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Shor Police only Indian band to make it to ‘Metallica Blacklist’

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International metal band Metallica mark the 30th anniversary of their 1991 classic, “The Black Album”, in 2021. To celebrate 30 years, Metallica have released a new album with a compilation featuring 53 artistes covering their iconic songs titled the “Metallica Blacklist”, which is a unique reinterpretation of “The Black Album”. Artistes covering songs in the album include Miley Cyrus, Elton John, and Sam Fender among others.

The only artistes from India to make it to the “Metallica Blacklist” are the pop duo of Shor Police – composer-producer Clinton Cerejo and singer-songwriter Bianca Gomes, who have re-imagined the famous rock anthem “The Unforgiven”. The duo has collaborated with vocalist Vishal Dadlani and rapper Divine to recreate the epic song.

The soundtrack has been released and Gomes told about the response so far: “We’re pretty overwhelmed actually with the way people have loved this version instantly. The icing on the cake was Metallica themselves sharing our version from their official handle.”

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“I think it feels amazing. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a small part of the band’s history,” said Cerejo.

“This seemed like just the project that would really interest us, and the minute Clinton called me and described it, I thought it was right up our alley. Immediately we were on board and up for the challenge. I mean it’s not every day that you get opportunities to really showcase how your music with Indian influences can be presented with a global flavour, alongside some of the biggest artists in the world,” said Gomes.

Singer-songwriter Bianca Gomes has delivered hits like “Lamhon ke rasgulle” (“Kahaani 2”), “Aunty ji” (“Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu”), “Manhattan” (“English Vinglish”), “Rootha” (“Teen”) among other songs.

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For the Cerejo and Gomes, Vishal Dadlani and Divine were the first choices for “The Unforgiven” reincarnation.

“Vishal is undoubtedly one of the most hard-hitting rockers in the country. It was a no brainer. And no one represents India quite like Divine. They truly are a dynamic duo,” told Gomes.

“I think that when you combine straight-ahead rock aggression with hip hop gully style street rap you get a double dose of attitude. And that’s exactly what both Vishal and Divine brought to the song,” said Cerejo.

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Clerejo has composed music for films like “Pyaar ka Punchnama”, “Kahaani”, “Kahaani 2”, “Badla”, “Teen”, “Jugni”, “Section 375” among others.

Talking about recreating the classic song, he said: “We completely redesigned it from the ground up while keeping in mind the ethos of the metal fan and the Metallica loyalist. That’s why the angst and aggression that the original had was important to retain.”

Added Gomes: “We kept it powerful in terms of the drum sound and rearranged the format of the song which was unpredictable for fans who have grown up with the song.”

The same mood of “The Unforgiven” is being translated into the new version. Elaborating on the tone of the song, she said: “It’s about a man who feels like he’s been controlled by society expectations his whole life. In a sense, it’s a song about despair so the general mood of the song is dark.”

“We didn’t want it to have a traditional rock band flavour. We wanted rather interpret a nineties track in 2021 and do whatever it takes to make the production, as current as can be, while retaining the heaviness and the angst. We also explored how to fuse the rock drum sound with some hip hop attitude,” Cejero said.

Talking about their upcoming projects, the duo said, “We are actually composing songs for a couple of much anticipated, Bollywood films. One of them is the Sonam Kapoor starrer “Blind”. Shor Police are also going to hit the live scene pretty hard this year once things open up.”

–By Ekatmata Sharma

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