Los Angeles psychedelic/western influenced psychedelic group Spindrift has never been ones to be satisfied with the typical “rock band” status quo in their 26 years together. The band has continually explored original themes in their music, most notably classic spaghetti westerns. As such, they have become well-known for their work doing scores for significant film and television projects, most notably the Quentin Tarantino produced HBO television series Eastbound and Down.
As they continue to push themselves to do even more original work, Spindrift released a video for their recent single “Dil Gera Na De” which is a Bollywood meets garage punk song/video. How on earth did the band get inspired to take on such a unique project? Well, we had to find out more with this exclusive Q&A with Spindrift founding singer and guitarist Kirpatrick Thomas.
Where did you come up with the idea to seek Bollywood as inspiration? Kirpatrick Thomas: Bollywood has always been an inspiration. To me, it’s a mysterious, daring and classic genre. We had previously touched on it with the “Space Vixens Theme” from our album Classic Soundtracks V1 (2010) which essentially was a cover by the duo Kalyanji-Anadji from the film Dharmatma. This officially sparked off our interest.
Before you read more, you have to see the video for “Dil Gera Na De” right here!
Do you know Sapna Gandhi personally? What was it like working with someone who is involved with a sound that is quite a departure from your own? Were there any language barriers? Thomas: We’re all good friends. Both Sapna and the actor Bivas Biswas who added the male Hindi vocals to the track are very talented, live in Los Angeles and work in the entertainment industry. No language barriers. We first met at the premiere of the film Dust Up (directed by Ward Roberts). Spindrift scored the film and Sapna had an acting part in it. We began talking about the possibilities almost immediately, however, it was kind of put aside here and there due to our constant touring schedule. I simply asked Sapna and Bivas to add lyrics then we worked out the vocal stylings all together which was a very technical process.
How was the whole video process, if at all, different than creating a video for your usual psychedelic rock sound? Thomas: This time around, for the promotional video, we finally worked with director Mike Bruce again. He did The Legend of Gods Gun and Treasure of the Black Jaguar with us. He was very into the Bollywood presentation and worked closely with us. Sapna managed the look with the costuming and makeup as I did the production work.
Need to familiarize yourself more with Spindrift’s music? Check out the “Drifter’s Pass” video.
How involved were you with the video’s concept? Thomas: Besides coming up with the initial music and idea of getting a Bollywood song moving out there, Mike Bruce pretty much worked out the concept within all his cinematography and editing. Sapna had much of the choreography worked out. We shot it out in Joshua Tree to give a Western vibe to the Eastern front.
Aside from the new video for “Dil Gera Na De,” how did you get involved with Quentin Tarantino and did you get to work alongside him? Thomas: Back in 2008 we produced a feature film and score called The Legend of Gods Gun. It was the ultimate low budget Spaghetti Western homage film. We had some trailers and pretty good press floating around in L.A. when an editor for the biker exploitation film Hellride which was produced by Tarantino and directed by Larry Bishop, picked up a couple of our tunes and placed them into the film.
Soon after that one was cut and they used the song “Indian Run,” which featured one of Dennis Hopper’s last performances. Since then, we’ve produced another film, Spindrift: Ghost of the West, scored loads of indie films and lots of work with Viceland.