Interview: Floyd Fernandes and how his Goan Roots got taken over by Bhurji Pav

One of the biggest names in Indian guitar is Floyd Fernandes. Known throughout the scene as a virtuoso guitarist, there's surprisingly less information about him out there. So we at Binge decided to break the ignorance and ask him a few questions :

1 . So Floyd, you're often called one of the most technically and musically proficient guitarists in the country right now. What was it that made you want to play the guitar? And what would you describe the relation between you and the instrument as?
A: This is a misconception that people have had for a long time, i would like to set it straight.I played guitar primarily for pussy.Since that didn't work out too well I settled down to playing at home purely to entertain my neighbors who are usually never at home.When you do stuff for a while without any encouragement you tend to then just play for the music.

2 . We've seen and heard a lot of your work online, especially with Karan and The Rasgulloids. Could you tell us more about your lack of indulgence in 'professional' music, in spite of your stellar calibre?
A: Karan Joseph was a very important person in my musical journey and we played for hours on end when I visited Bangalore. This synergy led us to play small venues in that city and we had a whale of a time. He was a unique soul and a musical prodigy who really impacted me and I miss him a lot.The Rasgulloids was a venture with my very close friend Debu Banerji a monster drummer and great all round talent. We never had any gigs as such but played in a studio space thanks to our common friend Shantanu Hudlikar. This was exploratory music and we rarely had any listeners but the fun and joy we experienced was worth it. We bonded over street food outside the studio and had a lot of laughs. Karan, Debu and me played a few gigs in Bangalore as the Rassgulloids which was conceived of as a tin of sweets which no one wanted to open.Both of them have left the room, Karan we all know about and Debu is back in Kolkata.I am honestly not enthused by the current gig culture and prefer the company of my absent neighbors to a room full of people who want to meet only if there is money or an opportunity involved.One has to be motivated to want to play with people and I'm sorry no one does it for me like those two.Music is my passion and I will play ONLY if I'm having a blast. Caliber is subjective.

3 . You share a lot of videos which speak about music and guitar theory and techniques in brief, and those are received quite well by myself and other aspiring musicians. What is it about teaching that motivates you to keep going?
A: I genuinely like to share my perspective which is a self taught and unorthodox one. To make stuff simpler and fun to pursue, because that's what it's all about. Fun.The musical palette is a vast space and if comprehended via a simple route can positively impact a beginner. I have more than a keen interest in math and stuff and I correlated the two to draft a system that can quickly disseminate the vagaries of things like harmony, or at least give the newbie a chance at not hating the whole theory thing.My genuine happiness in playing and sharing is what motivates me. A few say that they enjoy the posts and that feels nice.

4 . On a jovial note, you're quite notorious for your video based Facebook antics. Apart from making funny videos, what do you do when you're not playing the guitar?
A: Facebook opened a platform for social rejects like me to say what they felt like to anyone. I give zero f**ks about being politically correct and this suits me fine, though the current scenario has people up in arms with insults to their idols. Someone's idol will always be another's doormat, I am not sorry.When I'm not playing guitar ( which is rare ), I do a lot of math puzzles and read on quite a few things from cannibalism, torture to astrophysics .I wake up at 4 am everyday to take my daughter to her training and then to school. I do my job if required at a studio ( I am a repair guy ) and if I'm not needed I still go and make a nuisance of myself. I cook, help out at home and sleep if I remember to.

5 . You've been based in Mumbai for quite some time now. As someone who's not a native of this state, what kind of cuisine do you enjoy the most, that's not Goan/Konkan? 
 A: I LOVE food, cooking and eating. Though I have Goan roots, I am a Bombay person and have completely cosmopolitan tastes. I enjoy everything that's on the street where I can park my bike and enjoy a bhurji pao with a chota Thums Up. I'm a bang for buck guy so don't give me some fine dining shit that I can inhale and then land up walking home. My all time favorites are the combinations I can have with the humble dal and rice by adding a fried beef chilli, fried fish, KFC even bhujia sev and bhaji or an omelet, pickle or papad. I love North Indian food, Mughlai, Mumbai 'Chinese', Cheittinad, etc. Hell our country is so diverse it has everything I'd ever want. I need something crunchy, spicy, with umami on my plate with dal and rice or roti. I'm anti people who are anti gluten, they are entitled to their choices but leave me the f**k alone. Dosa with all kinds of fillings, paos with all kinds of fillings, biriyani with potato,seekh paratha...the list is endless man. I share recipes too on my fb page and have made some cookery videos too.

6 . On a scale of 1-10, how much do you enjoy drinking? And what would be your favorite kind of alcohol, if you had to pick one?
A: I drink Thums Up and an occasional beer to keep my wife company when we are in Goa and don't have to ride a bike back home.I have a weak mental constitution and anything stronger than this will have me do things that I've only talked about. I apologize if you expected absinthe or for me to be chairman of a single malt club but I'm lame in the drinking department so I will have to say 4. My favorite drink if it was alcoholic would be Old Monk with Thums Up but this would be purely because of the Thums Up also shandy because of the lemonade. I just like my drinks ice cold.

You can catch Floyd live at The Habitat hosting the Creative Guitar: The Art of Improvisation clinic.

Tickets at -

WRITTEN BY  - Aditya Mohanan



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