Randolph, Shiraz, Papal and Vishal came together in 1994, with a strong need to play individual, original, unique music. This was as much a reaction to the stagnating Indian Rock scene, populated by bands mostly playing cover music, as it was a primal instinct. They did the rounds of college festivals, almost immediately becoming well known and popular, by winning three major rock competitions at the Kanpur, Delhi and Bombay IITs. They signed a record deal and put out their first album (We Are Not Listening) in 1996. It was listed by Rhythm House (India's premier record store) as the fastest selling rock album. They released two videos ('The Ignorant 1 and 'Yoo') which were frequently played by all the music
Pentagram was MTV India's 'Artist of the Month' in 1997. They also won the Channel V awards for Best Live Band and Best Indian Band in 1997 & 1998. They were featured on Channel V's Big Gig show, a showcase of an hour-long live performance.
They played gigs in Seychelles and all across Indian Campuses while figuring out their sound. When they put out their second album (Up, 2002), their audiences were taken by surprise. The alternative rock band they had known had added a huge electronic edge to their sound. Pentagram has always maintained that the new sound came out of a burning need to find a way to break free and uniquely represent their emotions, feelings and surroundings through music.
During the Kargil war, Pentagram recorded and released India's first exclusive-to internet song, The Price of Bullets, which featured famous poet Javed Akhtar and popular Indian Classical artist Shankar Mahadevan. The video, directed by Farhan Akhtar, one of India's most successful young filmmakers, was blacked out by channels across the board for being 'too politically loaded. It was added as a bonus track on their second album Up.
They became the first Indian Band to top Asian mp3.com charts with six songs going to No. 1 for over two weeks each. ('Drive', 'Strange', 'Think of Me, 'Don't Care', 'Is there a Light?', 'The Price of Bullets' all featured on Up). Their single, 'Think of Me', went to no. 5 in the world on Billboard's talent hunt site. Up was later released and published by their self-owned music label, Pentagrammusic, produced and distributed by Sony Music (India). It went on to become one of India's highest selling rock albums with more than 15,000 copies sold. A string of awards followed including Best Live Act at the June Rock Out awards in 2003 and winning the readers poll for 'Best Indian Band' by Rock Street Journal twice. Their new edge brought them international recognition, in that the doors of several festivals were flung open to them. They headlined the Sundance Music Festival in Estonia in 2003, a first for any Indian band. They were also invited to and played at the Glastonbury Music Festival in 2005. This was a real high point, as they not only became the first Indian Act to play there but also became aware of the real possibilities of their music. They were able to share the stage with contemporary giants like Coldplay, Chemical Brothers, Tori Amos, Fat Boy Slim, and White Stripes. Seeing how they stood up to huge acts and how positive the audiences were, knee-jerked Pentagram into producing their third album Its OK, Its All Good released by Counter Culture Records in March 2007 and was very well received. The album spent 6 weeks on Planet Ms national sales charts peaking at no. 3, again a first for any Indian rock band. The first single off this album Voice won the Song Of The Year at the recent Jack Daniels Annual Indian Rock Awards. The same night Vishal was awarded Vocalist Of The Year.
The band has documented parts of the writing, recording and performing of Bloodywood through PentaTV, their very own online show. Produced by Babble Fish Productions, PentaTV, is the first venture of its kind for an Indian band. You can find the same on www.youtube.com/pentatvindia.
In March 2011, Pentagram released their fourth album, BLOODYWOOD. This 14 track album ranges from the intensely personal (Nocturne, Human Failings, I Get You, This Could Get Ugly, In My Head), to the fun, jump around-vibe (Lovedrug Climb down, Mental Zero, Nutter), to the socially relevant (Must I, Tomorrows Decided, Identify). This is an album that is both back-to-basics and extremely edgy.
Bloodywood represents all the non-mainstream artistic expression thats silently bringing about a cultural revolution and changing the way India is seen and heard across the globe. It is the unique voice of urban India, which is raring to break the bounds of the conventional concept of India known across the world. As a people, were only just starting to develop our own, unique, indigenous urban edge. That edge is Bloodywood. Its razor sharp, its fiercely innovative and its beautiful.
The band has shot 3 videos for the album, namely Lovedrug Climbdown (animated and edited by Sameer Kulavoor), Tomorrows Decided (Directed by Ravi Jadhav) and Nocturne (Directed by Shiraz Bhattacharya).