Just recently, Dads in the Park returned from Indonesia, where they had travelled to perform at the Hammersonic Festival in Indonesia—where they got to perform alongside the likes of Slipknot, Trivium, Amon Amarth, Saosin, Tiny Moving Parts, Story of the Year and many more.
Having closely followed their journey on the way to their first international performance, The Daily Star decided to interview the duo of Tajwar Ul Islam and Ishmam Salim—the two men behind the band. The two performed along with their friends—Samuel Adhikary on drums, Shahriar Shams on bass and Zafran Islam Mon on keyboards—who went as touring members.
You guys only recently returned from performing at the Hammersonic Festival. How was the experience?
Ishmam: The overall experience was emotionally overwhelming for both of us. When we started out by making our music in English, we had always dreamed of going international. I remember even until the last moments, when everything was being confirmed, I did not share this news with anyone because I was worried about jinxing it.
Tajwar: This was not just an opportunity for us, it was the biggest stepping stone that would make a significant difference in our careers.
The community really came forward to support you guys on your journey to Hammersonic. How did that make you feel as a band?
Ishmam: We are eternally grateful for the support we received from the fans, our sponsors and the media.
Tajwar: Personally, I grew up in the industry and many seniors often told us to start making music in Bangla instead of English. But due to our own plans, we were always going to stick to English. We love Bangla music, but that was not our target. So, when we got this opportunity, I thought many would be skeptical. But the support that came instantly was amazing. The donations from our fans really helped us a lot. Even someone who donated as little as BDT 20 helped us on our journey. Some of my friends even got me strings, guitar straps, guitar cases, processors, bags, clothes, etc. all of that helped. Everyone reached out to us with the intention of helping us and that was amazing. Also, I'd like to thank Buy Here Now Experiences for making all of this possible and another shoutout to Dacca for giving us custom outfits that showcased our country's art.
I noticed that many Indonesian locals were sharing pictures of you online or videos of you performing. How was the crowd at the show?
The crowd was amazing. They were cheering our performances from the very beginning. Even when we finished our set, they were chanting for one more song from us. But we wanted to be professional and did not want to exceed the time slot we had been allotted. They also asked us for our guitar picks when we were leaving and we gave it to them. A lot of fans also took pictures with us once we got off stage.
The best part though, was this one guy who was singing all of our songs, from "Lullaby" to "Afeenolove". The next day, when we returned to watch the other performers, this guy messaged us on Facebook and asked us to meet him. When we met, he bought merch from us and showed his support. It was just amazing to see that people enjoyed our music.
What is next on the horizon for Dads in the Park?
Going forward, our short-term plan is to release three songs, which we currently have in the pipeline, as soon as possible. Some of the songs will also have collaborations with other musicians and bands.