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Aging, Growing Mature and the Loss of Youth - Green Park releases its first full-length album “Newly Aged”

Interviewed by Zarah Noorani (@zarahnoorani)

A few weeks before the anticipated release of Newly Aged, I had the opportunity to sit down with Arpan, Sid and Rish from Delhi-based indie band Green Park and talk about aging, change and everything in between. The last time we spoke was all the way in October of 2022 ahead of the release of their debut EP “All My Pictures Have Grown Smiles” (which, btw, you can read here!) and over the years, Green Park has come a long way with their music. Whether it’s the mastery that each of them bring, or the synchronized dynamic they share - this three-piece band has been making waves in the Indian indie music scene.  

Thanks so much for sitting down with me today! The last time we spoke was around October 2022, right before the release of your debut EP "All My Pictures Have Grown Smiles". How have you guys been? What's been going on?

Rish - Since the last EP, we always talked of making an album so we had plans to do it and we had the songs and we still kept jamming more. We started with about 11 songs that we thought would be on the album and out of those, three or four remained and we continued writing more. That’s when we thought we wouldn’t play any more shows and we’re just going to lock ourselves in the studio and keep working on the album. 

Let's get the most basic question out of the way - Newly Aged explores themes of aging, growing mature and losing youth. What inspired the album and what drove you to settle upon these themes with your music?

Arpan - So, I’ve had a few troubles over the past few years. In 2021, I tore my ACL in my left knee which led to a complete crisis in terms of my health because I was bedridden for a while, and when I wasn’t, I was doing physiotherapy every day (which I do even now). This affected not only my knee, but my entire body. All of this caused me a lot of stress, because at the same time I was also going through a really horrible break-up which gave rise to a lot of mental issues and pain. All of this combined, I was left feeling really shit. On top of all this, I started noticing my hair falling off - this was one of the many visible signs of aging I saw, mentally and physically. I felt such a loss of romance and excitement in my life, that everything seemed to be done now. 

I think that period helped with writing music a lot. It was a lot more painful then, and I think that’s where the songs come from. Now, I’ve made my peace - since I’ve been doing physiotherapy for this long, helping me feel better about my body. Ultimately, I look at the songs as more of a monument for the time where I realized that “Shit, I am growing older, and it’s a new feeling”.

Photo by Abhishek Singh

This wasn’t meant to be a part of the interview, but I am genuinely curious: As a band, it seems to all come together and there’s such a clear symphony in the way you guys do what you do. Has this dynamic you share changed over the years?

ALL: The vibes are the same as they always were with us. 

Rish: I think the vibes in fact have gotten even better. We’ve gone through stuff, you know? We had this old house where we’d spend all day and it was close to Arpan’s house and we’d just be there all the time. It was really just a room with instruments and wires everywhere and so we were just sharing that time together. Especially with this album, we ended up spending a lot of time together and seeing what works and what doesn’t, and why. All of these conversations help us in being more on the same page so I think it’s only gotten tighter, our bond. There’s a certain unspokenness about what we share, and I think that’s quite beautiful. 

Sid: Apart from the music, these guys are my best friends and it helps a lot to trust people that you work with. I think if you can’t be open with people, you can’t create the sort of things that we’ve created together. 

The album packs a range of songs that touch upon a fairly diverse set of topics, and as a listener, they moved me in different ways. Putting this aside, how would you like the listener to feel your music? 

Sid: We’d all have different answers to this one I believe. For me, I wanted to create a world that someone could live in. It’s very all-encompassing, every moment is new. When we were making this album, we spent so much time making sure there were no dull moments. I want people to experience this by putting this album on, turn the lights off and just be consumed. 

Rish: I think there’s a lot for someone to derive meaning, and that’s the intention that, looking back, feels appropriate to maybe highlight. It’s not trying to guide you to a place, but there are so many moments and things happening so it allows for the listener to just channel into whatever they’re feeling. 

Arpan: I love what Sid said about building a world with our music. I would love for people to have a fantasy world that they can happily enter into. That’s how I feel about a lot of art I love, they’re like people I can rely on in my solitude. That’s what Newly Aged does for me, and I can only hope it does the same for others.

I'm curious, how was the experience of working on a full length album? You recorded and mixed it yourselves at Indimints, which is no small feat. What was that like? 

Arpan: Very often, we didn’t even know we were recording. We used to have a whole set up, even if we didn’t plan to record. While it wasn’t the ideal way to record a song, we thought it was great and then those versions of the songs just stayed on the album in the end. A lot of it was also in the moment, where I’d write the song and the same day we’d record it and leave it on the album. 

Rish: The process had a lot to do with communication and understanding where everybody’s coming from. At the beginning, when we’d just put down the songs we wanted on the album, back in January of 2023, we retained only 4 songs out of that, and we completely changed the rest. That process had a lot to do with the clarity we carried in our minds. 

Arpan: I’d like to talk about “Yahan Waha”, which is an interlude between “Coast” and “Dulcet Tones”. “Coast” is a very Beach Boys inspired track, and “Dulcet Tones” is a very Indian classical, and to bridge this difference, we have “Yahan Waha” in between. This track follows “Coast” which is about an identity crisis I felt as an English speaking Indian person and the anxieties that it brought polarizing my nationality and culture. We made this song very randomly while sampling different kinds of vinyl records, both Indian and Western records. We wanted the sound to be very push-and-pull, like how India always pulls us back home. 

Rish: I think this is something a lot of people feel in India and abroad. There is a push-and-pull and there is a migratory life that constantly stands relevant for us. I really like this piece [laughs]. 

Lastly, what’s next?

Sid: This year, we’re planning on playing a lot of shows, making a lot of content related to this album and we’re obviously going to keep writing! This Newly Aged chapter isn’t over yet, and we want to keep it going a bit more. We want to play these songs live, and we have a very ambitious live show planned in Delhi which we will record so people can see it from all over. We’re looking to go all out in the future, and we have a tour planned in Rish’s van. We’re trying to see how that spans out - different cities, venues, and also outdoors since the van is solar powered. So yeah, very very exciting!



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