Empty Café is a fusion of not just two instruments, but cultures and genres of music, originating in opposite corners of the world.
Empty Café started off in the winter of 2007, when Vinay Kaushal accidentally went to college one day to find that flautist Gandhaar Amin studied in the same class as him. They started playing together in Vinay’s bedroom after they found out that that their musical tastes were
surprisingly similar. In less than a month, they had already made a song together, which they still claim to be the best song they’ve ever made – ‘Wounded’.
They realised that this thing was really going somewhere, and they needed to formalise it. Thus, Empty Café was born!
With influences rangingfrom John Scofield to John Petrucci, Vinay’s repertoire covers genres of blues, jazz and funk. He started learning the guitar in school, and it soon became a big enough part of his life to take it up as a profession. That’s when he went to the prestigious GIT, a part of Musicians Institute, Hollywood, one of the premier contemporary music institutes in the world. Since his return from Los Angeles, he has contributed a lot to the band from the knowledge earned from his stint at MI.
Gandhaar has been brought up in a family with a rich musical tradition. Having had a professional classical musician for a father, he did not really have a choice but to learn music. He started learning Indian Classical music on the bamboo flute at the age of 5. Before he knew it, music
was what his life was all about, and it was also an obvious choice for a profession, when the time came to make that decision. Fortunately, he realised that this life that someone else had chosen for
him, was what he really wanted.
The name of the band is inspired by Jethro Tull’s classic song Empty Café. It’s a tongue-incheek take on the expectation that their music is not so bad, that a café goes empty. Empty Café as a band has been striving to create a new image for ‘fusion music’, which is very different from the
sound that most people associate it with. They believe in actually fusing two genres and instruments together rather than just sticking them onto each other superficially.
Empty Café is a regular fixture at a lot of live music venues in Pune and Mumbai. They also performed at the NH7 Weekender music festival in 2010. They were invited for the Ladakh Confluence in 2010, which was a big honour for them.
They intend to blow away audiences all over the world with their unique sound and deep know how of two completely varied genres.
Accompanying them are drummer/percussionist Shreyas Iyengar and bassist Among Jamir.