Congratulations on the success of Gonojowar. How hard have you guys worked for this?
Zohad: (Laughs) Is it a success, really? You tell us! We have been getting feedback online, and so far it has been very positive. The albums are being sold through Qinetic music. To be honest, Gonojowar has not only been an album, but a huge sigh of relief for us. We have had many setbacks over the years, but kept going amidst much criticism and doubt. As a result, we were overwhelmed when we got so much support on the launch ceremony of the album.
The new album sounds a little different than what we are used to hearing from Nemesis. Was that a conscious choice?
Ratul: Well, the songs reflect what we are listening to at the moment. Things are always changing, and we always go for what sounds the best to us at the given moment. It wasn't really a 'conscious' decision, per se.
Zohad: On top of that, our last album (Tritio Jatra) came out six years ago. We really wouldn't want to sound like we did back then, what would be the point of a new album? If we did sound like before, people would say that we didn't evolve enough. We will always be looking to give something fresh to our audience.
Rafsan, we know you have been a fan of Nemesis for a long time. What is it like to play in a band that you used to listen to so passionately?
Rafsan: (Laughs) I have been asked this so many times! To be honest, the feeling is surreal.
Dio: The funny thing is, when we play the songs from our first album Onneshon and then play Tritio Jatra, we sometimes tend to forget some of the progressions in them. At those moments, Rafsan is usually the savior because he's been a fan and has thoroughly listened to all of them. He has them all memorized!
Zohad: I am really glad that Rafsan and Zafir have gelled with us in the way that they did. Gonojowar really would not have been possible without them.
Speaking of which, how difficult was it to continue Nemesis after Maher Khan (founder and lead guitarist) left?
Zohad: Maher was not only the lead guitarist; he has always been my best friend. We had a crazy chemistry. We started the band together. However, even after he left, I didn't think of quitting even once. Yes, I did miss him as my friend but I knew we had to move on. The journey without him has been difficult, and our music has even been called 'bastardized' and 'a shell of our former self' by people who previously identified themselves as our fans. Luckily for us, we stuck together and came through.
Ratul: Honestly, after Maher left we did find ourselves directionless at first. Maher used to handle all the technical aspects of the band, and was the go-to guy for that. There was a huge lacking in technical understanding when he left and personally, I did not enjoy playing without him at first. Eventually, we got over it.
Dio: In short, we do miss him. But we can't look back. Not at this point in our career.
What is your favorite song from Gonojowar?
Zafir: When I first heard the title track, Gonojowar, it instantly became my favorite. I honestly thought it would be a 'Kobe killer'! (Laughs) However, later the song Janala really grew on me, so that's my current favourite.
Zohad: Mine too!
Others: Ours too! (breaks down in laughter)
How does Nemesis go about composing songs?
Ratul: All the songs are composed during the 'tea' breaks in our practice sessions! (Laughs) When we go out for a break, Zohad usually picks up the guitar and starts playing random tunes. That is how Kobe came to be. He was playing the progression at the beginning, and then we joined and gave it a body.
Who do you think are the most talented upcoming musicians at present?
Zohad: There are just so many! Off the top of my head, I think the Imran Ahmed Trio are doing really well right now, so are The Attic. I really love the work done by Owned as well. From a vocalist's point of view, Tashfee is excellent. They'll all go a long way, hopefully.
Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Zohad: We would just like to thank you for all the support that you have given us, through thick and thin. Due to sheer demand, we are coming up with Nemesis merchandise including T-shirts, badges and wristwatches. Please do stay with us, we want to give back and hopefully produce a lot more music than we already have in the future. Thank you!
* Md. Zohad Reza Chowdhury (Vocals)
* Raquibun Nabi Ratul (Bass)
* Zafir Huq (Guitar)
* Sultan Rafsan Khan (Guitar)
* Dio Haque (Drums)
Interviewed by Sadi Mohammad Shahnewaz
Photos: Jawad Mahmud Chowdhury