Guitarist IP Singh performing with the band in Pune
|Years active||2001 – present|
The band was formed in 2001 by guitarist Anup Kutty with an original lineup of singer/songwriter Sarabjit Chadha and acoustic guitarist Inder Pal Singh (IP). The trio became a full fledged band after recruiting bassist Randeep Singh and drummer Rahul Chatterjee. In a country where popular music is dominated with commercial Bollywood music and the live rock music scene is generally full of cover bands, Menwhopause stuck to playing original compositions and were one of the first bands in India to distribute their music for free over the internet. Their first EP called The story begins... was released online as a free download in 2003. Ever since its formation, the band has gone through two line-up changes - the first with original drummer Rahul Chatterjee being replaced by Hemendra Nath "Hemzi" in 2008. The current line-up includes French drummer Paul Schneiter. In mid-2012, Sarabjit Chadha quit the band citing personal commitments.
Album and tour
In 2006 they released their first full length album Home on their own record label, "The Middle Earth Company". The album gained the band international recognition, making them the first Indian rock band to be invited to perform at the SxSW festival in Austin, Texas. The band's tour was sponsored by the Indian Centre for Cultural Relations, which made them the first ever rock band to be supported by the cultural arm of the Government of India. The band also did a month long tour of the southwestern United States playing in around 10 cities in and around Texas. In February 2008, the band won an online poll for the Best Band of the Year 2007 conducted by Jack Daniel's in India. This got them a chance to fly to Lynchburg, Tennessee in April 2008 where they performed at the Legendary Mash Festival and worked with R.E.M.'s producer David Barbe. The band signed a major record deal with EMI-Virgin Records (India) in 2008 to release their second full length album Easy. Instead of conventional studio recording, the band began work on the album by recording the tracks in a makeshift studio set up by them in a village in Uttaranchal, a state in the Himalayas, during September 2006. The album took four years to be produced with the band bringing in mixing engineer and co-producer Miti Adhikari (BBC London) and Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Richard Dodd. The album was initially released on digital format through iTunes and Amazon.com in early-January 2011 followed by physical CD format on 26 January 2011. The album immediately received favourable reviews by critics with The Times of India calling it "by far, one of the most brilliant works from an Indian rock act." The album artwork for Easy was done by award-winning art director Abhishek Dey who has been a regular with the band having designed the layouts for the band's first album. In December 2011, the band did a 20-day workshop with the inmates of Tihar Jail - South Asia's largest complex of prisons - and helped them form a band called The Flying Souls which later performed inside Tihar Jail. The band has also been actively involved in recording and producing songs composed by The Flying Souls through frequent visits to the prison.
- The Story Begins... (EP) (2003) The Middle Earth Company
- Home (2006) The Middle Earth Company
- Easy (2011) EMI-Virgin Records (India)
The name Menwhopause was borrowed from Anup's quiz team in college that went by the same name. The band has always maintained that the pun was actually unintentional and they were more interested in the word pause being part of the band's name. In recent interviews, the band has been quoted giving different origins of the name. Some of them include a tyre company in Brazil, tattooed fans and an attribution to Randeep's mother.
- Businessworld - Indian Beats
- Chouhan, Aishwari (2008) "Menwhopause confirm their American tour", Radioandmusic.com
- Trippin’ on Music - Express India