Mukul Bhatia : So Arman, What’s your story ?
Arman Menzies : What’s my story ?? Ahh, man! I am a mix of my dad’s Scottish side and my mom is Mangalorian. I was born in Canada and am Canadian by nationality but Indian for all other reasons. I pretty much grew up in Bombay and then I went to school in Pune. Later I figured out those were the days that kind of made me who I am today. Going to Krishna Murthy School was really unique and I remember that in my first class my English teacher asked me to go and spend the next 45 minutes under a tree, have a conversation with it and write about it. Coming from Bombay, which is so regimented, everything was mugging and doing things by the book, it was fully eye opening. I appreciate all those years a lot.
Mukul : So you call yourself a Bombay person ?
Arman: Yeah, for sure. I have grown up there and my family is there. There is always home in Bombay, its comfort zone and these years I feel like there’s so much happening there – It’s where I want to be. Art wise, music wise. Its really good to be back here.
Mukul : Do you think that the spaces you’ve lived in have affected the music you play at your sets?
Arman : Definitely! I have been listening to really early memories of Ray Charles, Pink Floyd, Led zeppelin, that was what I grew upon. I have got a pretty good education in music but I don’t know if growing up in India has really influenced it. I only got into classical music much later. But my mum used to take me to Jazz Yatra every year, which was really inspiring.
Mukul: How old were you then ?
Arman : Since I was 6! She is really into classical music, my dad not that so much. My original journey has been with Metal music. I am full on metal head actually.
Mukul : What are your favourite bands ?
Arman : Deftones, Karnivool, Tool, Perfect Circle.
Mukul : One band that your listening to, for a very long time ?
Arman : One! I will say Led Zeppelin was like the early crossover of easy, soft listening and heavy music.
Mukul: What’s your favourite Led Zeppelin Song?
Arman: Going to California, I love that song.
Mukul: Are you a beach person or mountain person?
Arman: I am definitely a beach person, Love being outdoors and the sun.
Mukul: What’s your favourite food?
Arman: Panipuri, day in day out; 5 times a day. I can eat Panipuri all my life.
Mukul: What’s your favourite, most intimate memory so far?
Arman: Oh wow! It might take some seconds. God, You put me on spot on this one. I have this memory from 7th grade, my parents were divorced and I stayed with my mum and I just came back, I used to get two months off as my holidays from boarding school. At that time, all other parents from my friends lived together, and since my parents were divorced, it started affecting me in 7th and 8th grade. I remember this one night where we all watched a movie, and just chilled. I am thinking about it just now, but I think it’s a really fond memory, I have not fully appreciated at that time until now.
Mukul: Is there anything that you wish was more in this world, any idea, or human quality?
Arman: Empathy man. If people could just feel what it’s like, to being in someone’s else shoe and try to be in their position. I think it is important to think about what could have happened to someone else before you react. I think I have too much empathy, and give in too easily, so thinking about the other person more than myself, but that’s important.
Mukul: Do you consider yourself a giver or a taker?
Arman: A giver. I think so, yeah. I go out of my way to do things and I think for me it is important. Do things for people – my friends and family.
Mukul: Do you think travel has affected your personality, the person that you are today?
Arman: Hell yeah, my mum is a massive traveller. She travels a lot. She took me to Machu Pichu at 11. And at that point as a kid I was like “No, mum, why are you dragging me up to this mountain and shit?” Now, when I think about it, I am like ‘damn! Like who at the age of 11 gets to do that stuff?’ She is the one actually who got me travelling, and pushed me to go, do it NOW. It has got me to meet new places, people and different cultures. I find beauty in the fact that no matter where you go, there will be things that are very similar, similar thoughts, viewpoints, cultures. I think that is very interesting.
Mukul: What’s the one one belief system that you stand for?
Arman: To be kind, and not judge. I don’t like to be influenced by hearing things from other people. I hate it honestly. I don’t want to know things, don’t give me your information, and let me discover myself.
Mukul: Anything personal that you feel like sharing? Anything that just your close friends know about you?
Arman: Okay, I don’t know what I am saying anymore. All my friends know me for my silly clowny, monkey side and once you know me, there are moments of seriousness, that don’t really bring through unless you really know me. I enjoy that there is a lot going in my head and over the years I have become just this – I don’t let it shine through, and I am always clowning about, funny shit and inside I am little more calm and thinking.