Kashif Iqbal, vocalist of Delhi-based Hindi language band Blank Noize, that got some people head banging in Channel [V]’s Launchpad, speaks to Nikhil Taneja.
Did you guys get an ego boost reaching the top 7 bands in Launchpad?
Yeah man! I stay in Bangalore while the rest of my band is in Delhi, so we don’t get to play too many gigs. Some of the other bands play almost every night. So Launchpad was really awesome.. we met some crazy people there and had a great time doing what we love all day long!
I hope you mean music when you say that.. because the Homo song may raise doubts.
(Laughs) Of course I mean music! Everyone’s somehow loved that song more than any of our other performances. Vishal (Dadlani) set it in stone by saying, ‘No matter what happens, you will always be remembered as the band who sung the Homo song.’ But let me tell you – it was Shaurya’s idea. It’s some joke between him and Nikhil.. the word fit the chorus, so we used it.
Did you have trouble with your respective girlfriends after that song?
No, no.. we called them up the same night and explained everything to them. We told them clearly that Channel [V] is making us sing stuff like that.. we are totally straight!
Vishal said that you seem influenced by Atif Aslam.
That’s not true at all! My vocals might sound like him but Atif ka baap bhi aisa nahin gaa sakta. The only Pakistani band I have listened to is Junoon.. in fact, it’s the only Pakistani band there ever was.
Have girls started throwing themselves at you now?
(Laughs) They’ve always been throwing themselves at Nikhil! He’s the guitarist so that makes him naturally cool.. although I think it’s more because he’s big-time into networking. Plus, yahaan Bangalore mein koi ladkiyan nahin hain.. main phas gaya hoon. People bring lunchboxes to college here, can you imagine?
You guys are still in college.. how will you cash in on this opportunity?
Me and Nikhil don’t care as much.. we can leave college if we get a major break. (Chuckles) Our bassist is studious, so we may have an issue there.. but use bhi thappad maar kar samjha lenge.
Pursuing music was a problem with our parents before but now that they know it’s not just a hobby.. we’ve made it to TV, they are more supportive. (Chuckles again) My parents are both doctors, so I better do well if I pursue this full time.
Your first album sold 2000 copies in two months and you’ve played on radio as well. How did you guys manage this being in different cities?
I was in Delhi most of last year.. this city’s dead so I keep going back. My semester’s getting over soon again, so I’m flying there again.
We’ve been lucky so far to have an awesome fan base.. (laughs) though I’ll have to check Facebook to know the exact number. That’s how the radio gigs have happened and hopefully, more gigs will happen this year too.
Will the third album get a bigger launch than the first two?
The first one was a low-budget thing that we made in a part-time studio. Nikhil’s brother (Ankit Malik) is a DJ in Canada so he helped in the sound engineering of the second album, so that’s a proper studio album.
We’ve produced both the albums ourselves so far.. we’re hoping that we get some more resources for the third one, so it can be out by the end of the year.
So do you see the band going pro?
Yeah, that’s the plan. (Smiles) It’s the only thing I know how to do so really hoping that happens.
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