The story of Ahymsa

The tale thus far of the band known as Ahymsa is a strange and complicated creature, thundering across the tundra of the North London music scene with its nostrils flaring and its tail high and eager. Since its journey began, one drummer and three bassists have been mercilessly consumed by the beast and then spat out, for reasons either of inadequacy, leaving a nasty taste in the mouth, or just being too damn nice for rock n roll. Currently however it continues in comparative peace. The band as it is has been together for just a year. In that time they have recorded two EPs and an album, played a good few gigs, and converted a small army of Jewish schoolgirls (and one gnome) to their cause.

Ahymsa's roots can be found in the whimsical pop-rock anthems of a young Graham Lewis, a guitarist/singer/songwriter who at first seemed destined to give the world its next Bon Jovi (or possibly Bruce Springsteen). This was not to be, however; Graham was soon to start working with a guitarist/keyboardist called Gemma Kali, who would bring a more bluesy, experimental feel to the music. In the wake of this new partnership Graham quickly left his feelgood ballads behind and started rocking like a mofo. Gone were the gentle open chords of previous months, replaced by fast and heavy riffs interspersed with harsh, jazzy clashes and tormented vocals. His once nostalgic lyrics metamorphosed into something much darker: lyrics that had the potential to make even the most hell-bound opium fiend pause to wonder why he was bothering with these damn flowers.

All this brought the duo to the attention of one Alex Rainbow, a crazed geography student who could (and did) drum just as hard as the heaviest riff that Graham could come up with. The aural frenzy that ensued forced Gemma to turn her amp up to eleven, which woke the drummer's brother, Ed, from his slumber. Wandering in and seizing his bass guitar, Ed began to play. Suddenly the sound was complete; Graham's dirty guitar sounds perfectly complemented Alex's intense and often tribal-sounding rhythms, while Gemma's blues crossed with Eastern scales and Ed's melodic bass lines twisted and fretted through the midst of the chaos.

As the band's sound grew heavier (and weirder), so their fans' response became more enthusiastic. After all, would you rather be swaying gently in time with the music or kicking your fellow mosher in the head to it? And the band reacted accordingly - Graham would throw himself around the stage, usually sustaining some form of injury in the process (on one memorable occasion bruising one side of his face on the end of Gemma's guitar); Gemma's face was nowhere to be seen in the stormcloud of curls surrounding her head; Alex became a mass of waving arms and blurring cymbals; and Ed bent and swayed like a willow caught in a hurricane.

Ahymsa are a band looking to create a new sound by fusing together as many different styles as they can lay their hands on. To date they have included rock, metal, jazz, blues, funk and hip hop, with a little Beatnik-style poetry thrown in for good measure; Eastern scales, bizarre time signatures and all manner of weird keyboard sounds...

... but the band figure, hey, why stop there?