The breakup of Traffic Jam – the ugly truth
By Ginza Vualzong
Why do all the great bands have to break up? Why can’t they continue to play without breaking up is the wish of any rock band fans. It’s sad but true! One of the greatest bands from the North East India – Traffic Jam has broken up. Being one of their biggest fans, it took me a great deal of time to take in the news. It is hard to believe yet it is true. I have spoken to the band members of Traffic Jam and they have unfortunately confirmed the breakup.
Traffic Jam was started by Jimmy Thang as a college band in 2003 and has been around for more than 16 years, playing live gigs in many prestigious pubs and events across the country. All the band members are from Manipur, North East India. There were many changes in the band members during the years and the latest band line up was – Jimmy Thang as the lead vocals and guitar, Kennedy Singh as lead guitarist and backing vocals, DS Mung as the Bassist and Stevekid Valte as the drummer.
The last time the band played together was at the Udaipur World Music Festival on 17th February 2019. After the Udaipur event, although the band has various live gigs set up in some of the Pubs, the bands slowly fell apart and they could not come together anymore.
There were signs that hinted the breakup of the band. 21st May 2019, Jimmy was found playing solo with a new set of band members at Tappa in Noida. 9th June 2019 at the Trivoli Habitat Center, Noida the other three members of Traffic Jam – Kennedy, Steve, and Mung played for the first time as a new band called The Genesis. And on 15th June 2019, Jimmy played solo at Pasikhawm in Lamka.
When enquired Jimmy Thang about the situation of Traffic Jam he said “I guess it’s not in our hands. We just started drifting. But hoping everything that happened happens for the best”.
Kennedy Singh, the guitarist reflected “the breakup of Traffic Jam was imminent from a long time. There were many instances of mismanagement from our band leader, Jimmy that lead to many frustrations and dissatisfaction among us. Jimmy was not transparent about the payments and other details. There was no longer team bonding, and this led to the disintegration of the band.”
“There was a lack of transparency in the band. We were kept in the dark regarding the contract details. There were lots of trust issues, for example at times, we ended up to the location later to find out that the gig was cancelled which Jimmy never told us. We were not allowed to speak to the gig’s owner directly. Things were not discussed among the band members and the spirit of the band have decayed slowly. With these many disconnections, it made us feel our dignities were not respected. This all made us skeptical and made us lose our confidence in Jimmy.” Stevekid asserted.
“What I am not happy about Traffic Jam is the fact that there is no transparency in the management of the band. Payments are delayed most of the time and the worst thing is, we are not paid for some of our gigs till now. This is highly unprofessional for the part of our band leader and has a great impact on me” lamented DS Mung, the bassist.
When asked whether the band members tried to make Jimmy understand the band’s problems, Stevekids remarked “We all tried to reason with Jimmy but to no avail. Eventually, Jimmy does not want to return our calls. We have no option but to move on”.
When asked to comment on the allegations made by the other band members, the frontman Jimmy stated “I have nothing to comment. If anyone claims that the music industry is going to treat them good, I would also like to learn myself too. They are happy and doing a great job today and I wish them all the very best. I’m sure they will manage better than what I did. I did my best.”
Will you agree to work with Jimmy in the future if given a chance? Kennedy and Steve concurrently commented “Yes, why not? We have nothing personal against Jimmy. He is charming and has a lot of charisma. As long as he changes his style of management we don’t have any issue.”
Now that you guys broke up, what’s next? “I don’t know yet bro. Will probably work with freelancers for a while. And then see how I meet new people.” Jimmy commented. Kennedy enthusiastically remarked “Music is in our blood, we need to keep playing. Three of us have formed a new band called The Genesis with the hope for the better. People do not have doubt with our abilities and so far, we have done two gigs already in the city and they were great”.
Sadly, that’s what’s going on with Traffic Jam. It’s their words against each other. We as a fan of Traffic Jam only wish they could play together and reunite. However, if this is what it comes to, we wish them all the best in their future endeavours. As their biggest fan, we want them to play good music wherever and whoever they are with!
(About the Author: Ginza Vualzong is the founder of Zogam.com Media and is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at [email protected] )
IMPHAL | Jul 19 Decrying the Manipur Services (Revision Pay) Rules, 2019 notified by the government on July 11 and demanding reasonable pay scale, more than 10,000 teachers inclusive of higher secondary lecturers, primary teachers and graduate teachers.....
Matter listed by High Court fails to make it in cause list IMPHAL | Jul 19 A petition filed by Imphal Free Press (IFP) in the High Court of Manipur, pertaining to defamation case filed by the Chief Minister, which was supposed to be listed for heari.....
IMPHAL | Jul 19 Following the mysterious death of a girl student inside the boarding room of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School, Canchipur, Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) imposed a shutdown on the school, from Saturday. A class 7 .....
IMPHAL | Jul 19 Demanding that the culprits involved in the mysterious death of Ningthoujam Babysana Chanu must be booked, JAC formed against the death along with locals staged a sit-in-protest today at Thangmeiband area opposite THAU ground. Speaki.....
IMPHAL | Jul 19 Khudrakpam Kendra Youths Organisation (KHUKYO) has alleged the officials and authority of Dolaithabi barrage project that it has failed to deliver its promises and that these officials are also avoiding to meet the villagers. Secreta.....