What do the blues mean to you? Do you feel there is a universal message in the music?
Blues comes from America. Everybody’s heard of the American Story of Blues, but for me, I just loved it from the time I first heard the Blues. If a music from another part of the world touches me on the very first moment hearing it then it ought to be universal. I would say the 3 chord music of Blues simply moves everybody’s heart.
How do you describe your sound and songbook? What characterizes your music philosophy?
I just love the sound of the guitar and I love songs that I wrote. Music makes me feel alive and I get to know lots of people and make friends almost every day. Just like I met you through my music, and here I am with you to share some of my thoughts.
As kids, most of us wish to learn this amazing instrument. We grow up listening to the greats. Who or what inspired you to make love with your guitar?
When I first heard Hendrix, I went crazy. I did not know anything of his music. Later, on I was more interested to know about the guitar and about his music. I read a line about how Jimi makes love with his guitar. Obviously, it was Jimi Hendrix. So I am, like many others out there, one of those who has been inspired by Jimi.
You are now known as the best blues band of Nepal. How do you see that? What do you think makes people say that?
Well, we have been playing blues for years and years, and even organising lots of blues festivals. We did a lot to contribute for Blues music in Nepal. You can hear the Nepali blues in our albums.
What is the blues scene like in Nepal?
Blues have been in Katmandu since the 70s. Now, almost all the bands playing in Katmandu, whether it’s live music in bars in Thamel or Jhamsikhel, or at the lakeside of Pokhara, they are all blues based bands. This makes me feel extremely proud and very much satisfied. I can go jam with any band in Nepal. In fact, I do so sometimes on the streets of Thamel and Pokhara.
What’s the best jam you ever played in? What are some of the most memorable gigs you’ve had?
This is a very difficult question cause when I jam, I get very deeply involved with all musicians and I just enjoy every moment with them. My most memorable Concert was at Federation Square, Melbourne.
What do you want to get out of playing live and what do you want the audience to experience at your shows?
While performing live, I feel the incredible vibes and excitement from the audience. I just want them to enjoy, listen, dance and have a good time during our show. Not stoning, no throwing bottles, NO CONDOMS and no harassment from Nepali Cops.
With, each musical genre having such a rich history and diverse background, do you feel that music means something different to performers of different styles? How does this affect your work with different artists?
I have had great fun playing with different musicians. We have Sarangi, Tabla, Flute, and other traditional instruments like the Newari drum in our album. I love playing and working with many different musicians.
What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears about the future of this genre of music?
Blues will always be in my soul. There is no past, this will always be going on and on.
Music for music’s sake or music for life’s sake?
When I play the blues in general, it is Music for Music sake. When I play my songs then it’s music for life’s sake.
At the end of the day, what do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I hope they take the SPIRIT OF ROCK from my music.
You can find more information about Mukti Shakya at the following links: