“It's not worth dying on stage”
Ibrahim Ahmed Kamal, a bona fide legend of Bangladesh's rock music scene, has bid adieu to his long-time band Warfaze.
Citing recurring injuries, the lead guitarist said in an announcement made on Facebook: “I am done with performing on stage indefinitely. I cannot keep on stage commitments anymore.”
“I have been playing on stage and recording since mid 80's. And it's mostly Heavy Metal. Playing heavy music requires extreme physical fitness. Physical injuries due to playing heavy metal started in my life from 2010. I am going through recurring injuries till today. Athletes can recover through proper treatment, physiotherapy and rest. My life had no respite. And according to my doctor's recent advice, I should take rest and heal or suffer the consequences of reality,” the statement added.
Kamal thanked everyone for their support over the years, assured fans that Warfaze will continue as a band, and that he will find a way to maintain his working relationship with the band. “But not now,” he added.
His statement added with a call to his fellow musicians: “Working musician in Bangladesh, please take notice of your health and keep connection with your physician. It's not worth dying on stage.”
Kamal last performed with Warfaze on December 4 at a concert in the capital's Kalabagan field. Samir Hafiz will continue as the guitarist of the band, with former Radioactive guitarist Somen Das joining the band for now as guest musician, The Daily Prothom Alo quoted Warfaze drummer Tipu as saying.
Kamal, one of the founding members of Warfaze, is regarded by many as the greatest rock/heavy metal guitarist in the country, and a prolific guitar teacher as well. Known for his lightning-fast arpeggios, sweep-picking and melodic structures in unforgettable solos, for rock anthems like “Boshe Achi”, “Ekti Chhele”, “Oshamajik” to ballads like “Obak Bhalobasha” and “Joto Dure”, he has inspired an entire generation of guitarists and will continue to do so.
To finish with an anecdote of Kamal's position in his fans' hearts -- at one of the last concerts he performed, Big Rock Day at the International Convention City Bashundhara, fans standing on the front row right behind the barricade called out this correspondent standing at the front, complaining about their view being partially blocked by photographers and videographers working stage-side. “We did not say anything the entire concert about this, but now you have to get these photographers to move because they're blocking Kamal bhai. We've stood here for five hours just to see him up front, we will not be denied.” The Daily Star's photographer had to give in to their demands, moving away after only getting a couple of group shots.
Here's hoping it was not the last time those devoted fans would get to see him shred like a maniac on his guitar up on stage. Here's hoping 'Kamal bhai' will recover fully and be back on the stage he loves, even if that takes a little while.