Band of brothers
They call themselves ‘The Heartbreakers.’ And they sing with an intense passion about love and estrangement. Quite a many of their songs, uncannily enough, give a glimpse into our
very own lives. “We first called our group ‘Strangers.’ But ‘Heartbreakers’ seemed a more popular name. It was rather a tough decision but a wise one at that, I suppose,” says Sunil Tuladhar, vocalist, lead guitarist and band manager. Their first album also named after the band was released in 1992 that gave Nepali pop music some immensely catchy numbers - ‘E Nisthuri Mayalu,’ ‘Chautarima’ and ‘Ke ke’ to name a few. Coincidentally, The Heartbreakers are siblings from the same family - Sunil Tuladhar (vocals/ rhythm guitar and band manager),
Rajesh Tuladhar (drummer) and Akil Tuladhar (bass guitarist) and Bijay Tuladhar (vocals). Buddha Maharjan, who’s on percussions, has recently joined the bandwa-gon that, quite uneponymously, has a charitable heart for those who deserve to sing along.
The band is popular for doing cover versions of songs of various western and Asian bands besides their own originals. “Blues and rock ‘n roll are what we like to do apart from playing ballads, hard rock and Nepali numbers,” explains Sunil. “We used to sing Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Judas Priest, Santana, Black Sabbath and do a lot of concerts and live shows around town,” says Anil. The first place The Heartbreakers performed was Cinderella and since then they have generally kept a low public profile, performing only at hotels, clubs, restaurants and parties hosted by expatriates and foreign missions in Nepal. There have been, however, a few exceptions. “Our biggest show was a solo concert at Basantapur Durbar Square where we did only AC/DC numbers. And if I can remember correctly, the newspapers reported an almost 15,000 strong audience gathered for the show,” recalls Sunil. Another spectacular concert followed this show. Unfortunately, their third big concert was cancelled for security reasons.
The band has now decided to come up with their second album. “This is going to be a mix of jazz and blues; English and Nepali numbers. We just wanted it be different from what we’ve done before,” explains Sunil. But where have The Heartbreakers been all these years?
“After I finished my senior high, I joined college and so did my brothers. I majored in science and was sceptical if it would take me any farther. I then joined the American Mission Association, where I’m now a commissary manager and completed my MBA. In the meantime,
most of us were married and had professional careers. That left us with very little time for music, though, we’d always manage to scrape a bit of it somehow,” says Sunil. But is it possible to straddle one’s passion and profession? Well, the Heartbreakers’ journey provides an answer of sorts to those curious for one. Furthermore, the band has even set up their own studio, Studio Acoustica, which singers of the likes of Anil Singh, Raju Lama, Navin Bhattarai and Uglyz horde for the best acoustic recording in the country. As Anil iterates,
“Where there’s a will there’s a way.” Plan to catch The Heartbreakers in their act? Pop in at Rum Doodles on a Friday evening and have an early weekend bash.