Members of Black: (from left) Jahan, Sagar, Jon and Tony . Photo Courtesy: Arne Lutro
Hardly any youngster, in particular the urban areas, need an introduction to Black, one of the most popular contemporary bands. Black's latest album Abar is scheduled to hit the market this month. Recently The Daily Star caught up with the band. The band members talked about their new album, how Black was formed and more.
Formed in 1999, Black brought together three friends who shared a common interest in music -- Tony Vincent Gomes, Khademul Mushfeque Jahan and Jon Kabir. The trio has held strong since their school years.
"We were always avid music fans. We love music more than anything else," said Jon.
"The three of us were passionate about music. May be that is why our friendship endured though we went to different colleges," Jon continued.
"While in college, we used to go to concerts regularly," said Jahan. "In '98, underground band concerts were held regularly at BCIC auditorium, Russian Cultural Centre and sometimes in NDC auditorium as well as other venues. Wherever there was a concert, we were there," he added.
Black got its first break in 2000 with Chharpotro, a mixed album; their first released song was Chena Dukkho.
"The song received a good response," said Jon. It was basically the success of the song that eventually helped Black to sign a contract with G Series.
Black's first solo album Amar Prithibi was released on 2002 under the banner of G- Series. The album featured 12 songs; among them Amra, Miththa, Prarthonad and Obhiman remain Black's most popular songs.
The following year, Black released their second album Utshober Por. The album was another success.
Black suffered a major setback in 2005. On the night of April 20, on their way to Dhaka from Chittagong, there was a terrible accident, which left sound engineer Imran Ahmed Mobin dead and seriously injured Meraj, the band's bass guitarist.
There has been no solo album from the band since.
But the band has worked in mixed albums regularly. So far their songs have been featured in 13 mixed albums.
Talking about their latest album, Jahan said, "The album was supposed to come out a long time ago. In fact, we had plans to bring it out in 2006, but due to the accident we couldn't."
Talking about the songs in the album, Jon said, "This is a straight up rock album where one will find some melodious numbers (Obosh, Abohoman, Chinho) along with some heavy rock numbers (Abar, Ei gaan, Keno?) and more."
"We have tried our best to keep the original sound of the instruments without any modification," said Jon.
The album, Abar scheduled to be released on July 10, features 10 tracks – Manush-pakhir gaan, the title track Abar, Abohomaan, Obosh, Shorobiddho, Ei gaan, Na-thaka jibon, Korun, Chinho and Keno?
The lyrics have been written by Jon and Zubair Hussain Imon.
Iqbal Asif Jewel, guitarist of Miles has worked closely with Black on Abar.
"We would like to thank Jewel bhai for his help and support," said Jahan.
After the release of the album, Black plans to undertake a nationwide tour to promote their new album. The band plans to hold concerts in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna.
The current lineup of Black is Tony on drums, Jahan (guitar), Sagar (bass) and Jon on vocal.