Tuesday, June 06, 2006


band profile

: Call

Current line-up:
- Junaid Khan: Vocals
- Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan (Xulfi): Guitars/ Backing Vocals
- Sultan Raja: Bass

“Our visit to India was a lot of fun. From the beach to the cinema, we enjoyed every moment of it. It feels just like home because the people are so warm and helpful,” says Xulfi, the guitarist of the Pakistani rock band Call.

All set to conquer the other side of the border, the band recently visited India to record a show for MTV after being chosen as the music channel’s MotoAlert Artists of the month for May. Call’s brand of alternative rock has already won over a legion of fans, and with the release of their debut album, the band has cemented its status as one of the most popular rock bands of the region.

Call was originally started by three brothers – Khurram, Danish, and Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan – as an experimental rock band in 1994, and continued to perform both original material and covers with different line-ups for nearly 7 years. After a brief hiatus in 2001, Call returned to the music scene a year later, moving from underground to mainstream, and conquering the Pakistani audience with their first official release, ‘Nishaan’. Hits like ‘Pukaar’, ‘Shayad’ and ‘Sab Bhula Kai’ subsequently followed.

2005 saw the release of Call’s highly anticipated debut album ‘Jilawatan’, an eleven-track modern rock set that revolves around the theme of mental exile and isolation, and merges angst-ridden lyrics with slick guitar work. The album offers everything from power ballads in the form of ‘Sab Bhula Kai’ and ‘Bichar Kai Bhee’, to tracks of the more hard-hitting variety, like ‘Shayad’ and ‘Jilawatan’. A venture in the post-grunge realm, Call’s sound falls somewhere between Creed and Lifehouse, a blend of meaningful (albeit self-pitying) lyrics and radio-friendly rock tunes.

Earlier this year, the band had visited India to record their song ‘Kal Hamara Hai’. “Going to India has always been a great experience,” says Junaid, the vocalist of the band. “You get to learn a lot as India is full of culture and traditions, which is the major thing that both the countries share. The people are so friendly, and professionally they really put all their effort into the work they do.”

Call has been quite active in the local concert circuit, and has also performed outside Pakistan. The band has previously had shows in Dubai, Doha and Qatar, and the guys plan to perform in India very soon. “We will be having a concert tour of India in two months time. There will be concerts in Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta. Nowadays, we are preparing for the tour – practicing and all.” And the band is also planning to venture into Bollywood: “We have almost finalized the deal for a song for an Indian movie,” explains Xulfi, “so you are going to see Call in Bollywood pretty soon. The song is done, and it will hopefully be released with the movie.”

When asked about their upcoming tour, the band says they’re looking forward to it. “We hope to be back in India real soon,” says Xulfi, “Till then, we will carry fond memories of our visit”. “Plus,” Junaid chimes in, “it’s always good to spend some time with your neighbours!”

- By Sameen Amer

JAM Magazine (India) - June 2006