TAKATAK Interview

Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?

We met ten years back, in school. Originally a three piece, we soon morphed into a 5 piece and released a few songs, after which our vocalist left and we put out on instrumental EP called ‘Out of Something’. Even though the band formed a decade ago, I feel that the current line up that got together 2 years ago, which is namely Yusuf and Daud Ramay on drums (brothers), Isa Najam on bass, Luke Azariah and myself (Zain Peerzada) on guitars, and Altamash Sever and Ali Suhail on vocals, is the first ‘real’ Takatak line up for me.

What does your genre means to you, why did you choose this genre?

I think broadly speaking we could say we’re a progressive metal band, but I guess we do lean towards the djentier side of things, a bit more modern than your Porcupine Tree/Opeth styled prog, even though those bands are massive influences for us.

I think progressive music just means that there are no rules, which is the best situation anyone can ever be in, creatively speaking. Prog allows you to do anything and everything. This is why we’ve explored everything from death metal to pop in our upcoming record Acrophase.

Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?

Just the fact that we got Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor) to mix the record, as well as contribute electronic parts as well as a killer guitar solo on the lead single ‘Fault Lines’ was the biggest accomplishment for us. For someone of his calibre and skill to give a shit about a small band such as ours was something that was beyond our wildest dreams and expectations.

Getting Ermin Hamidovic to master the record was also a dream come true, since he’s the mastering guy for bands such as Periphery, Plini and Intervals among many others. The man is a living legend.

How has the overall reception been?

The overall reception has been overwhelming to say the least, specially in terms of the fact that we dont have a label pushing our content, neither do we have a single ruppee to put towards PR spends and all that stuff that even small bands abroad do, or have access to. We’ve gotten on some really cool Spotify editorial playslists such as Got Djent? And New Metal Tracks among bands such as Periphery, Volumes, Monuments, A7X and many more. That’s pretty much all our bucket list sorted!

Do you get involved in performing live? What’s next? Album? Touring? Any international tours?

Pakistan doesn’t have a huge thriving scene, and metal isn’t really accepted widely over here so we just end up doing super small shows for like 50 capacity venues maximum. We’d love to play abroad but breaking through and getting to promoters has been a bit troublesome. Again, bands have labels and management firms behind them, or atleast have some sort of capital to pursue such opportunities. I guess its a matter of time. We’re focusing on the music right now. That’s whats important for now. If the music is good, the rest will follow.

What do you see for your future? How is it looking?

Things don’t ever look great for a Pakistani band to begin with, but covid-19 has sort of been the final nail in the coffin, at least for the forseeable future. We had gotten a few offers for some interesting projects, on a scale we hadn’t done before, but for now everything has been postponed. For now, we’re focusing on writing the next record.

Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process?

For the most part, the album is very introspective. There is an underlying existential theme that I feel a lot of people in today’s day and age could relate to. It’s mostly Ali Suhail’s inner ramblings about the meaning of life and all that sorta’ stuff, hahaha. He’s been very vague about it, but he’s also a very intense human being. I don’t know what’s going on with him most of the time.

Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?

Well, we’ve never been on the road in the 10 years we’ve been a band so we wouldn’t know. The studio is where this band lives, other than the odd show once a year.

Who is composing the songs? Writing the lyrics?

The songs usually start between Zain and Luke, the guitar players, and then are brought to the bass player and drummer, and skeletons sort of start forming. We’re very particular with our demo process, and have everything recorded. Acrophase, the upcoming record, was written remotely through Whatsapp and WeTransfer for the most part.
Lyrics are handled mostly by the vocalists Altamash and Ali.

What bands do you draw your inspiration from?

Gojira, Mastodon, Periphery, Meshuggah, Veil of Maya, Monuments, Tesseract, the list could go on and on and on.

What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?

Making music that makes me happy. That’s about it. That way, when people dig it, it’s all the more special.

When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Getting to work with one of my all time heroes Keshav Dhar on the record, and having him play on one of hour songs. Something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

Anything else you think your fans should know?

Just help us spread the word, man. If you dig what you hear, spread the world so we too can maybe one day tour the world?

Apple Music

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