You went to South By Southwest? Excellent, you feel like you know about all the new bands? You got a chance to see all those wonderful bands we’ve been touting for the past year? Feeling comfortable? Perfect. Let’s get you started on a brand new batch of bands that will surely be the talk of South By Southwest 2012. Today we travel to Pakistan to bring you the best new band of 2011, //orangenoise. Because we’re American, we’re elitist and ignorant, which means we had no idea there was a shoegaze scene in Pakistan. //orangenoise have an innate sense of melody that is cleverly masked by their wall of turgid noise. We talked to the guys about music, but felt compelled to ask about the environment that has inspired to create their beautiful destruction. Todd saved this one for himself, so he could share it with you.
You can download their EP for free at Bandcamp.
TDOA: Let’s start by talking about the music. Tell us about the bands that influenced your sound.
Talha: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Verve, Pink Floyd, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and other post-rock, 60s Psychedelia, shoegaze … I’m actually a sucker for any form of experimental approaches to music, i guess Frank Zappa, John Coltrane, Thursten Moore, Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo) and the sort have really been an influence on where the approach to making sounds is concerned.
Danny P: The one band that got me interested in playing music was Tool followed by The Smashing Pumpkins which totally changed my perception of what things could sound like. Over the years artists such as Porcupine Tree, Meshuggah, Tori Amos, My Bloody Valentine, Oceansize to name a few have influenced me in some way or the other.
TDOA: How long has the band been together and how did you guys meet?
Talha: It’s gonna be a year in July together as a ‘band’, me and Danny P (Daniel Arthur Panjwaneey) used to play earlier in another band we had a lotta mutual friends between us. In march last year, we met up with the guys from Mole (another awesome band from Karachi) which Danial and Faizan are part of, they hooked up with us for a few jams and we ended up making some noise.
TDOA: Can you talk about the lyrical message of your music?
Danny P: There’s no perfect explanation for the lyrical content or message, if a listener can make sense of any of it its totally up to them to decide what it means to them, kinda like choosing your own adventure. However, personally I seem to put down experiences or even random thoughts when I write and by random that means it can range anywhere from a rant to a logical or absolutely nonsensical thought.
Talha: I tend to write about small things, everyday life and thoughts, but as you may have heard on the album, the words really aren’t that important as much as the entire sound of a track. I guess we’re trying to make a relation with the listener where there is no sense of alienation instead a familiar feeling you can grip on to.
TDOA: I’m sure you understand that a lot of people will be surprised to hear that you are from Pakistan, since we don’t hear much about bands from your part of the workd. What is the music scene in Pakistan like? Are there other bands like you there?
Danny P: It’s interesting and its also divided, theres the mainstream scene where the majority of it consists of pop stars, culturally the folk scene is strong and then theres also the underground which consists mainly of cover bands, rock and metal acts, then theres this wave of bands and artists coming up that experiment with their sounds, this can vary from electronic, ambient, post-rock, psychedelic and progressive music.
Talha: There’s a lotta mad talent hidden in parts of Pakistan, we’ve got people making independent music, artists like Mole, Bashir and the Pied Pipers, 6LA8 & Asfandyar Khan are part of this new wave of experimental music coming out of Pakistan, their sounds tend to go from electronic to drum n bass to post rockish soundscapes. Metal and cover bands have a huge following here in Pakistan, but that’s one thing this new wave of artists are trying to break; the ‘cover band’ mentality. There has also been an up-rise in the number of DJs popping up, fueling the house/dance scene. And of course there is the commercial music scene which is not worth mentioning here.
TDOA: Can you talk about the type of equipment you use? Guitars, amps, pedals…..
Talha: I use a Yamaha RGX420s and a cheap strat copy which i run into a Line6 Spider III combo amp. I use the onboard effects and try to make the most of them. I sometimes route my guitar through my laptop too. I’ve been designing a pedal board in my head, no idea when it’ll be on the floor though!
Danny P: I use an Ibanez Ergodyne 905 5-string bass, a Korg Ampworks Bass processor, a Hartke and Yamaha bass amp and a lot of my new setup depends on routing my bass through an Alesis audio interface hooked up to my laptop which I use for other effects.
TDOA: We found you thanks to your use of social media. Can you give us your thought on Twitter, Facebook and how the internet can be used by a band like yourselves.
Talha: The internet is where the people are. I don’t think our album would’ve reached anywhere without the internet. Sites like Bandcamp and stuff have really made it easy for musicians to maintain an online portfolio of their tracks. Twitter and Facebook have changed the way and the rate at which information is shared, most of our band promotion has been online. From one person to another, once its out there it’s going places and beyond. What more could a band need? I still haven’t burned a physical copy of the album.
Danny P: Its brilliant! if we could use it, anyone can, theres nothing to learn, its simple and most importantly it gets your music out to almost every corner of the world.
TDOA: Great name. What do the “//” marks signify?
Talha: That’s a typographic quirk i worked up for the band name. It works in a few ways, firstly as a quick filtering thingy, because thats how i tag my important stuff on the computer. Secondly it maintains the legit-ness on any band activity on the internet, kind of like a trademark since the internet is cluttered with so much stuff nowadays. You know its the real deal if it has the “//” before orangenoise. And its also cool how it breaks a dimension if you type in http://orangenoi… etc .. get it? #embracingtheinternet
Danny P: also… it kinda… looks nice?…
TDOA: We would be negligent to not ask you a bit about politics. Do you mind telling us about your perceptions of the West and the view of the United States has changed over the past ten years?
Talha: Of course. The West and the US are synonymous in Pakistan. The US had always been for me the place i saw inside my TV set as a kid, and obviously my perception of it was shaped through the media. It was always the place where all the things were happening but at the same time there was always this sense of ignorance coming across from the west. Over the past 10 years or so the perception hasn’t changed
much BUT a lot of factors that weren’t there before have muddled things up. The internet helped clear this mess up a lot when i started to interact with different people from across the globe. I realized that everyone in their own way was that kid in front of the TV set. The only image they had of Pakistan was what was shown to them and nothing besides that. But I’m glad it’s changing with the whole ‘independent voice taking over the media’s voice’ in the past few years.
Danny P: I’m not the type that typically enjoys discussing politics, it bothers me when I think about it. However, my perception (if any at all) is that the West doesn’t see us as regular, normal, perfectly educated people as much as we’d want them to ‘know’ us to be, some television and news media really distort quite a whole lot of better and positive things that we should be known for as Pakistani’s.
The US is still a top-choice destination for most fresh high-school graduates seeking further education abroad, in return, it makes me question whether the image of Pakistan has changed for the US in the past ten years.
TDOA: Is it possible for you to write music that is critical of the government there?
Danny P: The government claims to be democratic, so yeah sure I guess!
Talha: It is definitely possible and there are other bands along with bloggers, columnists and media personnel doing exactly that. But that’s not the message that we would want our sounds to carry along with them. Like i said before, our music is about relating to the listener, the news and everyday life in this country is a reminder enough of the government and their antics. People need a break from that.
TDOA: What’s next for the band? Any plans to make a video and is there any chance of you playing shows outside of Pakistan?
Danny P: Well there’s the full-length LP that we’re hoping to put down this year, A video is something we may look into as we go along. Yes! we would love to play shows outside Pakistan if we get the opportunity to.
Talha: We’re constantly experimenting with different mediums, we have been talking about making a video, i wouldn’t even mind if any other artist would like to make a video for us. Networking has its advantages y’know!? As for shows, we’d love to play shows outside of Pakistan and even tour a little if we get the opportunity to do so. There’s a lotta red tape to go through but something like that shouldn’t be an obstacle for us. TOURRR.
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