How does one introduce this guy? He started off with one of Mumbai’s most loved band, the boys from Dadar – ZERO. Post their split, Warren’s love affair with music has continued even as he shifted base to New Zealand. He started a solo project – Blackstratblues. There has been no looking back ever since as today, Warren is one of the most talked about guitarists in the country! Let’s see what he has to say!
New album after 'The New Album'. What's new? Talk us through it.
Well this is the first Blackstratblues album recorded in India; the previous two were done in Auckland, New Zealand. Mumbai is way more fast-paced and noisier than Auckland, and the city definitely has had an effect on the music.
We've got Jai Row Kavi and Karsh Kale on drums, two of the best that I've had the pleasure of playing with in India. Adi Mistry is on bass, and I feel his bass playing is a great anchor to the music. He's one of the few bass players I've met who's as into tweaking his tone, much the same way I do on guitar. Nikhil D'Souza sings on a couple of songs, he has a phenomenal texture to his voice and he instinctively fits in with what I'm trying to do. So overall I'm really happy with the way things are shaping up.
You have been at it since ages, now. How does it feel to be recognized as one of the best musicians in the country? And subsequently, what is it like to be playing with the best artists from around the world and from the country?
To be honest, it rarely occurs to me that people would rate me highly as a guitar player, whenever I get too big-headed about my playing, a listen to Jeff Beck or Michael Landau or Derek Trucks quickly fixes that! I do feel lucky that I get to do what I love for a living, and when people let me know that something I wrote has become part of their lives, that's always a good feeling.
We've got some great musicians in India and I've been fortunate to play with some of them. I try to come away with something learned from each musical encounter, no matter who the artist is. It's always an education seeing how someone else does things.
Zero. We've seen you guys perform sporadically in the past couple of years. All your fans have the same question, we're sure. 'IS THERE NEW MUSIC FROM ZERO ON THE CARDS'?
This is from a prior interview with NME:
"You’ve been working a lot with ex-Zero bandmate Sid Coutto for Blackstratblues and other projects as well. Will we get to witness a Zero reunion any time soon?
We keep getting asked this, and I appreciate that people still fondly remember the band. Apart from the odd annual reunion, I don’t think any of us are keen to make Zero a full-time project again."
Sidd and I wrote most of the early Zero material together, and given the fact that most of what he writes goes into his projects, and what I write goes into mine. The later stuff was written with us jamming together in a room as a band that played together 3-4 times a week, and given the fact that Rajeev lives in London I don't see this happening anytime soon. We're different people now, not 20 anymore. To anyone longing for a permanent Zero reunion, I know the feeling, but I've accepted there won't be any new Beatles albums for me either :)
Image Credit: Chordvine