Friday, August 5, 2022, is a remarkable day in the history of Bangladesh. “Banglar Rock Metal”, an encyclopaedia containing six decades of unarchived Bangladeshi band history, in a well-documented format has been made public. After almost two years of relentless effort by two dedicated souls, a dream of millions of rock-metal fans finally came true, at the cost of many sleepless nights and inhumane mental labour of the Haque-Milu duo. In this article find everything you need to know about “Banglar Rock Metal”.

Banglar Rock Metal book launching ceremony
Renowned musicians including Labu Rahman, Maqsoodul Huq, Hamin Ahmed, Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu were present at the unveiling ceremony of “Banglar Rock Metal”. in Baatighar of the capital’s Bishwo Shahitto Kendro. Photo: MuSophia

“I found the photos of my decade-old article roaming on social media during the days of quarantine in 2020. Those were shared by ‘Milu Bhai’, from his personal collection. And that’s how we met.”

Journalist Haque Faruk was telling MuSophia his story of meeting writer Milu Aman.

These two music enthusiasts turned an almost impossible task into reality, as “Banglar Rock Metal” was launched on August 5, through an unveiling ceremony at Baatighar in the capital’s Bishwo Shahitto Kendro.

Many renowned musicians including Naquib Khan of Renaissance, Labu Rahman of Feedback, Maqsoodul Huq of Maqsood O Dhaka, Hamin Ahmed of Miles, Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu od Warfaze, Arshad Amin of Rockstrata were present during the ceremony. Renowned lyricist Shahid Muhmud Jangi and Bangladesh’s first concert photographer Imtiaz Alam Beg also attended the event.

Haque-Milu duo have not only completed a project about six decades of band-music history in Bangladesh but also overcame the negative practise of neglecting the importance of documenting cultural history in this country.

However, some music enthusiasts who attended the unveiling ceremony of “Banglar Rock Metal” claimed that the Haque-Milu duo did successfully accomplish their mission, but the music-related organisations in the country should have taken such an initiative, years back, at least when legendary musicians like Azam Khan, Lucky Akhand and Ayub Bachchu were alive.

Writers, authors, publisher of Banglar Rock Metal book
Publisher Joy Shahriar (L) with Milu Aman and Haque Faruk, authors of “Banglar Rock Metal”. Photo: MuSophia

What is Banglar Rock Metal

Some people simply refer “Banglar Rock Metal” as a book on Bangladeshi band scene. But wait! It’s not just a book. It’s an encyclopaedia that includes a chronological record of band-music evolution in Bangladesh and all that rock-metal fans in this country have always wondered.

The trend of forming bands actually began in the 60s with music-groups like Ginga Shilpigosthi, which could be considered a pop-group in the then East Pakistan. Then again, there were Filipino club bands in Hotel Shahbag, known as house bands.

From pop groups to the present-day experimental rock bands, this encyclopaedia includes almost every band and notable event that many music enthusiasts have been dying to know about.

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The hardbound “Banglar Rock Metal” book contains over 460 pages and comprises of three parts: the first one focuses on the gradual development of the country’s band-music movement; the second part focuses on band profiles with discographies; and the third, focuses mostly on  Bangladesh Musical Bands Association (BAMBA).

According to co-author Milu, this book contains 180 authentic band profiles. Bands including Underground Peace Lovers; Spandan; Azam Khan and Uchcharan; The Lightnings; Souls; Feedback; Feelings; Miles; Renaissance; Aces; Warfaze; Rockstrata; Ark; LRB; Cryptic Fate; Shironamhin; Maqsood O Dhaka; Aurthohin; Artcell; Nemesis; Arbovirus; Bay of Bengal; Shonar bagla Circuls; Bangla Five; Ashes; Highway; Odd signature and many more have been listed in this book.

From the band ‘Underground Peace Lovers’ to the band, BlackScript, which was formed in 2021, readers of all ages are sure to find facts and events that they have never known before.

“Banglar Rock Metal” has been published by Aajob Prokash. Its cover has been designed by Niaz Ahmed Aungshu, the cover typography by Mustafiz Karigar and the graphic works by Kousik Zaman.

"Banglar Rock Metal" books for home delivery, across Bangladesh
Piles of pre-ordered “Banglar Rock Metal” books waiting to be packed for home delivery, across the country. Photo: Haque Faruk

The initiative

The initiative of writing “Banglar Rock Metal” book began after the photo-sharing incident — Milu and Haque got connected on social media. In June 2020, Haque went to meet Milu in-person at his house. And that’s when he told Milu of his long-cherished dream of documenting the unarchived cultural history of band-music in Bangladesh.

Milu had a pretty similar plan. So, the duo bonded together to publish what we now know as “Banglar Rock Metal” book.

With the authors’ over 20 years of experience about the band scene in Bangladesh, they firmly believed that it was an initiative they must take.

Challenges faced during the project

Reality is a bit harsh in this country. Here, people need to secure their profession, for bread and butter, before they can chase their passion.

Writing “Banglar Rock Metal” book, besides maintaining the authors’ professional and personal lives, was quite challenging.

Haque said that he went to different libraries’ archive sections for gathering secondary documents, during the background research works for this book. He had to spent hours in the libraries. Though it was quite tough, he managed to make time for this project on a regular basis. He was very motivated and determined about it, he said.

“I worked in the morning before my office hours and even after office, till late night. I was determined to complete this project at any cost,” he said.

Another challenge was gathering authentic information about the bands. With the passage of time, many chapters of the country’s band scene were nearly erased.

According to Milu, the members of the band Aces from the 90s, now live in different countries. Even the members themselves found it hard to recall the days of past. And that’s why Haque-Milu created a chat group, adding the band members, and gave them sufficient time to recall their days of glory.

The challenge of gathering authentic information was overcome by cross-checking with both the existing and former members of different bands who are still alive. It was hectic but the writers of “Banglar Rock Metal” didn’t want to leave any stone unturned.

Writers of Banglar Rock Metal book, Haque Faruk and Milu Aman, signing pre-ordered books
Authors, Haque Faruk (L) and Milu Aman, signing pre-ordered “Banglar Rock Metal” books. Photo: Joy Shahriar.

Writers of this book

“Banglar Rock Metal” has been written by Haque Faruk and Milu Aman. Both the authors grew up listening to Bangladeshi and western rock-metal bands. As a result, their love and passion for band-music developed since they were teens. They worked on music for over 20 years, but separately.

Milu, who was born on February 13, 1974, made his writing debut in the 90s. He used to write for various music magazines, including “Rock ‘n’ Rhythm” and “Sangitangar”. He has worked for several ad agencies as a copywriter. Due to his passion for music, he later joined a radio station (FM). He started writing books on music since 2017. “Rock Jatra”, “Gaaner Milon”, “Floydian” are among those.

Haque was born on March 17, 1981. He started his career in journalism by writing articles on music for different newspapers and magazines, including Ananda Bhuban, Ananda Alo, Samakal, Daily Sun and Jugantor. For over 20 years, he worked on music and culture for these media houses.

He now works as a senior journalist at the Daily Jugantor. In 2019, he received the City Bank-Ananda Alo Literature Award and the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity Writers’ Award in 2021.

How to order the Banglar Rock Metal book

“Banglar Rock Metal” is available at a few bookstores of the capital, including Baatighar. To order this book one can directly contact Aajob Prokash via their Facebook page, for home delivery. Or, order from the Rokomari web-store.

In Rokomari, “Banglar Rock Metal” has been marked as one of the highest selling books on music.

Featured Image: Joy Shahriar
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