“Epitome of strength” can be a phrase used as an alternative to describe Nemesis. With so much going around with the band, the ability to hold ground and move forward is not only commendable, rather something to appreciate. Youthsparks caught up with the band while they were making new materials for the next album, which we tell you, will blow your mind! Here’s how it went.
Q. Arguably the biggest and in Bangladesh, how does it view the notion of music?
Nemesis: The kind of music that we believe we do is a lot about our surroundings and whatever is happening around us. So, with all the concerning social, and currently trending issues, we think we can claim our music to be semi-angry and of that sort. We talk about social issues or what is bugging us – and things we feel that we should express with the art that we try to make. The idea that we share to differentiate ourselves from the others is that we are far from the nice and happy music. Therefore, what we feel, and our expressions these days, does not really have a lot of niceness to it, as opposed to frustrations, and we really take that up as inspiration. Nemesis is a band that works on shared, and similar, morality and values. So, whenever we get down to writing a song, all five of us have to feel really excited about the piece of music we are about to jump onto; if Zohad brings in a material, everyone will chip in their contributions and their perspectives to the material, from the trajectory they are viewing this particular feeling from. Hence, the idea is that we all relate to the music in the same way and connect properly. We are always communicating and we always interact amidst ourselves about current issues and we are pretty much on the same page. So, songwriting gets a bit easier and everyone is hovering over the same piece of ground which builds a lot of chemistry and makes it easy to work through.
Q. With Maher and Omayr exiting the band, how did it change the way Nemesis looks into making music, as a band, and the whole songwriting process?
Nemesis: Like how we talked about chemistry? How I played, and the chemistry I shared with Maher differs from the experience and the chemistry I have with Zerif, same goes for Omayr and Zafir. But we firmly believe that music has a lot to do with time. The more time we will spend together with these two, the bigger we will grow as a unit and the better we will understand each other. For example, we still have the same process we used to follow in this band; our inter-dependence and our individual influences make a nice mix that made us the band we were, and the band we are today. New individuals do come into a band structure with their own set of influences and preferences in song structures; there is no point in exposing them to our preferences and impose restrictions. It’s all about living and functioning together as a unit. Therefore, it’s always an equal exchange, in terms of improvements – Zerif changed the same amount that he managed to change us all. So, we might not be able to give another Tritio Jatra, or another Onneshon for that matter, but we will give you something different and something better to enjoy. This line up needs time to understand each other better.
Q. But with Maher and Omayr leaving in a crucial stage of the band, the idea of not continuing Nemesis ever occurred to you three?
Nemesis: In frustrating times, the thought of disbanding does cross your mind. But we do have an obligation to our fans too. We just cannot be over – that is bad for listeners and music itself. Having said that, we did face a lot of negativity for not closing down the show, and truth be told, this is what kept us going. We cannot deny the possibility of unavoidable circumstances, or dilemmas people can face, that resulted in the strong and bold decisions that the remaining people made and went forward with. But Nemesis is not all about the people leaving the band; it also is about the people left behind. We wanted to do something with our lives and we wanted to do music. Our contributions and emotions are not, in any way, less significant that we will stop making music under the same umbrella that we built and cared for all these years –our lives and our decisions matter as equally as the ones who left the band. The band had to stay. Moreover, when people like Shakib Chowdhury [Cryptic Fate] comes and asks you to continue, no matter what, it encourages you even more to keep on running.
Q. A lot of people argue that Nemesis started to perform much lower from what they used to with Maher and Omayr in the band. The recent release of Ghuri receiving some negative criticisms relating to the new sound, how do you answer that?
Nemesis: See, better or worse is always matter of perception. We would like to think that we are making something different than what we used to. Comparisons never hold the universal truth to an answer. If someone lost faith in our sound, we will try our hardest to change that perception. But we would like to go back to the point we made earlier. We need a lot of time to play together and build our chemistry, to know all the tricks that we have up our sleeves, the little ways of brainstorming and making music together and so much more, before we get a proper product out for everyone to criticize, if they have to. For instance, Dio and Yawar both shared equal responsibilities of recording Onneshon, Omayr can enter in the middle of the recording and start working with either one or both of them;
it seldom matters who is in and who is out when you can get the chemistry right.
Q.A lot of people have been saying how Ghuri is a Kings of Leon rip-off. How do you respond to that?
Nemesis: Honestly, we don’t care that much. We only have a few chords to play around with! We cannot comprehend how this is a rip-off. It can be an influence or an inspiration and why not, we ask? That’s how music works. Legendary bands were influenced by others; they used their skills to adapt to their influences and made space into their systems while still presenting the music in their own way and this is what made them big. We can ask you to name a song and we are sure, The Beatles have done something very similar already. So, we really cannot say it is a rip-off or a copy. Give all music some time to settle in and for you to absorb it. There are major differences between variations of music and if someone does not take the time to listen to it and rejects it after the first few listens then that is just a bad thing to do, even for a listener. But more importantly, you should know that we will never make tracks that we are not satisfied with. We are happy about this and we are absolutely fine if some people do not like it or do not resonate the way we do.
Q. Now that Nemesis is working on the new album and with the social issues taking a major downturn, how aggressive will Nemesis be? Where is the trajectory this time around?
Nemesis: We still do not know where we are headed. The album is still undergoing trial and error procedures, we are still fixing up the compositions here and there – however we plan to hit the studio very soon. But to think about trajectories, we do not know if we will come
off as aggressive to the listeners. It is all perspectives, but the influences we share now will surely play a part. Dio is listening to a lot of Soundgarden, we are sure this might bring some of the aggressiveness out into play. But more importantly, like the last time, we will write the music and the lyric ourselves. There is a lot that we can contribute to a composition when we write the lyrics ourselves; we can relate to all the musical elements a lot more than a lyric written by someone else. So, what we will deliver is something that we dearly feel and we hold true to ourselves.
Q. You released Ghuri online. Why online?
Nemesis: To be frank, we do not see any other way than releasing the singles online. Previously, we had the trend of mixed albums but they seem to be a thing of the past now. Moreover, we do see a good revenue generation from this. If we can get on board and start building up a better infrastructure for these transactions, then we do see an emerging market, and probably an efficient one too, for artists to get some appreciation. But that’s just us. Every band has their game plan and their ways of executing the work in hand. Some prefer hard copies, some prefer giving it for free and we prefer the online market – if it works out fine for everyone now, merry merry!
Q. Anything you want to say to your fans?
Nemesis: We love them for the support they have shown throughout our journey. Please keep on supporting us and always go for the legal ways for purchasing music. Be true to the music you listen to, and it will only push us to be true to our music and to you all.