Tabahi Interview

It was about time that Karachi – Pakistan’s largest city, and one of the world’s largest as well – delivered a genuine thrash metal band. For too long the scene in Karachi was full of psuedo-thrash and groove metal bands, propogating themselves as some sort of thrash. However, Tabahi are a legit thrash band that takes its cues from 80’s German thrash bands such as Tankard and Kreator, armed with some classic pre-86 Bay Area ideas. Tabahi, with their stingy vocals, and claustraphobic riffs, take you right into the heart of Pakistan’s most dangerous city with a pure thrash assault that numbs the brain. They discuss topics relevant to Pakistani society such as suicide bombing, the influence of television, the failure of democracy, among other things. I’ve known the band’s main-man Faiq for years and this is the first time I’m interviewing him, in support of his band’s debut album. Read on!

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– Hey Faiq, congrats on the release of your debut album.

 

Thanks alot man, and congrats on your release as well! Multination Corporation’s E.P. was heavy!

 

 

 

– Tell us a bit about the history of Tabahi and the band’s journey til now.

 

Tabahi has been on and off from about 2008, the founding members of the band were Faiq And Hassan, 2008 was a pretty active era for Tabahi as we started off with a 5 band lineup and did concerts covering early metallica, Sodom and Kreator. But in 2009, Hassan had to leave the country and so did the other band members to continue their studies and i was the only member left. In early 2012, Daniyal came into the band after learning bass from me (Faiq) and literally ignited the spirit of the band that had been dead. We, two then concentrated on making our originals but always felt the need to play them and jam it out with a drummer of the same mindset that we two have and thankfully then we were blessed with HYDER. At the first jam for Tabahi, we all three connected, the main backbone of any metal band is the drummer and specially thrash with the fast drums and tempo, and HYDER has glided all the way through it. So we are all fired up with a 3 member lineup ready to kick some serious asses.

 

 

 

– The band’s name means ‘Destruction’ in Urdu. Safe to say that German Thrash Metal is a big primary influence on you boys, yeah? Apart from the classic German bands, what newer bands have influenced you guys and your sound?

 

Yes, you got that right. German legendary thrash metal bands like Kreator, Destruction and Sodom have a strong influence on Tabahi and specially on the vocals. We tried our best to keep our vocal tone apart from all the other metal bands here in Pakistan. Schmier from Destruction is our vocalist/bassist’s main inspiration. Newer wave of thrash metal bands have been keeping thrash alive, bands like Havok,Warbringer,Toxic Holocaust and a recent thrash metal band LOST SOCIETY had mainly infuenced our production and our sound as well.

 

 

 

– Tell us a bit about the state of metal in Karachi. The city’s known as one of the world’s most dangerous places – which seems to be a perfect breeding ground for some kickass metal. Is that the case, though?

 

If you ask us, Karachi is one of the best cities for living. You can get anything and i mean ANYTHING here and from where we live, its considered as the most dangerous localities in Karachi. But thats whats awesome about the city itself, you can get metal magazines at the cost of 100 rs here, equipment for recording and production can be bought at the lowest rates, and there’s inspiration everywhere you go. Therefore this city has mainly inspired us to play thrash metal.

 

 

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– A lot of your lyrical themes draw upon stuff prevelant in Pakistani society and puts it on an aggressive musical format. Do you think that music as abbrassive as Thrash Metal can be accepted by the average guy on the street? I mean songs like Democrazy, Virgin Bomber, Fatwa, Hona Hai, etc are all very relateable to people.

 

When we were writing our album, we all three decided to go with the themes that everyone can relate it to. Even with the songs as well, if you listen to all of our 13 songs, every song has a different lyrical theme to it. Also with the song genres, each song that we wrote we tried to keep it a bit different with all the other songs. Democrazy, Virgin Bomber, Fatwa, Hona Hai were much appreciated by the local audience as well who aren’t listeners of metal. The reason for the success of this was our vocals, because i hear a lot of local people complaining about growls in metal.

 

 

 

– What was the recording process like for the album, anyway? 13 songs and 49 minutes of material self-produced in Pakistan isn’t a very easy task.

 

The writing process for the album began in November 2013. The album was then produced at Faiq’s studios (ShockStudios). Yes we had a lot of agreements/disagreements, fights, emotional moments, all the masala to make a perfect Bollywood movie, and then after two months of hardwork we got to record this album. We made around 25 to 24 songs, but 13 made it to this album. Hopefully the remaining ones would be releasing in a couple of months. Charles Munro, a friend whose a graduate in Music Production and Engineering at University of Portsmouth helped us with the production for this album.

 

 

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– You’ve made CD’s for the album – are you in touch with any labels for distribution abroad?

 

Yes, we’ve released our album digitally and physically as well. The response has been pretty amazing and we’ve been getting mails to feature Tabahi in split albums and metal compliations. Also we’re in talks with a couple of records to distribute our album all around the world. SWA distributions and productions (Turkey) would be releasing our album on April 9th, 2014.

 

 

 

– Do you plan to tour inside and outside the country to take your brand of thrash to live audiences?

 

Metal is all about playing live, and thats what we all three love to do! The main focus for the band was firstly to release the album, and now that is done we’re looking forward to play Nationally and internationally to promote our album.

 

 

 

– When can we expect more music from Tabahi? Any split releases, EP’s, or the like?

 

We would love to release new material on a weekly basis but as you know we all three are students and are working as well so we barely get time to jam and record it out. So the plan is more live performances and more singles!

 

 

 

– Thanks for talking Faiq. Cheers n’ beers.

 

Same here brother, thanks for the interview. Much appreciated.

 

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Tabahi on Facebook

Download their album

– Dozakhi

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Tabahi – Tabahi (2014) [Band-Sanctioned Download]

Album Cover tabahi

Tabahi is a thrash metal band from Karachi, Pakistan. They’ve been around for 8 years and have been through a fair few amount of line-up changes, but have remained centered around main-man Faiq Ahmed. Faiq, aided by drummer Hyder Ali and bassist Daniyal Soomro, has unleashed Tabahi’s debut album upon the unsuspecting masses. Solid riffage, and some killer jams are to be found here. My personal favorites are Fatwa and Art of War but I’ll save a detailed analysis for a proper review of the album. In fact, an interview of the band is on the cards as well! Anyway, check the album out if you dig Possessed, Kreator, Sodom, Sepultura, Exodus, Destruction, Annihilator, Slayer and similar bands. Free download link below. You can also pre-order the CD from tabahithrash@gmail.com

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Click here to download.

Tabahi’s Facebook Page.

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Integrity Interview

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– Greetings Dwid. Hope all is well at your end.

Hello Dozakhi, yes. all is ideal here in Belgium. Thank you.

 

 

– 2013 was a big year for Integrity. The release of the much anticipated Suicide Black Snake album, and then an unexpected remixed version of Systems Overload which was widely hailed as well. Other 7-inch releases were put out as well during that year. How do you feel about 2013 in retrospect?

We had been working on those recordings for a while, so it was rewarding to see them finally come to fruition. The Systems Remix worked out better than we had anticipated. Much better than the original version. Robert Orr and Aaron Melnick did a perfect job on the remix.

 

 

– One thing that struck me about Suicide Black Snake was how – despite having a dedicated fanbase and a trademark sound – how you never cater to what the audience expects. The song “There Ain’t No Living In Life” in particular was something I never expected. Can we expect more songs of that nature in the future by Integrity?

It is difficult to ever say what to “expect” from Integrity. Only time will tell. We do have some unreleased, older recordings that are finally making their way to vinyl via A389 records in 2014. The 1st will be a split 7” with VVegas. We recorded that song a few years ago. And in the Fall another split 7” will emerge from A389, this time its an unreleased song from The Blackest Curse session from 2008.

 

 

– Much has been said about Integrity’s musical influences and the likes of GISM, Septic Death and Misfits. Though the band isn’t exactly a purely musical entity – it comes off as being a very visual act enamored with certain aesthetic qualities. What artists, writers and thinkers have helped influence you and the atmosphere you try to create with your music?

Francis Bacon, DeSade, Andre Breton, Bruno Schulz, Patrick Bokanowski, Arthur Rimbaud, Felicien Rops, Vordb, Ismaelta, Robert Johnson, Tristan Tzara, Sakevi Yokoyama, Blind Willie Johnson, Vincent Price, Charles Manson, Oscar Wilde, Max Ernst, Danzig, Guislain, FW Murnau, Peter Levenda, Al Columbia, Kenneth Anger, Howlin Wolf, Rozz Williams, Pushead, Son House, Boyd Rice, Kent Williams, Robert W. Chambers, Mike Mignola, Jaromil Jireš, E. Elias Merhige, Aleister Crowley, Genesis P’Orridge, Theodore Roszak and many, many more.

 

 

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– You mentioned once that Belgium provides you with the isolation necessary for you to make music. I had always assumed that claustrophobic, crowded environments are better breeding grounds for music as intense as Punk/Metal. How does isolation help in making music with Integrity?

I am not a social person, and I do not enjoy my mind to be cluttered with the distractions of crowded environments. Imagination is something that is often born from silence and darkness.

 

 

– Speaking of Belgium – You did vocals for a Belgian Metal/Hardcore/Punk band called “Congress” and their song called “Dogma” many years ago, and also did a video for another song of theirs. Are you still in touch with them or any Belgian Punk/Metal bands?

Yes, Congress hired me to direct their music video, and also asked me to also do a guest vocal on their album. They are a great group of guys.

 

 

– Can you tell us a bit about your label, Dark Empire Records, and the upcoming Gehenna record?

Actually, my label is, Holy Terror records.
http://www.HolyTerror.com
My son, Max’s label is Dark Empire records and he has released the new Gehenna 7”
wwww.DarkEmpireRecords.com
The new Gehenna record is brutal Neanderthal destruction that only G can deliver.

 

 

– You have always been a prolific musician, stretching your claws out to a variety of different genres. Are you working with any side-project these days? And is there any chance of you doing another Roses Never Fade record?

I left Roses Never Fade 6 or 7 years ago. I believe that a new incarnation of Roses Never Fade eventually plan on a new recording. However, I am no longer a participant of that project.
I have a project titled, Vermapyre

 

 

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– Integrity’s music has evolved over the years and with a quarter of a century of experience with the band, have the motivations behind the music evolved as well? And on a personal level, how much do you feel your own personal growth is indebted to the band?

Integrity has always been a source for my own private entertainment, to make music and imagery that I would like to experience. The rest is just a falling away.  It is an exorcism of my demons and a means to question the mysteries that obstruct our view of human existence.

 

 

– Before we end this, I have always wanted to ask you about the religious symbols – especially the usage of the Islamic shahadah – in the Holy Terror logo. As someone from a predominantly muslim country, seeing it made me intrigued. Isn’t the amalgamation of religious symbols a little contradictory?

I am not certain how religious symbology and my music could ever be viewed as contradictory. Even the label name, “Holy Terror” itself expresses  religious connotations. The main component of my lyrics has always been interwoven with religious overtones and inquiry towards lost knowledge of the humans existence. I would say that my music is foremost a religious outlet decorated in the trappings of a dark aesthetic consumed by the horrors of life.

 

 

– Thanks for the interview. Has been great talking to you. Good luck with your future art.

thank you for your kind words and interest in

 

 

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Integrity on Facebook

Holy Terror Official Website

– Hassan Dozakhi

Letter from a Pakistani rocker circa ’97

Found this cool letter from a Pakistani rocker in the 90’s, sent to Waj Lemac (Conquest For Death), on Facebook this morning. Really interesting stuff. Always cool to find reports of a scene in its nascent days, when local magazines never covered it as extensively as they should have.  From Waj’s Facebook:

 

“A letter from one of the few Pakistani metal heads in Islamabad circa early ’97. Luk Haas gave me his contact info. All You Can Eat were investigating touring Pakistan, Jordan and Syria at the time. We went on hiatus before we could attempt it. This is a two page post. Not for everyone but pretty fascinating for people interested in the early stages of the underground music scene in a far off land. We lost touch, but I hope Aurang is still banging!”

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A really nice piece of Pakistani music history contained in this letter. You can see a reference to Entity (before they became the commercial rock band Entity Paradigm aka EP) as well as Co-VEN when they were simply called Coven. Call is also namedropped. But my favorite part of this has to be the end “P.S. My name is Aurang, Not Rurang.” Hahahah.