Stark Denial are a 5 piece Black metal band formed in Mumbai and active since 2009.The band is known for its powerful live performances, ferociously raw vocal delivery and actively organising a unique initiative BMK(black metal krieg)dedicated specifically to cater and support black metal scene in the country.They sucessfully put out the 3rd edition of BMK recently in December 2013 in Thane, featuring a mega 9-band lineup.After doing a series of gigs and earning accolades along the way in most parts of 2010/2011,Stark Denial went ahead to release its debut EP "War" in 2013.(Listen to its live stream here):  We candidly chatted with the main boss, vocalist Kunal Gonsalves about the band,their influences,gigs,music and more. Read on.

Metalhead Spotted: Hi Kunal,a warm welcome from Metalhead Spotted! Hows it going!?
Kunal: Hi there, thanks for the greeting, alls going on pretty darn good :)

Metalhead Spotted: Tell us a little bit about the band's history. How exactly did it start and how has the lineup been ever since?
Kunal: Well Stark Denial’s history goes way back to 2006 for people who don’t know is the year in which we actually formed, ever since then we had numerous line up changes as playing black metal is not what everyone wants. In 2009 we had our first proper line up good enough to play live consisting of Ruark  and Vaibhav on Guitars, Felix on bass, Souvik on drums and me in vocals. Even after that we went through changes and the current line up is by the far one of the strongest in terms of dedication, composing music and the most important point is that everyone of us is on the same level of thinking while composing music. We have Paresh on bass and Sunny Heith on guitars who travels all the way from Vashi and Mulund respectively this clearly shows their dedication towards the band, also we have our drummer Vineet Nair who is also very dedicated towards the band, just looking at these guys giving their all for Stark Denial has made me realize one thing that they are not just band member’s but brothers of the same Covenant of Black called Stark Denial.

Metalhead Spotted: Your major influences?
Kunal: Well there are many names that can fill up the space here, but ill keep it short and simple the early wave of Norwegian Black Metal has a major influence on us.

Metalhead Spotted: How did the idea of BMK stem up? How has the response been from the start and do you see Black Metal's popularity and awareness per se increase over all these years?
Kunal: Well the idea of BMK came up just as an instinct to me, i wanted to do something in honor of my parents so i had decided to come up with a show to support the genre which is the most underrated and to give bands a chance to show the country and the world that even we can deliver a taste of a good healthy dose of Black Metal. From the early days as i can remember there used to be a black metal band around by the name Fate. Roshan Kumar on bass and vocals, Nitin Kumar on guitars and Hitesh on drums, these guys had released an EP called Lead us to Darkness with songs such as Deathless, Golden Leaf (Hauptmann’s Sorrow), Lead us to darkness, Nittilai & Whispering Death which was definitely one of my favorite local releases ever since then as per the recent times we have bands emerging from all parts of the country delivering black metal in the own unique styles. We have bands such as Spike Crib who play their blend of Gothic yet Symphonic black metal and the only band who has a female vocalist which really sets the atmosphere for that kind of music, Solar Deity who with their every EP/Single deliver a diff style of black metal, Cosmic Infusion who delivery their music with a strong Symphonic base, Dark Desolation from Bangalore who are the raw satanic with every song they play, 1833 AD from Delhi who have a touch of melody and fast pace to their style and many more bands coming up. So I'd say yes Black Metal is definitely increasing.

Metalhead Spotted: Stark Denial is particularly known because of your loud snarling,screeching vocals.How do you manage to go through the entire set in one go,without damaging the vocal chords?!?
Kunal:Haha i didn't know Stark Denial was known for that :p but thank you for letting me know, well i'm sure every musician would agree when i say that practice makes you better so thats my key and yes also do listen to different bands which gives you an idea and helps me in putting variation in my vocals while i'm on stage or recording. And since i'm a vocalist i do a lot of breathing exercise which helps me sustain my stamina during shows.

Metalhead Spotted: Needless to say, Stark Denial is a pretty unique name.Was there a story behind it or just a random name throwing contest for the band?Any references to atheism/satanism?
Kunal: Well its kind of funny how we came up with the name, but never the less we do not have any references to atheism or satanism. Stark Denial means severe denial which could be against anything in life, however our lyrical themes are based on War, hatred, personal experiences etc.

Metalhead Spotted: Coming to your EP ,its title which is self-explanatory to say the least;does it deal with the issue of war in general or a particular incident inspiring a story?What was its genesis?
Kunal: Based on our Lyrical themes we decided to go with the concept of war for the EP, as war has always been an interesting topic which consist of all the elements to write a metal song for eg, the firing, killing aggression, destruction etc. Our EP is basically the blueprint of a war right from the beginning till the end where in the enemy is defeated and conquered.

Metalhead Spotted: Was the EP well received by fans the time it got launched?How has their reaction been,and any particular crowd favourites,apart from the marduk cover?
Kunal: To be frank i actually don't know how the metalheads have reacted after listening to the EP, but as to what i have got to know from a few sources and friends its pretty good. When any band launches a record its not necessary that it will b liked by all as different people have their likes and dislikes and their points of view. Our song Conquering thy enemies throne was the first song from the EP which was up on youtube for streaming so i would say that one.

Metalhead Spotted: You went out of your way to make sure BMK 3 was brilliantly organised. Has it been bigger and better than the first 2 editions? And will this translate into a regular yearly fest from now on?
Kunal: YES, BMK 3 was definitely bigger than the previous 2 editions held and the main reason were the people and friends involved in making it happen, namely first of all every member of Stark Denial, Itihas Shetty, Narayanan Haridas, Ajaya Bahtt from Frameshift and Kunal Choksi of Transcending Obscurity were all instrumental in helping making BMK 3 what it is today. BMK 1 had 4 bands, BMK 2 had 6 bands, BMK 3 had 9 bands so as you can see its getting better year after year. Yes BMK will be an annual show which we will organize year after year.

Metalhead Spotted: Any particularly interesting gig experiences you want to share?Funny incidents?
Kunal: Not that i can think off but yes one show which we did in Ahmadabad, we were playing the last song of the set, Slayer’s Raining Blood, during the song someone from the crowd threw a can of red paint in the air and it hit the wall and the paint from it came pouring down on our drummer Souvik's head and his hair turned red lol, after the show got over he tried to wash it off and it wouldn't come off tried all the possible solutions, this resulted in him cutting his hair when we came back home :D

Metalhead Spotted: Stark Denial has played in Pune more than once if I'm not mistaken. How did it feel like playing there?And how had the crowd been?
Kunal: Yes
_es we have playing in Pune twice, once in an open air theatre which was pretty kick ass, the second time was in Wakad where majority of the show happen there and that was intense as the crowd there when berserk...!!!! so it was 2 good times and we looking forward for more to play in Pune. edit
Metalhead Spotted: Are you looking forward to play any international gigs?Has it been the band's ambition/long term goal to play abroad and maybe to represent the Indian version of black metal to the global audience?
Kunal: Yes we are definitely looking forward and working towards things which will help up play international gig’s it would be really interesting for a black metal band from India to play in front of international audience. Its been a dream which will hopefully come true soon as i said based on things if they fall in place.

Metalhead Spotted: So whats cooking up in the Stark Denial's altar currently? New songs,new album announcements yet?
Kunal: We have been writing new material to complete the track list for our full length, but before that we will be releasing a very special single details about it will be revealed soon.

Metalhead Spotted: You recently played in Bangalore.How had it been?
Kunal: Bangalore is considered to be another metal hub in India as we were really eager to spread our music there, the show we did was called Human Garbage organized by Simon. Turnout for the show was pretty less something which you can never expect to happen in Bangalore, but we always believe in giving our 100% whether its a crowd of 10,100 or 1000.

Metalhead Spotted: Stark Denial is to play at Transcending Obscurity fest very soon. Any surprises for fans,new songs etc?
Kunal: The Transcending Obscurity fest has a very intense line up with bands of different genre’s from black metal to death, grind, progressive and doom, so this will be an amazing experience for us. Yes we will be playing new songs for this show and all i can say is that if you like black metal then be there to witness us.

Metalhead Spotted: Thanks a ton for extracting time to this interview with metalhead spotted,and best of luck to your future endeavours. Hail Black Metal,and cheers!
Kunal: Thanks you and stay true \m/ cheers from Stark Denial.

 more event details can be seen here

Interviewer- Abhimanyu Watve

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