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  INTERVIEW WITH BABAR SHEIK OF DUSK

Andy Millen

andy millen



dusk pakistan
Dusk L-R: Yusri Suratmanan', Babar Sheik, Tremor Av Kaos

Dusk were one of Pakistan's first extreme Metal bands, and have boasted legendary Pakistan guitarist Faraz Anwar as part of their line-up.

With new material on the way (including a link up with India's Dying Embrace) founder Babar Sheik gave me this interview.

Article continues below...



Please introduce the band to us.

  "Dusk started out over a decade and a half back in Karachi, Pakistan. At the time of its inception the local music scene was still evolving with some pretty decent rock acts and one heavy metal act. We took a more extreme approach towards music in general since we were suckers for much heavier stuff than mainstream metal. Stuff like Celtic Frost and Venom turned us on in a big way.

"Initial releases (demos) see us taking on a faster more vigorous style of death metal and later I guess the Sabbath influences just caught up and we found beauty in slower/heavier moments. This is now already mid to late 1990s. When we released our first record we sounded a little more than just your average doom band and this cultivation further redefined itself with our sophomore full length.

"Post that the band went on a roller coaster ride, there were breakups and hiatus stages and drastic change of styles but all in the genre of extreme music, which brings us to right now where we have taking the classical approach of paying homage bands we grew up with and back to playing music that can best be defined as 'doom metal'."

Apart from Faraz Anwar, who was part of the original line up?

Well prior to Dusk I was playing in a band called Humanash, and lots of riffs that make their way onto the first few Dusk releases were actually the creation of Humanash guitar player and main man Mustafa Kareem. He was actually never in Dusk but I guess without him there would be no Dusk, we were into lots of extreme music together and at that time in a place like Karachi you would meet no one who is into extreme stuff like Bathory and melodic stuff like King Diamond, he couldn't continue doing music with me so I formed Dusk which at that time was called Carcinogenic, I abandoned that name when I realized it was more atmospheric music that I wanted to do...

"Soon after in Dusk it was myself and a drummer called Roger Kenneth, after I cut the first demo (almost alone) we were joined by Sohail Russian who was a local rocker, not too much into metal like me and Roger were but he served the purpose, he liked playing long shred solos and was heavily influenced by Moore and Malmsteen. It was a strange mix but worked for the heavy doom influenced mid tempo death metal that we were crafting at the time.

"I think it will be only justified to say that Sohail was the reason Dusk got its legacy of shred styled guitar solos over the next decade or more. Sohail was Faraz's student and a great admirer of his style and that's how I was introduced to Faraz. He was very kind to Dusk and offered to program all drums for our second demo tape in 1996. He also accompanied us to the studio (at that time we recorded on tape) and helped us out with guitar tones etc.

"After we started recording for our first album Sohail left the band and I asked Faraz if he would record with Dusk to which he agreed and since late in 1996 to 2004 the legendary Faraz Anwer stayed with Dusk."

    You are referred to as the Pakistan's first "proper" Metal band. Do you agree with that?

    "That statement is true as far as extreme metal is concerned, yes I agree that Dusk was Pakistan's first death metal/doom metal/extreme metal band, but not the first heavy metal band. Before the inception of Dusk there were a few very class acts in the local heavy rock/hard rock scene. Barbarians were pure hard rock almost garage sounding and then there was a band called Overdrive (who used Sohails attic for jamming an in return we used their drumkit and some of their amps too) I would call them more traditional heavy metal with some hard rocking moments but far from extreme metal. The Pakistani metal scene had all the right ingredients at the time, I really wonder what happened and what went wrong... Pakistan really didn't shine out on the metal map of the world."

  Who were your influences when you first started?

"When I was ten years old I was introduced to Black Sabbath! When I had just turned into teenage I got into heavier stuff like Venom and Celtic Frost, Death, Carcass and a whole lot of European and American acts but as far as influences are concerned I realized the more I got into extreme acts the more fun I had coming back listening to Black Sabbath! Their entire discography has had a very big influence on me, everything that they have ever done. Other than the main and obvious influences by the mid and late 90s we were getting into a lot of experimental metal and other sub genres. It was a really great time and we never held ourselves back from being influenced by ground breaking acts neither did we shy away from letting those influences shine through on our records."

Are you influenced by the same bands now?

"Over the years I have played in several other bands besides Dusk and this allows me to explore various other musical styles. Also I consider myself to be a rather open minded person when it comes to different and even non-metal musical styles. At present I would say that I'm still into a whole lot of Black Sabbath along with the first couple of Candlemass records, lots of early Celtic Frost, also someone who has really influenced me in a great way over these 15 years or so is Scott Wino. I'm into everything he has ever done be it with The Obsessed or St Vitus or any of his other bands. His approach to playing the guitar and song writing is something that I really look up to.

"I'm still definitely a big time Morbid Angel fan; some of the heavier stuff I like is Immolation for America, the initial Mayhem recordings had and still have a big influence on me. Sadly I cant say much about most of the newer releases influencing me in any way, I find nearly all new productions sounding a certain way, very perfect sounding and very polished, Dusk suffered from such production values with our past releases and I had to really re think how we should be recording in order to get that earthy feel back into our records. Other than metal in general I am into Pakistani folk music (not classical but diehard street folk).

"Also consider myself a pretty big fan of all the Killing Joke discography, and Mono from Japan are someone who I respect a lot as musicians."

Why did you stop, and why are you back?

    "Actually we never stopped, there were maybe long absences you can say but we never called it quits! Something of a hiatus came at two different points in Dusk's career. In 2004 when we returned from our tour in Europe, and then because of certain unforeseen circumstances I had to disband Dusk for sometime, we reunited a few months later to record a totally experimental record with a friend of mine called Ismail, also asked several friends from the Pakistani music scene to come and do guest appearances (mostly vocals) I had no idea at the time how this drastic change in direction was going to go down with our audiences and it was very brave of Epidemie records (CZ) to put it out, but to my surprise we received some very good reviews in international press.

"The album was really something that had been stuck in my head for many years and with Faraz no longer in the ranks of Dusk I was concentrating more on getting back to playing more straightforward death / doom stuff and this experimental record seemed like the right thing to do as a transition. From the mid 2007 to about 2011 we were recording with Dusk as a bestial extreme thrash metal outfit with black metal overtones, and now finally returning (as mentioned earlier) I believe as a stronger/tighter and more focused unit!"

Do you think you are a better musician/writer now?

"I think so! Even though I miss the simplicity of older days when you weren't conscientious of so many things and songs and lyrics flowed more in a carefree manner, you know it was like less of really giving a shit about stuff, not being afraid to experiment and at that time there were so many firsts in everything.

"I remember when our second demo was out one publication compared us to Orphaned Land and when our second full length was out someone called us Asia's answer to Opeth! But really to be honest Dusk always wrote songs with being very open-minded and with an almost vivid vision of what we wanted as the final sound to be like. I think I have played in several bands besides Dusk and the most fun part of playing with all these acts is the learning process.

"I can claim that I learnt a lot from Aman Durrani who was playing guitar in the ranks of Dusk from 2006 to 2007, and similarly I learnt a lot from watching Ariffeen (Impiety) play and his overall approach to playing guitar and bass. Playing with Tremor since over six years now has also been a big learning part of my musical career. We are a very close and tight two piece unit when it comes to jamming and recording songs.

"Currently having Omran Shafique (a very talented guitar player and musician) with Dusk gives me another superb chance to write songs differently as we did in the past. I would sum it up to the fact that being a musician one's learnng should never stop."

Has the scene changed - is it easier to get gigs, get music out to people now than then? Have attitudes changed since you started?

"The scene has become big I believe – with the advent of social media and Internet I believe. But you could ask anyone or me who has been around from the early nineties scene that time was a different era. I would say there was much more honesty and earnest fans dominated the scene. If you had a Sarcofago patch on your jacket you would actually own over half their discography, not like now when it becomes a trend to wear metal gear. But at the same time I believe the Internet has bought the core community closer than before and it is easier to network and share stuff, information etc."

What is being planned? (ep's etc)?

"We have just finished the recording for our forthcoming release – it's a split EP with death/doom giants Dying Embrace from India titled 'Through Corridors Of Dead Centuries' and it should see the light of the day before the end of 2013. Its being released by Cyclopean Eye Productions – India. Next month I will start demos for the new material that we hopefully plan to record by early next year. Seems like we will record for a Full length!"

  Thank you Babar, good luck with the new projects!

Dusk can be found on Facebook or on Bandcamp.

Below is the track 'Dreaming Gostishya' from their 2006 EP 'Head Heart Dawning'.




21.8.13













 

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The band will play ten UK date beginning in Portsmouth and Norwich on November 17th and finish off with two nights at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"We have never done anything like this before and we knew the UK was the only place to do it. That's all we're gonna say about it!"

gary rossington LYNYRD SKYNYRD UPDATE WITH MORE CANCELLATIONS DUE TO GARY ROSSINGTON ILLNESS
"Currently the band hopes to resume touring on Thursday 4th August at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands..."

extreme EXTREME CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'PORNOGRAFFITI' ALBUM WITH 'PORNOGRAFFITI LIVE 25/METAL MELTDOWN'
"Some of these songs were never played live before so we had to go back and relearn them for the tour."

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE: "I'M NOT HAPPY BEING SOBER"
"It scares me. I hear all the time people say that they have another drink in them but they may not have another sobriety in them..."

paul rodgers IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT NOW! PAUL RODGERS SUES DONALD TRUMP
"We will make America great again. God bless you and good night, I love you."

heavy metal HEAVY METAL HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH MORTALITY ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STUDY
"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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