After teaming up with Sanjay Gupta for Zinda and Shootout at Lokhandwala, Strings are tying up with the Bollywood director for the third time...
Mag4you.com: Tell us about the new song you're composing for Shootout at Wadala?
Strings: We are going to start working on the new song now. We just signed the film, Shootout at Wadala. I think it's very interesting and we are very excited that the whole team of Zinda and Shootout at Lokhandwala is coming back. Sanjay Gupta is directing a film after six years. John (Abraham) is on the team again, most of the technical department is the same and we are also back so we are very excited.
Mag4you.com: What is the project like?
Strings: We haven't started working on the song yet because the film will start shooting in January. We have signed the film and Sanjay Gupta narrated the story. The work on the script is still going on. We think it'll take at least a month before they finalize the script. Once the script is settled, we'll know the situations where the songs will come in. After all this we'll start working on the songs.
Mag4you.com: How many songs are you planning to compose?
Strings: We don't know how many songs we'll do because nothing is planned so far. We're waiting for the script to be finalized. Only then will we know where the songs will come in and what mood they are to be set in. Everything is very open till the script isn't locked down. We did sit down together and jammed a little bit since we are aware of the overall mood of the film.
As far as the songs are concerned, we are still undecided but we will definitely be doing more than one song and we might do collaborations with different singers.
Mag4you.com: Will these singles serves as a follow-up to 'Main Tou Dekhoonga'?
Strings: 'Main Tou Dekhoonga' was a completely different project. Working on a film will be totally different. That was more about the realities of today while the songs we'll work on now will especially cater to the film. We have a lot of room to experiment and try different things. We don't do a lot of films as we find it very challenging. Working on a pop album is more flexible because you can make any music, any video and you can go with any lyrics that you want. In a film, you have to match the situation specific to the film. The lyrics should depict the story of the film or the situation. It's a completely different ball game and as a musician one needs to venture in different directions.
Mag4you.com: Why have you been releasing singles lately? Is it more feasible?
Strings: The trends have changed and the way people listen to music is different. It's all digital. You don't have to buy a whole album for just one song anymore. We believe it's more appropriate to release singles than to release albums because it’s different now. Singles were not easily marketable in Pakistan.
Mag4you.com: How was it working with Sanjay Gupta again?
Strings: It's just like going back to family. This will be Strings' third film with Sanjay. We have had a tremendous experience in our last outings. Projects like Zinda and Shootout at Lokhandwala have been examples for us also. The way Sanjay Gupta used Strings was amazing. He set the bar so high for us that it was difficult to reach. Going back to the same family is really exciting because Sanjay Gupta is already a Strings fan. It gives any artist a lot of comfort to know that the director is using the band because he likes their work. This really changes the dynamic and equation.
Mag4you.com: Why have you been choosing Sanjay Gupta for your Bollywood ventures?
Strings: With Sanjay Gupta, we've never had any issues. We've never had to think what the next video will be like. He is a very innovative guy and always comes up with something different. That's the best part about working with him; we never have to think twice about anything. He's always come up with new ideas and for him the band is always very important.
Mag4you.com: Will Anwar Maqsood pen the lyrics?
Strings: There are many things that are still premature but with the talks we've had so far, Sanjay Gupta would like him (Anwar Maqsood) to write the lyrics after the experience of 'Zinda' and 'Akhri Alwida'.
Mag4you.com: Are Sanjay Dutt and John Abaraham part of the venture?
Strings: I think after any successful project one tends to go back to the same team because of many factors. Sanjay Dutt will not be returning because I think every director has his own demand and every role is suited to a particular actor. So this movie will star Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Vidya Balan and Naseeruddin Shah.
Mag4you.com: Is it harder to compose for an Indian film?
Strings: It's always challenging and different when working for an Indian movie. I won't call it harder because every musician needs to face this challenge somewhere down their career because it helps you grow and evolve. As musicians we sometimes feel like doing different things. We feel like recording the craziest songs. We sometimes feel like doing songs that don't even fit with the Strings image. As a musician you want to do something different because it's very important to try different things and while doing a movie you get such an opportunity.
For example in a pop album you don't usually make a qawwali but you could do it in a film situation.
Mag4you.com: Are you open to composing music for a Lollywood/local film?
Strings: We have been reluctant when it comes to Lollywood movies. This is because we have our own domain, we have a fan following that expects a certain kind of feel from the band and we want to keep that up for the fans because fans are the most important people for us. But again, movies always give you a lot of room to experiment and if something interesting comes along then we'll definitely like doing a Lollywood project. And we've been waiting for a good opportunity.
Mag4you.com: Were you approached for Bol?
Strings: Shoaib sahab wanted us to do a song for Bol and we also wanted to work with him but the timing didn't match because we were very tied up with tours. We really wanted to work with Shoaib sahab and also had a couple of meetings but we didn't want to commit to something that we could not deliver on time. We were traveling extensively at that time and had to apologize to Shoaib sahab.
Mag4you.com: Why are you so selective about Bollywood projects?
Strings: We have been around for two decades. We started in 1989 and we never thought that we'll do a song for a film; we never thought we'd do a song for Spiderman 2 and endorse more than 10 brands in Pakistan. So nothing is ever planned, things come your way and that's how life goes. The reason why we are picky is that in these 20 years we've always taken on things in that we feel good about and believe in. We don't want to do things randomly just because things are coming our way. 20 years is a long time and after that it becomes a responsibility to be careful not to do a project that could ruin those years. With time it becomes harder to decide what to do and how to choose responsibly.
Mag4you.com: How receptive is the Indian market to your signature sound?
Strings: India has always given us a great response. People genuinely like our music and acknowledge us as 'The Pakistani band Strings' and that always feels great. It feels great working there under the banner of Pakistan and Strings and hopefully this whole new project will be as successful and challenging as the last.