ADP: Where do they go from here?

Published: May 10, 2011
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After making waves in the Pakistani music scene, Aunty Disco Project has disbanded. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

After making waves in the Pakistani music scene, Aunty Disco Project has disbanded. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

After making waves in the Pakistani music scene, Aunty Disco Project has disbanded. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
After making waves in the Pakistani music scene, Aunty Disco Project has disbanded. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
KARACHI: 

The industry was abuzz with rumours when band members of Aunty Disco Project (ADP) announced news of their break-up about a week ago.

As the band breaks up, what will each band member’s next ploy be? Will they still continue to make music, and most of all, will they still be buddies?

This fall, while Omar Bilal Akhtar (OBA), the lead vocalist and guitarist goes to Columbia University to obtain a degree in journalism, the rest of the band members plan to stick around in the country and play music, although separately.

“I think I fulfilled a lot of my dreams being with ADP so there wasn’t much anxiety about living up to my dreams,” said OBA. “We achieved much more than we had ever imagined, so I’m content with what we did. Individually, of course, there’s so much left to do and it’ll be a challenge to do it without the band — but it’s also exciting at the same time to map out a new plan. Right now it’s too early to think about my musical future, so I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it.”

But as OBA crosses the oceans to greener pastures, what does he think the rest of the band members will be up to?

“Well, I would hope they’d continue playing music. They’re all very talented and creative individuals, so I don’t doubt that they’ll find some creative outlets.”

Yasir Qureshi, the percussionist and one of the founding members of ADP, says: “I will be here for a while doing what I do best — that is playing music. ADP was the best thing for me. It gave me the opportunity to be in a band where I could make great songs with a great bunch of people. There’s not much you can do in this country as a musician at the moment, but I do have faith, as well as the intentions to go all out and make another indie band!”

Ali Alam, who was on guitar and vocals like OBA, said: “Oddly enough, I really haven’t thought much about this. We’re still a band until OBA leaves, which is sometime in July. So right now the focus remains on jamming and recording as ADP.”

Alam further said, “Once OBA leaves, I’m probably going to continue writing songs and recording them at home. I don’t have any plans right now to form a new band or to restart Ganda Banda and the 3D Cats, as has been suggested by lots of people. I didn’t really plan to join ADP when I did three years ago, it just happened. I think I will probably just keep making songs at home until the opportunity to actually play live again presents itself, and I will take it from there.”

Rahail Siddiqui, who provided bass and vocals, was unavailable for comments.

The decision to part ways wasn’t abrupt, according to OBA. “The band members and I have known for a long time that this was a possibility. We were very clear about what was going to happen and that’s made it a little easier to cope with. It’s a good thing we’re ending on our own terms and controlling the circumstances.”

Asked if this was a mutual decision, Qureshi said: “We mutually agreed to this decision considering that OBA has to go for his masters and Ali has other plans.”

Have they parted on a bitter note or will they remain friends?

Alam laughs: “Everyone thinks we hate each other now. Some of the comments we got online were hilarious! Everyone felt that fame had gone to our heads, or OBA wanted to go solo. I think it’s kind of unheard of in Pakistan for a band to break up without any animosity, so people just don’t believe it. Maybe we should have done the whole hating each other business, we could’ve gotten more press coverage!” On the same note, he adds: “Just because we’re no longer in a band together doesn’t mean we’re still not friends! I’m pretty sure if I ever needed really good musicians I’d probably go to Rahail, Yasir and Giles!”

Session drummer and part-time band member Giles, said: “These guys were awesome, it was a beautiful ride. I really had a good time with them and we learnt a lot from one another.”

With Alam’s and Qureshi’s plans to record solo material, and OBA’s plans to “take a big break from music to focus on other things in life”, are there any prospects of the band reuniting in the future?

The future is uncertain, as Qureshi muses: “We will be in touch and who knows? What you saw with Noori today, might happen with us after a few years.”

Fact Box

Pakistani bands that broke up

• Vital Signs

• Junoon

• Awaz

Bands that stood the test of time

• Fuzon

• Entity Paradigm

• Call

• Jal

Those who reunited

• Strings

• Noori

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Arachnid
    May 10, 2011 - 11:03PM

    The real question is: who gives a *t?Recommend

  • H
    May 11, 2011 - 7:19AM

    Wow, with the press release you’d think a band like Metallica broke up. These people should get over themselves, they were and are pretty bad ‘musicians’ to begin with. Recommend

  • Ali Shaikh
    May 11, 2011 - 8:14AM

    I was in love with ADP ever since the first time I heard them over the waves,the name of the band is what catches the eye in the first place AUNTY DISCO PROJECT! one would be really out of their minds to give their band a name like that.I could not resist the urge to ask them what it meant, or what were they thinking when they decided to give this band a name and this is how it went,
    (This is me commenting on their facebook page)

    Ali Shaikh
    Heard u guys on radio for the first
    time and was stunned at each and every
    song tht U guys played…. Came home
    you tubed adp and since then A BIG
    FAN!! Still, I prefer the acoustic
    versions of your songs and one more
    thing whts with the name of the band
    “aunty disco Project” catchy yet a lil
    weird if u come to think of if as a
    band is run by all guys and no link to
    aunties in it!aunties in it!
    14 November 2009 at 11:15 via iPhone · Like ·

    A.D.P [Aunty Disco Project] look!!!
    Ali Shaikh has an iPhone!!!!!! :):) 14
    November 2009 at 11:18 · Like A.D.P
    [Aunty Disco Project] thanks for
    youtubing us too :) also. we have no
    answer for that question. as yet.
    14 November 2009 at 11:19 · Like*

    THEY HAD NO ANSWER FOR IT!!!

    Anyways what ever it was ADP had some magic in their songs, there was always something refreshing about their music….and as one band member said on air once “the song tht gets oba all the girls is definitely “NAZAR”…
    One last thing, never kill the band altogether, take breaks, dun let this distinct name for which you guys worked so hard die. We as fans will definitely miss you and respect you.Recommend

  • ali
    May 11, 2011 - 12:32PM

    who are these people?!Recommend

  • Zahid Ali
    May 11, 2011 - 1:01PM

    They had a huge fan base of 23 people, including themselves. I am guessing even they won’t be disappointed – really, who gives to nobody bands like ADP!Recommend

  • batty
    May 11, 2011 - 2:26PM

    This is one band I’m sorry to see break up! Having attended every concert from their very first one onwards, each performance got bigger and better. It was great to see such wonderful people dedicated to their music and developing their talents! Wishing you guys all the best in the future! Recommend

  • Haroon Sheikh
    May 11, 2011 - 5:05PM

    My band AAG is awesome. Recommend

  • Natasha
    May 11, 2011 - 7:21PM

    oh my good lord!now to omar,i’ll be honest here,i didnt like adp that much….i got toknow abt the band after a long time ov listening to u on radio cause itwas manic monday that i enjoyed the most and looked forward too!iveno issues with the band breaking up!butiveserious isues with no manic monday without u!after blackfish..it was this show i looked upon for the fulfillment ov my humor !dude watdo i do now?Recommend

  • May 11, 2011 - 11:24PM

    would really miss the band. Just planning to attend your re-united Gig after a couple of years. I hope you won’t really disappointed me :)Recommend

  • khokhar
    May 19, 2011 - 10:54AM

    I am so sad to see these guys split. I love the music that you have produced. It is pure. I wish oba and the rest the best with whatever each one of them takes up next, separately :( Recommend

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