Highway 69 is an Indian heavy metal band. The band was formed in 2012 in Ranchi by vocalist Tarang Kerketta and guitarist Alvin Rozario, and has been based in Ranchi ever-since its formation. The band has been the winners of numerous battle of band titles across their country and is known for their fast tempos, instrumental and aggressive style of playing. The band has performed twice as the finalists at Hornbill International Rock Contest of Hornbill Festival in Nagaland for the year 2017 and 2018. Their drummer has also bagged the title of the ‘Best Drummer’ in the year 2017 at this festival and was felicitated by Uday Benegal from the Indus Creed which is a band considered to be the pioneers of the Indian rock music.
Hailing from a small place quite unknown to the rest of the country, the band had to face discrimination and hardships in their path to fame. Their artistry and love for music guided them through tough times, on course to become an upcoming popular metal band from Eastern India. Highway 69 performs extensively all over the country and is evolving with a huge fan base. Currently, the band is working on its debut album.
Highway 69 was formed in Ranchi, Jharkhand in mid-2012 with the founding members being Tarang Kerketta and Alvin Rozario. Back then, Tarang used to live in Jamshedpur which is a city approximately 120 km from Ranchi. He was the vocalist of a metal-band based in Jamshedpur called Atript while Alvin was the guitarist for a metal-band in Ranchi called Destiny. Both of them met for the first time during a local battle of the band competition in Ranchi. It is considered that it was the initial place where both of them decided on forming a band of their own.
The band Highway 69 was started with Tarang on the vocals and Alvin on the guitars, along with that two local musicians named Binit Barla and Dheeraj Edward. Binit used to play bass for Alvin’s show while Alvin and Dheeraj were bandmates in their metal band named Destiny. When Alvin and Tarang were forming a band and we’re looking for band members, this is when Alvin suggested the names Binit and Dheeraj with whom he had already been performing. Hence the line-up was formed and the band started to practice together and composed their first song called ‘Disturbed’ and covered other popular metal songs. They went on to participate in a battle of bands competition organized at Birla Institute of Technology (Deoghar) by Utthaan where the band won the competition along with that Alvin was awarded the best guitarist in the competition. As it was the year-end of 2012, then went on to do few local gigs in Ranchi and Jamshedpur. They also had a major achievement in their early years by winning the Wheels competition organized by TATA Steel in Jamshedpur.
Tarang Kerketta – vocals
Alvin Rozario – guitar, backing vocals
Binit Barla – bass, backing vocals
John Raj Swami – drums