Saturday, September 25, 2004

All rock, no roll


The Band
Corduroy, the rock band from Islamabad, has developed a considerable fan following through their live shows. The guys have just released their debut album 'The Morning After...' - a set consisting of ten English songs and one Urdu track. You can visit Corduroy's website at

The Members
- Mubashir Noor (a.k.a Moby) - Vocals & Songwriter
- Sarmad Faraz - Lead Guitar
- Ahmed Siddiqui - Bass
- Ali Qamar - Rhythm Guitar
- Ameel Zia Khan - Drums & Percussion

Us: How and when was the band formed?
Mubashir Noor: The band was formed around three years ago...just a bunch of friends jamming until we decided to try our hands at making original stuff and actually enjoyed it. It just went on from there. Right now, the original and permanent members of the band are me, Moby, on Vox; Sarmad on Guitars and Ahmed on Bass. We've had a rotating cast of rhythm guitar players and drummers over the years. Presently Ali is on Rhythm and Ameel plays the Drums and Congas

Us: Why 'Corduroy'? And who came up with the name?
Moby: Our old bud Nomi, original rhythm guitarist. He came up with it out of the blue. We were about to play our first gig and the up till then moniker, Rust, seemed kinda too Babar Shiekh-ish for us. So he had an epiphany and voila! We were Corduroy! It's grown on us over time; the fabric being rough-hewn, like our music.

Us: How would you describe the sound of Corduroy? And in what genre would you classify the music?
Moby: Somewhere between confrontational and hilarious! It's rock music, true, but covers a whole lot of ground genre-wise from pop/rock to pseudo-folk

Us: Tell Us about 'The Morning After...'.
Moby: 'The Morning After...' is our debut CD, and the first independently produced, distributed and marketed album in Pakistan. 11 anthems of angst and alienation await you! I know it's very deja-heard but trust me its not nu-metal!

Us: Do you guys have any personal favourites out of the tracks on the album?
Moby: Yep, mine's [end].

Us: The album launch took place in Islamabad a couple of days ago. How did it go?
Moby: Yes it was on September 11. Pretty good actually. We've been gigging around the area for almost 2 years now so we knew we had a little following. Did not expect the 400 odd that turned out though, a lot of them sneaking in from underneath the tents. We sold around 300 odd CD's at the spot so we're pretty satisfied.

Us: Local bands coming out with English music haven't really been a success story so far. Where does a band that doesn't sing in Urdu stand in our music industry?
Moby: the edge of a cliff looking down to see how down down actually is. If we were looking for immediate gratification, we would've sold 'pan supari'. As it is, we're building up a grassroots following though extensive gigging, and trying to show all our fellow 'undergrounders', for lack of a better word, that you can make things happen on your own if you're determined enough.

Us: What do you think about the current underground scene in Islamabad?
Moby: I'd say it's the most vibrant in the country. We have a small number of bands but they're very well knit together and InshAllah, considering the quality of talent we have here, the Islamabad Underground will explode onto the national stage within a year.

Us: Are there any plans to release 'The Morning After...' internationally?
Moby: It'll be available on the net shortly off our website for those living abroad.

Us: Any video releases on the cards?
Moby: Yep, the video for 'Leeway' is in the works, to be directed by Xulfi of E.P.

Us: Why did you guys choose 'Leeway' for the first video?
Moby: It's our signature song, one of the first ones we made, and perfectly fits our image. Serious, yet sarcastic. Of course a lot of people won't get the humor in this so they can just go to hell! :)

Us: What's more challenging: recording in the studio or performing live?
Moby: They both have their moments, but I'd say an album is just an excuse to tour!

Us: Corduroy has been performing quite frequently at CJ. How helpful is it for underground bands to have a proper place to play at regularly?
Moby: Very. We developed our sound, playing and chemistry by playing weekend after weekend for eight months. Of course the added advantage of developing a hardcore following converting one person at a time is an added bonus.

Us: How have music channels influenced our music industry?
Moby: Well...along with a lot of crap, some very talented artists got their mugs in front of an up till then ignorant audience. Change is always good; ensures survival of the fittest.

Us: Do you think the music that you listen to influences the music that you make?
Moby: Yes it does. We listen to everything from Pearl Jam to Van Halen, Joe Satriani to REM, and I think those shades are obvious in our aural palette.

Us: Where do you see the band in the next five years?
Moby: If lady luck decides to tango, the Billboard Top 40. Otherwise, your nearest dive. We love playing music; and as long as there are people who think we don't suck, we'll be around.

Us: What can we expect from Corduroy in the coming months?
Moby: Loads more gigs hopefully!! And a distribution network covering the entire country. Bhurewala, here we come!!!

- By Sameen Amer

Us Magazine, The News - 24th September, 2004