In conversation with Arekta Rock Band
"WORLD DOMINATION!" exclaimed Ifaz Abrar Reza, guitarist of Arekta Rock Band, when asked about the group's ultimate goal. Although their final destination is yet to be seen, the social media craze over their upcoming album Ghum Paranor Gaan is a clear indication that they're inching closer to conquering the hearts of listeners, if not the world, one song at a time.
With Riasat Azmi on vocals, Ifaz Abrar Reza and Sakib Manzur Zihan on guitars, Arjo Biswas on bass, and Dipto Ehsan on drums, Arekta Rock Band is anything but another run-of-the-mill rock band, despite what their name suggests. Ever since they released their first single "Shikari Aj Shikar" in 2019, the five-man band has been making waves on social media, rapidly gaining thousands of dedicated followers.
During this time, they have released several singles, each with a distinct flavour of its own. From Cyberpunk-themed music videos to GTA-inspired tracks, Arekta Rock Band is yet to shy away from taking thematic risks and creating unconventional music.
According to Ifaz, having the liberty to experiment with different genres of music, such as classic rock, metalcore, synthwave, swingy jazz, etc. is a big driving force behind their creative process.
"You could say that we're like a ditto pokemon. We listen to something we like, we take it, and we make it our own. That's why we're able to keep playing around with different sounds and genres as we continue to evolve," he said.
Riasat added, "We don't subconsciously think about what sounds we're incorporating into a track honestly. When a certain rhythm or melody clicks with us, we work on top of it regardless of what genre it belongs to. This has always proved effective for us."
After some more small talk and joking about, we finally addressed the elephant in the room – Arekta Rock Band's upcoming album, Ghum Paranor Gaan, that is set to be released on November 25.
As someone who loves to dissect and interpret songs' lyrical composition to some extent, I was naturally curious about what sort of themes would be explored in the new album. Since a lot of their previous songs had underlying motifs, I wondered if the same could be said for Ghum Paranor Gaan.
To answer that question, Riasat, the band's primary lyricist, explained how the lyrics he writes always come from a personal space.
"All of us have nine-to-five-day jobs, so music is very personal to us. You'll find that a lot of our songs touch upon our personal musings and thoughts about everything that's happening around us," he shared.
As for the upcoming album, he said, "A recurring theme throughout Ghum Paranor Gaan is the push to keep moving forward, despite the obstacles that life will throw your way. You have to pick yourself up when you're down. And sometimes, you won't feel like running at all, and that's just how life is."
"Then again, there are also corny love songs that are as straightforward as they get – expressing our emotions for someone or something," chimed in Ifaz.
One of the most exciting parts of the upcoming album, however, comes in the form of Arekta Rock Band's first solo concert to celebrate the album's release. Ingeniously named "Arekta Rock Show", the two-hour-long concert will feature the bands previous singles, as well as the new tracks from their upcoming album.
Hosting a solo concert is quite a big deal in our country's musical landscape. Since shows featuring a wide catalogue of bands is the norm, solo concerts are few and far between.
For Arekta Rock Band, being able to complete an entire set of their own songs in front of a full house is a testament to how much they've grown in the past three years. Having started out by playing small acoustic sets in cafes and events, being able to host a solo concert proves that they've come a long way from where they began.
Reminiscing their early days, Ifaz recalled, "We always thought that if the band ever gets to the point where we have enough songs and the means to, we'd try to arrange a solo concert. And although this was a goal that always lingered on the back of our minds, I don't think any of us thought it would happen so quickly."
While discussing the album, we also spoke about the band's promotional focus, which seems to be running in overdrive by now. Throughout the past few weeks, the group has actively organised a number of promotional live-streams, play-along contests and ticket giveaways.
Upon being asked about what motivates them to go the extra mile in promoting their releases across social media, Ifaz explained, "When we write a song and listen to the final version, we get this other-worldly satisfaction and closure. At the same time, we dread the fact that if we fail to market it sufficiently, it won't reach the limelight that we want."
He further added, "Although we claim to make music for ourselves, it is in human nature to seek some sort of validation that'll make our efforts seem worthwhile. That's why we have a hyper focus on promoting our releases, even though we'd rather stick to making music exclusively."
By this time, we were nearing the end of the interview. To wrap up our late-night conversation, I asked the band to name their favourite tracks from the album.
Arjo, on behalf of the others, answered, "'Tasher Prashad', 'Ghum Paranor Gaan', and 'Tomar Haat Dhore Ami Aj Bhorer Opekkhay' are three songs that we're excited for everyone to listen to. Apart from 'Upashona', which we already released, 'Tasher Prashad' will be the only other song from the album with an accompanying music video, so be sure to look forward to that as well."
To conclude, Riasat promised not to disappoint with Ghum Paranor Gaan. "We worked long and hard on all the songs, and we can't wait to release them. So, stream them when they're out and come visit our concert, because that would mean the world to us."
Ayaan loves to read dinosaur comics and poorly-written manga. Recommend your least favourite shows at firstname.lastname@example.org