Defining MasterPlan is going to be tough without first defining our origins and what we believe in. Our evolution, origin, and existence have always been around the local Catholic parishes we are all a part of. We belong to the Jesus Youth Movement which has been our foundation and nurturing ground and the platform we have grown on.
The thin, often misunderstood line between a Music Ministry or a Choir and a Rock Band is what we call the crux of MasterPlan. We’re probably the Band which is a staple around these parts for any Conference, Retreat, or Jam night, fitting well with the times even though at some point we all unanimously wished of existence in 60’s era when music and peace supposedly coexisted – we probably would have felt more at home then than now. Now let’s get this straight. We dare not pump up guitar overdrives and hit harder and call it Thrash or play some random clueless chords and call it Jazz. The staple of MasterPlan has always been CCM (Christian Contemporary Music), and crossover. In plain secular terms, we (try) do music to uplift the soul in genres of clean country acoustic Rock, Reggae, Gospel and maybe even R&B and playable pop.
A penchant for keeping sing-along melodies amongst complex alternative arrangements has given us a moderately large fanbase in and outside the local Church youth and young at heart throughout all the Emirates. Our signature sound is a derivative of the varied influences we have individually, and a very recognizable harmony coming from our choral overtones.
Frontman Bibin never knew he could sing until he hit 20. Since the revelation, he has sang in Radio shows, umpteen albums, backed up industry giants at harmony – let’s just say he has not looked back ever since. His live wire showmanship on stage could be one of the reasons he has the crowd in hand everytime he mans the microphone. And if that was not enough, the very vivacious Mini takes charge of all the frills and adlibs the female vox calls for.
Then there is the scarily pitch perfect and polyglot Bhavana who ensures great singing even during Bad sound days. Steo takes care of all the Hindi/Malayalam tracks with unparalleled energy on Stage. Sony on the Keyboard is more of a computer-scientist with all his freaky programming, sampling and tone mixing, our one man army of all brass and string sections, which he reproduces near-perfect second to only the original. Then there is the multi-talented George who handles the Piano, EPs, Rhodes, and Hammonds with the upper hand of a Classic die-hard Rock enthusiast.
Gentle giant Diago is fondly known within the band as the broken chord prodigy with his uncanny prowess with the Acoustic 6strings. Well respected among his peers for his intricate strumming, Diago also provides backup voices and harmony for most of the set. Sherwell the axeman takes care of the Lead Guitars with nimble and sure fingerwork, adding that essential colour and texture over the octaves, and pulling off sophisticated lead-work when it calls for. For the added harmony, Nigel – the youngest among the lot pitches in with his natural-alto voice, also making sure the most-important sound mix and equalization is right for on-stage and the PA.
Yes, we are a rowdy bunch, except for Maestro Neil and Edwin who prefer their Drums and Bass do most of the talking. Neil holds us all together with his steady thump and snare, along with Edwin on the Bass. Neil is a Drum freak and his sheer awesomeness is quite a phenomenon we admire and enjoy. Edwin roots in all the chords with his naturally quantized bass riffs that drives the drums home into the songs we sing.
MasterPlan are a peculiar bunch who even in the quest of regular gigging come up with two Albums, Sandtunes (2013) and ‘Faith Love Hope’ (2014), which has been well recevied by crowds in and around the region. Despite a busy recording and gigging schedule, we still remain a gang passionate about live-playing and free-jamming and that essentially is the golden cord that binds us together.