Albatross is one of the best rock bands in Nepal. With hit songs like Nischal, Timi Bhane, Khaseka Tara, Abhiman, and Ma Ra Malai, the band has won the hearts of many music lovers of Nepal.
Sunny Mandhar is the lead guitarist of Albatross—the man behind those powerful guitar riffs. He is also the founder of the band. Manandhar is popularly also known as Suncha Vox.
The Birth of Albatross Nepal
Sunny and Avaya—the bass player of Albatross —decided to start a band in their teenage years. They started a band with just three members. Since they did not have a permanent singer, everyone used to sing. The band used to play cover songs of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rage Against the Machine at various pubs in Thamel.
Soon after, Shirish Dali joined them, and Albatross was formed in 1998. Manandhar has been an active member of the band since then. He has released four albums with Albatross.
The first album was Hi: Fly, which was a metal album that was not released commercially. Manandhar and the band released their first commercial album, Jo Jas Sanga Sambhandhit Cha in 2005, which included popular tracks like Timi Bhane and Khaseka Tara. After they had released the album, Sunny left for Canada to continue his studies. Shirish also left for the United States.
The band reunited years later after they had realized that their songs had become very popular in Nepal. So the band decided to continue making more music. Since then, the band has released two more albums, Atti Bhayo in 2011 and Ma Ra Malai in 2014.
Currently, the band has been actively playing shows and touring around the world. In addition, the band is on the verge of releasing their new album called Raat Ko Raani. As of now, they’ve released two tracks from the album so far—Kaha Janchau and Bachau.
How Sunny Got Into Guitar
Now talking about Sunny, he first started playing music by learning to play his sister’s keyboards when he was a kid. Later he shifted to guitar, which was also his sister’s.
Sunny is a self-taught guitarist. He started by learning chords from a Beatles’ songbook. He first heard the song One by Metallica and was attracted to rock/metal music. So, he bought cassettes of Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Nirvana and listened to them. He would also try and learn their songs on the guitar.
Inspirations, Collaborations, and More
Sunny is heavily inspired by artists like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Rage Against the Machine. In addition, his guitar influences come from musicians like Tom Morello, Slash, Jimmy Page, Kurt Cobain, Dimebag Darrell, and Dave Grohl.
Besides Albatross, Sunny has collaborated with many other musicians like Diwas Gurung, Sarad Shrestha, Abhisek S Mishra, Kiran Shahi, and Avishek KC. He was also in a band called Space Cake Break with musicians like Rajib Sayami and Kiran Shahi. The band played a few shows and also released an EP called ‘Space EP’.
Talking about his gear, he plays different guitars in different shows. His most popular guitars are PRS SE Mark Tremonti, Gibson Firebird, and Sahana Guitars (inspired by Ibanez Iceman). He also uses a lot of pedals and effects for his guitar. In his gadget workshop, which he did a few years ago, he said that his favorite pedal is the Wah Pedal.
Manandhar also has a YouTube Channel where he posts cover songs and play-through songs of Albatross. He also makes tutorial videos. However, he is not very active at the moment. He has not posted a video in a long time.
Tours and New Album
Sunny was recently on tour with his band Albatross. They played multiple shows in the USA and Australia. They also played some new songs from their upcoming album Raat Ko Raani. In his interview with Nepali Guitar Tutorial, he said that the band has tried to do something different in this album, which they had not done previously. He also said that the album is inspired by bands like Alice in Chains and Kings of Leon.
The fans eagerly await the new album to hear some of his spectacular guitar riffs and powerful vocals, badass bass, and awesome drums.