By Sonya Rehman
With their debut album Green, released perhaps a little too late, Rungg finally called it a day towards the end of February, 2007. With Noori reduced to a duo without drummer extraordinaire Gumby and Fuzon reforming without Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, break ups seem to be endemic in the music world. Each parting of ways has its own story.
Instep caught up with all of Rungg’s members who spoke of the reasons behind the disbandment and each individual’s future plans.
Rungg was actually a duo, which was founded by Sarmad and myself. When I reflect, the greatest aspect was that we ended up becoming really good friends and that was one of the major sources of motivation to do music and work together. The experience was great but over the years because of living in two different cities, a communication gap was created which was then followed by personal differences as Sarmad began getting involved in other projects. Priorities changed I guess and I suppose this is why there was a tinge of bitterness that crept into the relationship because on the work front, there weren’t any artistic differences, rather, they were of a personal nature. I think we put up a great album irrespective of what people thought or not and above all, I had a great time working with Sarmad, and if it were anyone other than him, I believe it wouldn’t have been the same. I’d also like to add that Xulfi and Wasim really stood by us through thick and thin and even through periods of frustration and disappointments, they were always around.
Ever since the disbandment I’ve currently decided to work on my solo album which I’m extremely excited about. The songs I’ve written so far are a totally different sound from Rungg so I’m looking forward as to how it turns out.
Concerning the current circumstances, it was expected. I had a lot of hope for the band to be honest and it was very painful when it came to an end because I had a lot of fond memories attached with Rungg.
Since Ifu was sponsoring the whole thing – being the main investor – resources eventually had to get exhausted. Also, our record label never paid us any royalties for our album… it’s been a year now and still we haven’t been paid a single penny. It wasn’t in our control but maybe the timings, with regard to the album launch, were. But we weren’t getting any business. Right now I’m running my own studio and playing for Atif Aslam. I might just venture out into a solo project but let’s see. I wish the others a lot of success though and I hope they do great at whatever they set out to.
There were a lot of issues mainly due to the distance factor. For a band to function as a unit, its members have to be accessible. Of course I was upset about the disbandment but frankly I think all of us saw it coming. We really were hopeful after the debut album came out but were dragged down by the label due to it not promoting us effectively, and apart from the usual TV promotion there was nothing else.
I must admit we did have high expectations and enjoyed playing our music very much, but nothing really materialized. Currently though I’m working towards going abroad for my MA in Broadcast Design & Motion Graphics which will also give me a chance to explore music.
The trouble was that no band member was available on a regular basis due to the distance factor (as both Sarmad and I live in Islamabad whereas Ifu and Xulfi reside in Lahore). Due to having jobs alongside the band, no one could commit to it full-time. Yes I would agree that after the album launch we were extremely hopeful but then again we weren’t jamming enough.
After the disbandment I started my own event management company by the name of ‘RAM’ (Rock Align Movement). The difference is that we’re not a typical event management company – we only promote serious musicians and target serious listeners. Alongside that, I’m session playing with Zeejah and Lahu but would really love to work with Ifu on his solo project.
Rungg’s calling the final shot and packing up was extremely predictable. Perhaps they weren’t too ‘on the ball’ with regard to a speedy album release following the release of three singles. Whatever the reasons for Rungg’s disbandment, the lukewarm response from their record company and the fact that it did not honour the band’s contract was perhaps the final curtain call for the band to finally dissolve. Unlike E.P, where each band member complemented the ‘structure’, Rungg’s members seem better off going solo. Maybe the creative input from each member didn’t mesh well as a final product. But with Ifu’s vocal skills and Sarmad’s proficient musical deliverance (along with an extremely sound technical know-how), each of them (along with Xulfi and Wasim) will perhaps succeed as solo artistes.
Instep, The News