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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

It’s our dream to perform at the border: Goher Mumtaz

Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 04, 2013
First Published: 13:11 IST(4/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:02 IST(4/4/2013)

After gaining popularity among young music lovers with albums Aadat and Boondh, Pakistan-based band Jal launched their third record, Pyaas, recently. The band was supposed to perform in the city yesterday, but the performance was called off abruptly. “There were some political reasons. It’s always a delight to perform in Mumbai, so we are disappointed. However, we are performing in Delhi on April 5 and will then head to Pakistan,” says Khurram Mumtaz, the band manager. The lead vocalist, Goher Mumtaz, talks about the album.

Tell us about Pyaas.
It has a lot of variety. Besides the acoustic guitar, we have also used the harmonium and the tabla. There are songs with a Sufi feel, and some are recorded with acoustic guitars. There are also a few high-energy tracks. One of the songs, ‘Dil haari’, has an Arabic feel and we’ve shot it in Mumbai.

Why is it titled Pyaas?
It’s our thirst for producing good music. We have been working on this album for five years to offer something different to our listeners. Also, our band’s name means water. So Pyaas was in sync with that.

How is this album different from the earlier two?
This one is a vocals and guitar-oriented album. Our last album, Boondh, had a dark feel. The texture of Pyaas is happening and mellow.

Did Farhan Saeed’s departure affect the band?
It was his decision to leave the band. We did face problems initially. His departure was also a reason for the delay of this album. I wanted some time to practice vocals. When Atif (Aslam) was part of Jal and Farhan came in, there were comparisons and Farhan was criticised. When Farhan left, I had to push myself to avoid such a situation.

With so many changes, how do you ensure consistency?
We are hard working. Atif was young when he left. Farhan left because he thought that he would become another Atif Aslam. He should have stayed and acknowledged the band. There’s hardly any band that has remained unaffected after its lead vocalist left. Jal has remained consistent and continues to receive love from its fans.

Does the band catch up with former members?
We don’t have any personal issues. All of us are doing fine in our respective space. We don’t get to catch up often, because our band travels a lot.

How has Jal grown over the years?
When we came up with our first album, we were students. Now, we have travelled the world and met various artistes. Our music has evolved and we’ve learnt the logistics of making music.

What are your expectations from the album?
We released the album online two weeks ago and the response has been phenomenal. Our work has been admired by Pakistan’s biggest record company.

What is your USP?
Authenticity and a carefree attitude is our forte. We were college-going boys when we started and received a lot of attention because of our look. We never cared about music trends. There were big bands back then, but we brought about a change in the trend.
Is performing in India different from performing in Pakistan?
India has always been our second home. It has a young crowd that loves music. It’s our dream to perform at the border some day.

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