Warfaze has become a legend in contemporary Bangladeshi music scene right from the band's inception in 1984. Known as a hard rock and heavy metal band, the number of their fans only kept on increasing, crossing generations. And why not! When they started almost 2 decades ago, the average Bangladeshi music enthusiasts was not keen on rock. Some said “this was the devil's music.” As rock and metal went through an evolution all around the world, in Bangladesh as well we had our very own icons. As rock and metal caught on in Bangladesh, Warfaze never had to look back.
Over the years, the line-up of the band had changed many times. Known for their hits "Ekti Chhele", "Bichchhinno Abeg", "Obak Bhalobasha", "Moharaj", "Dhup Chhaya" and more, the band has been rocking for over 25 years (Warfaze celebrated its silver jubilee in October, 2008 with a grand concert).
The current line-up is: Mizan (vocals), Kamol (guitars), Oni (guitar), Roger (Bass) Tipu (drums), Shams (keyboard) and Majed (band manager).
Members of Warfaze recently talked to The Daily Star about the band's past, present and future plans.
On the band's approach to music, Kamol said, "I have been in the band from its nascent stage. Our songs are based on good melodies, with a tinge of power. There are both heavy and soft types."
The crew has been pretty active lately, since the release of the band's latest album "Poth Chola" earlier this year.
What about the band's philosophy? "It's still the same," said Oni. "The style is still pretty much the same, but the sound is more inclusive."
"We try to incorporate all kinds of moods in our music," said Majed.
"In 1984 the scenario was different," said Tipu. "People used to be like, 'what is that racket?' when they heard rock music. Metal was nowhere in sight! Of course, in course of time all that was to change. It took around 20 years and we had to struggle a lot."
That labour of love paid off.
"Not only in Dhaka, we now have audiences and fans in Chittagong, Sylhet, Barisal and even in remote villages," Tipu said.
Recently the band actually toured in "remote villages" that Tipu mentioned. So how was the experience? "The experience was exhilarating!" Roger said. "We went to Barisal, Bogra, Khulna and any other places. You can say the crowds there were bigger than in the cities!" he added.
How does it feel when the 'metal kids' clad in black shout "Warfaze!" at the concerts? "It gives us a rush!" said Roger. "It's crazy and it's fun. It encourages us, and strengthens our commitment."
What does the band have to say about the new generation of rockers? "A lot of them are pretty good," assessed Tipu. "Those who are learning -- they have to listen to a lot of music. It doesn't have to be just metal and rock, in fact they should listen to all genres; know the ABCs well enough."
"Another issue that I feel is very important is that young musicians should treat their bands like family," said Oni. "They should stick together through the ups and downs. And of course, they should have that hunger for metal music."
"Poth Chola" is being released in Calcutta (Indian) this month. A music video is coming up in January 2010. The band is working on it Reunion DVD, that's going to be released in February next year. In March 2010, Warfaze will begin recording its 8th album.
Shams is known to most fans and friends as "the most decent rocker."
Roger is the quiet, shy type who lives and breathes music. He listens to all kinds -- from Rabindra Sangeet to hard core metal. He is inspired by Victor Wooten and Stuart Hann.
Oni is not just a guitarist but also a teacher. He teaches guitar to many aspiring rockers and loves to hang out with friends.
Tipu is the professional sort, busy with his business which is also music based and is involved in event management.
Mizan likes to chat and is friendly. He is known for his vocals, the pitch of which never gets tired even after 2/3 hours of non-stop performance.
Kamol is "the guitar man." Most can't picture him without the powerful weapon that is his guitar.
Majed enjoys listening to classical music. He loves to play pool and thoroughly enjoys jamming sessions.
The writer is a freelance contributor.