Understanding Punkh’s point of origin requires the clock to be rewound to the Nineties when the core of the Delhi five some went under the moniker Krossbreedz. Still in college themselves, the band played mostly College Competitions and Talent hunt contests through India. Steady gigs caught the eye of a Bollywood Film Producer, who saw immense potential in the band and signed them on with a deal to cut a full length album and shoot a music video in Toronto, Canada. The Catch – Hindi had to be the medium and Arth would be the new name. In 1999 Arth were a proud bunch of young Desi-Rockers flying down to Toronto and shooting the promised music video and recording the album Paagal, only to be shelved indefinitely due to reasons still unknown to the band. The year also saw Arth’s song on RSJ’s acclaimed Great Indian Rock Vol-III. The demise of project Arth was inevitable in 2000 alongside the urge to play anything popular or commercial. Key members hung their boots and took up conventional paths while the rest decided on showing their Truecolors . Truecolors was your AC/DC, Iron Maiden , Van Halen Cover band which went on to win the prestigious All India Rock Contest by IIT Delhi – Blitzkrieg in 2001. Dean went on to win Best Vocalist and Guitarist Desmond Powell – Best Guitarist. Truecolors toured through India for 2 years and with Deans decision to pursue an International Musical Degree, finally dis-banded in 2003.
GURU – Germany (2003-2007)
Longing to realize a long-cherished musical and artistic dream, Deepak Nair (Dean) found his way to Germany in November 2003 to study the Bachelor of Musical Arts at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. Having in mind, a vision of a fresh challenging new style of music, and a mission to release an album back home, it was only a short time until he gathered around him a bunch of outstanding sessions musicians to form Guru. The main idea of Guru was to fuse elements of traditional Indian music with modern rock music. The lyrics written and performed in Hindi by Dean often dealt with states of spiritual and emotional restlessness he went through his 5 years in Germany. From 2004 to 2007 the 4 piece high-energy set up toured through Europe and Germany and competed for the prestigious Rockbuster Das Ding New Comer Contest in 2004 and went on to win the same. The musicians took a further step backwards when funding was required to record a full length album, for India and Asia. Dean took to the challenge and funded the entire recording done under prominent Metal Music Producer Markus Tescke’s supervision. In 2005 Dean was approached by Times Music, one of India’s influential and major record labels to release the full length album Ghoom for the Indian sub-continent market. In 2007, after a mutual disagreement and the bands inability to strike any kind of a chord in the Indian Sub-Continent, Dean teamed up with fellow student and Rapper Carsten Kraushaar. The duo decided to continue Guru and work on material Dean had never really stopped writing, over the past years.
Guru, which was now a duo featuring Dean and Carsten had to shun the Original sound and go for a more electronic-hip hop-power pop and digital sound. A new sound demanded a new pseudonym and Punkh was an instant choice as Dean always wanted to name Guru so. In the winter of 2006, Punkh hit the Bazement Studios, Frankfurt alongside producers Audiotreatz. Audiotreatz who had already produced top-selling German artists like Dendemann, Nadja Benaissa (No Angels), Joy Denalane, Julian Smith and Nico Suave found it an ultimate challenge to work on a project with Hindi lyrics going in tandem with minimal electro beats and melodic raps in German and English. The album was immediately picked up by EMI Music, India head T.Suresh, who incidentally was heading Times Music while Ghoom was released. The self titled album was released in 2007 with the debut music video Punjabi Na Aawe on Mtv and Channel V. The song was also featured on an international compilation album released by EMI Music, France: Voyage au coeur de l’inde [Songs from the heart of India].
Back home in India, the time was ripe, for Dean, to get in, singer Robin Joseph to Rap and Good old Truecolors member Yanger Sanglir to handle Guitars & Bass along with F-Bar’s Resident DJ kunal, to tease with the mixes , turntables and grooves. By 2009, Punkh had toured coast to coast, across India and got themselves nine back-to-back gigs in Singapore, for the Kalaa Utsavam festival In 2009, from where, EMI Virgin featured the song Yunajaa on he compilation album India Rocks Vol-1, featuring top Indian bands. Well, in the course of the mayhem of 2010, normal Metamorphosis saw the departure of the DJ and inclusion of yet another Truecolors member – Joshua Grant back on Drums.
KARMAH (2009- 2011)
In 2009 Dean and Yanger were approached by one of India’s biggest and commercial bands Bandish to join them. After having refused them twice already at various points, both found it hard to do so a third time, all the more due to immense financial pressures. Till early 2011, both Dean and Yanger toured extensively with Bandish and were featured alongside popular singer KK and master percussionist Pete Lockette on the bands 2nd album with Universal Music, India. 3 years and over 300 concerts across India with Bandish, filled mostly with Bollywood and cover music, saw both the Punkh boys crave for harder , truer and original music. Punkh was still jamming around and post the decision to play ONLY original music, found it hard to gig regularly. It was 4 years since the last album and it was imperative to have a 3rd one out soon. Wise men from the trade suggested Ghoom to be re-released with a few new tracks. The nu/metal sound was still a set of unknown and unheard songs despite a major label release and it was decided that it would be only apt to play and promote the same. Once again a hunt ensued for new members and Karan Sharma and Kern Dalton completed the new line-up. In order to contractually re-release the songs, titles were changed around and Karmah was decided as the new album and E.P title. India’s leading online independent artist portal ArtistAloud.com released the songs Karmah , Insaan and Tanha in 2011.
- Christopher Bremus – Guitars (2003–2007)
- Ralf Schumacher – Drums (2003–2007)
- Frederic Ruckes – Bass (2003–2007)
- Carsten Kraushar – Vocals, Raps (2007)
- Robin Joseph – Raps & Vocals (2009–present)
- DJ Kunal – Grooves, Turn Tables (2008–2010)
Sessions and Collaborations:
- Saibal Basu – Guitars
- Gaurav Balani – Bass
- Vishal Sharma – Drums
- Predraj Petrovic – Guitar (Serbia)
- David Schutz – Guitar (Germany)
- Bjork Tannenberg – Guitar (Germany)