Trendcrusher

Posts Tagged ‘karachi

The D/A Method interview

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The D/A Method are a progressive rock band from Karachi, Pakistan. I found out about the band through Patari, a Pakistani music streaming platform. The D/A Method are more progressive sound compared to Odyssey 

Their recently released album The Desert Road is an engaging listen and features classical instruments.  I spoke to Talha Alvie about The Desert Road, working with Bruce Soord and also their plans in the coming months.

Hi guys, you recently released your second album The Desert Road at show with Takatak. How did it go?

The show was great. We had an excellent turn out with about 500 people in the audience. It’s always special playing in front of our home crowd in Karachi and this was no exception. Takatak absolutely killed it, so it was a wonderful show overall.

For those who have not heard of you before, could you share how the band was formed.

The band was formed by Umair and Talha back in 2012. After jamming together, they wrote songs which were to become part one of our debut album, The Great Disillusion. While recording the album we added our friends Usama on vocals and Istvan on drums in 2013. This is the line up that appears on the first album. Danny, who had played bass with us in the past, joined the band in 2016 to complete the line up which has remained unchanged since then.

The Desert Road comes 2 years after the release of your previous album, The Great Disillusion. What was the writing process for the album?

The writing process for TDR was quite different from TGD as for the first time we were under a deadline in order to fit in with our producer Bruce Soord’s schedule. We had been planning on working on a four-song EP with Bruce but he suggested turning it into a full-length album. So the challenge for us was expanding this EP into a proper record in the matter of only a few months. Talha wrote the structures for four additional songs while Umair and Istvan added the final one to get us to a 9 track album. We actually recorded all of the drum and guitar parts before the vocals were finalized but as always, Usama went over the songs and added his magic touch. We only recorded the final vocals once we got into the studio to mix the album with Bruce which ultimately worked out brilliantly because we were able to get his input on vocal parts and harmonies and also have him as a guest vocalist on several songs.

The album features traditional musical instruments like the sitar and sarangi. How did they become a part of your sound?

Being from Pakistan, these traditional instruments have been a part of the music we’ve been listening to since our childhood. It just made perfect sense for us to use the sounds from these age-old instruments as an additional layer to our electric guitars, synths, and drums. The whole East-West fusion thing has been done for a long time, but for us this comes out of interest of adding textures and sounds that both contrast and complement our modern Western instruments.

The Desert Road is co-produced and mixed by Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief, Wisdom of Crowds). How did he become a part of the album?

Honestly it was just a complete shot in the dark. We’d been fans of his music for a long time and learned that he was interested in producing bands, so we shot him an email and he said yes. He definitely whipped us into shape and made sure that we were on point with everything before we got into the studio with him, which is something we probably needed at the time.

You released a music video for the track, the Desert Journey. How relevant do you think music videos are in the age of Youtube and Vimeo?

Music videos are essential. The era of instant information means that people’s attention spans are limited and a video is a great way to capture that attention. Luckily prog rock fans still value the idea of concept albums and long songs, but we’ve always felt that if we want to get our music out to a broader audience we need to put out videos. Fortunately, as fans of film ourselves, we’re willing to put in as much passion and effort into our videos as our music. We just see our videos as visual extensions of the songs themselves.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Individually we’re all over the place but as a band we’ve been more interested in singer-songwriter type stuff as of late. Dallas Green/City and Colour, Jeff Buckley, Mark Kozelek to name a few. Of course the new Steven Wilson album is on the top of all of our playlists. The new Mastodon EP is pretty great as well.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are there any shows/tour planned in promotion of the album?

After our last show we’re probably going to lay a little low until the end of the year. We have some material that we’ve been working on which we’ll finally get a chance to make some progress on. We’ll be back on stage with hopefully a tour of Pakistan at some point in the first half of 2018.

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?

Thanks for the interview and thanks for supporting our music. To anyone reading this, please check out our music. Our discography is available for purchase on Bandcamp and iTunes and for your streaming pleasure on Spotify. All the best.

Written by trendcrusher

November 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

Dusk Interview

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Dusk are the oldest metal band in Pakistan and founder Babar Sheikh has seen the band through changes in line ups and also musical directions. Last week, Cyclopean Eye productions released ‘Through Corridors of Dead Centuries‘, a split album featuring Dusk and Indian death doomsters Dying Embrace. I spoke to Babar Sheikh about their latest release and their future plans.

Dusk

Where did the idea to do the split come about? Did Sandesh from Cyclopean Eye productions have anything to do with it?

Dusk has always been open to the idea of collaborating with other acts and performers from the genre. Its been a great pleasure for us to be associated with some very celebrated names of the underground scene through our career. I guess it comes more naturally as an idea to people who have been associated with the true underground scene for the past two decades or so because back in the day splitting a record was the thing to do even being on compilation tapes was the cult thing to do! Dying Embrace for us have been brothers and partners in crime as far as the Sub Continental metal scene is concerned. Both Dusk and Dying Embrace have existed since the mid or early 1990’s (actually Dying Embrace are seniors) and this really was a dream come true for me. Both bands had somehow gone toward a more dormant mode since the past few years, Dusk decided to hit it back with our trademark Death / Doom sound and Dying Embrace were gearing up on releasing some of their previously unreleased stuff and at the same time incubating the idea of recording fresh material and this was the time when the hammer struck. The carrier of the hammer was none other than Sandesh Shenoy, long time friend, metal brother, fellow warrior in the underground arts, and now label owner for Asian Metal Underground Label – Cyclopean Eye Productions. I would give a lot of credit to Sandesh for helping Dusk realise the journey back to the trademark Death / Doom sound and full credit for making the split record killer idea a reality. It was really him (since the past two years Sandesh has also been managing Dusk and Dying Embrace) who pumped both the bands to a point where inspiration was sighted and finally it got Real!

Tell us a bit about the songs your side of the split. What are they about?

The songs on the split, as I mentioned before are a comeback for Dusk to our older sound, the sound which the underground associated with us so it was lots of memories coming back to the writing phases and right from the preliminary stages of the song writing I knew what I was wanting to achieve and how the songs would sound like at the end. The themes around which the lyrical content is based are also heavy like the sound itself. The opening track Shadow Poet speaks about the silent observer who lurks in the shadows of everyday life and paints a portrait of perceptions based upon his gatherings of life and reality. This is the solitary traveller who appeared earlier in Dusk lyrics sometimes as The Tragedian and sometimes as the habitat of the Fortress Of Solitude. Forged in the Fires of Duality is a heavier theme which taunts at society and splits in the face of those who live by their double standards, the content goes further to comment upon the addictition of power and the love for material possessions, something that has driven humankind away from their natural habitat – The Soul! For the end of the record we wanted to create a drone like tune or melody that would repeat itself, actually the time spent between recording the last track on the record ‘For Majestic Nights’ and the rest of the material is almost an entire year, and the more I listened to the other tracks the more I felt the need to have a definitive album closer which finally took form. Lyrically there is just a few lines which praises ‘The Night’ for being the time with higher spiritual expanse and power! However sound wise I believe we really found something special with this tune, many people who know the previous Dusk records will know that we never sounded this way but I believe this is one of the new sides to Dusk that we will further explore in the future.

The songs on the split release move into the direction of Doom metal compared to Thrash metal on your previous release. Any reason behind the shift in direction?

After we released our EP titled Dead Heart Dawning in 2006 (and a release on the three way split titled Rise of the Eastern Blood) Dusk was unknowingly moving into unexplored waters. This was also a very special time for me as an artist and musician since I joined Asian giant metal band Impiety and partially recorded with them for their Formidonis record. During this time I met fellow Impiety band mate and drummer Halim (Tremor) who agreed to join Dusk and together we wanted to jam some tunes that had more leaning towards the eighties thrash and death movement. Primarily this was a homage to more primitive sounding death thrash that made its mark from South America in the 1980s. Our toying around with these sounds got more and more serious and before we knew it we recorded 5 – 6 songs that we released with fellow Asian Crust / Punk / Thrash legends Distrust on a split record titled Eastern Assault. This was released by Pakistan’s only extreme metal label GMH Records. After the release of Eastern Assault things simmered down for Dusk and I got a sense of perspective, I realised this was good for a one off release (and believe me we gained some great fands by short lived 4 year Death/Thrash era) but Dusk will always be associated with tunes that made a mark from our earlier records. Sound wise a lot also changed a lot in the studio this time around when we recorded for the split. In the past it was more like a pattern but this time it felt more like a full blown production. During the death/thrash era I denounced lot of fancy gadgetry and gear and moved more toward the primitive approach for recording and of course that sensibility came along with me when I recorded the songs for the split. I feel the sound has much more body to it. Our engineer and my co producer Mr KK Wong (Ah Boy) a legend from Singapore’s underground movement really hit it home as far as the production and sound for the new Dusk is concerned. Tremor had never played drums for a doom record before (since when he joined Dusk we were already playing faster) so that was a great experience and I am happy that everything falls well into place at the end. The only part where one can catch a glimpse of the death/thrash era of Dusk on this split is our cover for the legendary Motorhead tune Bomber. This is where we blast everything into oblivion!

What are you plans for the rest of 2014?

Cyclopean Eye Productions just released the Dusk / Dying Embrace split titled ‘Through Corridors of Dead Centuries’ at Doom Over Bangalore II last weekend. I am sure the next few months we will hear much more of what comes as feedback. Looking forward to that! Unfortunately Dusk has not been the luckiest when it comes to live performances, as we were set to take the stage at the Ventbox fest in Singapore but due to personal and logistic reasons we had to cancel our appearance a month before the festival took place. But we are geared up on making some surprise appearances in festivals before the end of the year hopefully. Already starting to write new material for Dusk with long time collaborator and band mate Tremor however at this point I have no idea whether this will be another split or an Ep or a full length!

Any Final words?

Don’t follow trends – stay true to your art since this is what will help you survive and help you make your mark in the underground! Rock n Roll Thunder!

Listen to a track from Dusk’s side of the split below

Written by trendcrusher

July 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Interviews

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