Omar Waqar

Omar Waqar

 Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., USA
BandRockWorld

rock, punk, electronica, hindustani classical & folk, sufi

Biography

Diacritical is the idealism and raw-passion of punk, with groove and slap from funk, along with ethnic sounds from all of our backgrounds (Indo-Pak, Eastern Africa, Mezo-American) but within a rock context.

An album update: We plan to tour in late FEB 2007 to promote the upcoming independant release. Sample tracks are up for your listening pleasure.

The History of Diacritical

Diacritical was officially formed in 2004 by Guitarist/ Vocalist, Omar Waqar. Though early incarnations of the band had existed before, playing and recording under a few other names with different members, In 2005 the band settled on the lineup: Jason Bomani on Bass, Dan Rosenthal on drums and Omar on vocals/guitar.
In 2004 Jason and Omar where both studying music with renowned jazz bassist Bill Kratz and it was Bill who suggested to Omar that Jason would be a great addition to the project that he was trying to form. Omar let Jason hear some of the recordings that he had been working on and talked to him about his dream of starting a politically charged band that was punk at heart but had elements of funk, hip hop, metal, jazz and different types of ethnic music. The two got together with drummer Chris Clover, who Omar had played with in a few projects and Diacritical was born. Shortly after their first show Chris would leave the band and drummer Dan Rosenthal would join. Dan was regular in the DC indie/punk scene and responded to an ad the guys had posted on local internet forum Pheer.com.

In early 2005 the guys hooked up with Manoj Aldasani to record the official diacritical demo. The demo, which was recorded in a two bedroom apartment in Fairfax, VA, finally gave the band a product they could be proud of. Omar had recorded many previous demos and had never felt satisfied with the sound, but this demo was something, he thought represented the band well. Following the demo release, the band played many shows around DC, venturing into the world of club shows, but also playing many fundraising events for various causes. Also recorded, were a few live performances at local DC spot, The Velvet Lounge and were released as mp3 only.

While in the process of finalizing songs that would later become their first album release, the band recorded with students at Omega studios in Rockville, Md. However, the band decided they wanted to work with a producer and met with Don Zientara of Inner Ear Studios. Don, who produced such artists as Q and not U, Black eyes, Fugazi, The Bad Brains, and the early demos for Dave Grohl (that would later hatch The Foo Fighters), was very interested in where the band wanted to go and they began recording the full length album in August of 2006.

Omar had been studying Indian classical music with Ustad Hamid Hossain and expressed to him how he would love to have Tablas (an Indian percussion instrument) featured on the record. He suggested having his son, Enayet Hossain, who played with some of the greats of Indian classical music such as, Vilayat Khan and Shujaat Khan. Enayet was greatly intrigued by the idea of mixing tabla with non-traditional music and accepted the offer to work with Diacritical.

In the months that followed, drummer Dan Rosenthal received an offer to move to Canada where he could pursue his doctorate degree. He agreed to finish the recording, already in progress before his departure. Miskut Wiggins, long time friend of Omar and producer of an early Diacritical demo, had been helping out with sound and production on the full length, when the idea of him joining the band came about. He had already worked with some of the material as well as being key to the growth of the band, however, Dan’s departure, leaving the band with no drummer, was the real problem the band was facing and in the late summer of 2006, Omar came back into contact with Chris Clover. Chris had played drums with Omar on earlier demos, but was forced to leave the band due to personal matters. Chris was more than happy to work with Diacritical again, and still remembered most of the material. The timing couldn’t have been better, Chris was already good friends with Jason Bomani, Omar Waqar, and Miskut Wiggins, and was looking to jump back into the music scene right at that time.

Lyrics

Wed/Thur

Written By: Omar Waqar

Wednesday/Thursday

It’s Wednesday
Your guns are all empty
And when I cut my self
I bleed absolute nothing

Today I have the power instead of the cowards
And I built a force field that lasts twenty-four hours
I’m not alone but surrounded
By a world that’s astounded
With its achievement of peace
And cure for disease
There’s no drought
No one pouts
No one lies
Not a single tear drop falls from anyone’s eyes
And there’s no censor
For every single question there’s a simple answer
No one’s angry
No one hates
Every single person’s as rich as it takes
But no one cares
No matter how you look no one ever stares
Like children in the street we play
So Wednesday becomes our independence day

It’s Thursday
The worlds a bit blurry
And no one seems to care
That I’m worried

The sky cries raindrops of disappointment
The world’s a third degree burn and we’re all out of ointment
So we blister
And now we’re all stuck playing “hey mister”
Begging for change
In our lives and in our pockets
Our souls are being drained from electrical sockets
And no one hears me ranting:
“All the armies are advancing!”
Schools become battlefields
Enticing youth while painting surreal,
Images. Ones of chaos and wealth
Manipulating circumstance to advance the self
See life has become an abstract rendition
Of constant contradiction mixed with cruel intention
So Thursday
Would be the worst day
It’s left me thirsty
There’s always Friday

New World

Written By: Omar Waqar

New World

On the shores of a new world
From the depths of a tired heart
A sigh of relief spills
Off the lips of the torn apart
He cracks a smile at the site
Of the buildings in the sky
A welcome change from the
City where he saw his brothers die
He does the work that we refuse to
Swallows all of his pride
Sends money back to his family
Still waiting for him on the other side
The natives ridicule him
Point their finger at his differences
But he's proud of where he came from
Though the masses can be dismissive

LAND OF THE FREE

Disenchanted

Written By: Omar Waqar

Right across the street
The air smells sweeter
The vibrant illusion
Of my so called fever
Should I be the beloved?
Or the cheap thrill seeker
In this cold reality
The truth is Im neither

I'm Boring
And captive
Shallow, inactive
Comfort and wicked
Fucking addicated
to the sensation
being alon makes me feel
to the sensation of nothing being real

I'm Disenchanted
My foes are all vanquished
To end this rampage
I just spoke another language
No matter how much I cry
The sun will still be there when I wake up
I can't ensure
That Ill endure
Another day
Of feeling this way
This tightened face
It plays charades
I'm being vague
But that's OK
I'm fragile like the moment
Before you spill you guts
No more eloquence
I just dont give a fuck / I just dont give up.

Shove it back
Inside the package
Return to sender
You're just average
You're no on special
You don't feel equal
The mood is never tranquil
And it never will be

Discography

"Diacritical self titled" 2007

Produced by Don Zientara and Omar Waqar

The first fullength release by diacritical. Recorded at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington VA by Indie/Punk guru Don Zientara, who produced such artists as Q and not U, Black eyes, Fugazi, The Bad Brains, and the early demos for Dave Grohl (that would later hatch The Foo Fighters)

Anatomy of the early recordings:

"Armed with an Acoustic" 2002 (originally released under the name Pitras)

Produced by Omar Waqar

This was the birth of what would later become Diacritical. It featured acoustic versions of many of the songs now associated with Diacritical (Ignorance, Wednesday/Thursday, My Dark Sunglasses, Disenchanted etc.). It was recorded live in Omar's mother's garage, and also featured live tracks recorded at the Grog and Tankard in Georgetown DC.

"Ghost man on third Demo" 2003 (released under the name Ghost man on third)

Produced by Miskut Wiggins

This was a three song demo produced by long time friends Miskut Wiggins and Omar Waqar. This demo featured an early lineup that included JD on drums and Brandon on bass (Brandon would later go on to play guitar in DC punk band The Screws). The demo included Early versions of "Poetry", "Envy" and a song called "Static". Though this incarnation of the band didn't last and the demo was never released, Producer/Engineer Miskut would later join the band.

"Where the flood was/ Rock for Jon doe" 2004

Produced by Omar Waqar and Chris Clover

This was the first thing ever recorded under the name Diacritical. It featured Chris Clover on drums/percussion and Omar Waqar on guitar/vocals and a variety of other sounds such as piano, mandola, samples from live TV broadcast, as well as some random ambient sounds. The first half "Where the flood was" featured a few songs that had been recorded on other demos but was mostly made up of a series of improvised songs, and noise. The recording took place in the basement of a music store that had recently been ravaged by a flood thus spawning the title. The second half "Rock for Jon doe" was recorded a few weeks later in the same basement but featured all improvised songs and was named after a drifter who slept in the alley outside of the basement. Though only released briefly as mp3 the album has some stand out tracks like "Fortune cookie", "I've been longing for" and an early version of "My Dark Sunglasses".

"Diacritical Demo" 2005

Produced by Manoj Aldasani and Omar Waqar

This Three song demo was recorded in a two bedroom apartment in Fairfax Virginia. It would go on to become the official diacritical demo. It featured the songs "Ignorance", "Wednesday/Thursday", and "Poetry". This would be the first recording featuring bassist Jason Bomani and drummer Dan Rosenthal, who would later appear on the self titled Diacritical full length.

"Live at The Velvet Lounge 1&2" 2006

Produced by Rob Curtis

This was a collection of live recordings from The Velvet Lounge in Washington DC. It features many of the songs on the full length as well as some random onstage banter between the band members. It's a great glimpse into what the bands live shows sounded like at the time. It was produced by resident soundman Rob Curtis.

Set List

All originals:

Wed/Thur
My Dark Sunglasses
Disenchanted
An Accusation
New World
Poetry
Scarred Tattoo
Envy
War Crimes
Exist
Ignorance

Acoustic stuff:

Dear phil
A girl named answers
Ammijaan
I've been longing for
Pay no attention