Tell us something in brief about
DUSK...its past and the present. [who founded the band, which year, how many
demo's?, etc..] . Why did you choose the name as DUSK? What are DUSK's goals
and what about the future plans?
Today I as in Babar Shaikh from the infinite "hordeofdusk" will make yet
another attempt to introduce our forms of expressions to the inhabitants of
the other world! Well here's to all the individuals that believe in the
black and to those too who find themselves in the pale white! Dusk happened
initially in the winter of the year nineteen hundred and ninety four! The
true stories behind the entire scenario being that I had planned out some
pieces of this real hyper fast chaotic shit and than it all started to take
form when I got this compilation tape with all these death and black metal
bands (who were mostly my friends) from the far east. And I was like it just
has to happen for dusk. And so I did this demo on my own and I sent it to
some people I was in touch with at the time in places like Greece and
Malaysia. The demo was titled "Casketize" and I almost did everything from
the disharmonic guitar solos to the lyrics and even the photocopied artwork.
And surprisingly it got quite a response internationally and so dusk put out
their first ever-official promo tape in ninety-six. It was called "where
dreams bleed" and by this time I had a friend of mine plying lead guitar for
me and of course by this time dusk also had within it's ranks one of
Pakistan's greatest guitar abusers namely Faraz Anwer doing the drums. So
the promo tape did pretty well and we got into a lot of these fanzines and
radio shows and we got all these great reviews and all that shit! And
finally we ended up entering the studio in early ninety-seven to do our
first full length that as you know finally hit the scene at the end of 1999
Enter "My Infinite Nature Alone", a concept written and performed by "DUSK".
What is the present line-up of
DUSK? How would you define your music?
Well as far as the present line up is concerned, it's Faraz and myself. And
it has been that way since I would say late nineteen ninety-six. You see
when I started off with dusk in 94 or something I was selling the demo with
a certain tagline that read "Dusk is alone Pakistan's heaviest export". So I
guess that pretty much sums up to the fact that it was all about hyper
sounding, de-tuned chaotic black/death metal. But as everything else in life
goes through a certain metamorphosis, so did we. As years passed, we got
more and more inclined towards sound-spaces and the atmospheric type of
things. When the debut album came out into the European market, there were
all these magazines that sort of tried to put a label onto the kind of music
we made, some were labeling it as progressive doom, the others ended up
calling it atmospheric dark metal, but the end of the day I think it's safe
to call it "metal".(With the necessary ambient attachments of course).
What is your current view on
your music - are you developing in a particular direction or are you just
'perfecting' your style? To what extent do your think you have a style of
Like I just stated above, the music we make is nothing but an extension of a
certain process of thought that we have eventually become servants to, it's
a universal translation of our expressions.
What exactly got DUSK into this
kind of music? By which bands/music is DUSK influenced? What are your
favourite bands? Are you open-minded to other music?
As far as Faraz and me are concerned well the both of us got into metal and
heavy rock and shit at the earlier period of our lives. We really didn't
know each other that well until the last six or seven years, but the fact
remains that the both of us have been fans of extreme music since a while
now. Even though Faraz was always more into the dark symphonic side of metal
and I always used to be the one more into the black & doom side of things.
Metal's not really popular in Pakistan that statement will unfortunately
have to be true! I guess I'd be pretty much unable to explain why we decided
to play metal, or what really influenced us to get into it. You know one
really can't say much, if one is totally in love with a certain atmosphere
or is immensely passionate about a certain vibe than I guess it just happens
for you. And that's that my friend in my eyes this would be one of the best
things that could've happened to us. If you ask me about the musical
influences we've had, it would be the likes of people or artists like
Towering inferno, Pan Thy Monium, Black Sabbath, Axiom of Choice, Dream
Theater, Kansas, Cynic, Weather Report, Alan Holdsworth, Swans and tons of
other obscure personalities and bands.
Do you guys think that you have
an audience in Pakistan? Do you guys play live often? Have you got offers to
No actually I'm really glad that you asked this question. An audience, I'm
sure there are people (If not tons, maybe a handful) around, who really dig
whatever's truly metal here in Pakistan, but then again we're most
definitely your everyday regular metal band. Playing live has always been a
real touchy topic here at the dusk GHQ. That is something we've been
inspired to do since day one, but some tales of misfortune surround the
band. For instance we never came across a local drummer who could play this
kind of Technical off-time shit! And other than that I think finding the
like minded people can become a bit of an issue if you're treating the band
on a real personal level, as in our case. And of course when the European
metal market sent in good words for dusk, all the appreciation we got
locally came to us as a bonus. Yes! And just for the record, we've been
invited as a foreign act to do shows in Singapore. But then again I think
we've started to feel more and more comfortable being just a recording act.
Before you were signed to a
label [Hibernia]- what exactly did you expect from a record label? What are
the things that have turned out differently from your expectations? Tell us
something about your deal with Hibernia from Portugal. How did it come
Actually our first official
promo tape titled "where dreams bleed" was the main reason that all the
labels who kind of dug us during the time of 96/97 got interested in us.
There was Dark Artz from Singapore was the first record label that had
approached us. The next were Hibernia Productions from Portugal. They wrote
to me saying that they were going to put out a series of compilation tapes
and wanted to feature Dusk on one of them. After the tape was out somewhere
in 98, Hibernia got interested in doing a proper Dusk release and that was
what eventually led us to do our debut album "My Infinite Nature Alone" on
Hibernia, released in the infernal Winter of the year 99.
How important are the lyrics of
your songs? Can you describe what they are about? Are they written from a
In the case of dusk, I think the
particular direction of a piece depends a whole lot on the lyrical content.
It might sound strange, but when we're getting down to do a piece, the first
element that takes form is the lyrics. For us initially putting down the
whole piece in black and white is important. The lyrics at many a times
would be a distorted image, or rather a reflection of personal
individualistic experiences. In the world of dusk these very basic bitter
happenings are magnified to a point where they almost become abstract. The
concept of dusk itself is a world within words.
What do the members of Dusk do
in their full-time? Are they full time musicians?
Survival in Pakistan for an individual who has a profession like music, or
even art in general can become a pretty difficult thing. As far as Faraz is
concerned, He has been one of the most reputed, musician/composer in the
local music industry in the last eight years or so. Faraz has been
responsible for producing albums, playing session guitar, and even composing
the original scores for local Tele-films. Which brings us to my professional
life, which is absolutely so confusing… Anyway, I've done my bachelors
degree in advertising and have majored in advertising design. After working
for various design houses and ad agencies, I last year started off with my
own concept and film company. Other than that, I'm a bag-packker. And ever
How important do you think is
the role of Internet in the actual metal scene?
I think that at the end of the day it all comes down to the adaptability
factor. In life, we generally get conditioned to things and it's only a
matter of time before it becomes one of the most important things. I think
people like us in this part of the world should really benefit (and that we
are) in the metal circles using the Internet as a means of communication or
Do you think there are any
musicians [in sufi music or "rock"/metal music] from Pakistan who have
influenced you or the band in any way?
Well it would be wrong to say that there are not. I know I, as a matter of
fact, took a massive influence from the wave of hard rock groups that was
around in the local scene in the late 80s. Other than that, I don't believe
in any terminology such as "Sufi rock" or anything. We're definitely fans of
"The Sufi Music" that exists with all its roots in the interiors. On our
next album, we even used some samples from Sufi festivals in the interior
Sind. Last year or so, Faraz and me got into these Sufi music ensembles from
places like northern Iran and Turkey.
Now that you are out with your
debut how do you look upon the final result, and are there particular things
you would like to change next time?
If I were to go back and change any thing in the recording sessions of
Dusk's debut album I think it really wouldn't be an easy thing to do. Cause
"My Infinite Nature Alone" was like this huge kind of a veil of fucking
emotions we were knitting at the time. The whole process was mostly all
about a whole lot of things falling into the right places. And we pretty
much tried our best that they would. I guess the production values could go
up a few levels on the opus. Besides that I think the overall song writing
on the album for the time was satisfactory for us.
Have you ever heard any Asian
metal band? Which one? Where?
Well as I had stated earlier on, even way back in 94/95 we were hanging out
with bands from the Far-east, namely Graycode, Bastardized, Ruthra,
Illimauzer, Eibon, Harvester, Cardiac Necropsy, and tons others. I was also
always into the Asian tape trading circuit,(along with Europe and America on
the list) which eventually did me a lot of good. But I guess I owe so much
to all my Metal Brethren in the Singapore/Malaysia region, for supporting
Dusk in all those cruel initial years. Believe me, without them people, we
wouldn't have made it all this way.
What do you think of the Asian
Metal Scene in General? What according to you is the future of the Asian
I think, the ultimate key is progression, and we all should not lose sight
of that. Also what Bill Steer stated a couple of years ago; If you operate n
one single gear for too long, your engines gonna heat up much sooner than it
actually should have. So…
Any Final Words to your fans and
the Asian Metal Force?
"Design and conquer"…to me those two words have all the power.
Are there any Pakistani Metal
bands that you would recommend?
I believe there are certain acts around that hardcore metalloids would
Will DUSK ever go the Junoon
way? [Junoon is a popular "rock" band]
You see, diverting to a certain angle of commercialization is not
necessarily the worst thing to do. In many cases it proves to become
something that has a lot of effect. So progression is one thing, selling out
is another. Diversification is one thing, breaking away is another. Just
like "Ambient sound sculpture" is one thing, "Sufi rock" is another.