Guitar Heroes 2011: Anand BhattRock-N-RollRenassiance Manwww.thrustmagazine.org Thrust™Magazine May 2011 Page 8The Anand BhattInterviewby Thrust Magazine Contributing Writer M. Alberto Rivera
Guitar Heroes 2011: Anand BhattTHRUST: How did you get in-volved in so many diverse projects:writing, performing, acting, playingmusic?BHATT: My friends joke with methat working isn’t something I do likea normal person; working is more ofan obsessive-compulsive disorderwith me. So when opportunity strikes,I strike, too.THRUST: Of all the different proj-ects you’re involved with, do you findyourself enjoying one more than theothers? If so, why?BHATT: The enjoyment I get out ofeach project comes in cycles. Nomatter what you work on, eventuallyyou get to a point in a project whereyou feel overworked and exhaustedand that’s where the next projectseems fresh, new and exciting. Rightnow I’m having a lot of fun doing in-terviews and appearances. I just gota gig from a software company to betheir “rock star spokesman” for fiveminutes at a convention. Being paidheftily to show and be yourself forfive minutes is quite the dream job —Like so many other restlessminds, Anand Bhatt felt com-pelled to challenge himself todo more and to be more. He is rock-n-roll’s Renaissance man: musician,actor, writer and philanthropist.He has mastered the guitar to thepoint of being sought out for collabo-rations by acclaimed musicians suchas Faith No More’s Jim Martin, aswell as performing with and leadinghis own band, Anand Clique.He’s the first Indian American tobe inducted into the Latin GrammyAwards and is a voting member.His recorded work spans heavymetal to jazz.He has turned his attention to act-ing and performing in movies and ontelevision, on talk shows and the redcarpet. Whether appearing as anactor or host, Anand always deliversa memorable performance.Still not satisfied with this full sched-ule, Anand fully believes a man cando all things if he wills it, leading himto embrace knowledge and develophis capacities as fully as possible. Hewrote Rock Star Recipes and devel-oped his own line of hot sauces. Hisenergy and optimism always seemboundless. His audience never has towait too long to see where his curios-ity will lead him, as he is alwaysquick to share his new projects.Anand takes a few moments withThrust™ Magazine to discuss spicyfood, hot women and his distinctworld view.THRUST MAGAZINE: How didsomeone who grew up in Chicagodevelop such a broad and uniqueworldview?ANAND BHATT: I’m not sure howbroad it actually is, but I know ithelped to grow up in an Indian-Amer-ican family. My parents were alsovery big on traveling when we werelittle. They figured if they got it out ofour systems early on we’d focus onschool and career in our twenties.THRUST: You always seem to betraveling. Is there one place whereyou most enjoy spending time?BHATT: It depends on my mood. Iam partial to the warm places withhot girls — so Saigon, Bangkok,Santo Domingo — but here in theStates, the people of Austin and LosAngeles do a great job making mefeel at home.I doubt it will get old.THRUST: Who or what inspiredyou to play guitar?BHATT: Girls inspired me to playthe guitar, of course! When I was akid, I used to listen to my older sisterand her friends talk endlessly abouthow hot Sebastian Bach [Skid Row]and Jon Bon Jovi were and I thoughtto myself, “I need to become one ofthese guys.” My father had an oldacoustic guitar lying around fromwhen he was in college (he took les-sons for a week but kept the guitarluckily) and I picked it up and startednoodling on it like a nervous habit.THRUST: What was the musicyou grew up with?BHATT: I was raised on the Beatlesand Elvis alongside my SesameStreet tunes (although embarrassinglyI find the Beatles unlistenable now —I know it’s sacrilege to say you hatethe Beatles). The first rock bands Iever heard were Van Halen, KISS,and Ozzy. I think I had a KISS lunch-box in first grade. As I got older Iwas a cock-rocker and thrash guy all“No matter whatyou work on,eventually youget to a point ina project whereyou feel over-worked and ex-hausted andthat’s where thenext projectseems fresh,new and excit-ing. Right nowI’m having a lotof fun doing in-terviews and ap-pearances. I justgot a gig from asoftware com-pany to be their“rock starspokesman” forfive minutes at aconvention. Be-ing paid heftilyto show and beyourself for fiveminutes is quitethe dream job—I doubt itwill get old.—Anand BhattAnand poses with a South Korean fan in Seoul (January 2011).www.thrustmagazine.org Thrust™Magazine June 2011 Page 9
“Guitar Heroes 2011: Anand BhattI initially wrotethe Rock StarRecipes book toget friends andfamily to stopasking me ques-tions about myeating habits[laugh]. ... Also,my health-con-scious friendswanted some ofthe recipes be-cause they actu-ally taste good— my recipesare deceptivelyhealthy becauseI’m a really pickyeater.It’s really cool be-cause now I meetstrangers on thestreet who haveread the bookand benefitedfrom it. One guytold me he lost40 pounds infour weeks be-cause of the RockStar Recipes.—Anand Bhattthe way! I did listen to a lot of FaithNo More; it was a dream come truewhen I first got to hang with Mike Pat-ton and when Jim Martin wanted todo an album with me.THRUST: On some of your record-ings, you seem to have some unusualand unexpected musical choices,such as using very Asian/Third-World percussion on a metal sound-ing track. Is this a conscious decisionor is it something that develops moreorganically?BHATT: Definitely organically. Myprocess is about getting into thezone. I slow down my breathing andlet the music flow — which is why Ithink my older material may be anacquired taste. I listen to some of itnow and think, “Woah, I have dayswhere I’m out there, don’t I?”THRUST: What was the motiva-tion/inspiration for Rock StarRecipes?BHATT: I initially wrote the RockStar Recipes book to get friends andfamily to stop asking me questionsabout my eating habits [laugh]. Theywatch me eat like I’m in a zoo andseem to be constantly worryingabout what I’m going to eat at everymeal. “What is Anand eatingtoday?” Also, my health-consciousfriends wanted some of the recipesbecause they actually taste good —my recipes are deceptively healthybecause I’m a really picky eater.It’s really cool because now I meetBHATT: I have no idea where thisenergy comes from. Believe it ornot, I’ve calmed down since I was akid — I drove my parents insane! I’mglad they didn’t medicate me. I dotake a lot of downtime though. I prob-ably spend a good two to three hoursevery morning just sitting there think-ing about stuff or reading. Perhapsit’s like letting a puppy loose from itsleash when I do finally get startedwith my day.THRUST: What’s the one thingyou’d most like people to know aboutyou?BHATT: I’m friendly, so say hi tome when you see me on the street!For more information on AnandBhatt, visiit his official website atwww.??strangers on the street who have readthe book and benefited from it. Oneguy told me he lost 40 pounds in fourweeks because of tRock Star Recipes.It makes my day every time I hearsomething like that.THRUST: You’ve talked abouthow important it is for you to eathealthy. Is this ever challenging whenyou’re traveling constantly?BHATT: It used to be, but as I men-tion in the Rock Star Recipes book,I’ve developed all sorts of wayswhere I can eat healthy and tastily nomatter where I am. The hardest placewas in Vietnam though. Not that Viet-namese food is unhealthy — in factit is all pretty good for you — but I’mnormally a pescatarian/vegetarian,and good luck avoiding pig parts inSoutheast Asia. I had to make a com-promise.THRUST: How did you get in-volved in the different charities youwork with?BHATT: One of my mentors is thelighting director for Sting, PaulSimon, Bob Dylan, etcetera, and heclued me in on the importance of giv-ing to others at a young age. Itsounds counterintuitive, but the moremy thoughts are on compassion to-wards others, the more I personallybenefit.THRUST: You seem to throw your-self completely into each and everyproject. Where do you find the en-ergy to be so enthusiastic?www.thrustmagazine.org Thrust™Magazine June 2011 Page 10Back at his Chicago studio, Anand lays down guitar tracks for ??? DATE??