The F16s, an indie-rock group from Chennai, India, learned about the hazards of touring the hard way. On their debut tour of Southeast Asia last November, their drummer was denied entry into Thailand, then the band was detained overnight by Hong Kong immigration authorities due to “a minor visa issue” and sent back to their previous tour stop in Cambodia.
Mired in losses, the band called off the tour and headed back home from their anticlimactic tour promoting their upcoming EP “WKND FRNDS” — which comes out in the U.S. on May 31 via House Arrest Distribution. But they chalk it all up to learning experiences — asked what they’ve learned along the way, guitarist Abhinav Krishnaswamy says, “Most relationships are transactional… until they aren’t.
“Also, pack light.”
The tour was a rare low point for the group, which formed in 2012 and is one of the most-streamed Indian independent rock bands. They recently hit 2 million Spotify streams for “Moon Child,” from their 2016 debut album “Triggerpunkte.” “Somebody recently reuploaded the audio on to YouTube and provided Spanish subtitles over the lyrics,” Krishnaswamy says. “It actually got some decent traction, the comment section mostly full of praise for the stellar transcribing,” he laughs. Newer songs like like “Amber” show some influence from Tame Impala and the Strokes, comparisons Krishnaswamy says the band doesn’t mind. “We’re just thankful they’ve been favorable,” he says.
Their latest song “My Baby’s Beak” brings more of that wispy vibe, tropical guitar melodies over vocalist-guitarist Josh Fernandez’s melancholy croon. Fernandez says the song is “about sexual freedom, while still having your hunger for intimacy.”
Krishnaswamy has a more impressionist description for the sound of “WKND FRNDS,” saying it’s like “the sound of an old man easing into a warm bath.”
Settle in yourself with this exclusive premiere of “My Baby’s Beak,” from the “WKND FRNDS” EP.