Entity Paradigm’s apocalypse
By Madeeha Syed
Entity Paradigm (eP) is a major act in Pakistan’s music industry.
Fawad Afzal Khan, the lead vocalist is best known for his presence and skill as an actor. His most notable character to date is embodying the role of Sarmad in the film Khuda Kay Liye and is currently lighting up our television screens with a role in the drama Dastaan.
Keyboardist and vocalist, Ahmed Ali Butt, is also a television actor and producer. Hassan Khalid, bassist and manager of eP, is somewhat of a techie and editor-in-chief of a prominent student magazine.
Waqar ‘Wacky’ Khan, the drummer for the band, is an entrepreneur and has been a member of several music acts from the time he was in college and has drummed with the likes of Mekaal Hasan Band and Ali Azmat.
And finally, Salman Albert, the lead guitarist is indispensible to the music industry. He has been playing for Jal since the beginning of the band and has played sessions alongside Noori, MHB and Caramel, to name a few. He operates an audio studio with his brother. Together with Ahmed Ali Butt and Wacky, he is also a part of the parody music act, Rubber Band.
After announcing their comeback into the music scene after a short hiatus and a break-up in the original lineup of the band, eP recently released a much-anticipated video of Shor Macha, a single from their upcoming album. The song in itself shows eP in a whole new alias — introducing a whole new genre of almost groovy rock‘n’roll. The song is a call for action in this bleak time. Thankfully, Shor Macha doesn’t sound overtly preachy.
The video of the song has been shot in five different locations around the country and took the video director, Bilal Lashari, several months to complete. Fawad Khan was shot at a location in the inner-city, Lahore, Ahmed Butt on top of Minar-i-Pakistan, Hassan was at the Mazar-i-Quaid, Salman Albert in the Cholistan desert and Wacky in the Salt Range region of Kallar Kahar.
The band took time out to talk about the video, why they chose to work with Bilal, and the incidents that took place on the set.
“What you need to understand about Bilal is that he is from another planet,” says Ahmed. “Sometimes it’s very hard for him to understand our language. Lucky for us, Hassan is also from the same planet so it was his duty to keep Billy updated.” He adds that, “He is great to work with. He is very focused about his vision. The thing that makes him so unique is that he understand music and can visualise accordingly to the artiste; a lot of directors lack that.”
“His prior work clearly defines his credibility,” says Wacky, “We have known Billy as a friend from the days when he was nowhere near the camera. Having a friend to be a part of this definitely added a comfort factor for the band to work with.”
Shooting in a mountainous region was harder than it looked. Although Wacky’s sequence in the video was shot at Kallar Kahar, the original location that Bilal had suggested was next to the Pakistan Army anti-aircraft guns in Skardu.
“It was one adventurous journey,” he relates, “Bilal, Sameer (assistant DoP), Sikandar (road manager), Gullu (my drum technician) and myself went for it one fine Sunday. Getting to Kallar Kahar was the easy part, getting to the tip of a mountain on foot and with a huge drum kit, cameras and reflectors seemed impossible.” They made it just in time to get the shots for the video right before sunset.
“We initially had to shoot somewhere else. The decision was last minute. We shot on a Sunday so we couldn’t take permission and as expected the guards stopped us for entering with the cameras,” says Hassan about filming his sequence at the Quaid’s Mazar in Karachi.
“After begging for half an hour we got in. The location was huge and pretty amazing,” he added, “You can only experience it once you are there.”
Filming at the top of the Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore for Ahmed Butt was going to be a unique challenge as he harbours an intense fear of heights. The call time for the shoot was at four in the morning. “We had to climb more than 200 steps only to find out that only two people can fit in one place at a time,” relates Ahmed, “Billy kept saying ‘Agay ho aur, agay aur’ and I was like ‘Kitna agay… agay hawa hay’. At the end the footage came out amazing.”
Salman Albert however, has no fear of heights. His problem on the set was being ‘possessed’. While filming his set in the Cholistan desert, without any real music, but reenacting the guitar parts, Salman relates that “I was standing on a mound and performing my guitar solo again and again. After a few takes, we heard some screaming from the village nearby. A woman thought that I was possessed by some spirit and gathered around 15 to 20 people. Some of them wanted to beat the hell out of me in order to get the spirit out of my body.”
The band is in the process of releasing a documentary on the making of the video. Needless to say, if this was a glimpse of what happened during the filming of Shor Macha, the documentary promises to be entertaining, if nothing else.
Dawn.com – Soundcheck