The True Blues – SOULMATE

We were thrilled to have one the biggest blues names in the country visit us in Landour to perform for the Mussoorie Writers Mountain Festival. Always keeping it simple, the band is truly honest, passionate and humble. We were lucky to have a little chat with Rudy and Tips before they got up on stage, and were able to understand what makes Soulmate stay real and play some true blues.

Soulmate at Landour
After the Gig at the Woodstock School for the Mussoorie Writers Mountain Festival

What keeps India’s best blues band ticking?

(Rudy)

The fact we get to travel and play to a new audience, to meet our old audience and mostly playing the blues is what keeps us ticking.

Give us a bit about the early days of the band and your current setup.

(Rudy)

The band was formed 12 years down the road in 2003. We have had a change of members regularly. Tips and I have been the core members of the band and are quite happy to find a pretty good current setup.

(Tips)

With Leon and Vincent I am pretty comfortable with this setup and wouldn’t wont to see any more changes.

Any advice for young aspiring blues musicians, especially in an era where you have different sorts of new music?

 (Tips)

To keep it short and simple, my advice is to follow your heart, be true to your music and to yourself. Blues is one genre you can’t be faking.

(Rudy)

With the amount of music that’s happening in this world one can easily get side tracked. My advice to aspiring blues musicians is to go back to the roots. Find out what the new musicians like John Mayer and Gary Clark Junior were inspired by. Otherwise the music becomes very shallow, with people listening to the music that is available right now. Dig in deep.

(Tips)

You gotta pay tribute to the founders, and especially the blues artists back then had a lot of shit going in there lives. Now days it seems like a rich mans’ music. So it is pointless to play if you fake the blues

Rudy And Tips from Soulmate
Rudy and Tips ( Photo Credits : Soulmate FB page)

Lets dig deeper and understand a bit of roots of Soulmate. What inspires your sound?

(Rudy)

I grew up listening to Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray, only to wonder later on what inspired these guys. Digging deeper, I found Freddie King and Buddy Guy inspired Eric Clapton, and these guys were inspired by Son House and Robert Johnson. You got to go back, time and again and re-learn the form.

(Tips)

For me, yes I was listening to pop-ish songs as I grew up in the 90s. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston really blew my mind. I used to copy a lot of their style only until I met Rudy, he taught me what the blues is all about. He has been feeding me a lot of music over the time. I realize now that it was the era of Aretha Franklin and Etta James that has inspired most of the artist that I looked up to in the 90s.

What was it like being joined by Santana on stage recently?

(Tips)

He got up on stage without our knowledge and it was pretty amazing.

(Rudy)

This was a blessing especially because Santana is one of my idols and shared the stage with us.

(Tips)

We were opening for Santana and he must have heard us play before deciding to join us. This was really an honor for us.

( Photo Credit : Soulmate FB page )
( Photo Credit : Soulmate FB page )

You guys share a similar setting back home, what do you guys think of Landour?

(Tips)

I love the fact that you can see everywhere, like a 3d view. You can see everything around you. We are glad we are part of the Mountain Writer’s Festival and love spending time here at Landour.

(Rudy)

We come from Shillong which is half the height of Landour, but at the same time its got the same hill vibe which makes us very comfortable to be here. Home away from home.

What can we expect from Soulmate in Future?

(Rudy)

Our plan is to play as much as we can, plan to tour as much as we can, because that is important. This is what we do, this is our work.

(Tips)

For me, visiting places like this inspires us to write more songs about people, travels and hills. So maybe we might even write a song about Mussoorie.

(Rudy)

Our plan is to inspire more young people, musicians. For us, we love to play for people and seeing them happy. It’s like cleansing for us as well!

Soulmate : https://www.facebook.com/SoulmateShillong/

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