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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan

Horn Up Podcast: Episode 49

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This week we speak to a metal act from across the border, Takatak. The band landed on their radar thanks to Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor) who recommended them on Episode 24

Takatak guitarists Zain Peerzada and Luke Azariah share their journey so far, new single Fault Lines, upcoming album Acrophase and also their plans for 2020. 

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January 26, 2020 at 11:01 am

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

Blackhour interview

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In the past couple of years, I have discovered quite a few killer metal bands from Pakistan. I interviewed Multinational Corporations and Dionysus last year. I heard about Islamabad based heavy metal band Blackhour through my friend Kunal Choksi.  He has released their second album “Sins Remain” through the distribution arm of his label Transcending Obscurity. I was reminded of bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon listening to the album .

I spoke to the band about “Sins Remain”, being a metal band in Pakistan, performing with Bumblefoot and their plans for this year.

Blackhour
Hi guys, you started the band in in 2007. How did you’ll get together? Are you’ll from the same school/college?
Hashim: So Blackhour started in 2007 when I was in college and recently started playing Iron Maiden licks. At that point I had a vision to make songs that people would sing along to and me along with a few friends got to gather to form a band which had no name… Just a school band to be honest. As luck would have it, we were that one bad band which was boo-ed off stage but it wasn’t going to kill my passion for making music

One year later, me and my brother Diam (Drummer) decided to take things seriously and by late 2008 BLACKHOUR came into existence and it wasn’t until 2010 that the final line-up as our fans know it now, was formed with Tayyab Rehman as vocalist, Salman Afzal on Bass, Mashoo and myself on guitars and little baby bro on drums.

Blackhour indeed started as a bedroom project but with newer musicians from outside our college social circle joining in, Blackhour became bigger and in the early 2012 after release of Age of War album, when Manager, Hassaan Ahmed joined the band… shit just went serious Hahaha!

It is not easy being a band in Pakistan. What are the struggles you faced so far?

Tayyab Rehman: I guess to say at a broader perspective, it is not easy being a musician in any corner of the world, and being in Pakistan brings about a whole new level of challenges. With the local music scene mostly dominated by classical and pop genre, to be a musician in a heavy metal band is like playing in a hockey team with a cricket Bat.

To our surprise we had support from our loved ones but some close friends always forced us to adopt urdu as our lyrical content and make songs more “Listenable” but we knew what we wanted to achieve with our music and we took a big leap of faith. At the end of the day the biggest struggle of being a heavy metal band from Pakistan, is the exposure. The music never gets heard at the level we want it to… but we would try our best to break the boundaries and make a mark!

Your second album “Sins Remain” is out now. It takes further the sound from your debut release “Age of War”. Tell us more about your latest release.

Hashim: The second album was a challenge for the band. With Age of War, it was just me, Tayyab and Hasan Rauf (ex-member) who were involved in the writing process so it was easy to carry. But with this one we decided that each member should bring about their creative process into the songwriting and thus, each song is so much different from the other that you get to hear the versatility of each member.

The title track Sins Remain, is by far our favorite track and it is the brainchild of the most silent member of the band, Slaman Afzal, and I will let him talk about the concept and what not.

Salman Afzal: Umm… well I had this melody which I made back in college and me and Hashim used to jam to it, and it just had a nice ring to it.. When Hashim came with the idea that each member has to put in an individual song in the album, I was actually taken aback. I tried working out various licks but nothing had the “IT” factor, so one night while randomly playing my acoustic guitar the riff for Sins Remain was unleashed on the fret board and I knew it, THIS WAS GOING TO BE MY SONG! We experimented a lot on this song and perhaps spent the most time in structuring it and relating the music with the lyrical content. In fact it is the first song from Pakistan and I dare say from Asia that utilizes the Pashto folk instrument “Rubab” in a metal song which added to the progressive feel of the song.

It is the combination of the whole band’s involvement and the versatility that the song had to offer that we went with Sins Remain as the album title!

Sins Remain

How did you go about recording “Sins Remain”? Are there many recording studios for metal music in Pakistan?

Mashoo: The Sins Remain recording process was a rather interesting fatigue because at the time we had tied up with other bands to experiment on different live concerts, and while handling concert/show organizing, our manager was up our asses to finalize the recording for Sins Remain album. We started by setting up our own recording studio, so this was a first for Blackhour to record its own music on their own. Two upbeat songs, Battle Cry and Wind of Change were produced at a good friend, Fahad Humayun from Dissbeleif’s (an alternative rock band from Islamabad) studio – Bracket Productions, who did an amazing job at handling them and the raw feel that we wanted out of these two songs.

For the remaining three songs, we recorded them through a series of ups and downs at our own studios. The writing process had been finalized during the start of 2015 and we were perfecting our songs via live performances to know the studio sound we want. Finally in late September we collaborated with Mr. Saiban Khaliq – Vocalist/Guitarist for Revolt (A death metal band from Islamabad) for the production of the three songs and I still remember the late nights Hashim and Daim used to spend at the producer’s basement to perfect the sound we wanted and I think if not a 100%, we managed to get a good 80% of the raw/live feel in our produced songs.

Hashim: As for recording studios for metal music in Pakistan, as mashoo highlighted, such studios are majorly operated by metal band members… because they understand the music and given the resources are able to extract that sound for other heavy metal bands, and these studios are usually home studios. Don’t get me wrong though, there are formal recording studios as well, but for a metal band like ourselves, affording the formal studio is through the roof so it is the community that helps each other with production, recording etc. And pretty sure there will be a Blackhour Studio to look forward as well.

“Sins Remain” is being released by Transcending Obscurity distribution. How did the deal come about?

Hassaan: Well Blackhour is all about creating a community for metal music and with this, we tied up with Tejali, a good friend from India, to act as Blackhour’s representative in India. It was her brilliant efforts while working as a full time Architect that she linked up Mr. Kunal Choksi with the band and I guess he liked our music which took further our deal. What’s interesting is that the relationship with TO Distribution is more of a very friendly and collaborative venture as opposed to a suit and tie formal business deals. Mr. Kunal understands well what the band is capable of and has helped us out reach a bigger audience.

The metal scene in Pakistan is slowly picking up in the past couple of year. I’ve really enjoyed listening to bands like Multinational Corporations and Dionysus. What are other bands from Pakistan that you recommend?

Diam: Pakistan’s metal scene though very underground is still enriched with some really amazing bands ranging from death metal, grind core to some really progressive alternative rock bands as well. Some of the amazing bands that I would recommend anyone exploring the Pakistani Metal Scene will be; Blackhour (have to tell them about my band lol), Revolt, Inferner, Tak-a-Tak, Ehl-e-Rock, Dissbelief and Qayyas.

Bumblefoot ft. Blackhour

In August last year, you performed alongside guitarist Bumblefoot at Lok Virsa Open Air Theater in Islamabad. How was the experience?

Tayyab: FUCKING AMAZING! These are the words that kept repeating in my mind, as I went around answering this question. I guess there are no words to define how out of the world it felt. Bumblefoot is indeed a legendary guitar player and to be alongside on the stage with him, well again FUCKING AMAZING. Despite being on stage, the interaction with him off stage and during jam sessions was an eye-opener for the band. We have never met a musician so down to earth and true to music as him. We really hope to share the stage with him soon. And for us it was an honor, that he flew all the way to Pakistan, despite how the country is portrayed in the media, he took the risk and performed and interacted with the musicians here! Honestly, I did not want that show to end to say the least!

What are your plans for this year?

Hashim: We are planning to go about promoting Sins Remain via performing live. In fact last year in November 2015 we did a national launch of the album by organizing Pakistan’s first ever theatrical concert, where each song of the album was complimented by live on-stage theatrical performances (directed by The Insane Production House), while the band performed live. So we are planning to take this setting and perform this show across all the major cities of the country. Along with that we are trying to perhaps play live across the borders as well.. I guess our Manager can help us with that if he moves off of his lazy butt! Other than that, we are also playing at an upcoming music festival of Pakistan (One of the biggest in the country), Music Mela, in late April.

But beyond the live shows we are also planning to start working on a new album. The Writing process has already started during the production of Sins Remain… So there is a lot more of BLACKHOUR to witness this year and the years ahead to come!

 

Stay up to date with Blackhour on their facebook page and check out their video for the track “Battle Cry” below

Written by trendcrusher

January 15, 2016 at 10:00 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

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July 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

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Multinational Corporations Interview

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The metal scene in Pakistan is really underground. It is hard to find information about bands from the country and even hard to get hold of their music. I was unaware that there were grindcore bands in Pakistan until last week I came across Multinational Corporations  from Lahore. The angry duo of Hassan and Sheraz recently released a EP ‘Jamat-al-Maut‘ meaning Congregation of Death in Urdu about the ‘fucked up conditions of living in Pakistan.’ I spoke to the vocalist Hassan about the EP, the writing and recording of the release and also about the metal scene in Pakistan. Read my interview with him below:

MxCx

Hassan and Sheraz (Left to Right)

Your EP Jamat-al-Maut was released last month. Tell us a bit about the album.

Hassan: The idea of Jamat-al-Maut EP came about at the tail-end of 2012 when MxCx was in hiatus. Aneeq Zaman of Throttle Instinct (Grindcore band from Karachi) made this cool artwork and came up with the title too, and I showed it to Sheraz. We both got stoked as fuck and decided to bring Multinational Corporations back to life. We made the song “Salaab” for the Tam89 Pakistani Punk compilation which announced our arrival back on the scene haha. That and the track “Advertisement Overdose” made up our 2013 Promo. Due to working on other personal projects, university and a little laziness we never could dedicate time to completing the EP in 2013 but we took 4 days out in March 2014 to just let out all our dormant hatred and disgust with everyday life in Pakistan. Musically we wanted to harken back to the days of old school crust punk and grindcore, taking influences from the music and aesthetics of Terrorizer, Brutal Truth, Disrupt, Driller Killer etc. There’s a lot of hardcore punk influences in there too since we love bands like Integrity and Nails and wanted a bit of a fresh touch in there too. So alongside d-beats and blasts you have total mosh parts too hahaha. The lyrical themes present in it are an indicator of the band’s identity and our stance against religious fundamentalism, sectarian divisions, capitalist exploitations, foolish mundane patriotism and everything that grinds our gears. We wanted to make something that we could look back at ten years from now and feel proud of. I think we achieved that much, at least.

How long was the songwriting process for the album?

Hassan: The song-writing process was parallel with the recording process. All songs were written as we recorded. Basically we would discuss a song idea, Sheraz would write riffs and in an hour or two the song was made and recorded. Except for “Salaab,” “Advertisement Overdose,” and “White Collar Communism” which were written in 2013 – Salaab and Advertisement Overdose were a part of our “Promo 2013.” For the lyrics I either used poetry/rants I had written in the past or wrote new lyrics on the spot.

The album was recorded over 4 days. What was the recording process like?

Hassan: Like I said, the recording process ran parallel with the writing process. It was very laid back and fun. I mean, despite all the hate, aggression and rage running rampant in the music – it was just 2 friends having fun and making music that they could relate to. Often friends from other bands we were linked to such as Ahsan from Irritum, Amar from Foreskin, etc were at the recording. Even random strangers were sometimes there watching Sheraz lay down stomping riffs and me put down my vocals. A guy from my university was there taking pictures for some research or something which was really fucking rad as well. In retrospect, it was a ‘hit and run’ job. Once a song was done, we didn’t look back or think much on it. I guess we could have wrote a few more songs or whatever if the electricity wasn’t going after every damn hour but those little frustrations just added into the overall pissed off vibe of the music hahaha. We’re satisfied with all the songs and we listen to them ourselves because they’re shit we wrote for ourselves first and foremost.

How does the album compare to your previous release, “Equality” demo? Hassan: It’s miles and leagues ahead of what we did on “Equality.” That demo was just in our nascent stages and we weren’t completely sure of where we wanted to go with our music. There were also two vocalists on the album – me and Haider. I was more of an old school hardcore, crust, grind kinda guy and Haider was basically a slam and deathcore fan. Once he left the band, me and Sheraz were able to iron out the kind of sound we wanted – the fact that me and Sheraz share a great musical chemistry helped too. We had grown as human beings, as music-makers, as friends, etc since Equality and it shows in Jamat-al-Maut. The production is better, the songs are more defined, the riffs are more badass, the vocals and lyrics are more poignant. But we’re not gonna stand still at Jamat-al-Maut. We know how and where we can improve and we wanna keep on taking things to the next level.

Jamat-al-maut

The cd version of the album is going to be released on Salute Records (Sweden) and Extreme Terrot Productions (Holland) will be releasing the tape version. How did the deals come about?

Hassan: Salute Records put out Dionysus CD two years ago and Dionysus is Sheraz’s doom/death/black metal band so we had that connection with him. Salute are great at what they do and are one of the coolest DIY underground labels around. Tony has been doing this for years and knows everything about good promotion, distribution and whatnot – and is overall a very cool guy! Extreme Noise/Grindfather are doing a joint release on tape. I basically got into contact with A-Doom Martin of Extreme Noise Productions after he discovered my other grindcore band Kafir-E-Azam. He runs a really nice label, some awesome bands have put out their stuff through him so it’s gonna be nice working with him! We’re also gonna be on a compilation album with 2-3 new songs, released by his label.

 

You are also part of Foreskin along with Sheraz. Sheraz is also part of Dionysus. Do you have any other bands? How do you’ll manage between the bands?

Hassan: Managing between bands is not such a big problem for me since I have just one job to do – scream on a microphone. The real busy motherfucker is Sheraz ahaha. He’s a badass guitarist and a dedicated individual, splitting time between Dionysus (Doom/Black/Death), Irritum (Funeral Doom), Foreskin (Thrash/Hardcore), Flaw (Experimental Rock), Ilhaam (Black Metal), Marwolaeth (Death Metal). He does most of the songwriting for all of them as well as the actual recording and it’s just crazy. Whenever you’re at his place, something is going on musically and I think he may be starting some new project soon too! As for me I mainly dwell in the realm of grindcore with my band Kafir-E-Azam with Myosis guitarist Asadullah Qureshi and Nihilist Holiday which is a noise/grind/punk/industrial/etc long-distance project with Jeff Fischer. My first band was Foreskin which I began as a crossover thrash band but it’s grown a lot while still being a mix of hardcore punk and thrash metal, Sheraz also plays in it.

You also have a blog Eternal Abhorrence. Can you recommend bands from Pakistan that we should check out.

Hassan: Yeah Eternal Abhorrence was started after I ended my Paki Metal blog “The Iron Markhor.” I lost interest in Pakistani music and wanted to focus on the hardcore/metal/grind/etc bands from foreign countries, including India. I’ve managed to do some interviews with my favorite bands Doom and Integrity as well as talk to prominent US Hardcore bands Skinfather and Xibalba so I’m content with how the blog has developed. Being able to make connections in India through partnerships with Kunal have helped me a lot as well. As far as recommendations go. Apart from the bands I’ve mentioned so far, check out Bvlghvm (Powerviolence), Marg (Punk Rock/Heavy Metal), Tabahi (Thrash Metal), Lohikarma (Post-Metal/Black Metal), Necktarium (Shoegaze/Black Metal). Check all the names I’ve already dropped in my answers too!

Any Final words?

Hassan: Don’t restrict yourself to any one genre. Don’t attach yourself sentimentally to any single frame of thought. Keep an open mind. Don’t let the bastards keep you down. Know your rights and always keep a DIY mindset. Cuz in the end no one’s gonna do you any favors.

Listen to Jamat Al Maut below

Written by trendcrusher

April 18, 2014 at 1:42 am

Interview with //orangenoise

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//organgenoise are a psychedelic band from Karachi, Pakistan. They released an EP //veracious last year which got them attention from around the world. Last month, they released a full length album A Journey to the Heart of Matter. I spoke to their vocalist/guitarist Talha Wynne about the album, how they got together and also the music scene in Pakistan.

Hi Talha, you recently released an album “A Journey to the Heart of Matter”. Tell us about it?

This album is a collection of songs we’ve been playing since after our first release “//veracious” back in January of 2011. We built up a repertoire of 10 – 12 tracks which we’d shuffle around in live shows. We’ve been trying to record these tracks for the past year working with various techniques and methods trying to get our live sound down on the album. Finally in like August of this year, we found a setup that worked for us and managed to contain that live and loud feel we were going for. This album is completely home made, the mixing, recording and mastering everything.

Where was the album recorded? What was the recording process like?

The album was recorded at our drummer Danials place. We Had the basic “juice” of the track recorded as a one take jam, where the drums, guitar and bass we’re hooked up to a mixer and a take was layed down as the foundation layer of the track. We later overdubbed that layer with synths and vocals and additional shimmer.


How does A Journey to the Heart of Matter compare to your EP veracious?

//veracious was very raw and expressive kind of like how we were when the band started, ‘Journey takes our essence and contains and controls it. This is also a full length album as compared to veracious which was a 5 track EP. Also ‘Journey kind of picks up where //veracious ended.

How was the response you received to //veracious EP?

We were quite overwhelmed with the response that veracious got as it was an amateur effort as far as recording and sound were concerned, there was a lot of trial and error involved. But that EP definitely launched us into the internet and managed to squeeze us in with the rest of the noise makers.

You appeared on the second season of “Uth Records”. Tell us a bit about the experience?

It was like a test in a way, a lot of questions hovered around. Can we adapt to a studio environment that wasn’t our own home? Will we have enough time? Are we disciplined enough technically for studio work? I guess all these questions and more were answered in that episode. It was 3 days of mad fun, we felt like working musicians and it would be really awesome to have that sort of stuff going for you if you’re a band thats always up to something. The whole studio rigged up and ready to go.

You and Danny P were in Look Busy Do Nothing and Danial and Faizan were in Mole. How did you guys meet and form a band together?

There was a gig happening at one of the local venues where Danny P was playing with the Mole boys as well as some other musicians, after jamming out with them we all got to meet up one day after a gig leading to us jamming out some noisey punky jams at Danials place. Needless to say we realised something was going on here.

Do you have any other projects/bands?

Yeah I go solo as Toll Crane experimenting with jazzy/beaty/dancey stuff Danny P goes by Alien Panda Jury mixing atomspheric/ambeint grooves with nasty beats.

//orangenoise is part of a new sound from Pakistan. What other bands from Pakistan should the readers check out?

Basheer & the Pied Pipers, Sikandar ka Mandar, Mole, Mightyhook, Jhumi Experience, Poor Rich Boy, Asfandyar Khan and Lower Sindh! Swing Orchestra to name a few bands that rock the local circuit.

What is next for //orangenoise?

After the album’s release we’re pretty much blank right now, a few videos are in store for the new tracks so i guess that’s something to look forward to.

Final words

Support your local music. Go to live shows and gigs.

Written by trendcrusher

October 16, 2012 at 12:32 am

Interview with Odyssey

with 2 comments

Odyssey are a progressive metal band from Lahore, Pakistan. I heard about them through my friend Shaheryar, who released their debut album, “Ghosts of Yesterday” through his label Gasmask Holocaust. I was really impressed by the production of the album as most of the artists I have heard from Pakistan are either auto tuned or really poorly produced. They have released their second album, “Crossroads to Oblivion” online earlier this month.

Find out more about the album, their influences and also the music scene in Lahore/Pakistan in my interview with their guitarist Hussam Raza.

Congrats on the release of your 2nd album “Crossroads to Oblivion”. Tell us a bit about the album.

Hussam: Thanks! The album clocks in around 46 minutes with 8 songs on it. Some are very heavy while others are more melodic. Most of the album sounds quite dark with songs like The Reckoning, Dreamslayer and Swansong, but then there more uplifting songs like The Eden Prophecy also to balance things out.

The album has been self-produced. What was the recording process like?

Hussam: It was a pretty tiring but fulfilling experience. We recorded this album at our bass player’s home studio. He was getting ready to leave for Berklee at the time to pursue a degree in music, so we only had a small window of about 2 months to write and record this album. We were jamming almost every day from 6pm onwards since some of us had day jobs and others were studying in the day. So yes, it was quite crazy but we managed to do it and we are all especially proud of this album.

“Crossroads to Oblivion” has released for free on soundcloud and youtube, what’s the reason behind it??

Hussam: The reason was basically to get our music out there for people to listen to. Our main aim was to make people aware of our music. Besides, the music industry is changing. People are not buying CD’s anymore and especially here in Pakistan, nobody buys CD’s anyway. Everyone downloads off the Internet. So we decided to use the medium as a promotional tool instead of going against it.

You released your debut album ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’ in 2010. How was the response to the album?

Hussam: The response was brilliant. We sent out CD’s to places like the UK and Dubai as well and everyone really appreciated us. That was our first album so it will always be very special to us.

You’ve released 2 songs in Urdu, “Khabi Nahin” and a cover of “Hawa Hawa”. Why did you decided to release your albums in English and not Urdu??

Hussam: We’ve actually released three songs. ‘Zameen’ is one of our most popular songs here in Pakistan. But the reason we decided to release our albums in English is because Urdu doesn’t suit progressive metal at times. The Urdu songs we have recorded so far were recorded in Urdu because the language suited the music and we felt we could make it work. But I really cannot imagine some of the songs on Crossroads To Oblivion or even Ghosts Of Yesterday in Urdu. It would end up sounding forced and contrived and that is something we wanted to avoid.

Dream Theatre and Symphony X are the obvious influences, which other bands that have influenced your music?

Hussam: Metallica was the reason why most of us even started listening to music and they remain a HUGE influence even today. Megadeth, Savatage, Alice In Chains, Opeth, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are also really big influences.

How did you get into metal? What was the first band you owned? Which first cd you bought?

Hussam: I personally got in to music because my mom one day bought me Metallica’s S&M CD which had just been released. Once I heard that, my world changed forever. So Metallica definitely was the starting point and they remain my personal favourite band today.

Are there any other metal bands from Lahore that we should know about?

Hussam: Takatak is a pretty good band here from Lahore. They’re very influenced by Lamb Of God and have released a couple of songs so far.

Are there any live gigs in Lahore and other cities like Karachi and Islamabad?

Hussam: Yes, Lahore has quite a few gigs. They’ve dried up a bit in the last year or so, but we had an initiative called ‘The Mosh Pit’ which was started by a few kids here. That was a metal gig only with all the best metal bands from the country coming together to perform. We’ve had two of those so far, and looking forward to more of them in the future.

Thanks for your replies. Any Final words?

Hussam: Do check out our music at http://www.youtube.com/user/odysseypk and our official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/odysseypk

Here is “DreamSlayer”, one of my favourite songs from “Crossroads to Oblivion”

Written by trendcrusher

March 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm