Q. Tell us about your experience after coming to India?
A. It feels very nice, whenever we come to India we get so much love and respect from everyone and after coming to Mumbai, we didn't have time to sit for a while and relax with our rehearsals and the two three performances we had was wonderful. We saw a record crowd on weekends. Mumbai's crowd, the Bollywood bindass crowd have supported us so much that it really feels very nice to be here.
Q. What are we going to hear and see in Boondh?
A. In Boondh, the first video called Chale Chalte is on air which everybody is watching on television these days, the other video is Sajni which we feel is the
powerful track in the album will create the magic that Woh Lamhe cast. The remix of Sajni is also coming out very soon which is sponsored by a local brand in Pakistan its DOP is done by Neil Lisk from USA and is directed by Bilal Lashari who has honed his skills from 'Academy of Art University', California. A Turkish Animator Ismail Khan was specially flown in from Hollywood to assist Bilal Lashari for this track. There are twelve tracks in this album, two out of which are unplugged versions and a song called Main Mast Hoon, a dhamaal type of music with bhangra type of beats which is liked in India and Pakistan, are the highlights.
Q. What was the reason to take Amrita Rao in the song of your album? How was it working with her?
A. Amrita is a brand ambassador and so are we, of the same brand in Pakistan, and this is how things clicked between us. Apart from this, this is the first time that Jal a Pakistani band is working with an Indian actress in the music video of its album which was shot in India with Indian crowd and it was a wonderful experience altogether. When Amrita told us that she is a big fan of ours and when she told that she listens to the song Chalte Chalte(the music video of which she is in)every morning when she gets up, we felt really nice. We are proud that she worked in this video and we have become thick friends, so much so that we used to discuss Indo- Pak issues. We discussed many things with Amrita and told her many things about Pakistan which she didn't know and Amrita, Insha Allah will come to Pakistan soon in one of the Jal`s performances which will also be different for the Pakistanis also. We will try to fill all the gaps between the two countries slowly in this way.
Q. Your on screen chemistry with Amrita has developed into off screen also, is it true?
A. I think Pakistan-India issues are very sensitive and every one tries to catch something or the other from such things, but honestly nothing like that is between us. We had a good chemistry off screen also but it was up to a certain limit, and she made us feel comfortable while shooting. See we are a musical band not professional actors and she used to come and teach us some dance steps, some acting tips. So the people who saw all these took it the other way and later, I too read about all these, but it's not like that. And when India-Pakistan relationship is going in a better way, we should avoid these kind of things. We would like to clarify that all these rumors are not true. We are very good friends and nothing else apart from this.
Q. Like other rock stars, you all don't appear on the stage with garished type of clothes and other things.
A. It's only about the type of clothes you are comfortable in. If we come in with some with heavy over coat with lot of silver stuck all over, the person standing down won't be able to relate him/her with us, and might only think otherwise. At the same time, if we appear casual in jeans or shirts, then a guy standing down the stage or a girl standing there will be able to relate with us as someone they know very well, so that's how you relate and interact one to one and it is not a conscious effort but we like going in that way, and we feel comfortable in that. But we did once, "I had a jacket on but I couldn't stand for one second it was so hot", says Farhan.
Q. Besides singing do you guys possess any other talent?
A. We love cricket and you know we are crazy about cricket. Being an Indian or a Pakistani, if you are not a cricket crazy then you are not an Indian or a Pakistani. So we love to play cricket, we also love playing PS too because when you cannot go out anywhere you need some indoor activities. "I want to have a hard ball in my kit and like to play every Sunday with that, and not with a soft ball. We need to find a ground and a good team that is one dream which I want to achieve," says Gohar. "Once we had a match in Navi Mumbai and it was very hard to convince my other members but once they played, it was like whenever we play it has to be with a hard ball, so that's why cricket is the only craze here,"says Farhan.
Q. Are you groupies, like in the film Almost Famous which was about rock band with girl groupies?
A. No, we haven't seen that movie, but yes may be we also become groupies after we see that movie. But we have a lot of Indian friends and where ever we go, we make friends, not only with girls but with boys as well. We like hanging out and because of the age group we belong to, we cannot sit in our house. And we are not into drugs also so we want to live our life, a normal human life. Whenever we come to India we like to go to the clubs and dance, we enjoy our normal life that's what we do is to mingle a lot with your friends. We have lot of Indian friends, but not as much friends back in Pakistan.
Q. Why did you name your band JAL?
A. We thought we should go with the image as you know that 70% of the world is water and nobody can live without water, so we thought that we will make songs that will be liked by people and nobody would be able to live without listening to our songs and then water makes its own way wherever it goes. So our music will make its own way wherever it will go, so that was the ideology with which we started, and it is working so far.
Q. Why did you name your second album as Boondh?
A. Boondh because it is a part of water (Jal). But at first, we thought of naming it as Sajni which is a powerful song in the album. Then we thought that as all the songs are our babies, we cannot give importance to only one and we thought that if we name it as Sajni, other songs will not get the recognition. So we named it as Boondh and we don't have any song in this album with the name Boondh. It is just a drop of water, the ideology behind this was that there are so many talents in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where people listen to JAL, so with so many talents all over we decided to name it Boondh as we all know that boondh boondh se sagar banta hai, and if we can give a boondh(drop) to all, that will satisfy us in all the ways. And we have lots of boondh to come in the near future; we will keep giving a boondh every year.
Q. How and when did the band form?
A. We are three members in our band viz., Farhan Saeed, Gohar Mumtaz and Shazi. It was in 2002 when we started with this first song Aaddat. "I used to perform in my college as a guitarist and a singer at that time and Farhan used to perform in his college where he was doing his BCA. I had a dream to make a band and after we formed it, we made the song Aadat and uploaded it. We didn't have money to make a music video at that time because we were students and from there(internet) people started liking the song Aadat and I think that was the first song from Pakistan which got publicity from internet, then we made the video, then we had a get-together in summer," says Gohar
Q. How did you meet each other?
A. Shazi and Gohar used to jam together and Shazi is connected to music for more than ten years now, I was performing in my college for my farewell and one of our common friend heard me and he said that there is a guy called Gohar who has some good songs and asked me to call him. I called him and we met and jammed for half an hour and after that the very next day we were performing in Islamabad. It was a nice experience as we did not know anything about each other except our names, and I used to forget half of the lyrics, but we were performing because Aadat was an instant hit then and the colleges were getting crazy about this. After we came back we did record a song Woh Lamhe and made its video and put it on air immediately. The song was a hit in all Pakistani channels and it remained at number one position for more than 7 to 8 weeks. That was the boost we needed and we got the best band award, the best song award, best composer, best lyricist awards in the same awards function.
Q. How did you manage financially when you were students?
A. Actually when we got the first song Aadat, that it was not like our parents were not supportive, but they were more focused on our studies and wanted that we complete it first, but during that if you have a passion to do something you do it, so I borrowed five thousand rupees from one of my best friend because I cannot take that from my home because in that way they will come to know about it. Then after we recorded the song and uploaded, a director from no where e-mailed us and said he wants to make a video with us and that too free of cost. So that's why I think we are blessed and all we had to do was travel to Karachi because all the studios are there and we did our music video of Aadat free of cost. When we recorded that, our parents started to believe in us that we are doing something worthwhile. We were hit at that time and people wanted us on stage so that way, we managed it. Luckily our families were very supportive which is very important.
Q. Coming from a science background and doing BCA did it help you in any way?
A. (Laughs) Not exactly but since I was really
Q. Do you have a Girl friend?
A. We have a lot of friends, but no girl friend as such. We don't have girl friends in our dictionary (laughs).
Q. Have you been to movies during your college life?
A. We don't have much cinema halls over there in Pakistan, but now it is happening. We just used to go out and eat whenver we had free time. "People also like surfing internet and one of my friend told me to join Orkut and I did it and believe me nobody believed that I was actually Farhan and then I did Facebook and made sure that I be the first one to do that and from there I have a lots of friends. Fans from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh interact in that way and anything that happens in Pakistan will come to other places within few minutes and that's a best way to be in touch with your friends," says Farhan.
Q. How does it feel to be a brand ambassador of Gibson, the guitar company in U.S.A.?
A. It feels great and I feel very proud of it. I think it is an achievement for all the band members and all the fan,s so I am really happy about it.
Q. After Aadat now you have come up with Boondh after a long time, so why was this delay?
A. I think it is a normal delay. If you see STRINGS, I mean they released Dhaani before Aadat and they have not released anything after that, so it depends.
Q. What are your next plans?
A. First we plan to go to Pakistan, then to Shangri-La and to Bangkok. Lets see, but this summer we are going to Canada where we have a concert on 15th of June and then to States and then in New York, as there are lot of Pakistanis out there. We will also have a get-together for summer where we will stay in Canada for a while.
Sabir Rahman (SAMPURN)