goes into the production of the show itself. It’s great PR for the show as well and honestly I do it occasionally. I didn’t cook for 6months of this year because I was so busy with my albums. Now I had a few weekends off so I started again. It all depends really.
AD – Being a jack of all trades, as well as being the master of every single one is no mean feat to achieve. How do you balance all these roles and still find time for yourself as well as your other obligations such as family, health, etc.?
SM – Well I don’t think I’m a master of anything really. I just learnt to manage my time and these days I’ve had the good luck and great employers Furtados Music who allow me to work from home. So it’s just about having the right priorities.
AD – You have been balancing your role as the frontman of your black metal act Demonic Resurrection, your humour metal band Workshop, the brains behind Reptilian Death and running the Demonstealer Records label. It comes as no surprise that with your outspoken views on the interwebs, your constant love and hate relation with the fans, and your phenomenal marketing skills and peer skills, you are identified as somewhat of an icon in the Indian Heavy Metal culture. With so many feathers on the chef hat, how does it feel to be an icon in his own right, from the Indian Heavy Metal scene?
SM – Honestly I really don’t feel like any icon or anything. I just do what I love doing and whatever that brings along with it so be it. There are pros and cons to everything. What a lot of people never understood is that I just do what I need to do to follow my dreams.
AD – Coming back to the topic of “love and hate” relation with the fans, you have been known to communicate your fans personally. While it is an admirable quality, and there are several perks to being a musician that keeps his audience close to hand, there are times when most musicians feel that the fans overstep the boundaries they are entitled to with respect to having an opinion and voicing/imposing it. How do you address this issue with your fans?
SM – I just learnt to use the block and delete button on facebook. For me I believe whatever I might have as a musician today is because of fans who listen to our music so I try and make sure I at least acknowledge and speak to them when they message. I guess you got to take everything based on your interaction with that person and not generalize.
AD – Frontman, brilliant composer/musician, label-owner, accomplished chef, what’s next for the Demonstealer?
SM – Thank you for the kind words. For now just releasing the new DR album and touring my ass off in 2014 with Workshop, RD and DR. I also hope to start recording my solo album in 2014. There may be exceptions to every theory but making an honest confession, most of us, the average Metalhead, plan to go out and get hammered on a weekend night, while on the other hand, some of the busiest minds in the industry, get busier over splitting another cluster of hair hashing out the next platform to share the “Metal” tag with. I might be the last person to make this article about didactic messages usually found in Aesop’s but there’s much to be learnt and added to our respective CV’s, taking after Sahil’s example. Whetting your appetite for more, always, I suppose is the underlying message, in this scenario.