Born and brought up in difficult and violent years of the past two decades, four young men have come together in Kashmir for its first rock band, Dying Breed, which gives psychedelic and blues twist to Sufi poetry.
The band released its first album of four songs on Sunday at a Srinagar shopping complex, singing verses of Sheikh-ul-Alam on blues tempo. “It was not easy to form a band in Kashmir. From social to economic pressure, we braved it all,” said guitarist Muiz Miraz, 23.
Though Dying Breed was officially born in 2011, the idea had been gestating since 2005-06, the schooldays of Miraz and his friends, bassist Zohaib Kathawri and lead vocalist Syed Maajid.
The three used to jam in secret. “I used to play the guitar and sing psychedelic songs in my room. My parents sent me to an engineering college outside the state,” said Miraz.
Three years later, they came together again in Srinagar.
The band is apolitical. “We sing for people’s hearts. We should not be expected to be a political band because we are from Kashmir,” Maajid added.
The band members count Led Zeppelin, Beatles and Pink Floyd among influences, and are inspired by the poetry of Wahab Khar, Sheikh-ul-Alam and Lal Ded.