What inspired you to enter the world of music? How was the band formed?
I would say, initially, each of us in the band had a different inspiration for pursuing music. As far as the band is concerned, the journey started when Yusuf, Zain and our first lead guitarist Misbah met in LACAS way back in 2009 and started jamming day and night at the Ramay household. Eventually we decided to form a proper band and start playing shows. We knew a three-piece band wasn’t going to cut it so we decided to include Daud, our former bassist Jamil and former vocalist Shahzore Bhatti in the mix.
Why the name ‘TAKATAK’ ? Is there a story behind it?
So in the beginning, Takatak had a dual personality syndrome, where it was also a LACAS music society band which included Natasha Noorani (Lahore Music Meet CEO) on vocals. We were winning almost all the inter-school competitions that came our way. So much so that we were picked up by a radio show. This is when we were presented with the question of actually coming up with a name for the band. Now if my memory serves me correctly, we were at the Ramay house a day prior to the radio slot and were short of a name for the band. After a lot of heads bumping together, we consulted Ibraheem Ramay (Yusuf and Daud’s dad) for a name, and he suggested “Takatak”. The reason we stuck to it is because there is a certain rhythm to how you say it, not to mention it’s probably one of the most brutal dishes one can consume.
How would you describe your music genre?
In general terms I would say it is Progressive Metal but I would be remiss if I did not mention our fascination with a sub-genre of it called Djent- which is sort of a hybrid of Metalcore, Progressive Metal and to an extent Nu Metal. It is this sound that we wanted to explore and build of in our upcoming record, “Acrophase”.
Where does the band draws inspirations from?
Each member of the band surely has their own set of inspirations to draw from, be it the people in their lives or the musicians they look up to. However, the band as a collective is influenced by the likes of Periphery, Skyharbor, Meshuggah, Animals as Leaders, Tesseract, Monuments, Tool, Karnivool, Opeth, Gojira, Plini, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Veil of Maya, and the list goes on. Another important thing to add here would be the coming of Keshav Dhar, of Skyharbor fame, into our lives when he offered to mix “MasterBeast” and pushed us to write a full-length album with vocals this time. I mean that’s how “Acrophase” came into being. Absolutely unreal feeling.
What is the most rock star thing the whole band has done?
I would have to say our 14-day recording camp at A for Aleph in Karachi takes the cake on this one. Each member sacrificed all their other commitments and jumped into the process for two weeks. Altamash Sever, for instance, pushed the date for his final NCA thesis jury just so he could make it to Karachi on time. Yusuf had just gotten married and Zain was about to get married. Shit was as real as it gets but we made it happen.
The best memory about any musical gig you performed?
Lahore Music Meet 2018 was by far the most monumental gig the band has had the honor of playing. We were in hiatus mode for all practical purposes. Ibrahim Imdad aka Gentle Robot, our former guitarist, had left the band and we were going through a very dry spell creatively. Fast forward to Natasha’s phone call where she asked Zain if Takatak would be interested in performing the main stage at the upcoming edition of LMM. The catch was that we had to play a set rife with some new material on top of the songs we already had. With a two-week schedule to prepare, we rushed to come up with some new tunes, diving headfirst into the writing process, a process we had not indulged in for quite some time. We were able to come up with two new tracks, Voyager and Phantom, which are now included on the upcoming record. Suffice to say the gig went better than we could have ever imagined, ending with a standing ovation- a feat rarely achieved by the band. The appreciation and love we received that day gave us the motivation to get our act together, recruit Luke, Ali, Altamash and write “Acrophase”.
Your dream collaboration with another musician?
One of our dreams has already come true in the form of our collaboration with Keshav Dhar, of Skyharbor, who offered to mix our entire record. He also played a solo on our debut single from Acrophase, “Fault Lines”, which is by all accounts something we still can’t digest.
What’s next on bucket list of “TAKATAK”?
The real question is what is NOT on the bucket list for Takatak. We are already knee deep in sketching out demo’s for our next record, writing and sharing ideas with each other every day. Constantly thinking of ways to further the band’s publicity and doing everything in our power to achieve enough recognition that we are able to tour internationally with the bands we look up to and love the most.