Youthsparks caught up with one of the most emerging bands of Bangladesh, Circle of Sixth, who are now nothing but a phenomenon themselves; we(me and Rakil) discussed about their musical careers and about the underground music scene in Bangladesh today. Here is how it went.
How did the idea of a progressive band come forth?
Before all of this, me and my brother Shakil were in a band called, “Nightmare” where we used to cover Iron Maiden. Awkwardly enough, we didn’t know that both of us were very fond of Dream Theater, even though inside we were the same, and lived just a few rooms apart. So, while we were in Nightmare, we decided to form a band where we would just be jamming to progressive tunes and we would be doing it only for ourselves. It was around January of 2008 when I and Shakil started this band. After a long time, we thought that we needed to expand. So, I told my school friend Anik (who’s a big Dream Theater fan too) to play bass with us and he agreed. The three of us jammed for almost a year and realized that we need to take this band seriously and that is when we started incorporating other musicians into the band.
Why did CO6 choose progressive music as their genre?
All the members in the band have tried a lot of genres. On a personal level, I played death metal, heavy metal, alter rock, punk rock and what not, but nothing seems to amuse me more than progressive rock, and that’s pretty much the case with everyone in the band. The aura of an ever-changing melody is what I find really interesting. Unlike a heavy-metal track, where you would find two verses followed by a solo and then a verse and a song ends, progressive rock gives you change at each and every moment. It is not certain that the drum beats used on the first verse would come back again in the same track. It is like nuclear radiation. It’s spontaneous; unpredictable, to be exact and that’s the fun of it.
How would CO6 describe them and how would they tag themselves to be unique musicians?
Difference would definitely be on how the band sound and how it stands out loud. Not naming any band ,but there are a few who face mixing problems and the problems are so bad that it kills their talent, in some way or the way. Difference would also lie on the fact that there are also bands who are self-proclaimed progressive rock bands, which eventually they are not. They covered two or three progressive rock tracks, at maximum, during their entire lives and still calls them to be progressive rock bands. That’s not done. Therefore, I would say, the difference lies there, we seldom do heavy metal. Other than that, it’s good ol’ progressive rock.
How would you explain progressive rock to someone who lacks the knowledge of it?
If a guy comes up to me and asks for the explanation of our genre and I know that progressive music is like an alien to him, I would advise him to listen to some progressive rock first. Bands like Dream Theater or Opeth, for instance. Eventually, he would understand what progressive rock is all about. The misconception that today’s society has that Progressive Rock is all about odd-beats, tempo changes and what not but that is not the case. Dream Theater has tracks like “Hollow Years” or “Another Day” which are relatively a lot slower and soothing to the ears, which sums up my point that listening to progressive rock will make you understand what the thing is.
What does CO6 thinks about the people who play music without any kind of grammatical knowledge about their own music?
Suppose that I am a very big rockstar and I go to shows, I compose music for my band, I go to album launchings and I go here and there, do this and that and what not. Obviously, watching me go crazy with the music stuffs will make my younger very interested into these stuffs. He would be thinking that he can get fame out of all this and it would easy enough. He knows a few chords so why not form a band? This thought process kills everyone and this mentality is the reason why we see a lot of bands with minimal amount of knowledge about the music they do. On second level, this problem was boosted by the “Push-Sell” shows. On further levels, the push-sell shows have deteriorated the level of our underground music and the reason why we see so many people without the ample amount of knowledge necessary to do good music.
What are your future plans?
We submitted our single in “Hatiar” and it was supposed to be released on November but because of some technical glitches, it did not. So, I hope it would be out soon. After Hatiar, we will start working on our solo album. I have set up a home studio inside my house and I feel it is high time Circle of The Sixth concentrates about a solo album, and the advantage of having a personal home studio would be on our side of the court. No matter what, it is difficult to hold on to a certain thought when it passes your mind. Same goes for musical tunes. Having a home studio makes it easier for you. You have a tune roaming in your head and you can immediately sit down and make a composition out of it. So, yes, it is definitely helping us.
What would be the biggest problem CO6 face while they are in the studio and producing a solo album?
From composition to production, the biggest problem that this band will face would be to find a good sponsor and I believe I would on behalf of all the underground bands in Bangladesh in this case. The fundamental reason behind this “mess” is the underground music scene itself. If we compare the underground music scene now with the underground music scene 5 years ago, we would be facing a huge wall of differences, in terms of the crowd and the music being played. I have my elder brothers who had been to those shows and they know what it was like. All of the shows were as awesome as it could get. Everyone used to go to those shows, musicians and fans alike. One show used to attract around 400 people in a venue like RCC. Nowadays, the underground shows cannot even attract 200 people properly, even if the show has a few big headliners. That draws the line. The fans decreased, mostly because of the poor quality of music. After this, it would be an easy decision to make, if you are standing in the sponsors’ shoes. They backed out knowing the fact that most of the bands these days don’t make good music and why would they be sponsoring a band if they know it cannot bring about good promotion for their own company? These sponsors were not like this. There a lot of profit-motive companies who sponsored a lot of albums, when the music was good. At this point, we are to blame ourselves only.
What is the possible solution to this great problem?
Keeping this plain and simple; firstly, we all should go to all the underground shows. We need to support the musicians and the underground scene today, even though there is a lack of proper music but the support is a necessity. Secondly, buying all the albums that are released. When you download or take an album from your friend, you’re leaving that band with one album not being sold. You’re leaving the band with a huge amount of loss that they need to incur and you leave the sponsors with a spit on their backs. If the music scene is demoralizing for the sponsors then why on earth would they even volunteer? So, we all need to buy all the local albums of all the local bands, in order to show some love and respect for the music a band is trying to produce for us and to give a pat on the back for those sponsors who took the initiative, being bold enough to sponsor a band and their music in these tough times.
What advice would you give to the emerging bands and as well as those people who do music without knowing anything?
For all the emerging bands, I believe practicing is the key. Jamming with your band should be the first priority when you are in a band and I believe a jam per week should be enough for a constant improvement. Other than that, I would be believe bands should concentrate more on earning the hearts of the crowds rather than playing in front of known people in shows because when you see strangers shouting your name and giving you an encore, you know that you just nailed it. Lastly, I would advice all of the bands not to change their line-up frequently unless there is a dire necessity to do it. This affects the progress of a band. I would not go into details but you would know if you indulge in this.
Anything for your fans?
This would actually be a request. Please, stop piracy. This phenomenon is not only ruining our music industry but also the ruining the inspiration of all the bands behind making good music.
Stop yourself from doing drugs, musicians and non-musicians alike. Doing drugs won’t make you Mike Portnoy nor Neil Peart, neither will it make you Myles Kennedy. It would downgrade your performance and nothing else. It’s better to stay sober all the time.
Lastly, CO6 appreciates all the efforts our fans put into supporting us and we promise you we would never let you down. We love you all.
Our industry truly lacks good, proper and young musicians like these. Someone who acknowledges the fact that doing weed and alcohol is not the new “shit” clearly clarifies their stance on an anti-drug musical career and further strengthens their musical grounds. We need more of them and less of the drugged.
Click Here to check out Circle of The Sixth’s Facebook Page
Click Here to check out Youthsparks’s Facebook Page