Recently we had the opportunity to have a conversation with UnSpecified. This is the interview you don’t wanna miss!
UnSpecified is an alternative/alternative metal band from Dhaka founded on January 30, 2012. Md. Asif Jahangir is on the vocals, Anwoy Mostafiz and Farhan Z Chy on guitar, Rafayyat Jim and George Sudipto on drums, Tonmoy Tanzil is the studio keyboardist and graphics designer, Zahid Hossain on bass and finally Zobaer Abedin Dip is the band manager.
Asif: The best about forming a band is drawing the attraction of girls (Laughs). Jokes apart, I guess the best part is the love and appreciation you get from people. A song you wrote on a lazy day, with no expectations at all, that tune, those words sung or hummed by people you don’t even know- that feeling is priceless.
What do you think about the presence of Bangladeshi music in the international scene?
Tanzil: Bangladeshi music scene has immense potential. Some of the musicians of this country are right up there with the international big names in terms of quality. But unfortunately, our scene has not yet received that recognition or applaud that it deserves globally.
How can we help the newcomer musicians and bands? What kind of support do they need?
Dhrubo: The newcomers suffer from lack of proper platforms. They badly need something like Drockstars. The talent is there but it is getting wasted due to lack of opportunities. We should all appreciate and guide these future talents of the country.
What problems are we facing to develop as a musician in Bangladesh? How can we solve this problem?
Zahid: Where should we begin…First of all, lack of family support and social acceptance, how can a musician grow when there is constant pressure of job or study or whatever. Also, the mindset must change. You must have passion for music. But unfortunately, some are using music as a medium of show off or gaining cheap fame. The most effective solution of this problem is appreciating a musician’s talent both morally and financially.
Who are the people at this moment that you think playing an important role to improve the music scene Bangladesh?
Asif: There are so many noble souls out there, keeping this scene alive. Saadi Rahman vaia of Incursion Music, Shaik Salekin vaia of 12 A.M, A.K. Rahul of Get Amped Series, Rais Al Deen vaia of Roar Sounds are selflessly contributing to the music scene and promoting newcomers. Also, a special gratitude goes to Duray vaia for his endless support over the years.
What’s your most favorite band from Bangladesh and why?
Jim: This is a tough one. We all have our favourites. But if we should choose one, then it has to be none other than Artcell. They are the reason we are here today. They played a vital role in drawing our interests to music. In fact, the appreciation we received from Lincoln and Ershad vaia for Nirbaak Shohor is one of the crowning moments of UnSpecified so far. They loved the song so much that they even appeared in the promo video of the song.
Tell us the story about “Nirbaak Shohor”, is there any inspiration behind this song? If so what?
Anwoy: Honestly speaking, Nirbaak Shohor was never meant to be a song. (Chuckles) There were many other compositions of ours at that time. Asif had just purchased a sound card and condenser as we were planning to start recording for our album. I just plugged in my guitar and started playing random stuffs to test the quality. Fortunately, the recording button was active. Afterwards, we were listening to the recording and some parts sounded real catchy. We decided to make a song out of it. And the rest is history.
There were no inspirations. I kind of let the tune decide the theme of the song. I felt the composition demanded words describing the continuous struggle of a city dweller; at least that is how the tune connected with me as a listener. Nirbaak Shohor is about how a person deals with the depression of being stuck in the same routine and how he gradually accepts it and moves on.
How do you think the musicians can make the best use of social networks and how important is it?
Tanzil: Social Media has completely changed the entire music scene locally and globally. Now-a-days, a Facebook page, a Soundcloud or Youtube channel can do wonders for a band or a musician. Digital platforms are taking over local means like CDs or DVDs. It is really important for musicians to make proper use of these facilities. The reach these platforms can provide is endless. Our musicians should put more focus on these platforms for even greater exposure and use these platforms as a medium of going international. All you need is just one song or one video to go viral.
Tell us about one of your most favorite stage experience.
Anwoy: We have been blessed to have performed in 100+ shows already both in and outside of Dhaka. This is the best part of playing in a band. Feels real good, you know. There have been many emotional moments but the experience of Thakurgaon surpasses all. We were a bit confused and had no real expectations. We had not heard or seen anything about the scene of Thakurgaon. So, we arrived at Thakurgaon and were greeted with great hospitality. We were supposed to be on stage around 10pm that night. So, we were in our hotel, relaxing and talking among ourselves. We were really skeptical and confused as well. We did not expect many listeners of band music there and started making predictions of how worse or awkward the show could turn out to be. We went to the venue and started plugging in our instruments. The lights were dimmed but we could hear whispers like ‘’Dhakar band’’, ‘’Joss hobe’’, giggles and all that. So, we were all ready and I just strummed a chord in full distortion. The lights lit up and out of nowhere standing in front of us were so many youngsters. That was not all; they knew every single word of every Metallica song. We were stunned. We did not see that kind of crazy enthusiasm anywhere before. It was total madness. But what happened next was not at all expected. We started playing Nirbaak Shohor and they were humming our words, our tunes. We were in awe; that moment, that feeling cannot be described in words. We did not expect the song to reach such far regions of the country. The UnSpecified encore at the end was so loud that it still rings in our ears.
Anwoy: The initial name of the band was Blindfold. But we changed it after a few months. Asif was the bassist of our band back then.