Saturday, April 19, 2014

interview and FREE album by thrashers Tabahi (Pakistan)

Tabahi is all-out headbanging, moshing thrash, the way that both old and new thrashers can understand: shredding metal. Good news: the self-titled album is also a free pay-what-you-want release. The guitar player Faiq took the time to answer these questions. As you will see, Tabahi is fast thrash, but it’s also a thinking person’s thrash.
Hello, Momo here. How is life for your band in Karachi?
Momo, my friend, first of all we would like to thank you for appreciating our efforts! We’ve been getting really great responses from all over the world. It does means a lot for the band when people contact us and appreciate our debut album! And this is what metal is all about, no matter how far we are but we all connect and unite through metal!
Life is pretty tough for a metal band here in Karachi, Pakistan. Only 20-30 percent of the population living in Pakistan can relate to the genre, metal. Metal is a genre that is in the initial process of growth here in our country. Metal concerts and gigs are on a hiatus as well in the country. Despite of all of that, still there are many bands who are now focused onto recording and releasing material independently. Tabahi is one of the first thrash metal band in Pakistan that has released a 13-song album independently without the support of any record label. 2014 is a great year for the band, released album in March, got great responses from all over the world, got signed by two record labels (Turkey and Italy) which are already promoting and releasing our cds and cassettes worldwide!
How is the metal scene for thrashers in Karachi?
The metal scene here in Pakistan has been on and off since the 90s; mainly because of the decline of socio and economical situations happening in Pakistan. Bands in Pakistan (every genre) have a very struggling life and especially for the bands which doesn’t have the support of their parents. All of the students here are meant to be doctors, engineers and serve for their country, there is a very strict ethical and value believes in our country. Therefore, most of the bands struggle to ever form out and play. When it comes to metal, the golden era for the underground metal scene in Pakistan was probably between 2002-2005 and then 2008-2010.
As I said, it’s been on and off. Tabahi has been a part of all the struggles I’ve mentioned! But 2013 was a great time for the band as we decided on the final lineup of the band and started focusing on writing our originals. We got to record all of the 13 songs of Tabahi’s album in our home studio, but yes we got some production support from Italy and U.K. Thrashers here are always supporting Tabahi, from buying us burgers to cigarettes to banging their heads on our songs when we’re playing live! And also from all around the world, we’ve been getting great responses!
Your band started in 2008. According to Metal Archives, all three memebers of Tabahi (Faiq, Daniyal and Hyder) used to play in Khorne. I have the EP "We Begin", actually. What is the relation between Khorne and Tabahi now?
Yes, Tabahi has been serving for the underground metal scene here in Pakistan for around 5 years now. We started back in 2008 with a five people lineup, covering songs by Metallica, Sodom, Slayer. Then Tabahi had to be paused and be stalled because all the members had left the band to continue their further studies, and I (Faiq Ahmed) was left alone with Tabahi, but still kept on making originals for the band hoping to be releasing these originals. In this time, the frontman for Khorne was a school friend and literally “Idolized” Faiq, asked to form a doom metal band. As Tabahi was on a stall, me, Daniyal Buksh Soomro, Hyder Ali all three composed all songs of “We Begin” (EP), except “Resurrection.” Vocals and lyrics were written by the frontman of Khorne himself. After “We Begin” was released, it gained much popularity among the audience and we all three were very excited for Khorne, too, but when fame gets to you for the first time, it is one greedy thing! Anyhows, the frontman then decided to dissolve Khorne and dismember us three. We, Tabahi then focused onto making our originals and produce an album to makes a big impact/footprint in the worldwide Thrash metal industry!
Can you explain how the thrash inspiration started? Are there thrash bands from Pakistan that you like? Are there old thrash bands form the 80s or 90s from Pakistan?
Thrash inspiration for Tabahi mainly started with the albums “Kill’em All,” “Show no mercy,” “Pleasure to Kill.” These albums literally changed our lives. These albums are immortal, and no matter how old you get, these albums will always be immortal and can change one’s life! Same happened with Tabahi, we all three are big followers of the old school thrash era, 80s and 90s and from bands like Destruction, Slayer, Sodom, Metallica, Kreator. Also, our vocalist (Daniyal) is heavily inspired by the legendary Teutonic thrash metal bands, and in our vocal style for this album, you can hear some of the vocal influences from Mille Petrozza and Schmier. Thrash is in our blood, when any of the songs gets played, the adrenaline rush is there and it’s like having the best feeling in the world for us three! Thrash and metal is a genre that still is in its growing stage here so a couple of other Pakistani bands like Mob Rulz, Dionysus, Foreskin and Multinational Corporations are some of our favorite bands here! There are no old school thrash metal bands from the 90s and 80s here in Pakistan. However, there are a bunch of rock/pop artists that we were inspired by when we were growing up, some of them include, Junoon, Milestones, Saleem Javed.
Your song "Democrazy" says, "We elect our leaders; with our votes; they feed us lies, terrorized, brutalized, stigmatized." You also say, "Power earn money; money manages the power." Strong words!
Democrazy is a song that is related to all the countries who are leading by using democracy. For us, democracy is a form of legalized corruption. They feed you lies in their presidential campaign to get votes, and when they get to be elected, the innocent people who are made fools are then brutalized and tortured. That really is the sad reality, all of this can be ended if only the human mind can possess that democracy will not come, no matter how hard we strive it, democrazy will always serve, do they not hear cries and realize??
I like the way that Tabahi shows critical thinking. For instance, your song "Virgin Bomber" says, "Each act of your violence; makes your enemies strong; each life you take weakens your cause; because of you, your own people suffer; because of you, my religion reels in shame."
“Virgin Bomber” is a tribute to all those who have lost their lives in suicide bombings. The main theme revolves around a suicide bomber who is brainwashed and urged by preachers to kill innocent people and get into heaven. Most of the people have a very wrong perception about our country that many of the Pakistanis are in favor of suicide bombings or killing people. Bombings are a reason that our religion is reeling in shame, it’s literally the opposite of what our religion is supposed to be. The main culprits of producing these virgin bombers are the preachers themselves who are constantly trying to portray a bad image of our country. The lyrics are very appreciated by the local thrashers/metalheads here and also the people who aren’t into metal, just listened to the song because of the lyrics and the video that we’ve released. We all three first decide on the theme of the song, then start writing and compiling it all up!
Your song "Fatwa" has some of the coolest lyrics that I have seen. You say, "A plan that tells what I can't and what I can be" and "You kill the people who expose your lies." How do you decide lyrics in English or Urdu?
Haha, first of all thanks for acknowledging the lyrics to “Fatwa.” You might not know what fatwa is too. Fatwa actually means: a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority. In most of the Islamic countries, especially in our country “fatwa” has been used in applying all the stupid and the things which have no reason to get them banned. For example, a few weeks back a fatwa was issued on the people who would migrate to Mars the planet in the future just because of the fact that we're only here to serve on the planet Earth not any other planet.
Therefore our song is not negatively about issuing fatwa, we believe in our religion, we just want the ruling to be applied correctly and with thorough meaning like we have mentioned in our lyrics. We decided to write our lyrics in English, cause it’s one of the universal languages worldwide used and we didn’t wanted to keep our album and songs limited nationally, we wanted our message to spread worldwide and let people know about Tabahi and mainly Pakistan.
Also every song of ours has a different lyrical theme and a musical theme to it! You can notice that mostly in every song, like “Twisted Minds” is about women’s oppression here in our country. Many of the metalheads here in Karachi, do support our lyrical themes cause they’re going through the same trouble that we’re going through!
Are there metal bands in Karachi with women?
If you talk it internationally there are metal maidens (women) that are entering into the industry, be it the all-women thrash metal band, Nervosa to Arch Enemy’s ex-vocalist Angela Glasgow. It’s mainly about the acceptance of the metal music, the way metal connects with you, your inner soul and demon hiding inside! In Pakistan, yes, there are hardly a few women I’ve seen who are appreciating metal but no all women metal bands as such, though we would love to see one!
What is the situation for a metal band that wants to plays shows in other cities in Pakistan?
We all three, literally crave to perform live. And that’s what metal is all about, playing live performing all out in front of the people that we love (fans)! This is the best way to appreciate their support for the band! Tabahi has mainly been playing in Karachi, but there aren’t a lot of metal concerts happening here because of the security issues. Metalheads in Karachi, haven’t seen a single metal international band coming here and performing, most of the Pakistanis then have to go via Dubai to see their idols. Security is the main issue for this; hopefully this can be solved in the upcoming years. For Tabahi, we are looking forward to perform worldwide and promote our album! We’ve been in talks with Turkish promoters and also looking for international promoters to help us spread our album and mainly the message all around the world!
In the U.S. when Pakistan is in the news, it is patronizing, negative, racist stereotypes, with anti-Muslim overtones. I wonder if in Pakistan you also see mostly negative stereotypes about the U.S., as if everyone here is a millionaire, pro-war and pro-invasion. Maybe it is convenient for both governments to promote these images, to keep both populations ignorant, patriotic and prejudiced?
Yes, I completely agree with you. It’s the governments’ convenience to promote these images. It’s not like we get up in the morning of hearing a drone blast nearby, life here is pretty much of a regular life just like a life that you guys are living there in America. But then again, there are difficulties in every country, its how you cope up with these difficulties! And in the last, metal is what unites us all together! This interview is an example, too!
Keep thrashing!
Thank you for the opportunity, man. It’s one of the first interviews that is so detailed about the band and the album too, really appreciate the opportunity! As I’ve mentioned zillion times that we’re getting awesome responses all over the world, a recent one is the biggest one, Jeff Waters from Annihilator got to listen to our whole album and he was really happy with the work that we’ve produced! You can read the shoutout on our Facebook page! You can listen to all of our songs on Facebook page. If you want to buy our cds and cassettes you can contact SWA PRODUCTIONS and DISTRIBUTIONS at swaproductions@gmail.com.
Go to the FB page for the free download link:
www.facebook.com/tabahi666 www.tabahi.bandcamp.com
Khorne (doom). Free EP at:
www.khorne.bandcamp.com/releases

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to share our ideas and views on the album and country's recent situations! Really appreciate it! - Tabahi!

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