Pentagram defines rock ‘n’ roll in the country—sex, drugs, the works. As their latest album releases, here is the story of how they stuck it out for 16 years, defying every rule in the music book

01 April 2011

IN THE MIDDLE OF A SET, Randolph Correia, the lead guitarist of Pentagram, is lying on his back onstage. As the rest of his bandmates look on, torn between sheer panic and laughing fits, Correia wants the light bulbs switched off. Like most rock stars on a trip, Correia is no stranger to hallucinations. The eventful concert at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, some four years ago, earned him the moniker ‘Light Bulb’.

It’s only 4 pm and there’s a different kind of madness on a scorching afternoon in March. I’m at Correia’s suburban Mumbai pad. In the living room, a coterie of artists—musicians and designers—works quietly at their laptops. The 36-year-old guitarist looks like a picture of collected cool—no different from his usual stage persona—despite the fact that he’s been working like a man possessed and it’s less than two weeks to the launch of Bloodywood, Pentagram’s fourth album. Correia tells us that he’s played tracks from the new album so many times over that he’s ready to let them go.

He’s onto a mix of ‘Tomorrow’s Decided’, the final track, in his bedroom studio. Eight guitars are lined up against the wall in their cases, two Fenders stand proud and naked, a toy keyboard is shoved under a desk, a mini-xylophone over it, and The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards’ autobiography is at arm’s reach from Correia’s computer. The unmade bed on the floor, which is just a mattress really, and some unpacked luggage suggest that Correia is a man on the move. Sure enough, the band will hit the road soon. The launch, which kicks off with the five-city Jim Beam Pentagram Bloodywood tour that begins in Mumbai, is slated for 22 March.

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    Lalitha Suhasini is a Mumbai-based independent journalist. She has previously worked with The Indian Express and Rolling Stone India.

    Keywords: Mumbai concert music Pentagram rock album Dadlani bands