Sikkim is a diverse state of many cultures and religions. We can find many talented people around us, doing what they do best, using their craft to create something new and special. Music is a culture and a religion practised and followed by many people in this state. Some people follow this to satisfy themselves, as a hobby, a tool to pass their time and some take it seriously to define themselves and to express their ways of this religion/culture to the world. Crystal and the Witches is such a band from Sikkim which has set a new standard for metal music in and around Sikkim.
From powerful riffs and vocals that make your head shake along with the packed hard drumming to the melodic chorus and progressive breakdowns at the various instances of their songs, this band will surely make you want to be in the middle of a mosh-pit. The best thing about this band is the structure of their songs – we know exactly when and where the journey starts and where the journey will end. Most of us can relate to their song ‘Ocean’ which represents “a sea of emotions, a sea of feelings, the struggle within, the sweat, the anger and the priceless experience……” and defines a big part of who we are today. These are some of the common intangible things that we have felt and lived with. The band connects with realism and is, in a way, unique.
Crystal and the Witches is an old school thrash metal band from Gangtok, Sikkim. The band was formed way back in 2006 by Diwash Rai and Tenzing Loden along with other members from Kolkata when they had gone to Kolkata for their studies. Just within the first year, the band took part in about fifteen competitions winning all of them. The band rose to a new height after which they started doing headlining and other major shows in and around Kolkata. From 2006 to 2008 the band played more than 150 shows after which the band took a break as Diwash went to Mumbai to pursue sound engineering from SAE Mumbai and Tenzing for his higher studies in Bangalore. During this period the band played many notable headlining acts – at Campus Rock Idols in 2007, Cal Underground metal Fest 2007 and Cal Underground metal Fest Kolkata. Along with these shows, the band also won two events, they played in – Kolkata and east zone winners of Campus Rock Idols 2006 and Northeast Rockers 2008. The band also played in the Shark Tooth Festival 2008.
The band is one of the first metal bands in Kolkata to play regular shows at the famous Some Place Else Pub at Park Hotel Kolkata.
The band again reformed in 2013 with Tenzing and Diwash when they relocated their band from Kolkata to Sikkim. During the recording process, the band also released their video of their track titled ‘Ocean’ which is the first metal band video to be released by a band from Sikkim. Along with their new drummer Thupden Bhutia, they started recording their debut album which is titled ‘Dynasty’.
After reforming in 2013, the band represented Sikkim at the North East Rock Concert in 2013 organized by DD North East in Guwahati. They have also performed at Shine a Light Festival, Cheerapunji in 2015. The band got one of their biggest achievements when they bagged the 1st runners-up at the prestigious Hornbill International Rock contest 2016.
The band has recently bagged 2nd runners-up position at the Sikkim Winter Carnival International Rock contest 2018 held at Sikkim.
Crystal and The Witches are:
- Diwash Rai – Vocals/Guitar
- Tenzing Loden – Bass
- AwkashYonzon – Guitars
- ThupdenBhutia – Drums
Recently the band has recruited Awkash Yonzon as their guitarist.
Being a college student and a musician (that’s what people call me), I know it is hard to follow the passion that is buried deep inside, the passion that we want to live with. Many people don’t get to do what they love to do. Instead, we have to love what we do. I got my first guitar when I was 10. Now I cannot live a day without exploring those 21 frets. I myself want to become a full-time musician and not a programmer who writes codes for someone else. Once someone passionate enough about music starts to know the real depth of it and starts to create their own sound taking inspiration from the greats and from themselves, he/she cannot just let it go. We musicians are trapped in this for life, that is, the passionate ones. I want to express myself through the music I create. I want to do what I love to do and after learning about such local talents who have pursued what they love to do and become pretty damn successful in it, I feel like there will be another road open for me in the future. Thank you, Crystal and the Witches. You guys are an inspiration.