Rock band DissBelief talks about latest release ‘Land of the Pure’ and response to it from across the border
DissBelief sprung up around 2005 when rock music was still nascent in Pakistan. Despite years of turbulence and member rotations, the band still stands firm today. After releasing the second video for their song Land of the Pure, the band has drawn attention from across the border.
After releasing six singles, five music videos and an extended play (EP) of five tracks, band members Shahmir Quidwai, Fahad Humayun Chohan, Hammad Khalid, Najeeb Aftab and Saad Qureshi say they want to lend impetus to societal awakening.
As for the video itself, it depicts a queue of people disguising themselves with rat masks outside a visa office, along with several others representing different stereotypes prevalent in the Pakistani society. “The video sums up DissBelief’s perception of patriotism. It portrays our tendency to run away from our problems, both as individuals and as citizens of Pakistan,” Quidwai told The Express Tribune.
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Hinting at certain issues that we as a nation tend to ignore and for which we conveniently blame external factors, the song provokes one to bring about change from within oneself. “The song also portrays the hidden potential, moral values and honour that we as Pakistanis possess,” shared Quidwai.
The band members have received mixed reviews on their latest release. “Some people called our video pathetic, while others considered it to be a bold, eye-opening statement. We received love from India and have even been invited to play there,” stated the band’s lead vocalist.
The band’s first collaborative debut EP was Table for Five, which reflected upon the theme of societal issues in a satirical manner. “It’s like when you go to a restaurant and ask the waiter ‘Table for five, please’. With our debut EP, we introduced the work of our current five band members, as this was the first time all of us produced something together,” furthered Quidwai.
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Speaking of music being perceived as an ephemeral career for most, Quidwai and Aftab have plans to keep their musical journey flowing, despite being engineering and medicine graduates, respectively. While Humayun, a media graduate, Qureshi, who is an architect, and Khalid, a business graduate, remain unsure about adopting music as a permanent profession, they may eventually pursue a line of business that interests them.
On how the band members plan on thriving in an industry brimming with competition, Quidwai added, “We plan on continuing to work with passion and producing good music. It is a slow process but we are moving forward by staying in the market and promoting ourselves as much as we can.” Highlighting the band’s financial status, he added, “One cannot rely on album sales. Most of our moneymaking is done through live shows and commercial side projects.”
Seemingly so, DissBelief’s path is laden with obstacles but the band members are adamant on chasing their dreams. “I have no intention of giving up music. I think one must break barriers with endurance,” noted Quidwai.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.
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