What is your purpose behind doing music? What do you aim to establish through that purpose?
Music has become a very digestible form of communication which attracts people. So we have utilized this trait of music and used it as a tool to realize our purpose which is communication of certain ideas. In a nutshell we have a disagreement with people when they decide to become indifferent to world that surrounds them and stop bothering. They forget that whatever they are and where ever they exist is because of other peopleâ€™s endeavors in life. Those are endeavors because of which they are enjoying good things in life like material gain and happiness. We have a problem with this self indulgence and indifference among people and music is a tool through which we intend to raise our objection.
You could have communicated your purpose more effectively in your Profession as a lawyer and an economist then why not those mediums?
Profession means we profess a certain job which allows us to make money. Whereas when we take music up we have an option of having a situation where although music is our profession but money from it is direct by product of art that we are creating and our art has nothing to do with money that we are making. Through music we can easily communicate an idea because creative medium of music allows us to convey idea to our listeners in a tangible form. When you take up law or economics as a profession your personal agenda is not important because you are working for some one else for which you are being paid. In music we have the option of creating things by ourselves and then accepting their acceptance or rejection. Income as a result remains a by product here. For example politics is not a profession. In it you have a certain view point and you are there to defy other people so that your viewpoint prevails because it is your conviction. Similarly we are here to communicate our conviction hence it is not possible to convey it through law or economics if they are being pursued as a profession.
If given a choice would you communicate your ideas through disciplines of law and economics or music?
It is not possible because in economics and law there is a totally different aspect of life you are talking about whereas in music you are focusing on completely different aspects which are more generalized. Letâ€™s consider something very tangible such as science where you are finding cure for aids. It is an academic exercise and is some thing which is completely different from our purpose. We are here to deal with issue that relate to life. So the things that come closest to life are music, folk, poetry and literature. These things are a direct art product which deals with different aspects of life. Hence music is a more appropriate medium for us to convey our ideas which speak about life.
Noori is a light that allows us to see existing things differently. We have seen social indifference and virtues of hard work differently through your ideas. Will we see solution differently through vision of Noori? If yes will it be able to defy existing norms of success.
Whereas this album talks about gloomy situation or rather a negative state, next music should logically talk about the fact that solution lies within our thinking and that would be the basis of whatever we will do. In order to defy existing norms of success we will have to redefine the word success which we intend to do because we ourselves are realizing that success on a very crude level does not mean high sale of albums, making lots of money and popularity. Success would essentially mean a next step in the positive direction and positive direction again is a vague and relative term. So we would have to define positive pathway and direction. Once pathway and track has been defined then following it would mean a certain success in furtherance of an idea or furtherance of a cause.
Your genre is short lived in comparison to eastern music. Why this genre to have a long-lasting effect?
Our purpose is to communicate certain ideas and if genre of rock music allows it then idea is meant to last. Most of the music in our pop industry generally has one idea which is love and when there is generally one idea based on love where purpose to make music is communication of feelings towards a female idea is not meant to last. Whereas if we bring forth an idea about indifference of society which you will find in a religious and philosophical book then that idea is meant last for much longer than some thing so vague and relative such as love.
You have communicated majority of your ideas in Urdu but still you regard it as an inflexible language. Why?
It is very hard to use Urdu to talk about different subjects. It is a modern language that has evolved from lot of other languages. In Urdu there are very clear cut definitions about things which make it a rigid language. If you read Urdu poetry you get to know that in Urdu every word has a distinct meaning. In todayâ€™s time we are restraint by this barrier because we are trying to discover those emotions and feelings from scratch on basis of which this language was initially developed. For instance Punjabi is a flexible language. In Punjabi we can talk about anything. Consider songs such as â€˜Kuttayâ€ and Dobara phir se. Both are stories and they wouldnâ€™t be so effective if we had narrated them in Urdu. If we try to narrate a story in Urdu it would be converted into a prose and wonâ€™t remain in poetic form. In Punjabi if you read how Anecdote and folk tales have come about you will be amazed to know that on a completely adult level power of the language is reflected in story telling. Same is the case with English. However in Urdu there are restrictions in terms of language usage.
Your customer base belongs to urban class. You could have communicated in English like sajid and Zeeshan?
They belong to newer times due to which they can do music in English. It is a step by step process. Firstly there was Abrar Ul Haq and Jawad Ahmed after which Noori came where genre of music became completely different. So people started paying heed to guitar based music and non love oriented lyrics. I (Ali Noor) started my music career in English. We can do music in English but we enjoy making music in Urdu and therefore feel more comfortable in it. Secondly when we know Urdu much better in comparison to English there is no reason why we should not communicate in it
Why donâ€™t you make your music appealing for all age groups as your ideas are sophisticated enough to attract middle aged people as well?
When we made our music we never knew which age bracket would like our music. However one thing which we have observed is that in our society when a person grows up he very rarely breaks out of his shell or domain. On the other hand when a person is growing up he is more open to ideas and is maneuverable to change from within him self or through environment. Middle or upper aged people in our society have become rigid and indifferent. So there is more desperate need to lead younger generation towards enlightened direction rather than save upper aged people who after playing their innings have reached an advanced stage of indifference. Our ideas will hopefully allow younger generation to think so that they do not follow pattern of their elders
Do you think that constant reflection of your physical attributes has hindered origin of feedback which should have been sophisticated opinion based solely on Ideology of music?
First impression allows counts and it is the pattern of present day society which is not based on norms of ideal scenario. However even if most of the people are just taking into consideration physical attributes there are few who dwell into the lyrical content and try to understand philosophy of our music. We portrayed through one of our songs that we will change the world but then we realized that process of change starts from a few individuals. It is a life long process and we canâ€™t go on a higher stage overnight. It is not possible for people to suddenly listen to our message and change their outlook overnight. It takes time for such a process to develop into some thing substantial. There are three types of prowess in music. There is music which intoxicates you and emphasis there is to put you in a certain state. Then there is music which has an entertainment package attached to it where emphasis is on enjoyment and pleasure. The most effective however is music made for soul which actually can provide cure to problems of mankind. So when music is made to cure mankind itâ€™s grading and substance is beyond entertainment package which is based on temporary elements such as physical attributes and glamour.
Do you have full conviction and belief in songs you make?
Do you think art form including music can reform society?
Yes but on a very subliminal level. Any person who made a difference had experiences based on book he read some where or story he heard when he was young. Itâ€™s all about aesthetics. Art feed the aesthetics directly and development of aesthetics allows you to see beauty and ugliness. For example if you are a politician and you aim to became the president of the country tomorrow it will be your aesthetics that will play the role where you might change your course one day realizing what you did previously was wrong. For instance Akbarâ€™s decision to bring about a new religion or Aurangzebâ€˜s decision to jail his father are all aesthetics. Today times are changing but still Aesthetics play the most vital role in you deciding what you want to do.
What was the purpose of making such bold statements like â€œdil ki Qasamâ€ as now it seems an unrealistic imagination?
That album was about a youthful soul and we had belief in that ideology because we ourselves were passing through that stage of growing up. The three albums are about growth of an individual. When you are a child you believe everything is possible but when you grow older you start becoming cynical and when you grow even older you start finding solutions. This in our view is an ideal growth. If you miss out on that naivety as a child you will never know how ugly things are. There is always purity of thought in a child where according to him everything is possible and he intends to go ahead and do it but in the process he totally loses sight of it. Then he has to mature and come to a level where he has to make best of out of most situations and live life.
Is it a true analysis that your previous band members were essentially musician who never understood the depth of Noori?
Gumby didnâ€™t and that was the reason why we parted with him. Jafri believed in it. He never had a problem in not believing in it. It is another matter that whatever he could follow was his limitation but as a person we have no doubt that he to quiet an extent understood the philosophy and to quiet an extent agreed with it. Gumby never belonged to that league.
Do you think that â€œGana no 1â€ which was really wrongly perceived should have been a part of the second album as its concept matches with its theme?
Yes you right it was a part of the second album but mistakes do happen. Even â€œDil Boleyâ€ which was part of our third album didnâ€™t belong to first album.
Why donâ€™t you perform hit songs such as Hum bhoolay, Jaare, Mere log and Arzoo live
In our live act we started performing so many concerts that we never used to get time to practice or do rehearsal. In our period of SKMJ our songs became routine songs in concerts and we never took out time to give shape to them. Now we have worked on giving shape to songs. We have altered songs such as nishaan and Jana tha humne which has given a different shape to our live act. We intend to perform songs such as Jaa re, Hum bhoolay, Arzoo and Meray log but reason why they donâ€™t perform them often enough is because we havenâ€™t done enough homework on them. Now no song would be performed with out enough homework. Previously we were literally improvising on stage making it our rehearsal domain which is wrong. We used to see bands improvising very well on stage and we thought that was the way to carry out a live act. Unfortunately we only got to listen to good concerts and never saw bad ones. Later we realized that this is not the way to carry out a live act. You need proper homework and practice to sustain an effective live performance. After we understood importance of proper homework our live act flourished and now we have no confidence problem.
Has evolution been in accordance with your anticipated vision?
In our evolution we faced many hindrances which were because of our mistakes. But what is important for us is that things which we were not foreseeing taught us a lot and made us stronger. There were alterations in our pathway and value of wisdom in that pathway has taught us to foresee the future in a better way.
Do you intend to alter your direction in pursuit of your destination in terms of idea and music? If so why wasnâ€™t your original frame work appropriate?
We will definitely alter because in the process we will be learning more but on basis of what we want to do. Our basis is that we want to intellectually grow and evolve as human beings and that basis wonâ€™t change course. We are in process of self discovery and our desire is to climb Mount Everest. There is a remote possibility that we would know the right direction from base camp but we have an intention to reach the top and self discovery is a journey where we will seek the pathway to reach the top. In the process chances are that we might get lost but we have a right to discover ourselves and choose the pathway which would lead us towards glory.
Do you think that element of monotony is created in songs when you restrict your self to a particular theme in an album?
Our album is like a story or novel and pattern of novel has chapters which are linked to a particular theme. However there are different approaches. There could be a possibility in the future where every song in our album would be based on a separate theme. We adopted a simplified approach and according to it we tried to incorporate framework of a story in developing our albums. It is a subjective thing where both approaches are completely justifiable.