Yell Out
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- Artistes Vivek has played with -
  • O’man Organ Grinders, Australia
  • Autograph, Russia
  • Como Drive, New Jersey
  • Parikrama
  • Orange Street
  • Pentagram

- Downloadable demo tracks -

- Raves and Rants -
Yell anything about these e-pao YellOut Bands, form Fan group @ YellOut Bands

- Contact Vivek -
Ph. Vivek Sharma
Keishamthong Top Leirak
Imphal 795001.
Manipur. India.
Email: vivekph2003@yahoo.com

- Bands vivek's been part of -
  • Hells Angels
  • Phoenix
  • Phynyx

- Awards Vivek bagged -
  • Best Vocals and Best Lead Guitar Award in Western Music Competition in Manipur University in 1991
  • Best Showmanship in the LIVEWIRE’ 91 at IIT, Powai, Mumbai
  • Best Lead Guitar Award, Best Showmanship in OASIS’93 , Bits Pilani, Rajasthan

- Upcoming Gig -
Vivek is working on an intrumental album currently. He plans for a gig after that.

- Vivek's Gears -
Semi Acoustic YAMAHA guitar series SA 2000s; MARSHALL MG Series 250 DFX Ampli speaker; Guitar Signal processor (GSP 21 Series).

 

Introduction and the History

"Yes. The Earth is round and It’ll revolve round and round" is what he replied when posed with the question "Do you think rock is reviving?".

Vivek Sharma.
Born to Mr and Mrs. Ph. Tombi Sharma of Keishamthong Top Leirak, the introduction to music, and that too rock music, is not a logical step. But if you put the environment of the 70s when rock was very popular, you might get to piece together the scenarios and get yourself a story of a guitar player... or should we say of a rock guitar player. Yellout proudly presents Vivek Sharma (aka Viveka) for you.

His brothers played an important part in his foray into the world of rock music. With nothing much but a burning desire, he picked up the guitar and taught himself “Teach your children” by Crosby, Still, Nash and Young. He joined a band in 1986 called "Hells' angels". The band had Eddie, Max, Rajesh and Lemmy as other band members. The band was basically a Nagamapal outfit who played Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Motorhead, Ozzy and Rainbow covers amongst others. Vivek remembers playing on stage for the first time. "It was a little annoying when I started to hear the sound of my guitar reflecting back ( like using a delay paddle) from the PA system . Afterwards it was OK."

In 1989, the band called Phoenix was born. The band toured all over India playing the college circuit and various other rock contest for the next decade. The band stepped out of Manipur and into Shillong, arguably the music center of the North East. They won awards in the North East BIT contest in '89. In 1991, they went as far as the IIT Bombay (currently Mumbai) where they rocked the Mood Indigo festival. They made an appearance in the Oasis 1993 at BITS Pilani where they bagged most major prizes of the contest. The band's showmanship, the dazzling stage presence and the slick guitar covers were the talk of the college goers and rock lovers all over the nation. They were invited in the festivals of most colleges of Delhi including St. Stephen, Venky's, Bhagat Singh and LSR.

Introduced into the 'western music' by his brothers, Young Vivek soon started to listen to The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath , Jimi Hendrix etc. These musicians inspired Vivek to pick up the guitar and learnt to play by ear. Subsequently he invested in books and videos on guitar techniques by Vinnie Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morse, Eric Johnson etc. Through this meduim, he perfected the techniques of guitar playing of his guitar heroes. Vivek played a cover of Yngwie Malmsteen, 'Disciples of Hell', at the OASIS’93, Roctaves, after which he was crowned the best lead guitar. He was also awarded the best showmanship on the circuit. Hard work and detailing did pay off. Vivek regards those moments as his most memorable moment on stage till date.

The best moments for the band Phoenix was when they were selected to play at the "Great Indian Rock Festival" at Calcutta (currently Kolkatta) and their original "Woman" was featured in the RSJ's Great Indian Rock Vol II. Vivek recorded for "Woman" which is a rock ballad which has its root in the mid 70s with its composers. Vivek brought in the Guitar works to a completion of the esrtwhile "Woman" which was released as part of the 'GIR Vol II' collection.

The band contributed in awareness campaign through music within the state and in the country in matters related to AIDS, Peace and Environment.

Personnal Projects

The band Phoenix broke up in 1999 and that original line up has not reunited once after that. Vivek continued his life and his endeavours in the music after the band's break-up. He attended college while he toured with the band and completed his education in Masters (Mathematics). He landed a job as a Data Analyst in the Environment and Ecology Wing, Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Manipur. He is responsible for analyzing Environmental data of Manipur and have produced various related reports, documents, newsletters and have updated the department's website.

His days in the Hell's Angels was a mixed bag of emotions but the most memorable one is the fact that it was where he met his future wife RK Sunita. They got married on 14th February 1998 and have a son of seven years named Jason. Vivek's wife was supportive of his rock and roll dreams and aspirations. She wrote lyrics and Vivek recorded a studio album called "Rock N Roll Dreams" which was released in 2001. A video for the track "Stop the killing" has since been shot and aired on Doordarshan. The album is probably the first English language rock music album from the Manipur state.

Rock Music as a Career option

Rock music has not been popular with parents. This is truer in the 70s and 80s when Rock musicians doesn't have a good image. Vivek has been lucky that way. "My parents were in their seventies when rock music hit their home but they are the super coolest. I still play in the middle of the night and they don’t shout. For venturing into anything, blessing of parents and encouragement are always needed to be successful. Just like every subject and career, Rock is also an option."

Then, Is there a way to gain acceptance of this possible career path?
"Yeah! the gap is there with parents because nobody has proved their guts and showed them its value. After one or two success story, they(the parents) will accept it. Definitely! After all, Mick Jagger's mom still can’t understand him."

Did you have any problems when you took up this music from your parents?
"Not with mine, isn’t it Ima?"

What were the issues in pursuing rock music as a career for you?
"The issues are not with me, it’s the audience. We are venturing into a very challenging and complex domain i.e. rock and the Indian audience were still virgin to this type of music. It will take may be another decade for rock to hit the mainland India and by then we will be history. But still we have to keep the faith."

What do you think of the current music scenario?
"It’s great! We all want to listen to different kind of music. Better be ground – breaking to music."

What do you wish Manipur has then and now?
"Manipur has the audience then but no market. The situation now has reversed. Insurgency and drugs is the main concern or issues rocking Manipur's boat. Rock music is not a joke. It requires talents and guts. Now we don’t even know whether the talents are still there, of course there are still very promising young boys and girls coming up. I will definitely mention guys like Lawrence who is very talented. They can be groomed and if properly projected someone like lawrence can be one of the greatest artists."

"But if the present scenario of Manipur prevails, no Lawrence not even Bruce Dickenson can come up."

So success in choosing a non-conventional career path is also ruled by the socio-economiccondition of the society.

Stint in the US

Vivek had visited the US post the 9/11 incident. He had cousins and nieces who were in that country and they had been inviting him to give them a visit. His visit to US is something Vivek describes as an event that hapenned "just for the heck of it". His career in music was not that great and he felt nothing much was happening to him. A little push from his wife saw him landing in the shores of the US. He was lucky to have secured a VISA to US at the time when strict restrictions were imposed post 9/11 incident. He stayed in and around New Jersey doing some odd jobs and jamming with the local musicians.
"I did some odd jobs there but mostly jammed up with the band COMO DRIVE and AKASA in New Jersey. Then I was offered to be guitarist for a band ‘Mama’s Tribe” in North Carolina. I met the band members there and also watched them play."
"I was there for about five months and then had to come back again for my job."

Vivek's most memorable studio recording happenned for a song with COMO DRIVE which is an alternative rock band based in New Jersey.
" I used to record the 2nd voice and 2nd lead track from a bathroom next door to the recording room. Incredible sound though !"

Vivek is still in contact with the bands he jammed with during his US visit.
"I still have contacts with them and we exchange updates all the time. They also wanna come and play in Manipur. If any organizers are interested I can call them to Manipur. Any takers? "

Future plans

Vivek also has guided a number of youths in their music career. He had a chance meeting with Lawrence who is curently doing his graduation. Vivek feels Lawrence has the potential to make it to the top vocalist slot. They have recorded few tracks and did a gig together too. So lets wait and watch if this colaboration would continue in the future and if it takes the duo to heights of their music career.

Vivek is currently working on an intrumental album. Once this project is done with, he plans a few gigs.


 
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