From the fame in DRockstars to the release of their first album to the scandals that shook the music industry- this band has seen it all. Powersurge has seen the good sides and the bad sides of doing metal music in our country and Youthsparks went down to discuss all of it with their frontman Jamshed. This is how it went.
How did it all start?
Powersurge was formed in the middle of 2006 by our ex-drummer Samiul, Nahian and Sezan, our ex-bassist. At that time, I used to sing for a band called, “Synopsis”; I knew Nahian and Samiul for long. We used to hang out together and go to same tutor classes. This is how I got to know that the three of us share the same weakness for metal music and how our influences tend to overlap. For instance, all three of us were crazy for Metallica. So, this is how I was incorporated into their jams and band practices; Powersurge was also searching for a vocalist at that point of time and therefore, I ended up getting a call from them to take up the mic for them. As soon as I joined, the band went in to record its first single name, “Durboddho Monushotto” which was released in a mixed album called “Underground”.
What are the things that made Powersurge a band of the gravity that it is now?
Firstly, what we need to take into consideration is the fact that none of us started our music careers with Powersurge. All five of us had their own projects. I had Synopsis. Samiul, Sezan and I once worked for a band named “Disciples”. Nahian had “666”, more commonly known as, “Severe Dementia”. So, to us, doing music was not new and also, it helped us to put the pedal on the accelerator right from the start. So, having our own projects and working on them did give us an upper edge, in terms of musicality and technicality. Secondly, DRockstars played a huge part in our lives. We can never forget to appreciate the things we learned from all those big names in the music industry, being contestants of that show. We personally believe that the biggest lesson we learned from DRockstars is how to keep your feet on the ground and do music. We learned that it is not okay to fly a lot. It’s better to be simple let the stars in the sky be your goal.
Take A Listen to ‘Hangor’ by Powersurge:
What does Powersurge think about DRockstars? How did DRockstars contribute to the music industry and how it is today?
DRockstars did not only change our lives but it also shook the total music scene up. Initially, we did not even think of participating but Cezanne bhai from Artcell encouraged us to do so. He told us that the judging panel is going to be different than any other commercial talent hunt and that it is going to be managed by BAMBA. Public voting is on as well so no matter what, all the bands will get a fair voting. So, we thought of trying our luck and giving it a shot and believe it or not, we won it through. It is only then that teenagers and young generation of that time realized that it is safe to do underground music. The idea people perceive about underground music, that it is a total chaos, changed. The kids understood the authenticity of underground music. This triggered the revolution of underground music in Bangladesh. If we go back to 2004 – 06, we would see a music scene where Artcell and Black went mainstream and Cryptic Fate suddenly went missing. This definitely killed the underground music scene. After Drockstars and we coming through, the number of people coming into shows increased drastically, more mixed albums came out, for example the Rock series, Dabanal, etc. Therefore, DRockstars, definitely acted as a revolution and created a platform for young guns to come and do music.
As a band, what is required to do music and hit a peak in today’s industry?
You got to be true to the music you do and you need to believe in your music. You need to have people in your life who are related to music. For instance, I hang out with Rafa, Hythum and others; we are always talking about our music and how we can improve on it. Having these kinds of friends hanging around us also encourages you to do music. You also have to practice and practice hard. There is no alternative way of improving other than practicing. We also believe that in order for someone to turn out to be a “musician”, one needs to listen to all types of music, definitely, “quality” music. For instance, I might dig heavy metal but I still listen to Experimental music, I still listen to Rock, Pakistani Fusion, and what not! Listening to new and better kinds of music increases your knowledge and helps you to be a good musician in the future. Lastly, one needs to be passionate about his or her music. For instance, in one BAMBA concert [Rage Against Violence Against Women], something happened to Nahian’s guitar just before the show. So, Nahian went up on stage with Zeheen’s [Mechanix] guitar. During our performance, Nahian was headbanging so hard that he dashed his forehead open and blood was pouring out but he still did not stop. It was the passion that drove him to achieve that extra mile. This passion will not come if you don’t have your feet on the ground. You need to be simple and down-to-earth. If you fly too much, you can never be passionate and do good music.
Powersurge did dodge a few bullets during the Nahian controversy. What does Powersurge take the most from this specific incident?
It will not come as a surprise to anyone if we say that the incident was an accident. A total blunder of some sort but, this incident made us realize that there are still people out there in our society who segregate people with long hair and a guitar to be chaotic, vulgar and the “evil” part of the society. At the end of the day, what we understood is that it could have been anyone instead of Nahian. He might be affiliated to BAMBA but not the same case with everyone else. So, this specific incident was an eye opener, for all of us I should say, that even if you mind your own business, a certain part of our community might want to interfere and might try to suppress you.
How was the first album experience?
We faced a bit of complications regarding the release of our first album; as a consequence, we had to release our album within two weeks. It was hard but we had to challenge ourselves. We had to play throughout the clock and try to come up with good tunes and we believe we were blessed to have people like Sumon bhai, Rafa and bands like Artcell helping us continuosly during the process and we are thankful for their contribution. We owe it to them. All in all, though quick but it was indeed a good production.
Take A Listen to ‘Oprostut Juddho’ by Powersurge:
Why is it that there is low amount of support from the corporate world to our music industry?
It seems that the sponsor companies do not trust the abilities of bands these days. Powersurge, as a band, believes that it is high time these companies realize the benefit of spending behind the music industry of Bangladesh. If we look at the West we would see how bands like Metallica and Opeth have created their own brand and sell their merchandises. These brands are not small-time businesses. They are huge and the amount of investment that goes into these is huge as well. These businesses are not only profiting the bands or the merchandising company, it also benefits the economy they belong to and we believe that it is a good time for someone to come up and start a new trend in this country.
Anything for the fans?
We request all of our fans to listen to good music, and to those followers, who are musicians themselves, please listen to new and newer music. It enhances your creativity. We would like to thank all our fans for the support they give us all the time, throughout the good and bad patches of Powersurges’s existence. We are going through a re-shuffling of our line-up and it’s good to see our fans keeping themselves updated and coming with queries if they have any. It is always good to see that support. We hope we will be supported like this all throughout. We love all of you.
Powersurge is not a name anymore. It is more than a name. Powersurge portrays passion. The band exhibits the fact that doing music is not enough. You need to believe in the music you do and you always need to take authority and yet be simple. They are indeed the raw sound of underground music.
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