POP Montreal | Karma Glider’s Susil Sharma lets us into his world

Entrevue réalisée par Stephan Boissonneault
Genres et styles : Art Pop / Indie Rock / Shoegaze

renseignements supplémentaires

The last time we saw the noisy post-punk/shoegaze pop act, Karma Glider, was on a concrete amphitheatre in Rouyn-Noranda for FME. This time we will see them in l’Escogriffe for POP Montreal, armed with all of the tracks from the first EP, Future Fiction. Before this appearance, we spoke with the founder/ frontman of Karma Glider, Susil Sharma. Previously part of Heat, Sharma started Karma Glider just before the pandemic reared its ugly head and now has a full-fledged band that is on its way to Burning Up.

PAN M 360: Take me through the origins of Karma Glider. It’s still quite a new project in the grand scheme of things.

Susil Sharma: The band is kind of a pandemic baby. I’d been making some solo recordings and got the group together to back me up for some live shows in 2020. Once everything closed down, the shows were canceled but we just kept jamming and eventually decided to record and move forward as a band

PAN M 360: At first listen, lots of Karma Glider’s music sounds pretty feel-good in a sort of indie rock vein with poppy post-punk, but are these songs coming from a deeper place? I ask because “Burning Up’s” lyrics can be taken many different ways. 

Susil Sharma: Totally. I love bands like The Smiths, Echo and The Bunnymen and The Verve that can pull off that happy music-tortured lyrics dynamic and I aspire towards that same thing. I love filtering personal experiences like the ones I’ve written about in Burning Up and others through a medium that doesn’t make the lyrical content obvious.

PAN M 360: Going off that, as a songwriter, is it important for the song to have a personal context?

Susil Sharma: It really is important to me that I draw honestly from my personal life in my work, but I like writing oblique lyrics that don’t spell things out too obviously and leave room for the listener to connect them to their own experiences.

PAN M 360: Right from the initial 5 or 6 seconds on “In Deep Ocean,” I was hooked by that “wooo,” and video game coin (Mario?) sample. Where did that idea come from?

Susil Sharma: Thanks, man. I was listening to a lot of early hip-hop when I wrote the song. Songs like “It Takes Two” and “The Choice Is Yours” are big influences as is the production of Public Enemy, Big Audio Dynamite, and Andrew Weatherall-produced records.

PAN M 360: Another video game reference is with the “Burning Up” music video, which has to be one of my favourites of the year. Can you tell me about that creative process and how A Link to the Past inspired it?

Susil Sharma: Haha, thank you again. I was talking with the label about making a lyric video and I wanted to make something a bit more interesting than those can sometimes be. I’m not sure at what point I thought of doctoring the Zelda walkthrough but had I known how long it would take to make, I would have thought twice! Interestingly, my parents didn’t let me play video games when I was growing up, so I’m not sure where all these arcade influences are coming from…

PAN M 360: Was there any particular genre or decade of music that helped influence some of the sounds of Future Fiction?

Susil Sharma: Definitely lots of late 80s/early 90s stuff especially from the UK. Early hip hop as I said, lots of shoegaze and Britpop influence as well. I listen to a lot of noise-pop, soul, and jungle music lately.

PAN M 360: Have these songs changed at all in a live context? Room for improv?

Susil Sharma: The songs, and band, are really growing live. It’s really interesting because we never played any of these songs live before recording them and I think we’re starting to figure out a lot more about our strengths as a band at every gig. There are a lot of noise/jam parts that are improvised each show and are really fun for us to play.

PAN M 360: What’s the goal of Karma Glider? How far do you see the project going/ plans for the future?

Susil Sharma: I just want to keep making records and playing shows and I don’t see why we would stop doing that. Creatively, I’m still calling the shots but I really like making music with these guys and I hope to collaborate more deeply with them going forward.

PAN M 360: What can someone who has never heard Karma Glider before expect at the POP show?

Susil Sharma: Bring earplugs.

PAN M 360: Any other comments, questions, concerns/things the people need to know about?

Susil Sharma: The only way out is through.

Photo by Stacy Lee

Karma Glider + Mother Tongues + Nyssa + Alix Fernz (FKA BloodSkin) l’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle—Sep 29, 2023
Doors: 8:00 pm | Show: 8:30 pm

TICKETS HERE




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