After a hiatus of almost 10 years Sarmad Faraz has returned to the music industry. He tells The Express Tribune about his evolution as a musician.
Sarmad feels the music scene has changed drastically over the years: “Earlier on, there were only a few venues that hosted gigs and all charged musicians. But now there are several purpose-built venues for them to showcase their talent.” He added that Islamabad-based Corduroy was probably the only band making original music and that he is happy to see musicians do the same today.
“The audience is also more receptive towards singles and videos as opposed to entire albums containing only one or two videos,” he added. “Videos have now become very important due to the proliferation of social media and video sharing services.”
“People prefer on-demand access to what they like — if it’s a particular song, they will pull it out from the internet right there,” he said, adding that engaging with the audience online is much easier. There is, however, a drawback. “Most internet surfers won’t give your content a second chance if it doesn’t grab their attention in the first go,” he admitted.
Elaborating on the whole experience of playing in a band, he said: “It’s probably the best experience — jamming with likeminded people always results in interesting ideas and soundscapes.” He then added that differences in aspirations can also lead to conflicts. “Fame can affect members in unexpected ways — there are plenty of examples where bands split up resulting in members going in different directions.”
“I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic, ambient and non-guitar based music over the years, which I feel has influenced my musical approach,” he said, regarding how he has evolved as a musician over the years. “Earlier, it was mostly hardcore rock and roll, guitar solos and riffs but now I enjoy the sound of different instruments interspersed together as well.”
Shedding light on his current activities, Faraz said: “Musically, I’ve been focusing on stringing together different ideas and compositions that I’ve conceived over the last few years.” He further added, “I’m also setting up my personal home studio again that will be the factory for all the music I produce and in an attempt to broaden my musical repertoire, I’m learning some piano basics.”
At the end, he talked about a rock star’s image, and the fascination the audience has with that persona: “Most rock musicians are fascinated by the rock star persona and envy that lifestyle and image — it’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said, adding that music to him however has always been about personal fulfillment and catharsis.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2012.
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