|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
|Origin||Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India|
|Genres||Rock, alternative rock, world music, alternative metal|
|Labels||Phat Phish Records|
|Past members||Anandraj Benjamin Paul
Avial is an Indian alternative rock band which was formed in Trivandrum, Kerala, India in 2003 A.D. The band is named after the popular South Indian dish Avial. The band consists of Tony John (vocals), Rex Vijayan (guitar), Mithun Puthanveetil (drums), and Binny Isaac (bass). The band's music is a fusion of native folk music from Kerala and Alternative Rock. They focus on rock performances only in the Malayalam language.
The name of the band is taken from a Kerala dish Avial, which is traditionally a part of the Sadya, and made with a mixture of contrasting vegetables. The band's work is a mix of folk music from Kerala and alternative rock, and the band's name is a reference to this.
Avial depicts the social scene of Kerala and the common man residing there about a hundred years back. The music consists of folk songs that were predominantly sung by the workers in the paddy fields, along with alternative rock. The plight of farmers whose hard-earned crop was seized by the local landlords is clearly portrayed in the lyrics of their songs. This portrayal is a new trend, and is unlike the other lyrical themes of majority of the conventional rock bands.
Avial has devised its own flavour of music, which the band members refer to as "Alternative Malayali Rock", that reflects the one of a kind heritage of Kerala life. The Malayalam lyrics used are well blended into their rock songs. The band's maiden album has been complimented for excellent instrumental play, brilliant singing, and lyrics which are beautiful and poignant at the same time. The album received generally positive response from rock enthusiasts in India, especially the youth.
So far Avial has been involved most in doing live shows. Most of the performances were in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram and so on. Shows were also held internationally in places like Dubai, Mauritius, Reunion Island etc. They were honored to perform at the Sakifo (Reunion) World Music Festival held in Mauritius that brought together 40 rock bands from across the world. Avial was the lone band to be selected from India to represent the country in the festival. The experience was special for the band since the crowd was multinational, mostly French. Impressed with their music, the popular Italian band 'A67 approached them to be a part of one of their forthcoming album, ‘Suburb’, its one song collaboration. The collaboration spawned the song "Chi Me Sape".
Record label Phat Phish Records was co-hosting a reality show for rock bands, along with the musician A.R. Rahman. Avial was invited to perform at their opening press meet. And during the press meet, Rahman singled out the band and expressed his interest in their unique style of music and sensible blend folklore and urban rock. The concert was primarily a fund-raiser for the victims affected by the Bihar floods. Farhan Akhtar, a director-actor in the Hindi film industry, spearheaded the concert. Avial was the only band to be invited from Kerala. At the Jack Daniels Annual Rock Awards 08-09, Avial walked away the winner of six awards – Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Band of the Year, for both the popular choice and critics award categories. In their recent works, Avial did the popular song "Aanakkallan" in the Malayalam movie Salt N' Pepper and the song 'SuprabathaKali' to mark the launch of Times of India newspaper's Kerala edition.
Current band members
- Rex Vijayan (lead guitar and synthesizer)
- Tony John (vocals, turntables and synthesizer)
- Mithun Puthanveetil (drums)
- Binny Isaac (bass)
- Neha S. Nair (singer) 
Rex Vijayan is a guitarist from Kollam, who began his musical career by mastering cover versions. He is the son of Albert Vijayan, a music director in Malayalam films. He has some renowned performances in India and abroad to his name. He was part of a popular band Motherjane from 2000 to 2003. He was also part of a novice German hip-hop band "Intensive Erfrischung (Intensive Refreshment)", which was based in Munich and is also actively involved with Daksha Seth’s Dance Company, which is concerned with performing on stage contemporary dance. Gibson Guitar Corporation, USA offered him to be their endorsee for their latest high end series guitar. Rex forayed into film music direction with the Malayalam film Chaappa Kurish, directed by Sameer Thahir and now with next project 22 Female Kottayam, directed by Ashiq Abu.
Mithun is the drummer of Avial, and hails from Kannur. Versatile on the tabla and a wide range of percussion, Mithun dabbled with pop music, before finding his true calling in funk and rock. He has distinguished himself through a Heavy Metal band named Rage, based in Thiruvananthapuram. He is also the son of veteran politician and former Cabinet Minister in Kerala government, Kadannappally Ramachandran.
Tony is the band's current vocalist. He replaced band's former vocalist Anandraj Benjamin Paul. He is also a gifted percussionist who mainly works on turntables. His rise to fame came in the 1990s, while working for a band called Karizma. He has worked with the Daksha dance company in Thiruvananthapuram. He is from Thiruvananthapuram. The music workshop of the band is functioning in the house of Tony.
Binny Isaac has recently joined the band, replacing the former bass guitarist Naresh Kamath (who was the only non-Malayali member of the band). Binny is from Kochi and earlier played for the band IX Hours and Overdrive.
- Anand Raj Benjamin Paul (lead vocals)
- Naresh Kamath (bass guitar)
|Studio album by Avial|
|Released||February 08, 2008|
|Genre||Alternative rock, Malayalam|
This was their first studio-album Avial, released on February 8, 2008.
|1.||"Nada Nada"||Engandiyur Chandrashekaran/John P. Varkey||5:05|
|3.||"Njan Aara"||Aial/John P. Varkey/P.B. Girish||5:33|
|6.||"Karukara (feat. Aparnashree)"||Kavalam Narayana Panicker||6:21|
|7.||"Aadu Pambe (feat. Aparnashree)"||Avial/Sudhi Velamanoor||5:22|
|8.||"Ettam Pattu"||Avial/Sudhi Velamanoor||5:49|
Avial is working on their next album, which was expected to be released in the month of February 2011. A couple of tracks from the new album were played live by the band during their concerts, before the release of the album. During their show at St.John's Medical College, Bangalore, on 14 August 2010, the band opened their concert with a new track titled 'Ayyo'. It has been confirmed that the new album will contain a total of 8 new tracks. During an interview with Yentha.com, vocalist Tony John answered a question about the title of the album as: "It is still nameless. We just spontaneously come up with the name one fine day. One of our songs in the album is called 'Aana Kallan', and it's all about fraud swamis and monks who are out to cheat people." Their next album will also be their first album featuring Tony John on lead vocals. The album is also expected to feature a different sound compared to their debut album.
The music video for the song "Aana Kallan" from their forthcoming album was released on 23 May 2011, and also appears on the soundtrack of the movie Salt N' Pepper.
- "Avial Official Website". Avial. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Avial Band - Soundsurf". The Telegraph. February 28, 2008.
- "A R Rahman's response to Nada Nada'". www.timesofindia.com. Aug 18, 2011.
- "The Times of India steps up Kerala war with music video.". www.firstpost.com. February 7, 2012.
- "Eclectic mixture of music and style Music". The Hindu. 9 February 2008. Retrieved 03-07-2009.
- "Rex Vijayan-Gibson Artist". Gibson Guitar Corporation. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- "Avial's first album.". IndianRockMp3.com. August 1, 2011.