"Bad reviews is nothing new for us" - Shankar Mahadevan

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By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Rock On releases at theaters tomorrow. While there is reasonable curiosity to see a film which is the first ever when it comes to telling the story of a bona fide rock band, the film also has Farhan Akhtar as a special attraction who makes his debut as a lead actor as well as a singer. What has turned Rock On further special is the fact that it's music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has become popular amongst the urban masses even though some of the initial reviews were far more complimentary.

"But when have we been really bothered by the reviews", questions Shankar Mahadevan of the famous trio which is enjoying all the accolades that are still coming in for the music of Taare Zameen Par. Continuing, Shankar reasons, "Especially when we are confident about the music that we have created, we do not get hassled if some people do not like the kind of sound that we incorporate."

Throwing light on the slice from history, Shankar says, "Even in the past, we have faced such situations when some people have rejected our music in the first couple of hearing. Classic example has been Dil Chahta Hai which was written off when heard first. Can you believe that?"

An album which marked the coming together of Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for the first time, it was touted to be too ahead of times, too modern and at places even abstract."Exactly, and today as things stand, the soundtrack has paved way for a new sound altogether in the years gone. It happens. Whenever you present something new to the audience, there are bound to be extreme reactions. There isn't anything to feel bad about it because change brings with it its many detractors. Same happened in case of Rock On as well because a few people out there were shocked with what they heard, even though we came up with the mildest form of rock. Imagine if we would had actually went full on for Rock On", winks Shankar.

Narrating an anecdote, Shankar adds, "In fact the classic example of a rejected song turning out to be perhaps the biggest chartbuster of a particular year has been 'Kajra Re' [Bunty Aur Babli]. Today the song is considered to be the flavor of all seasons but do you know that when it was played on for a trial audience which comprised of the Yash Raj staff, it was the least popular song. Each and every song from Bunty Aur Babli was rated from 3 to 5 on a scale of 5 but this one met with a response of a lowly 1 or 2. We were confused since at our end, all this while we were confident of having made a chart topping number. Well, once the film released, we know how it became a rage. The rest, as they, is history."

Now Rock On too seems to be following the similar path with a cult audience building for it on a steady note. "And I am sure once the film releases, it will only scale further height. And God willing, if the film is a success - about which I am quite sure - the music would be destined to go further up. It has been a new sound but I am very happy to see the kind of acceptance it is enjoying today", Shankar says confidently.

That's great, but pray why a song like 'Zehreelay'? It seems to be too harsh on ears. Laughs Shankar, "Watch the film and you would get the reply. The song has been composed in the way it sounds because it is as per the demand of the situation and the character on whom it is picturised. This character belongs to a rival band which is in straight competition to the one comprising of Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Luke Kenny and Purab Kohli."

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