Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The retarded ADP boys.

This post was supposed to be about how awesome the IBA gig went and how happy it made me to finally see our true, hardcore fans. I'll get to that in a minute. See I feel it is important for most people to realize that no matter how awesome we might be on stage, we are usually a bunch of fools before and after.
Now as you guys know, I was sick before the show. I'm usually the one responsible for arranging the bulk of the equipment moving/transport. But this time, I was pissed off beyond words, i just could not fit all the stuff in my car, we were getting late, our manager was busy, I was supposed to pick both Yasir and Imran and OK wasn't back from work. All the rage kept building and building and just at the boiling point, who should call but poor little Yasir who meekly inquired "Where are you".
Below is my response. Minors please stop reading at this point.

(Warning: Major profanity follows.)

"Where am I? I'll tell you where the fuck i am. I am fucking loading the mother fucking drums in the motherfucking car. Do you know what that is like?I bet you do. Probably because you like squeezing big things in small places. I am going to pick you up when i fucking pick you up? I have been throwing up all day Yasir. My parents fucking think I'm pregnant. Fucking pregnant yasir. WITH CHILD BHENCHOD. Do you have anything else to say? Fucking say it. Alright? Alright. Eat Shit. Goodbye."

I suppose everyone sometimes has a moment where they just step back and think, "Was that really me who was just talking?" Now the reason I am telling you all about my horrible outburst is to let it serve as a lesson. If, as a leader of a group, you lose your temper just before gametime, you will make everyone else crazy and think illogically.

Yasir promptly panicked. He called up OK and told him that I was sick as a dog and I needed help. He also called up Lodhi and told him to get to my house by any means necessary and help me. By this time I had calmed down and was ridden with guilt, so I called up Yasir and apologized like I was on Oprah.

Yasir assumed that Lodhi would get to my place using some sort of public transpot since we knew his family needed the car. But Lodhi must have thought I was having a cardiac or something because he jumped into his car and rushed over. So then after the boys helped me, we were ready to leave together when this conversation takes place,
Lodhi: "Er...actually I have to go back home and drop my car, can one of you follow me".
Me: "What? why did you bring it then? We may as well have picked you..."
Lodhi: "Er...i dunno, Yasir said you were in trouble"
Me: "Oh...fuck."
OK: "Oh...fuck."
Lodhi: "Oh...fuck"
By now, we were already an hour late. The situation was also now too comical for me to get any madder. OK, always one to see an opportunity for a prank, went to pick up Yasir and convinced him that he had completely screwed up the situation and was about to be kicked out of the band. Yasir began crafting a tearful apology/resignation letter while I went to get Lodhi.

Eventually we got to campus, sorted things out and had a big laugh. The show itself was great, there was a big, very enthusiastic crowd who were banging there heads against the stage, singing along with the words and really interacting with us. We played to the point of bleeding and exhaustion, but its always a good feeling when you give that much to an audience. IBA rocks. We love you guys.

We are all set to do a big show in Karachi on Dec. 14th, will post the details later. In the meantime, here is a picture of us at the gig. (Courtesy Ayesha Ahmed). please note how OK has strategically placed the disco ball....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Girls and Boys

In other news..... Lodhi, Yasir and me were hanging out with Rahail, the bass player for Mizraab. The conversation started with some really intellectual stuff about music and recordings and well, pretty much ended up with....girls.

Now usually I don't write too much about this topic, because well, you should always write about what you know and I don't know women. But our conversation yielded some hilarious conclusions. Please feel free to disagree with Omar's list about why men and women are both such idiots. In my humble opinion...

1) Men think like one big flatscreen TV. Its true. We can't handle more than one thing at a time. We will however be excellent at watching that one big TV. You ever go to a TV store where there are 50 different TV screens all showing something different. Thats how women think.

2) We will never understand that time of the month.

3) Top phrase you should never to say to a woman, "Calm Down". This usually makes their anger go away, but it is immediately replaced with murderous rage.

4) If we gave birth, we would find a way to compete with other dudes.

5) As much as they hate to admit it, women will always love jerks.

6) The best way to get over a crush is to imagine him/her taking a huge dump.

7) Guys are awesome because we resolve conflict through physical violence and then we get over it pretty soonn. Girls will harbor that shit for years until it resurfaces in some twisted form and bites you on the ass when you least expect it.

8) Guys need to listen. Or at least pretend to.

9) We can't stop staring. We can only learn how to be discrete. Otherwise our necks would snap.

10) Girls with ambition are sexy.

11) But we still don't like this whole feminism thing.

12) We never know if you really like us or you're just being nice. Our assumptions usually land us in a large pile of shit.



We're performing at IBA today and I am really psyched. In true Omar Akhtar fashion, I have fallen desperately ill right before the concert (this will refresh your memory). Thankfully, its just your run-of-the-mill stomach flu from some bad chicken. (I can't help it, Karachi Broast is like crack for me...). I also realize I should stop discussing this topic to save whatever miniscule amount of sex appeal I ever had.

The doctor thinks I am prone to stress and my body automatically shuts down as a response. This is not encouraging. This is silly. Why couldn't I have a macho response to stress, like porcupine spikes or something. Instead I have developed the biological equivalent of sticking my head in the ground.

Things are looking up, we've been sounding good at rehearsals, the boys are itching to get back on track and do a cracking show. plus it's IBA where we've always had a loyal fanbase so I'm realy excited to do this.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Thoughts on live performance.

Last week, Lodhi and I decided to go check out an underground rock concert some kids were organizing at PACC. Can't remember the last time I was at a gig just to hear somebody else play, and this was a great concert. It had great sound, a crowd full of teenagers just wanting to rock out, and some awesome bands that were playing their hearts out.

I was just so impressed with the raw energy and enthusiasm of these kids. They played some great classic rock covers, including Hendrix, Zeppelin, Dire Straits and the Beatles. It really warmed my heart to see them play bands that I used to cover when I was their age and it also made me sad when I realized how for removed I had become from the rock concert experience. Lodhi and me both felt it when he looked at me and said, "You know sometimes, I think going mainstream was the worst thing that could have happened to us"

Maybe I'm just a little jaded because our last show didn't go too well. I know we're not exactly the biggest band in Pakistan, but I miss the days when we were just starting out and we had nothing to lose. ADP could just go up on stage and really have a go at the audience. We weren't worried about press reviews, ticket sales, audience reactions, sound issues...back then, it was just the four of us playing together, doing what we love.

These days, a gig can turn into a nightmare very quickly.The sound guys dont show up on time, you worry about sponsors and covering your expenses, press people want invites, random people who claim to know you want free tickets, so-called industry types show up looking for love while there's always some video director or some big shot in the audience you are hoping to impress so they might fart in your direction.

The band usually goes by the saying "you are only as good as your last show". We are under tremendous pressure every time to live up to expectations. Much to my dismay, our reputation as a live act is becoming bigger than the quality of our songs.

Don't get me wrong, playing live is my life and love and there is no greater high than a great rock show. But I want people to know the songs, I want them to connect with the music and lyrics. I could pull our a harmonica solo and Yasir could do something fantastic on the darbuka like he always does. But in the end, it will all just be gimmickry if they don't give a hoot about what I'm singing about.

tortured artist? not so much...needy entertainer? be the judge.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I really promise to be regular this time....

No i'm not talking about my bowel movements.

The band and I have been through a very difficult period, collectively and personally. But we're still together and thats whats important. Since i'm on cliche's anyway, let me tell you that being in a band is the closest thing to a marriage, without the weepy sex. In my case, im in a 4-way. Now I'm wondering how my analogy degenerated into a gay orgy...

Like most marriages, we've added another member to save ourselves. Our long search for a manager has ended and we are proud to announce Samme Sani Ahmed as our manager. Check out his blog here.

Samme and me have known each other for a while now, and it appears that Samme has known everyone in media forever. We immediately bonded over our mutual love for dick and fart jokes so naturally I had to hire him as the caretaker of my bands future.

Now this takes a huge load off me, because I was damn near going insane trying to manage the band, book shows, media appearances, shoot videos and trying to play music at the same time. Plus having an outside guy really helps us resolve our issues better and not murder each other with a blunt object.

So far Samme's first show with us was, as mentioned earlier, a bit of a disaster. We were performing for Radio1FM91 at a private gig along with our awesomely talented buddies Zeb and Haniya. Now somewhere along the way, my beautiful cherished companion of 5 years (my Fender Amplifier) was tampered with and a short circuit pretty much fried it completely. I sent Samme and Lodhi off on a wild goose chase thinking a replacement fuse would do the trick, instead, it burst into flames as we were sound checking. In retrospect we must have looked pretty comical, in fact heres a picture of me completely at my wits end (courtesy Kohi Marri)

We finally scrambled to get the show started on time, using a tiny replacement amp with a distortion peddle. Trying to get a good sound out of it was a nightmare and I was left just helpless on stage. Check out the amp in the background of this picture as well as Yasir with his trademark "Mujhey awaaz nahin aa rahee...."

Needless to say we were well below our standard, and the crowd was pretty indifferent, except from a few of our longtime supporters. I was so frazzled and tense by the amp episode, my singing was off and I was quivering like puberty ridden teen. OK begged us to cut the set short so we did. I think the only thing that saved us was our on-the-spot rendition of Beedi, complete with Bipasha-thumkaas.

I was despondent after the show. There was no high of a good performance. The people who usually come up to me after a show weren't making eye contact. Saqib Malik, the awesome director of Ali Azmats "Na Re Na" video and Fuzon's "Khamaj" was in the audience and as silly as it sounds I was desperately hoping we would impress him enough to make our next video. Basically I thought we'd blown it. I suppose you take the good gigs with the bad, but I was especially hoping to come back with an impact since our last show was in August.
Anyway, like I said, we can't wait to get back to doing regular shows and i'm keeping December as the month for when we will officially release our album. Stay tuned on this blog...