New York City melodic rockers VAJRA have been turning heads since their formation in 2011. VAJRA uniquely blends hauntingly dark and hypnotic melodic, progressive rock with Eastern Indian themes into foreboding and mysterious lullabies.The band was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self-imposed exile in India. Her story is just as compelling as the bands music. Annamaria was the child of a former monk and school teacher, she was encouraged to learn about the world around her and to question her assumptions. She believes there is divinity in creativity. Annamaria has a neurological condition called synesthesia, where she attaches color and shapes to sound. Her synesthesia seems to bring another dimension to the bands music, and it’s possibly the reason they stand out. VAJRA released their debut album ‘Pleroma’ on the Summer Solstice of 2012 (6.21.12). ‘Pleroma’ is an exploration in paradox (east vs west, soft vs pummelling, female vs male) and includes Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums. Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash) co-produced the vocals and mixed. Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered. The band has quickly became a must see live act. VAJRA is an extreme force selling-out their first show in November, 2011 (at The Bowery Electric in NYC). Rolling Stone Magazine named VAJRA the “Must-See Act” at the Loudwire Music Festival in 2015. With so much content out there these days it’s easy to overlook a band. AXS Magazing named the band one of the “Most underrated bands”. The band has a unique sound that not only comes across proficiently on the album but also in the live setting with ample amounts of on stage energy. The band has released a new single titled “The Mirror” from the forthcoming album, ‘Irkalla’ – the 1st EP of The Trilogy Series. It was engineered & produced by OH NO! ØKTAPUS at Red 13 Studios. The band will be playing the upcoming BratFest in Madison, Wisonsin along side the bands: Tantric, Bobaflex, Kevlar, the funk master George Clinton and many more.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
May 26th – BratFest 2017 – Madison, Wisconsin
June 13th – Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, New York
We often find ourselves listing various bands we want to see live and in person. Some bands always seem to escape us and either not play in our area or just come around at the wrong time. Most metal fans including myself pride myself on seeing as many bands as possible live. The best music in the world is live music, seeing an artist perform their material right in front of you brings out so much passion in the music. As extreme fans of music we keep a list of bands that we want to see live, and carefully marking them off our list once we see them and add new ones. Touring musicians have the advantage of not only seeing a wide array of bands but also playing along side them while on tour. Have you ever wondered what bands your favorite artist wants to see live? In this weekly segment we ask artists what active bands are on their bucketlist to see live. This week we had the pleasure of speaking with VAJRA founder and vocalist Annamaria Pinna and here is her bucketlist:
From the very first show I attended, I was transported to the Netherworld. Their show is an aural and visual feast, and I come away from the experience satiated and transformed. They gave me the inspiration to start my own project, and I consider them my gurus.
Dead Can Dance
I have chills when I see them. The talent and creative use of various instrumentation is thrilling to experience. I get chills when I see them. They are true inspirations.
The musicianship is amazing to watch. I never know whom to focus on. I want to close my eyes and drift but I can’t stop watching them interweave and intertwine their sounds into one moody, groovy experience.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
This band is an insane mix of instrumentalists traveling together in music and creating a cinematic aural picture. Their melodies and rhythms ignite the subtle body energies and rise to intense climaxes leading me through a cathartic journey.
NIN (Nine Inch Nails)
Raw, angry, masculine and in your face.
Never saw them live but am dying to. They use traditional instrumentation to create raw, tribal and ethnic Nordic music. Love their albums.
Also never saw live and am dying to. Almost saw them a few years ago in NYC but the show was cancelled because they couldn’t get their visas. They are sound geniuses, and I would love to see them bang on the sheets of metal and do what they do creating and capturing sounds in the most organic ways.
This is a great list of bands, some of these I’m not very familiar with. Tool is one of those bands that even after you see them once you crave more and more. Though it seems she has seen them before I don’t blame her one bit for putting them on their bucketlist, because you just can’t ever see Tool too many times. Opeth is a band that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing numerous times. Their sound has changed through the years and their instrumentation live is just mind boggling. A must see band for anyone! NIN, you don’t really have to even explain that. One of the most energetic stage shows ever. Trent Reznor and company hold nothing back and leave fans with their jaws on the floor. Einstuerzende Neubauten is a German industrial band that formed in 1980 and was well ahead of their time. Godspeed You! Black Emperor sounds like it would be a Scandanavian black metal band, but they are actually a Canadian instrumental experimental music collective. They originated in Montreal, Quebec in 1994. The went on a hiatus in 2003 but reformed in 2010 giving fans another chance to catch the band live. They also toured with NIN in 2013. Wardruna is a nordic folk band hailing from Norway. Think of Rammstein with a more chanting style vocals and a more serene unstrumental style. They have a truly spiritual type sound that is enchanting every time you hear it. Keeping things pretty old school rounding out the list is Dead Can Dance the Australian world music band that formed in 1980. It’s easy to see the type of music experience that Annamaria enjoys. While some of these have an industrial vibe the majority of them are folk type bands that provide a true spirituality to their sound.