The D/A Method is a progressive rock band from Pakistan. With its members having spent significant portions of their lives in both Pakistan and the West, the band combines influences from classic rock, grunge, and metal with a touch of traditional Pakistani flavour to create their unique, progressive sound.
Guitarists Umair Dar and Talha Alvie provide insight to the band’s working chemistry and more by filling in the Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Read it below.
How did you come to do what you do?
The band began when its two main songwriters (and cousins) Umair Dar and Talha Alvie began jamming together on their guitars in London. Those jam sessions laid down the ideas which would eventually become the first songs of The D/A Method. Soon drummer Istvan Csabai and vocalist Usama Siddiq were added to the line up to complete the band.
What is your first musical memory?
D – The opening guitar riff to ‘Danger Zone’ by Kenny Logins while watching Top Gun at the cinema as a baby.
A – Slash’s guitar solo in November Rain by Guns N’ Roses.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Inspiration takes many forms – whatever stirs our emotions. It could be anything from reading a good book or watching a great film, to having a bizarre conversation with a complete stranger.
What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
‘Alvida’ means ‘Goodbye’ in Urdu / Hindi. Many people get trapped in a downward spiral of despair and disillusionment. To move forward, to find your true self, you have to let go of everything that’s holding you back.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
We try to approach each song with a fresh perspective, and we’re always trying to push our ‘sound’ in new and interesting directions. Typically though we start with a guitar based progression and layer pieces on top of that to build our compositions.
What is your method of songwriting?
All of our songs start with a single riff or musical idea. We pass these ideas to each other and see where the other person can take them. The idea gets passed back and the process continues until we have a song. The track is usually still in the demo stage at this point and it’s not until we get into the studio environment that the final form takes shape. We often use the tools available to us in the studio (i.e. different guitars, amps, pianos, and synths) to add elements we wouldn’t be able to at home. In terms of lyrics, we try to keep a unifying theme from track to track, peeling away layers to a deeper story.
How do you see your music evolving?
One of the concepts behind this band is to have no musical boundaries, as long as we are putting out songs that we are proud of and would enjoy listening to ourselves. I can definitely see our music evolving as our tastes and influences evolve. I have no idea what direction it would be but it will always sound unmistakably like The D/A Method.
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Write for yourself first and foremost but always keep the listener in mind. It’s never a bad idea to try and wow your audience.
What are you looking forward to?
Releasing ‘The Great Disillusion’, a 75 minute, three part concept album!
Do you think that Progstravaganza compilation series is good way to showcase the potential of many unheard bands on the already overcrowded scene?
Definitely. There aren’t many avenues for progressive rock bands to showcase their music, especially young ones. Prog rock can sometimes seem like a bygone art so this is a great way to introduce the bands that are keeping the genre fresh.
Prog Sphere is compiling the first physical (CD) Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation. Interested acts can get in touch at email@example.com