||INTERVIEW WITH BLACKHOUR
Please introduce yourself, what you do in the band and feel free to mention favourite equipment.
Hassaan Ahmed: Well Blackhour is; Tayyab Rehman, the vocalist and basically the brains behind a lot of lyrical content that you hear in Blackhour's songs, whereas Hashim Mahmood and Mubbashir Sheikh Mashoo are responsible for giving the lyrics, a live feel by virtue of their individual set of skills. Whereby, I can say Hashim is a Marshall man and Mashoo is skills over equipment and making the best sound with some very basic tools.
On the flipside giving life to Blackhour's sound and activities we have Salman Afzal, the Bassist/videographer/graphics and artwork designer and an active composer. He definitely in my opinion is one of the most lazy person you'd ever come across but what can you say that guy is the EINSTINE of the band. And last but not the least we have Diam Mahmood, the kid drummer in the band who started out when he was 10 years old, giving his first performance with Blackhour when he was 12 and to date the only one with the most interesting critiques for all our upcoming materials!
So, what do you have here?
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But I guess the musicians aren't the only members of the band, it is the fans and supporters of the band who have made Blackhour what it is today, and it is a one big Blackhour family!
How long has Blackhour been together? How did you meet etc.
Hashim Mehmood: The current line-up has been together since 2010 and we mostly met in universities. I would like to give a special mention to some of our old members who have again been a vital part of Blackhour during its early days. So a shout out to Hasan Rauf, ex-guitarist and Saad Javed a.k.a Toto, ex-bassist of Blackhour!
Who have been your main influences (Western/Pakistani) - what was the local gig scene like growing up, has it changed?
Salman Afzal: My music influences have been very diverse and I believe they evolve over time. I'm mostly inspired from cartoon theme songs/intros. It's more of an inspiration rather than influence.
Diam Mehmood: I am a very to the point serious kid so to the point, I'm inspired mostly by Nikko of Maiden and Glen Sobel!
Hashim Mehmood: As a band, I think each of us has our own influence and inspirations in music, but what's good to see is that how we all come together and produce this one unique sound which signifies Blackhour.
Tayyab Rehman: As for the local gig scene I would say the quality of the gigs over time since when we used to play as teenagers, and now has improved significantly! But the local metal scene has always been an underground thing and I think that is where the metal gets its charm. Because despite all the up-gradations in the metal gig scene, the pop culture is still the "happening thing" when it comes to local shows here in Pakistan and sadly that is what we had growing up! But amongst that, we as metalheads are still continuing to survive and make a mark! In fact in 2012 Pakistan's very own first of its kind metal festival started up as an initiative to surface metal heads and the metal bands under the banner of HellFest Pakistan.
You have just toured in Pakistan, have you toured/played abroad at all? If so, where? What are the audiences like in Pakistan, where is the best place you have played?
Mashoo: We have had the opportunity to play quite a lot of big stages in Pakistan all over the nation, and I guess I speak for the band when I say, so far HellFest Pakistan II has been the best place we have played. But then again there is a whole world of stages to explore out there so can't say for sure! Nonetheless concerts and shows in Pakistan will always be home!
As for the international tours, our manager is working on a bunch of things but this all is hush hush for now, however you will be getting to know more about this as the things develop.
'Age Of War' was recorded with help from Afterwind, who later dropped it. What is the story behind that? Are you pleased with the reception it has got since?
Hassaan: The album 'Age Of War' was a self-financed project of Blackhour's. This was recorded at Jonathan Jones Studios and distributed in US, Australia and Pakistan through Yourlabel Records and Afterwind Records. These labels were rather distributors of the album and after the contract with them ran its course, we have decided to target bigger labels! However, not being on the panel of any label hasn't been anything bad for Blackhour, we have had an increasing fan base and supporters ever since from all over the world, so I guess yes the reception that 'Age Of War' got was and still is amazing!
You say that the songs are for "...creating awareness among the youth." Could you elaborate? Is that a response to some of the struggles within Pakistan?
Tayyab: Honestly, when we started out shortage of awareness about the country and its situation and the youth were two big things on any media channel! And when we say that our sound is about creating awareness among the youth, let me tell you it was our lazy manager who couldn't come up with a better description of our songs! Just kidding, but basically yes, the songs have a meaning to them and all in all the idea behind Blackhour's sound was to revive the slowly fading genre of true and classic heavy metal genre!
The video for 'Crucifix' was produced with support from WikiMetal. How did that come about? Are we going to see more from that?
Hashim: The video for 'Crucifix' was produced by the band itself in collaboration with a local director, Zohaib Shah and our very own Salman Afzal!
Hassaan: WikiMetal along with The Metal Experience Chicago, Metalbase India, and PakMedia Revolution were all the official promoters of the video in Brazil, USA, India and Pakistan respectively. They all have played a vital role in getting the band's sound reach across the borders and yes you can expect a lot more things to unwind in the near future that will feature massive support of such promoters/labels.
What new material is on the cards?
Tayyab: Blackhour will be coming out with video of 'Salvation (radio version) which is going to be an acoustic version of the original song. Other than that we are already playing two new singles, live; 'Wind of Change' and 'Battle Cry'. We may be hitting the studios soon to record these songs and we may or may not release them with a video.
Daim: Oh and don't forget we will be going live and loud at the HellFest Pakistan III, 2014! So spread the word in the world! SCREAM IT!
SCREAM IT SOCIAL MEDIA
Manager: Hassaan Ahmed | 00 92 344 528 7446 | firstname.lastname@example.org