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DHAKA Thursday 30 August 2012, 15 Bhadra 1419, BS 11 Shawal 1433 HIJRI
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featureOni In Retrospect→ Sabrina Mehek
 When my photographer Rashed and I

arrived at the studio-slash- practice

pad, we weren’t sure whether he’d

be able find time from his busy schedule for

this interview. We weren’t disheartened,

thankfully. He kept his words and also

arranged for us to enter the studio/live room,

from where we had the direct view of the

control room! That’s where we sat down and

had a little chat with one of the country’s

leading guitarists: Oni Hasan from Warfaze.

As usual, the first question was on

Warfaze’s latest album. Oni informed, “This

album is named Shotyo. The songs speak the

truth about our country, the government and

our lives. The specialty of this album is the

fact that it has solo songs by all the members

of our band.”

When asked about his expectations from

this album, he said, “The lyrics are very

thoughtful and as far as sound is concerned, it

has the best sound. So my expectations are

definitely high.”

I enquired about the launch and the public

response to their last album Pothchola. Oni

explained, “The public response we received

for Pothchola was immense. Nokia was our

sponsor. The album launch was the biggest

one in Warfaze’s history, it being launched in

all the districts in Bangladesh as well as in

India’s Kolkata. The launch was also preceded

by a concert. The album was sold

magnificently both in Bangladesh and in

India.”

Oni believes that signing with a premium

sponsor is a great idea, he said, “I support the

self-branding thing; it’s something I wish to

do myself.”

Oni’s love for music took root at an early

age, ever since he saw his father performing.

However, the desire to become a musician

arose when he saw the music video of

November Rain by Guns N’ Roses. In his words,

“The moment I saw Slash performing, I

decided to be a guitarist.”

As I asked which of the Warfaze concerts

and venues were his favourite, Oni instantly

replied, “Of course the Warfaze Reunion

concert was the best one. And my favourite

venues are Winter Garden at Ruposhi Bangla

Hotel and BUET.”

When speaking of their past performances, I

was curious to know about his experiences

when performing with Warfaze. Smiling, he

said, “The first day with Warfaze was

unforgettable. Shams Bhai asked me, ‘What’s

the maximum number of people you have

performed in front of?’ I said, ‘5000.’ He

smiled and said, ‘Be prepared for a blast!’ The

moment I got on stage, I started blinking my

eyes. There were almost 500,000 people

there!”

According to Oni, some of the upcoming

power-bands are Mohakaal, Droho, Funeral

Anthem and Embers. “The upcoming

generation is doing very well. Many of them

will rock the music scene,” he said.

Other than Warfaze, I wondered which

bands in Bangladesh Oni thought had the best

performances. After thinking for a while, he

answered with a smile, “Tricky question. I’d

vote for Powersurge, though.” Powersurge’s

music is exclusively based on the hard

rock/thrash metal genre.

As for the international bands that, in his

opinion, still rocks the crowd, he replied, “If

it’s about filling up the stadium, it’s Metallica.

But if it’s about performances, then it’s

Megadeath, I believe.” He also mentioned that

his dream performance includes performing

with Pantera and OZ!

Among three brothers, Oni is the eldest son

in a loving family. Hence, he shares more

responsibilities than his other siblings. “I

annoy my younger brothers. But I’ve also

inspired both of them to learn playing the

guitar. In fact, this is an issue that my parents

complain about, since my encouragement has

a huge influence on them!”

How does Oni manage the frenzy of activity

his life demands? How does he manage to

juggle his free time, his holidays, and the

frantic times when his work and family

responsibilities collide? He was quick to

respond, saying, “I go to the gym in my free

time. I’m very health conscious. When I’m

stuck in between work and family, I lose

myself and go into complete hibernation -

switching my cell phone off and not

responding to anyone by any means. It works

best when I require good come-back.” When

enquired if his spare time was spent at home,

he exclaimed, “YES! My favourite spot is my

home! I never get time to go anywhere else! I

just realised it now!”

Being an impressive-looking, ever-sopopular

musician, what rumours does he face,

and how does he react? With a laugh, he

replied, “People often say, ‘Oh, I heard you got

married!’ or ‘Are you dating her?’ It’s

irritating, since I don’t know who they think

I’ve married or am dating! More embarrassing

than these incidents are the moments when

they point at any random guy and say, ‘He

said he’s your brother!’ Before, these incidents

used to freak me out. But now, I don’t care

anymore and keep quiet. For these reasons,

I’ve even stopped using Facebook.”

Oni was in the middle of rush hours and we

could sense his urgency. However, being so

well-mannered, down to earth and

co-operative, he help me jot down a few

tidbits that define his personality:

1. The tagline of my life is Perfection.

(Showing his tattoo) Even this says so!

2. I’m emotional and sometimes I have

emotional overflows. How do I keep those

in check is still a mystery to me!

3. I’m a learner, I’m still learning. I learn

from my mistakes.

4. The only change I’ve attained is that I’ve

become a better musician.

5. I’m more of a composer than a player.

6. I don’t care what people say and don’t

react at all! That helps me in handling my

reputation.

In the course of our lengthy interview,

Rashed took pictures of Oni as we were

served tea and snacks. As our conversation

neared the end, we had a rapid fire of quick

questions that he briefly answered.

1. Best attribute: I’m a goal-oriented

person. I fix my goal and go for it.

2. Worst characteristic: I’m lazy, except

the gym thing! And I don’t pick my phone

up!

3. The person whose life you want to

emulate: My dad.

4. Ever get stalked: A lot! I have at least

10 fake IDs on Facebook!

5. Heartbreaks: Sighs

6. Ever cheated? Never.

7. Nervousness before shows: Until the

first song. And then I become comfortable

and feel the crowd.

8. When people have any

misconception regarding you: I keep

quiet and people understand the fact by

themselves.

9. Favourite hangout place: The Bench.

10. One word to describe yourself:

Quiet.

11. Anything you can’t live without

(except music): You’re smart! Well, it’s

the gym.

Finally, I asked him about his plans with

music. He said, “Many people say I have

left Bangladesh, left Warfaze. But it’s

wrong. I don’t have any plans to leave

Warfaze, ever!”

While we were standing in the parking

lot and preparing to return, Oni said,

“There’s something I never mentioned

before, somehow it skipped my mind. The

person who encouraged me to learn the

guitar, buying me the first guitar of my

life, is my uncle. I want to tell him a big

thank you through this interview.”

I hope Oni’s thanks has properly been

conveyed to his uncle by us. We also want

to thank him. Because of him, we have the

pleasure of having such an amazing

musician today.
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