úterý 12. dubna 2022

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A few questions - interview with death metal band from Pakistan - AZAAB.

A few questions - interview with death metal band from Pakistan - AZAAB.

Questions were answered by Shahab Khan and Afraz Mamoon, thank you!

1. Ave, can you introduce your band to our readers? – When was it founded and what style of music do you play etc.?

Hey Jakub, thanks for having us on your Zine.

3 of the 5 members of Azaab (Waqar, Shahab and Afraz) were previously in a band together called Depletion which ended sometime in 2010-2011 due to some of the members moving abroad for higher education.

Azaab was formed sometime in 2016 when Saad(vocals) and Shahab(guitar) discussed the possibility of starting a Death Metal project. Having played with Waqar in numerous metal projects, Shahab asked him to join the band on bass guitar. The trio aimlessly worked on some original music for a while with no goals or ambition as the local metal scene in Pakistan was mostly dead.

It wasn't till Covid-19 hit Pakistan in early 2020 that Shahab finally found ample time to sit and finally focus on music, giving it the effort and attention it needed. After having written most of the album during the early Covid lockdowns Shahab and Waqar decided to invite old friend and bandmate Afraz (guitar) to join the band to which he agreed and brought with him many riffs and solos.

I guess we were and still are very unsure of what style we play exactly. All we know is that we play Death Metal with an old school attitude and modern sensibility. To us each song has its own identity and could fit into the many subgenres of Death Metal for example one track might be more melodic while another might have more technical elements.

2. Where and under what conditions were you recording the new album? Who was in charge of sound, production and mastering?

Recording the album wasn't easy as it was mostly done during the height of the pandemic. We recall recording our parts with masks on and trying to maintain a safe distance which in hindsight wasnt safe at all.

The album was recorded across three locations (excluding guest appearances). Shahab, Waqar and Saad recorded their parts at Shahab’s studio in Islamabad, Pakistan. Afraz did his parts at his home studio in Bristol, UK. Adhitiya recorded his drums at Blackandje Records in Jakarta, Indonesia.

As far as production and mastering goes, all of that was handled by Shahab.

3. How many copies were released and which medium was used for this new edition (CD, digital, vinyl, cassette)?

We decided with the labels to produce 1000 copies of the album on CD and see how that goes. There is always the option to have additional pressings if need be. The album will also be available digitally via our bandcamp. There will be a very limited number of cassettes being made too.

4. Who is the author of the lyrics and how were they created and about what do the lyrics deal with?

All of the lyrics on the record were written by Shahab besides “The Infernal Citadel” and “B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N” which were written by Afraz and “A Hollow Pact” which was written by Faisal Panazi who is a friend of the band.

Most of what we write about is based on reality. You will find songs with themes around cataclysmic events, misanthropy, politics, serial killers and sci-fi but even those are sometimes used metaphorically and a song with seemingly sci-fi lyrics might actually have been inspired by real world events.

Basically everyday stuff we live through in a developing country is reflected in our lyrics but we try to tastefully disguise it under the various genres of horror, sci fi and fantasy.

5. Who created the logo of the band, and who took care of the graphics and the website? What about you and social networks? Do you consider these things important?

The band logo was done by Rabia.B who is a local artist from our home town Islamabad. We believe this is her first and only band logo to date. She also did the artwork for the 8 page CD booklet which comes with the physical CD and anyone buying digital copies will receive a PDF version of the booklet too. Shahab did all of the graphics for the Instagram and Facebook posts and other social media stuff.

So this has been a real learning experience for us and one of the things we learnt was that it really helps to have a decent presentation for your music and this is where graphics and social media come in because most of the people are consuming or learning about new music online. So to put it another way, we probably wouldn't have spent any money on graphics if one of us didn't know how to do it.

6. Which label did you choose for releasing your album and why this label? Are you satisfied by how your label represents you and takés care about you?

Our album is a Co-release between Satanath Records from Georgia and Maxima Music Pro from Indonesia. Satanath were amongst the first labels to show interest in our music and really wanted to release Azaab exclusively. They didn't want us to go anywhere else and make a lot of versions of the CD. Satanath were also amongst the labels offering us the best deal and they frequently release great music. Maxima also showed great interest and agreed to do a split release with Satanath which is great for us as our music will be distributed in different parts of the world. Both labels are doing a great job and we have good communication with them.

7. Which bands do you idolise and where do you get your inspiration?

In terms of bands, it's a long list but it would definitely include the likes of Death, Decapitated, Nile, Morbid Angel, Vader, Abysmal Dawn, Cannibal Corpse, Necrophagist.

As far as inspiration goes, it could be anything from something happening in the real world, to an interesting musical idea, or even coming across a topic in our daily lives that we’d like to explore lyrically but a lot of the songs have spawned from just riffing around on the guitar.

8. Did you send your record to some Labels - which are the labels? How was the response?

When we first started sending out our demo we had no idea what to expect as none of us had any experience in doing this but to our surprise we got a lot of interest from labels all over the world. There was more than one person sending out the demo but We’ll say that we got a lot of interest from Indonesian labels such as Dark Path, Dismembered Recs and HPGD from the U.S, Awakening Records from China and My Dark Desires from Brazil to name a few.

9. How many gigs have you played? Which type of gigs do you prefer, whether it's (clubs or festivals) and which of your performances would you consider as the best?

Due to a severe lack of metal fans and bands in Pakistan we unfortunately have not played many shows especially with the current lineup. We plan on playing a few shows here right after the album release.

Having members living abroad really makes it hard for us to get together and play live but we will put in the effort to make it happen as often as we can and tour some countries other than Pakistan.

10. What about your plans for the future? What do you want to achieve with the band?

We would like to continue releasing music as long as people would like to listen to it. We would also like to play our music live in countries outside our own. It would be awesome if our music inspired people in our country to start making extreme music and start bands so that we can have a local metal scene of our own.

11. How and where can your fans contact you? Can you provide some contact information?

There are several ways to contact us. The best way would be via our Instagram page or via our Facebook page You can also get in touch via email at

Thanx for the interview.

Thanks again for having us. It was nice to read your questions and think back on the whole process of making this record.

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