The vague sound of guitars and drums were coming out from the practice room of “Ground Zero” as I was waiting outside for the interview. I was instantly mesmerized and teleported myself into a tunnel that was taking me into an unknown destination. I was trying to imagine myself where it will lead me too.
Suddenly, I was called back to the real world by Resal Ishteaque, the owner of the pad that the band is ready for the interview.
When I entered into the room they were still practicing with some of the songs. The band’s bassist Imtiaz Ahmed “Harris”, who has helped me to arrange this interview (and who is my guitar tutor) greeted me with a big smile (not as big as Mr. Why So Serious. You know what I mean…lolz). Soon all the other members shook my hand and prepared themselves for the interview. It was mainly their frontman – Muhammad Altaf who gave most of the answers.
First of all let me say that this is just a friendly chit-chat. Don’t take me as some big time journalist of a big time newspaper.
Altaf: Of course not. You are just a kid from the local school……lolz.
Okay, so tell me how your journey did began?
Altaf: Well, it has started from June-12, 2013 with me on guitar and vocal, Asraf Sheraz on lead guitar and Romen on drums. And after releasing our first single, Sheraz left the band and Zia came in. After sometimes we got introduced with Harris through our beloved Isha Khan Duray bhai, and from then on we still haven’t looked back.
What was the name of the first song that you have released? Are you planning on something new?
Altaf: It was “Ak Cup Cha” and it was released in the compilation album “Shopnochura-4” on July-6, 2014. As for the future, we are working for our debut album which we hopefully believe that it will get release this year. Also, we are planning to do more shows.
Why do you name your band “Samudra”, I mean why you guys particularly choose this name?
Altaf: Well we have chosen it as we don’t believe in any particular genre and we do anything that goes with our tastes. Another big reason is that the seas don’t have any natural boundaries. It flows freely. So “Samudra” which is Bengali for sea is like that of a thing which have its own freedom.
Tell us something about your songs.
Altaf: Well, like I said before we don’t believe in any particular genre. We do whatever we feel like and whatever sound that goes with our style. If we want to talk about our songs, then they are mainly based upon the lives and things going on every day in our society, in our world. Say about the song “Ak Cup Cha” i.e. A Cup of Tea, its lyric speaks about how every people have one common thing even though they are all different, and that thing is call “prem” or “love”.
Who are your major influences?
Altaf: Mainly I like classical musics which I also consider it as a great inspiration for my music. Beside that I like Bhupen Hazarika, Nachiketa, etc.
Romen: Scorpions, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, etc.
Zia: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, etc.
Harris: Winning, Niloy Das, Deep Purple, etc.
If you have been asked to perform in a very special place, where would it be?
Altaf: Somewhere unique which would be set an example in the future. That can be on the moon, on the top of a mountain or at the slum beside your house. Although Romen have a dream to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
What do you want to say about yourselves, do you have any complains?
Altaf: lolz….well Romen is always late for the practice and so is Zia. And Harris always like lost in a trance sometimes.
Romen: Altaf bhai is right about Zia and Harris, but he also have a problem of getting mixed with songs during practice.
Zia: That’s true for Altaf and all the members.
Harris: I have nothing to say.
(Burst out of laughter)
Do you have anything to say for the current scenario in the music industry?
Altaf: (sigh)……Actually we are facing a really hard time. I mean there are people who are actually destroying this precious element without any hesitation. Let me give you an example on a situation where we were the victims. We had a show in a TV channel few months ago and they haven’t paid us. My point is that, WE ARE MUSICIANS, AND WE WANT TO PERFORM. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE ENTERTAIN YOU FOR FREE.
There are complains of record labels not paying the royalties or people downloading music for free. THERE ARE NO RULES AT ALL. We have to fix these problems very soon.
Thanks a lot to you guys for giving us lot of time. Do you want say anything about us?
Altaf: Help us to promote ourselves. Give us the chance to do something good as I said before that WE ARE MUSICIANS, AND WE WANT TO PERFORM.
As for you guys, we want you and your plans to go the top. We are here for you.
Muhammad Altaf – vocal/guitar/frontman
Mohiuddin Zia – lead guitar
Mustafizur Rahman Romen – drums/percussions
Imtiaz Ahmed “Harris”- bass