As one attempts to chase ‘the dream’ and follow the yellow brick road most begin to notice the cracks and dingy discoloration of the metaphorical golden bricked highway of success in doing what you love the most. The obstacles and strife while on this journey prove to be disheartening by many. Its also a double edged sword. When bands succeed sometimes fickle fans turn on them and brand them as sellouts. When a band pours their blood, sweat and tears into their creations born from the heart and continue to stay the course no matter what, thats how they win. Even if they dont end up as a top tier act. They are doing what they love and in the end you really have nothing to prove to anyone other than yourself. The byproduct is that your art is immortalized forever.
Ive had the pleasure of talking with the great Sahil “The Demonstealer” Makhija for our second interview. Every time we converse about music he proves time and time again to be the most cordial, friendly, well versed person and he always has the best energy.
Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija in my humble opinion is a criminally underrated, next level musician. Every project Demonstealer is involved in provides the impetus for success. He has a prolific archive of material to choose from. His blackened death metal bands Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death and all his solo projects have produced sophisticated music that stood the test of time in the forefront of metal thus paving the way for musicians in the Indian metal scene which has been a constant uphill battle.
Demonstealer is currently working on new material that will be released in 2023 which he reveals via social media. He’s also releasing another all instrumental project of ‘The Last Reptilian Warrior.” Details below.
Metal Lair: Its been a few years since our last interview in 2016. A lot has happened in that time frame. What have you guys been up to since then and how has life been treating you?
DS: It definitely feels like a lifetime ago. A LOT has happened since then. Demonic Resurrection released our 5th full length album DASHAVATAR in 2017. In 2019 we released our 1st live album from Bloodstock Open Air and in 2022 we released 4 new singles and then put them on a release with instrumental versions of the same songs. For the new release we had Misstiq from Earth Caller in Australia do keys and we had 2 drummers Kevin Paradis (Benighted) and David Diepold (Obscura) featured on the songs. So it’s been quite busy even with the pandemic.
With my solo material I dropped my 3rd full length in 2018 titled THE LAST REPTILIAN WARRIOR and then in 2020 I dropped an EP on which I played all instruments called AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I also released another EP in 2021 called THE HOLOCENE TERMINATION which featured members of bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Six Feet Under.
So I can’t really complain. Life has been treating me well.
Metal Lair: Well thats great to hear! Tell me all about your latest projects. Are you doing any live shows in support of it?
DS: The band line-up has been in a bit of limbo and I’ve been disillusioned with touring and how depressing it is for me to even try and book tours. So I’ve decided to stay away from live shows for a few years at least. I would have loved to do some shows but the energy it takes to put something together doesn’t feel worth the effort for me now. But I’m glad you dig the music and the artwork. The music is available on demonicresurrection.bandcamp.comand we have our merch available on https://demonic-resurrection.creator-spring.com/
Metal Lair: Ive always been a fan of all your music. How has your sound changed throughout the years?
DS: It’s been a constant evolution with the change in members and us growing as musicians. When we started out we had a very strong influence from bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. Over time we started to get a bit more progressive and find our own sound. With DASHAVATAR we really did something a bit different with the incorporation of some Indian instruments and using mythology for inspiration in the lyrics. However the new songs are more of a return to our older sound and sort of a departure from the ‘Indian’ and mythology sounds. This is what comes more naturally. Also collaborating with such amazing drummers and musicians really helped take that sound up a notch.
Metal Lair: The band usually releases everything under their own label Demonstealer Records. Who does the studio mixing?
DS: For the longest time I was solely mixing and mastering everything myself. In 2010 I started passing on the mastering work. Our last album was mastered by Victor Bullok who works with bands like Obscura. For the new songs I let Daniel Kenneth Rego our old lead guitarist do the mixing and mastering as he’s got an amazing ear and knows the band’s sound. He did a fantastic job.
Metal Lair: Ive been listening to your latest endeavors. You guys really put a lot of hard work into your music, always technically sound. Ive noted that a good portion of your music is about mythology and Indian Lore. How do you come up with your source material?
DS: With DASHAVATAR the source material already existed so I just had to re-word the stories in the form of lyrics. For the new songs we had 4 of our fav artists do a design for our merch and each artwork is what I used as inspiration for lyrics for the new songs. So it was me talking to them (the artists) and getting an idea of how they interpreted the band and our music to create the artwork and that helped inspired the lyrics. Everything really comes out of my head after that.
Metal Lair: All the songs are outstanding on this album. One song that stands out to me is Necromancer. Its a total banger. How was it collaborating with David Diepold, Kevin Paradis and Misstiq?
DS: I’ve worked with both Kevin and David before with my solo material Demonstealer so it was a blast having them play on the new DR material too. I’d seen Misstiq on Instagram and fell in love with the way she orchestrates parts and her way of arranging it. So I just send her a DM to see if she’d be up for doing the keys on our new material since I could never do that level of orchestration myself. Thankfully she said yes. All of them are professionals and super easy and chill to work with.
Metal Lair: What inspires you about music and what is your creative process?
DS: I think just life inspires me and when an idea pops into my head I write it down. I sit with the guitar to write music and again I just jam and when I get ideas I like I record them. When the time comes that I know I want to put out a release I sit down with the ideas and take it from there.
Metal Lair: Where would you like to see the band 10 years from now?
DS: The dream would be to a full time touring music. Travelling the world and playing sold out shows while consistently releasing great albums. But the reality is we’ll probably still be struggling to get tours booked but we’ll keep the music coming.
Metal Lair: Do you have anything to say to your fans?
DS: I have nothing but gratitude for our fans who have supported us consistently over the years. Thank you!
Metal Lair: Its always a pleasure talking with you and catching up my friend. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule and for all the wonderful, magical music you create for the world.
DS: Thank you so much!
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