On one auspicious and lucky day of 2012, a group of talented musicians were crowned the champions of the Incursion Battle Of The Bands 2012. With thunderous guitars, gut wrenching drums, heart pounding bass and relentless vocals, they dominated the stage and broke free to be awarded the title. Rising Stars recently caught up with the band of youngsters in an attempt to take a look inside the world of Friday the 13th and find out more about their musical journey.
Drawing influences from thrash metal pioneers Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus and a variety of other metal acts, the band started out in January 2012 with founding members Wanglee on bass, Fahim on drums and Abtahi on lead guitar duties. Later on they added Saad as the rhythm guitarist and Ryan took the mic as vocals. Initially they mainly covered Metallica and Megadeth. “Songs such as Kill The King, Dread And The Fugitive Mind, The Four Horsemen were regular in our jam sessions,” says Wanglee, currently doing his A Levels.
Why heavy metal, so was the natural question. Witnessing the rise of teenage pop stars and rock stars across the globe, didn’t they ever want to go down that route and get a taste of that much fame and glory? ”No,” was the firm answer from Fahim.” We chose thrash/heavy metal because this is something we do with a lot of heart and passion. Also we want to do something we enjoy rather than being corporate sell outs.” The whole band nodded unanimously to that statement.
Shedding light on the name of the band, Abtahi says,” Well, when we started out we weren’t getting much shows and we thought ourselves to be unlucky. Because of this Wang Lee joked around saying we could name our band Friday-the-13th, because it’s the most unlucky day of the year and the next thing we know our band’s name was Friday-the-13th.”They certainly did not face any bad luck since then as they have gone on to win a highly acclaimed contest and produced two singles, Mass Production Of Lies and Durbishoho, that has attracted attention from every corner in the local metal scene.
Now that they are firmly established in the scene and are quite familiar with it, we asked them about one negative side of this industry, and one positive thing. They were quite vocal about voicing their concerns over the trend of organizers charging bands for performing slots instead of the bands getting paid for the gig, and are keen to see this illogical trend diminished. “One thing we do love about the underground is, the amount of talent it contains,” says Ryan. “Now extreme metal bands are getting the opportunity to perform in countries outside of Bangladesh, such as India, Singapore, Nepal, Thailand, etc. Metal being generally frowned upon by the people of Bangladesh, when we see that these bands are in fact playing extreme music internationally, it is something that we love and respect. This gives us a glimmer of hope to do something grand in the future. And we are sure that we will,” adds Wanglee.
With the serious topics covered , we opted for a lighter mood to the discussions. All the members being students of A levels with the exception of Abtahi and Ryan doing their O Levels, we asked if ever it came down to playing a gig at Army Stadium or taking the most important exam of their lives that fell on the same day as the gig, which would they choose? “Hands down the gig. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and we wouldn’t want to miss it for some exam,” was their answer.
Have they ever been frightened by the foul-mouthed and tough crowd that is generally attracted by a metal show, and had a nervous breakdown in the middle of a set? “No, not really, but our vocal Ryan has a stage diving streak going on. Doesn’t matter if the crowd is house-full and ready to catch him or just a few people standing there clueless, he always manages to jump off the stage.
This act of insanity sometime gives us a mini-heart attack on stage. Our rhythm guitarist, Saad always makes a super ugly face while he is strumming the guitar, so not sure if that is due to stage fright or if he is plain ugly,” replied Abtahi, while we broke down in a fit of laughter.
Metalheads are generally stereotyped as dimwitted, the notion popularized by cartoon shows such as Metalocalypse, Beavis and Butthead, etc. Do any of you guys secretly consider your bandmates to be slightly lacking of the brain material? “We would beg to differ because we’ve been doing well in our studies. Our lyrics are about the current problem that our world is facing so it would be a huge injustice if we are portrayed as stereotypical dimwits. Also our drummer and bassist received the Daily Star Awards due to their outstanding O Level results.” Talented and intelligent, it was pretty evident.
As the interview was drawing to a close, we asked about their future plans, about their live performances, album release, etc. “We would like to introduce stage theatrics on stage while performing live in the near future. From aiming and throwing a fire extinguisher towards the audience, killing a chicken live, or burning a ‘Bullet For My Valentine’ T’ shirt on stage, or simply inventing and performing something crazy that Bangladesh has never seen before. We would also like to release an album, on some future Friday The 13th maybe? And yes, we dream to go big. To go international.”
With ambitions that soared as high as the skies, and with the creative capabilities to back them up word by word, we wished them a very best of luck for the future. Friday the 13th, truly the rising stars of tomorrow.