The most popular alternative rock band of BANGLADESH talks to playlist about their entire musical journey…….
Premature stages of BLACK :
Jon jahan and tony used to study in the same class at Wills little flower School. Basically you can say that the journey of BLACK started from there on, although we had no clause as to forming a band. The only thing that got us done to jam was the hunger for music that we all craved . Jamming sessions on those days were more like fun than anything else. We were simply enjoying our time, without bearing any idea whats going to happen….Jahan – Apart from that there was one particular event when we actually got to perform together for the first time. It was our class party john , tony and myself were in for stage performance together; before it was all classroom table drumming by Tony and laid back singing by John and guess what that was way back in 1995!
NEVER THOUGHT OF MAKING ALBUMS ;LET ALONE CONCERT PERFORMANCES OR EARNING MONEY FROM THE BAND WAS FAR BEYOND. IT JUST HAPPENED. PEOPLE NAME IT CONSEQUENCES – BLACK
Dope smugglz… Big bang ?
John – Haha , yeah that was one band we had formed. Actually during our college and university lives, we used to go to concerts a lot.Watching all the shows and performers was pretty cool.So drives by the urge to do something together , we came up with this band and started jamming, of course having no idea why the name had to be so. At that time Jahan was not with us i along with tony and one of our friends called Imran , were the guys behind it . The band helped us big time because that was the hitch that manifested a musical chemistry between me and tony but as it happen , the band didn’t exist for too long. after Dope Smugglers had vanished we found Jahan with us and started something what you see today in the name of BLACK
Struggles and sacrifice :
Jon – You know when people struggle ? When you are running after a specific goal that you feel you must achieve; that’s when you have to go through struggles. BLACK never ever had those types of ambitions or puposes to work for.
Jahan – But yeah , there was struggle on a different dimension. at that time we used to have a practice pad at the underground of Aziz super market. You better call it a raw pad if a pad at all. Haha …And of course we were out of any proper instruments. The best thing is john owned was his long hair. But out of the blue, we discovered john one day exchanged his here and with a Zoom 505 processor. He had exchanged his hair for that which he was in badly need in of that time. John calls it natural gifts rather than his dad’s . However those are more like sweet memories to us now rather than struggles. There was another incident when we found our practice pad burnt to ashes due to a fire in the adjacent chemical factory. That was really painful and what we could do best was to regret upon the name we had ; cause that seemed to be only reason behind turning oour pad black indeed!
TILL OUR SECOND ALBUM BLACK HAD NO INSTRUMENT OF ITS OWN. WE THANK ALL THE FRIENDS WHO HELPED US WITH THOSE. CAN’T NAME , THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM…
Inspiration for music :
Jahan – Personal reasons for inspiration behind music come differently , but as for the band BLACK has a mutual influences on the band members themselves. You can say john has and influence on Tony , and same goals for all on one another.
John – To me , my extraordinary capacity to listen to music for a ridiculous amount od long time keeps me turned into music. I am really moved by the pleasure of making new tunes , you can call it creation. To me its like giving birth to something new to this world, which was not in existence of two minitues back. That is faciting and it gives me all the drive to be glued to music and its surroundings.
Titu – what john said has a parallel influence on me as well, besides that i believe music has the power to Crete feelings. You will see whenever you want o adopt a new emotion inside you music is the thing to help you out
Jon – April 20th , 2005. After the accident which the famous sound engineer and our friend could not survive , we were able to fin a completely different viewpoint towards taking music more seriously . i can bet if that incident had to happen with any other band of our age, most of them would go perished simply because they would have experienced the hardest reality that you can ever emagine of , but as for uus we thought may be there were bigger reasons left for us to survive the accident and go on forward. Like meraj could not help it he had to sacrifice it all due to family pressure . Of courese which is understandable provided the fact that he is the only child of the family. But we three gave it a thought and came to the conclusion that we cannot step back because we were challanged ; we were alive simply because we had to carry it on. Its quite like we turned into men from boys after the incident.
Jahan- Absolutely! And from others aspects , you can say the first album was big turning point of BLACK. Because you know a first album is a first album always. You might do better , or you might do worse later on; but you can never beat your first album.
Discontinuation of Tahsan:
Jahan- After the accident , we were going through a frozen period for obvious reasons . At that time both BLACK and Tahsan were working for their individual albums and it was decided that Tahsan will release his solo after the BLACK album comes out. But because of the shock we lost our any mental power to work with the album even stage performances. However for some reasons we dont know Tahsan was not willing to delay his album. This started what you call the conflict and the result was what you see.Jon- Yeah but it happened quite naturally. Both were felling the tension and ultimately it happened . Then there were some clashes of interest as well. BLACK as band follows some rules which he started having an aversion to , and Vice versa.Jahan – But we are still good friends, its not like we do not see each others face. I even worked for most of his album cover designs and long side playing guitars for a few tracks. John also played bass two of his songs.
ONE OF MY FRIENDS GUITAR THAT I USED TO BORROW HAD A VERY FRAGILE BRIDGE. EVERY TIME I MADE A STRONG PUNCH , THE BRIDGE WOULD SUBSEQUENTLY DISPLACE. I HAD TO PLAY THAT GUITAR FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE HAVING ONE OF MY OWN…. – Jahan
Vacuuam of Meraj: Jon – you know bass and drums are always the backbone of any kind of music. Its the bass and the beat of the drums that create the foundation of a song, and all other instrument play surrounding the two lockers. So its beyond the need to describe how much of a vacuum had been created due to the absence of Meraj at that time. We thank Sumon vai of Aurthohin for giving us time and playing with us for about one year in spite of his busy schedule. Then later on came Sagar vai, who stick to us around three years. But the vacancy of Meraj was never being fulfilled. You know what happens in these conditions is you keep searching for connection that the band member need to establish among themselves in order to make a complete band. It never depends on how good a player or how much skillful a musician someone is . Its all about getting the right sound banging in the ears,rather than playing with someone heavily distinguished but not really of your kind.In case of Titu vai, it was altogether a different experience right from the word go . Our taste our style of music and the way we thinking about music is like xerox copy. Even if Titu vai is playing wrong tune in practice it sounds natural to us and vice versa . So finally we can say that we have found the replacement we were looking for . But remember its only a replacement of a bassist not replacement of Meraj.
The BLACK and Artcell divergence : Jon – we have never created this situation , rather i should say that its beyond the reach of a particular group of person create such situation. Whatever BLACK and Artcell have between them is kind of competition, which only evolved because we are band from same era, not because we did same type of music and held each others as rivals. As everybody knows we are band of two completely different genres. People should not mix up with what you call animosity and competition. This situation has evolved completely out of the hand of the people who love to throw ashes in the cake. If you talk about the members of these two bands , none of us have record of misapprehension in between ourselves. In fact Tony and Ershad are one of the closest pair of friends that i have ever seen. Nonetheless , the situation is at least far between now than it used to be before , its almost like sub-duded.
Subduing ……. an intention ?
Jon- No its not like that. For the last six months we are totally Busy with recording the album and our personal lives. Basically we didnt even attend any major shows during this time. But once we start taking live gigs, I hope this situation is going to be comeback we all want to perform on the same stage together and so don the audience .. So we are looking forward to it in near future. But i am afraid whether people might start talking or doing weird acts again once that situation comes back. But you know its quite a fun. Some times debates like this make you feel that you might be important to the scenario from some angle, otherwise people would not have shown a finger at you.Big gap before “Aabar”
Jon – yeah we were like taking some time off and figuring ourselves out. We never plan for an album then work for it .Instead when we find that we have composed a number of songs which we are getting fun playing that is when we start thinking about an album. If you first plan for some album then start making songs just to deadlines , you are bound to produce substandard work. Its the songs, that makes the album never the other way round.Titu – Say we can release two albums if we wish to right now. But music is a natural flow of a passion. You might be practicing everyday and composing but there is no aim that these songs must be submitted for an album.
Hallmark of the new upcoming album:
Jon – Well this BLACK album will have an altogether different flavor from all previous albums. This is the first album where i have played guitars along with Jahan, which i have finally dared to risk on stage for the past three years. You can understand , with a new bassist and an additional guitars its really going to sound very different. But for those who suspect this existence of the originally of black has found its own sound , which we were of long search for. And that’s why the name of our forthcoming album is self titled BLACK ..
The other life of BLACK :
Jon – Very very simple life……its a matter of fact that all black member are into their conjugal life by now .. so basically its all about living a proper and simple family life these days . As for Tony and Titu vai , they both are working class guys, which keep them occupied most of the time. Jahan is working as freelance designer besides doing music. I guess i am the only one who has nothing to do beside music. One very interesting fact about us us we never talk about music outside our practice pad, that part has been kept within that particular garage only. We would rather talk about movies or foods or come up with a sudden plan and hang out anywhere.Personally i am a very simple person who never cares about showdowns or anything. People see me everyday going to buy my pack of cigarette in my shorts or taking relaxed ride on rickshaw … Lol.
Ultimate dream as a band: Jon – I believe BLACK as a band has earned itself the glory that no matter how many bands evolve in the musical arena of Bangladesh in future, BLACK will always remembered as a part of change making. When the first album of BLACK came out in 2002 , everybody appreciated the different tone of music that we were able to produce then. That is our ultimate satisfaction about our band, regardless of what happens next. The fact that people talk about our contribution to band music makes us feel proud and gives the hind so we should consider ourselves a part of music history, even to the smallest possible degree……..
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