Aurthohin, a massively popular Bangladeshi rock band, has been active for more than two decades, and are considered to be one of the pioneering bands in Bangladeshi alternative rock music scene. In an exclusive interview with Md Razu Ahmed, Aurthohin founder, Saidus Salehin Khaled Sumon, commonly known as Bassbaba Sumon, reveals details about his sickness, his band’s music, journey, struggles, and more
Why is the band’s name ‘Aurthohin’?
There is a small reason behind keeping the name of the band ‘Aurthohin.’ My first solo album had a track titled Aurthohin. A total of eight guitarists played the guitar on that track. That song had a huge impact on my life. Then when we released the first album, its name was Sumon O Aurthohin. We even toured for a year with the band’s name being Sumon O Aurthohin. Then the name was officially changed to Aurthohin. The name came as such, there was no special reason.
Lyrics or tune? Which one is given more priority when Aurthohin is creating a new track?
Sumon: The first reason for the musicians or the people who are creating music with Aurthohin, is doing it out of passion. This is more than just a hobby to us, but it is not our profession either. Most of Aurthohin’s lyrics are written about what we feel. We haven’t created or performed any songs that we don’t feel about. It can be said that the main reason behind us doing music was to express our emotions through our songs.
Categorize Aurthohin’s genre?
Sumon: The first album of Aurthohin was released back in 2000. After that we have done different sorts of music. Overall, it can be said that we are rock, it can be categorized as hard rock or even pop rock. But one thing we don’t compromise about is our lyrics. We have a lot of precursors about the lyrics. We do a lot of experiments in music but the lyrics stays the same type.
Any interesting memories during your recordings?
Once I went to record a song at a studio called the Sound Garden. After recording the track, our line-up suddenly changed. Basically, Shovon went abroad to study, and then Russel came into our line up. As Shovon wasn’t staying we re-recorded the track with Russel. The interesting thing about this track was that, this was our first recorded track yet it was released as last.
How is your physical condition now and are you planning to release new songs?
All of you know that I have been very sick for a very long time (diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2011, and had undergone 12 surgeries), and had to even get a couple of surgeries done in the end. Most recently I had to do another surgery in Germany. The surgery was done successfully, although it will take quite a bit of time to recover completely, and there will be some more follow up treatments. However, I hope that I will recover soon, and it will take some time to prepare for stage shows, but maybe we will surprise the fans with something completely new. Our fans are very loyal to us, and we have a duty to present them something new. And I think, the love of our fans have helped me to fight this long. I will continue to do everything I can do for them as long as I am alive. Hopefully by the end of this year, there will be a number of surprises factored in for our fans.
What do you want to say to your fans?
Aurthohin is now 20 years old. We have changed our line up many times in the past 20 years, and have given different kinds of albums, we have made many songs. But one thing we will have to say, we are very fortunate that our fans have been very loyal to us. They liked every kind of song we did, and we received praise for that. I would give a huge heartfelt thanks to our fans. It’s a huge honour for us.