Tuesday, July 24, 2012

“We have finished our second album and have titled it Inteha-e-Rock”

interview: music mix

Lahore-based rock act Inteha talk music, India, and load shedding

Lahore-based rock act Inteha usually stay out of the news unless they're making new music. The group that was formed in 2005 and released their debut album, Kehna Chahta Hoon, in 2009, however, is looking at a comeback. They have finished their new album and have named it Inteha-e-Rock. Like Noori, Inteha is a sibling-act with Naukhez Javed taking on the role of vocalist and Nausher Javed serving as guitarist for the band.

The release of Inteha's second album is imminent, and Inteha-e- Rock, “will be released in Pakistan, India, and in the US in October 2012,” reveals Nausher. “This is a more commercial and more fun album than the previous one.”

And the band recently proved its mettle as a live act at the launch of Omore's Buzz ice-cream a few days prior to Ramazan. “The performance went really well,” vocalist Naukhez Javed said after the show. “It was our solo show, but a couple of performances by underground bands took place to open the event. To date it is the hottest performance by Inteha because of the superb crowd and a very hot and humid evening!”

“And the sound was good too,” adds guitarist Nausher Javed, “which is a source of relief for every live artist. The venue was Engro Foods Limited Regional Office Lahore. Almost two thousand people were present and the best part is each of them was responsive, so it was a memorable event for us with the miracle of no load shedding or power failure, thanks to the generators!” The country's power crisis has left everyone frustrated, and musicians are no exception. “Currently the load shedding crisis is really creating hurdles in the productive work of an artist or musician,” he vents, “because when you are making something creative and the electricity goes off, you are left in the middle of nowhere.”

Since their formation in 2005, they have performed in various cities, and have even had successful performances across the border. So how did Inteha become involved in this commercial event? “As Inteha has been working with the corporate sector for the last couple of years regarding jingles and music production, we were approached by Omore's brand team for a rock night as part of the launch of their new ice-cream, and they wanted us to perform at the event, keeping in view our growing fanbase,” explains Naukhez. “Considering the dying music scene in Pakistan as compared to yester years, I think [the organizers] did a fabulous job making an effort to revive concerts in Lahore. We did it for the fate of music and I think it was a good boost for the band's image.”

The setlist comprised of a wide array of tracks, including originals, covers, and even mash-ups. “We kicked off the concert with 'Bolo Bolo', a cover of Sajjad Ali's great [image]hit,” says Nausher. “Then we performed 'Daastan', our debut track along with 'Jaan-e-Jaan' a famous Bollywood classic. Then came 'Pappu Yaar', a Junoon classic and the crowd was totally rocking, followed by 'Ye Pyaar', our greatest hit to date, along with 'Pyaar Humain' which is, again, a Bollywood classic from the film Satte Pe Satta. After that we performed 'Anjana' with a combo of 'Bulleya', and then 'Rahon Main', which is a new song from our upcoming album, and ended the concert with 'Lal Meri Pat'.”

The group says the crowd particularly enjoyed 'Daastan', 'Pyaar' and 'Pappu Yaar' the most. But why did Inteha choose to do covers instead of sticking to material from their own catalogue? “We chose these songs as during our last India tour in December 2011 we performed our songs in combination or medley with Bollywood and Pakistani classics, and I must say it was a killer combination for the Indian crowd. They were over-excited so we tried this new idea in Pakistan and the response was awesome,” explains Naukhez. “We perform covers as we think that these were songs made by legends. We grew up listening to them, dancing to their beats, and now it is our time to pay a tribute to their efforts. In our view, performing their covers is the best way to make them live forever.”

The brothers admit that having only two members in the band has its challenges, especially when it comes to live performances and training session players, but they are very pleased with how their band performed at the Buzz launch. “On the second guitar, we have Shakib; on the bass guitar, we have Mobeen; and on drums, we have Raza.  They performed exceptionally well considering they were all new, except Shakib, and were performing with us for the first time,” says Naukhez. “I must say that all the band members did really well,” compliments Nausher.

The group is proud of what they have achieved so far, and are pleased with the success of their first album. “Our debut album, Kehna Chahta Hoon, was released in 2009 by The Musik Records,” says Nausher. “It was the top seller of 2009 and remained at the number one slot for three months. Also, we were given the Rising Star award by BBC UK, and our track 'Ye Pyaar' was declared the best rock song of 2009, courtesy of The News, Mag, The Nation, etcetera.”

In addition to their upcoming album, fans in the subcontinent can also look forward to live performances by the group, as they plan to tour the region soon. “We are going to India again in July for concerts in Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, and Mumbai,” says the duo, “and we also have a few concerts lined up in Dubai, then in Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore after Eid.” A new video is also on the cards. “The video of the track 'Rahon Main' is scheduled to be shot in August and will hit the screens in September 2012.”

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 24th July 2012

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