Karavan’s music legacy comes to an end

Published: July 25, 2011
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Pakistan’s rock band Karavan has called it quits after 15 years of successful music. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Pakistan’s rock band Karavan has called it quits after 15 years of successful music. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: 

It was four days after the PNS Mehran attack that Karavan played in front of about a 1,000 people at the Carlton Hotel in Karachi. They started at midnight and kept playing until their fans could rock no more. What was one of the best live performances ever in Pakistan turned out to be Karavan’s last gig.

(Read “Rockstation: A welcome respite”)

Formed in 1997 by Awaz guitarist Asad Ahmed and bass player Sameer Ahmed, Karavan revolutionised the Pakistani music scene by fusing eastern percussions and melodies with a modern rock sensibility. The band has released four studio albums and one live album, racking up sales of 2,500,000 copies worldwide. Though the band initially included Najam Sheraz, the final Karavan line-up that we know today included Tanseer Daar on vocals and Alan Smith on the drums along with Asad and Sameer. And after 15 years, Karavan has finally called it quits.

“We are done. Fifteen years is a big time period and no more music will come with the current line-up,” Asad told The Express Tribune.

Adding to that, he said: “The break up is still very fresh. Let’s just take it easy for a while and see what happens. I don’t know with whom, but I will definitely make music.”

On the other hand, Tanseer Daar, who is known for his unique vocal talent, sounded disappointed. “Asad is playing with Ali Zafar. He will be going to India and travelling around the world while Alan is busy playing with Shafqat Amanat Ali. So it was pointless to make an album at such a juncture,” said Daar. Tanseer himself plans to carry on as a vocalist with other guitarists. He is also considering playback singing.

The band members may have chosen separate paths, but it has not affected their friendship. “Everything happened on a positive note and we couldn’t just help the situation of the music industry because waiting for six months to perform a gig is not the ideal situation for a band, plus you can’t stop piracy,” added Daar.

The news may have come as a shock, but disbanding was being considered for quite some time. “I was planning to call it a day since last year before the release of our album Saara Jahan, but the band members wanted the album to be released. So we released it, but finally came to a conclusion that the four of us were no longer making the music we wanted,” said Asad.

However, Sameer is still optimistic about a comeback: “I guess we are old now and there is not much happening in the music industry, but we may come back. You never know.”

Clarifying the rumours that Ahmed’s preference of other projects over those related to Karavan was a reason of breakup, Ahmed said: “Whether it was ‘Coke Studio’ or any artist, Karavan was always my first wife and nothing came before that until I realised that it was high time to call the final shot.”

Band members say goodbye

Asad Ahmed

Thank you for all the support. Try not to forget that there was a band that made your ticket worth the price. I would love to see a rock band come and blow me away by creating good, if not better, music than this.

Tanseer Daar

Play rock music and promote rock music.

Sameer Ahmed

It was all the fans who supported us in all those years and we love them for that. Keep rocking.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Najaf Afghan
    Jul 25, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Asad, Tanseer, Sameer, Alan, guys you were the band!!

    Recommend

  • Faraz
    Jul 26, 2011 - 12:32AM

    It seems my dream of watching you guys live will remain a dream.

    Recommend

  • Saad Siddiqui
    Jul 26, 2011 - 1:33AM

    Okay so this is a very bad news. Karavan was a great band. I was in a state of shock when i read this article on a blog
    Guys you will be missedRecommend

  • Jul 26, 2011 - 9:22AM

    Karavan was one of the best, yet underrated band ever seen by Pakistan music scene. Its hard to belive that we wont see Karvan performing again!!! In their own words

    Kaise Mumkin hey!!!!!Recommend

  • Shahrukh Kazmi
    Jul 26, 2011 - 9:52AM

    Please can anyone tell me this is all a dream :(

    Recommend

  • raaxaa
    Jul 26, 2011 - 11:00AM

    Sad but OLD….Karavan wasnt functioning as a band since long. Even in last 5/7 years their concerts never had the complete line-up. But still the name Karavan was rolling. I wonder why they had to to call it a day now when things havent changed much?

    Nevertheless, I attended one of their concert where they were playing in a Uphone festival amongwith 5/6 other hands. Hands down I must say, Karavan was awesome!!! Asad’s guitar tone is unbeaten by any other guitarist in Pakistan & his cocky Rockstar attitude was pretty fresh too! (Ironical that he’s playing with Ali Zafar when in the same concert he called him a pussy-cat!!! :D) Recommend

  • Karavan fan
    Jul 26, 2011 - 12:26PM

    I am more than just shocked, your presence was a hope for quality rock music but no more :( My prayers are with you guys,truly a legacy comes to an end :) May you all be happy healthy and rocking.Cheers

    Recommend

  • Selina Rashid-Khan
    Jul 26, 2011 - 1:23PM

    end of an era…

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  • MHB
    Jul 26, 2011 - 2:27PM

    They were a phenomenal band, one of the true rock icons of this country and they meant business.. Their last album was woeful, compare to the previous two “Rakhass” and “Gardish” , which propelled them to stardom and gave established acts like Junoon a run for its money. They were the last hope of quality music in this country, now they are also gone.. Tanseer Daar should makes his own band or joins another band.. He is an exceptionally great rock vocalist, of whom the best has yet to come.. Meekaal have you heard the news?

    Recommend

  • Dr Omar
    Jul 26, 2011 - 5:15PM

    It is sad news indeed! For there are very few good quality rock acts, that have good songs and are amazing at performing live as well!

    Good luck to the fab four of Karavan for the future and in the immortal words of Pink Floyd “Shine on you crazy diamonds”; you guys packed a serious punch and you will be missed!

    Recommend

  • Ahsan Bari
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:11AM

    I am really sad but i am also motivated . Time for us to make good music .

    Recommend

  • karavan fan
    Aug 7, 2011 - 4:12PM

    Karavan best live band of pakistan is no more!! mis u guyz!!! keep rocking!

    Recommend

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