The rumours had been making the rounds for a while and Entity Paradigm (EP) fans will be disappointed to find out that the band has finally lent credence to the buzz. On Friday, it was publicly acknowledged for the first time that former frontman Fawad Afzal Khan — who recently shot to great heights of fame because of super hit drama serial “Humsafar” — and drummer Waqar Khan have called it quits.
Fawad’s hectic acting schedule and Waqar’s shift to Islamabad are cited as the reasons for the split. “To be honest, with Fawad’s acting career on the rise, his commitment came to a point where he thought he should bow out and Waqar has moved to Islamabad,” says Ahmed Ali Butt, who will now be the new frontman of the band.
Hence, the band is trudging on with a rearranged line-up that will include Salman Albert on guitars, Hassan Khalid on bass and Butt on vocals. The transition reminds one of the time when EP, initially comprising of seven members, first made their breakthrough from the underground rock scene in Lahore. Later, the band was reduced to five members and now there are just three left.
“Music is in our blood,” says Butt. “There will be a different sound now because I am going to be on vocals; the band is going to have a very New Age look to it.” Butt adds that their latest single “Ajab Tamasha” will depict what’s happening around the world by highlighting issues of how the media and news channels dominate people’s lives in Pakistan.
Good old days
Meanwhile, while recalling the legacy and purpose of the band, Albert explains, “Till date, no other band has the guts to be as crazy, experimental and unique as us. We’ve always had a small fan base because of our style of music but I feel one EP fan is equal to a thousand fans of any other artist.” He further adds, “Of course, things change with success — from your car to your equipment, everything changes. But EP members have always been a bunch of great friends and will remain so.”
Speaking of the change in the line-up, Albert states that EP had always been keen on releasing new music but because the band members started changing their priorities, certain things had become inevitable. “The band members grew so much as individuals that everyone got busy in other things as well. That slowed down our pace. It was kind of evident that Fawad would leave and the band has no reservations whatsoever,” says Albert. “Sometimes the band suffered because of Fawad’s shooting schedules and sometimes Fawad’s shooting schedules were also disturbed because of the band. But every experience is a lesson, so now, our main focus is the band and we’re not going to neglect it.”
Meanwhile, Waqar, who recently visited Peshawar to play for Ali Azmat at a gig, explains that it seemed like the right time for him to depart from EP. “It’s been 12 years and it seemed like the best time to move on,” says Waqar, who is continuing his career by ‘freelancing’ for other bands.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2012.