Known for their adrenaline rushing concert performances, fast paced music, Shrapnel Method is a band that has come a long way since their formation. They were the only band from Bangladesh that got to participate in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 mixed album ‘Cricket for Peace’, rocketing their way past the underground, performing in most high profile concerts in Dhaka and Chittagong, they were the 2nd Runner-up in our ‘Vote For the Best Young Band of the moment’ poll, they will be featured on youthsparks.com over the month of August, we were lucky enough to get to interview the vocalist of the band, Real, over a long conversation, we talked about the past, present and future of the band, and the underground scene of Bangladesh, Check It Out:
(1) When did Shrapnel Method start their journey? Who were the founding members of the band and how did they come together?
Real (Shrapnel Method): We started journey approximately at about the end of the year 2005, after our HSC exams, basically we were all friends and we were all from Commerce college. We just wanted to start a band, so the four of us joined together and formed a band called ‘Xoroastrian’, the initial line-up of the band was, I was at vocals, Omar, at guitars, Sattar, as drummer and Muhit as bassist. 5-6 months after the formation of the band, we needed a lead guitarist, so we called in an audition and from there, we picked out Samir. So after Samir joined the band, we came into a fixed line-up, I was at vocals, Omar, as Rhythm Guitarist, Sattar, as drummer, Muhit, as bassist, Kishore, as back vocals and Abir bhai was our manager. At the start, we were not very serious about the band, we were just friends who wanted to start a band and it was just for fun, nothing else.
(2) How did the band come to the current line-up?
Real (Shrapnel Method): Well, we stuck to our initial line-up for about 1.5 years, till 2007. What happened is, after joining universities, Omar, Muhit and Sattar got really busy with their studies and they were not able to give the band that much time, so they left the band. What we did was, as each of them left the band, we called for auditions or replaced them with someone from our friend circle. Sattar, our drummer back then, was replaced by Ovi, who was a friend of Samir’s. Omar was replaced by another guitarist, who was then replaced by Rezwan. Our bassist Muhit was replaced by Pavel. Our current Keyboardist Rimon joined the band replacing Azhar, who was our keyboardist since the beginning of our journey till 2008. The band had to give a break of almost two years in their journey because of various reasons, from almost 2007 to 2009. After that, we got back into action from mid 2009, and we have been actively performing as a band since then.
(3)Why did you change the name ‘Xoroastrian’ and what does the name ‘Shrapnel Method’ mean?
Real (Shrapnel Method): Well, there were two reasons behind this, first, we did not have any of our former members except for me and Samir. The other reason is that, me and Samir, we always had a dream of going international, so Samir suggested that, to get international, we needed to create an international image and hence come up with a new name. So we came up with the name Shrapnel Method, the name refers to the splinters of a bomb when it blasts.
SHRAPNEL METHOD PERFORMING AT THE UNDERGROUND BLAST 3
(4) The underground music scene of Bangladesh is not very ‘Developed’ and the platforms available for any new band is very limited, there are a lot of struggling and other things involved. So, how would you describe your journey through the underground music scene so far? Summarizing all the struggles.
Real (Shrapnel Method): Honestly speaking, we are not through with the struggling period as of yet, we are still struggling. You know the problem with Bangladesh is that, there is no promotion. Only 5-6 bands in the mainstream has sponsors, whereas, in other countries, there are producers who look forward to sponsoring new upcoming, talented bands, the producers there, promote for a band, makes an album with them. The producer gives publicity to the band, while the producer earns their money through the albums. Its kind of like a business, but this concept has not make its entrance in Bangladesh yet.
Another problem is that, the concert organizers are not professional at all, the concert line-ups are not made according to the talents of the bands, in most concerts, you will get to see, bands that are at the peak of the underground level playing along with very amateurish bands. The concert organizers look forward to getting bands from amongst their friends circle, because it saves them money. There is partiality all over, this is what is going in the underground. There is not a very high fan base of any band because there is no promotion, there are no professional organizers, producers are not looking forward to work with underground bands at all. Whenever there is a mixed album released consisting of underground bands, you will notice that the producers are keen to distribute all other albums except for that one, God knows why, it almost seems like that they hate the UG. Although, trust me, besides cricket, if there is one talent that can take us to the international level, than that is music, we have that good musicians in the UG. I have been to India, I have seen bands from Sri Lanka, during the launching of the mixed album ‘Cricket for Peace’, which consisted of 5 Indian bands, 4 Sri Lankan bands, and from Bangladesh, Shrapnel Method was selected. Trust me, I have seen those bands and they are not anything exceptional from the bands in our UG, but they get their publicity and they have professional organizers which gets them to thrive and us to struggle. Previously, people like Shumon bhai and Duray bhai, got their efforts up to bring up bands from the underground. Duray bhai is now back with his album ‘Hatiar’, we will also give our single for that album.
Moreover, in our country musicians cannot take up music as a profession, because there is no money in it, whereas, in other countries, musicians can take up music as their professions. Front-line producers in the country are not interested towards the UG because they are not sure about how many albums a UG band can sell because there are not large fan bases present, where do we get a good fan base, if there is not anyone to publicize us. We are just blindly doing the music because we love it. Other than that, the UG scene is very messed up. (Sighs)
(5) Tell us about Shrapnel Method’s Achievements so far.
Real (Shrapnel Method): Our biggest achievement so far would be being able to participate in the ICC ‘cricket for peace’ album, where bands from the three hosting nations took part in, the album launching took place in India, I was present during the launching. Shrapnel Method, was the only Bangladeshi band that got into the album after passing through the audition rounds. My individual achievement would be being able to sing in the theme song of the album representing Bangladesh. And another one of our biggest achievement would be being able to perform with Cryptic Fate, a band that we consider as legends and have been our idols since the beginning of our journey with music. We got to share the stage with Cryptic Fate in the BMC Launching of Aashor. We are also having talks with Moneygram(the sponsors of the ICC Cricket for Peace album) for working with them. We might represent their upcoming project, which will take place in 2014 when the ICC 20-20 World Cup comes to Bangladesh(Bangladesh will be the host of the event).
SHRAPNEL METHOD PERFORMING AT THE Aashor’s BMC ALBUM LAUNCHING
(6) So, tell us about all your experiences surrounding the world cup mixed album ‘Cricket for Peace’.
Real (Shrapnel Method): Splendid, it was awesome, I was there for one week, I was an anti-Indian before, but when I went there my thoughts changed. The people there were so kind, so generous, it was splendid. We were there for one week and we were treated like kings, unlimited everthing, the food, the services, everything was grand. There were a lot of well-known music directors present, Kunal Ganjawala was there as well. The album got a lot of publicity in India, unfortunately it did not get the expected publicity in our country. Recently, I heard that the album will be taken to Sri Lanka as well, so looking forward to it.
(7) Shrapnel Method performed in a lot of concerts so far, so which one do you think is the best concert that the band performed in?
Real (Shrapnel Method): Well, recently we are having to perform in our concerts with just one guitar since Samir is in UK, but even with that, basically the 4-5 concerts that we performed in the recent times would be our best concert performances, the recent concert where we performed in North South University, Summer Unplugged would be our best concert so far because we got a lot of appreciation for that concert, our performance in the Wireless Forum 5.3 on 23rd July was a good one as well, the concert to Save Little Manzur organized by Smack Jam on 25th June was pretty good as well, and the concert at RCC where we performed alongside Mechanix and Severe Dementia, the INANIMATE PRESENTS CONCERT AGAINST PUSH SELL, on 24th June, for that we would like to thank Tanshi, who came from Chittagong and played with us.
(8) So what is the current line-up of the band? Any projects the band is working on at the moment?
Real (Shrapnel Method): Currently, we are working on our singles for the mixed albums Rock 606 and Hatiar. Samir is in the United Kingdom for his studies, he will be back on December which is when we will start our solo album project.
Shrapnel Method at the concert to Save Little Manzur organized by Smack Jam on 25th June
(9) Where does the band want to see themselves in the future?
Real (Shrapnel Method): Well, we have a target, though it is a big target, and funny as well, but we will definitely try for it, that is, We want to perform in Woodstock (Laughs), I know its funny, but its a dream and we will give our best shot for it. Other than that, overall, we want to take our music to the international level, we do not want to be bound by the borders of any country, but Bangladesh will always remain our first priority since to stand out internationally, we need to stand out nationally first. We want to make our name in Bangladesh first and then go international.
(10) Any message for all your fans out there?
Real (Shrapnel Method): To those who voted for us, in the poll, we are really greatful to you guys, since we did not expect to come up in the 3rd position at all since we did not publicize for the poll at all, still, who voted for us, you are our true fans and to all the fans out there, we love you and please keep on supporting us as you have done so far..
Like Shrapnel Method’s Facebook Fan page and stay updated with all their gigs. Link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/shrapmeth?sk=wall
Reverbnation ID: http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/shrapnelmethod
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