Gig Seeker Pro


Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh | Established. Jan 01, 1979 | MAJOR

Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 1979
Band Rock Fusion


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Notching up Miles"

Brace yourself for a dose of Bangla rock music today

The number of rock bands that have lasted together since 1979 around the world can be counted on a couple of hands, give or take a few fingers. Considering that fact, it's quite an achievement that Miles, a band from Bangladesh has lasted that long and "at the top of charts," as their lead vocalist and bassist Shafin Ahmed insists. Today along with Ahmed the band comprises Hamin Ahmed (guitar and vocals), Manam Ahmed (keyboards and vocals), Iqbal Asif Jewel (guitar and vocals) and Syed Ziaur Rahman Turjo (drums). They will perform today at a concert, Rock Baji, sponsored by Levi's. But it is not their first performance in Bangalore because our very own city played host to their first ever concert in India back in 1992. Miles had humble beginnings in 1979 playing at the Hotel Intercontinental at Dhaka. It was 1982 before it had its first public concert. The same year it brought out its self-titled album in English. The second album, A Step Further, was also in English but the band moved on to Bangla for its third album, Protisruti (1991). Protisruti was a smash hit and the band has one of the biggest fan followings in Bangladesh even today. It has gone on to perform in the U.S.A., U.K., Australia, and in India several times. Starting out as a rock/hard rock band, it has moved on to create its own style of music that includes elements of pop, blues, Latino, jazz and techno. In a freewheeling telephonic interview with MetroPlus, Shafin Ahmed traces the history of the band, its present form and gives a glimpse of what we can expect from it in the future. Excerpts.What can you recollect of that performance in Bangalore in 1992?That was our first visit to India and it was to a non-Bangla-speaking region. We played at an engineering college, that's all I can remember. But we did not expect a crowd of 7,000 to turn up. It was quite interesting. They had a pretty good idea of what they wanted and I feel south Indians like rock music. That's why you have so many foreign bands coming down. So, we were able to meet the requirements of that kind of an audience. Interestingly, the set you played in Bangalore was an all-English one. But today you primarily play Bangla and with a mix of a variety of genres. Can you trace the journey?Miles was formed in 1979 and it is over 25 years old. It's quite long time and there are not many bands in Asia that have lasted that long. When Miles was formed people said we were the best band in Bangladesh and they still talk of us. We have thrived at the top all these years.We initially played for our own pleasure. So, we used to try to play whatever we listened to. But the market later demanded Bangla music and our fans expected Bangla songs, so we gave in to their demands. That decision catapulted us to the top.Initially when we played at the hotels, we played music with quite a lot of diversity. Stevie Wonder to Weather Report to Santana and samba. Some were very difficult and that gave us an insight into western music. So, when we started our own compositions we were able to put everything together. But ours is still a very eastern melody. Our instruments have matured because we can apply any feel such as blues scales. We can do it because we have done it for many years, we are not shooting in the dark; we know what we are doing and why we are doing it. Quite a number of Bangla bands are now performing in India. Why hasn't the Indian rock scene taken off?It is quite amazing that rock/band music has not taken off. I guess there is not enough support from the audience. Bands are trapped in college campuses and the national media is not supporting them. In Bangladesh 46 per cent of the population is below 21, so when we started we created a revolution. The number of bands and quality is increasing. Even the "distortion of culture debate" raised by the conservatives is over. Another problem in India is film music is taking away investment that can be used to support other music. And the satellite channels are not helping at all. They promote the same film music day in and day out. It will have an effect on listeners even if they don't like it. Where does Miles go on from here?There is still plenty to do because there is no end to learning in music. We want to probably make our next album English because the urban audience in Bangladesh is ready for it and probably make a Hindi album, which people will appreciate as there is a vacuum for it in India.The concert will be held today from 6 p.m. onwards at Ambedkar Bhavan, Millers Road. Tickets, priced at Rs. 350, Rs. 250 and Rs. 150 (balcony), are available at Levi's stores in Sigma Mall, Eva Mall, Forum Mall and Commercial Street, all Pizza Corner Outlets and K.C. Das (Church Street and J.P. Nagar).ANAND SANKAR - The Hindu

"A rocking evening with friends"

After journeying through Rabindrasangeet, nazrulgeeti, baul and pop, Maitree Bandhan, presented by The Times of India and Prothom Alo rocked on Monday evening. It was time for two of the most well-known bands from India and Bangladesh to match their musical skills in an engaging show. They set hearts pounding and feet tapping with their high-decibel melody at the Nazrul Mancha. A 4,000-strong audience swayed and cheered wildly as Chandrabindoo and Miles - the cult band from Bangladesh churned out their chart-busting numbers with gusto and fervour.

"We are grateful to The Times of India and Prothom Alo for giving us the stage to perform with Miles. We have sung with them before, but never for a noble cause such as this," said Anindyo of Chandrabindoo. It was Chandrabindoo that kicked off the show with 'Amar shahare'. They followed it up with 'Je kota din' from the film 'Baishe Shrabon'. 'Thor bari khara' was their next number for the evening followed by the immensely popular 'Sweetheart, I am sitting alone'. "Do you know what is the biggest cottage industry in the two Bengals? It is unrequited love. And music depicting our failed love affairs can serve as a bridge between the countries," quipped Anindyo to thunderous cheer. Chandrabindoo was at its vintage best. Easily the most heard among bands on this side of the border, they lived up to the expectations.

'Doodh na khele hobe na bhalo chele' had the crowd clapping. 'Amar bhindeshi tara', which the band dedicated to Bangladesh, touched a cord. While 'Gechho bhoot' from the film 'Gosainbaganer bhoot' was funny, 'Amra Bangali jati' was even more amusing and witty. 'Bondhu tomay e gaan shonabo bikelbela' - the evergreen number - was the final song of the evening for Chandrabindoo.

It was time for Miles to takeover. Members of the two bands shared the stage for a brief while. They held hands, though didn't sing together.

The popular rock band from Bangladesh is one of the oldest in that country, forming as early as 1978. Over the years, the group has had new members joining in as the old ones bowed out. It is now a five-member team comprising Hamin Ahmed on lead guitar, Shafin Ahmed on bass, Manam Ahmed on keyboard, Iqbal Asif Jewel on guitar and Syed Ziaur Rahman Turjo on drums and has cut just three albums since 1991. Their music remains scarce, yet is passionately craved for across the two Banglas. Their first Bengali album, Protisruti, came in 1991, years after Miles had attained cult status. Their fourth album Protyasha was released in 1993 and sold approximately 300,000 copies within a few months of its release and is still one of the best-selling albums in Bangladesh. Protiddhoni, released in 2006, is their most recent album.

On Monday, they showed why they are considered to be the frontrunner among bands. With 'Pathure nadi', they set the tone for the evening. It had everyone cheering from every nook and corner of the auditorium. If 'Shesh Thikana' was pulsating, 'Jhiki miki tara' set pulses racing fast. The much-awaited 'Firie dao' had the crowd swaying to the music.

The rocking union of melody left the audience craving for more. It's now over to Cactus and James from Bangladesh to deliver a final memorable performance on the final day of Maitree Bandhan on February 29. - Times of India

"Of Ballads And Fusion"

It was formed only for the purpose of enjoying music, only to play the songs that the members would love to listen at home. Thirty years on, their act has set them at a level where they rank as one of the most successful bands in Bangla rock. Miles, formed by a group of fun-loving friends, celebrates its three decades of musical journey this year.

Although the band was formed in 1979, it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year; considering 1982 as the breakthrough and the most significant year in its history.

Miles' first three years were spent in relative anonymity-- until Bangladesh Television opened its door for the band in 1982. Before that it usually showed up at the then Hotel Intercontinental (now Hotel Ruposhi Bangla).

“The year 1982 is significant in terms of our exposure to the audience. That year, BTV invited us to play instrumental music at a half-hour programme. That was the first time people got to see Miles. Right after that we played at the first public concert at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. We released our debut album in the year as well,” says the band front man Shafin Ahmed.

Miles' first line-up was Farid Rashid, Kamal Mainuddin, Larry Burnaby, Ishtiaq, Musa, Robin and the late Happy Akhand. Soon after the band was formed a change took place. Shafin and Hamin Ahmed joined the band and Manam Ahmed followed.

The early influences were high profile bands such as Eagles, Chicago and Beatles as well as artistes like Stevie Wonder, George Benson and Carlos Santana. Shafin finds those years as a “tremendous learning process” for the band members.

The debut album, self titled “Miles”, comprised seven cover songs and three originals. It was in English. The early set up was hard fought as the members had to produce as well as distribute the album on their own. The second album “A Step Further” (1986), also in English, was just opposite to the debut work; seven originals and three cover songs. “It's Magic”, which later morphed into Bangla as “Jadu”, featured in the album.

There's a lot of debate about which genre Miles belongs to. Some say rock as some refer to as pop. But Miles is actually a fusion band that brings together all sorts of music. “Fusion is very much apparent since our first work,” says Hamin Ahmed, lead guitarist of the band.

The ballads that gave Miles ultimate popularity have been synonymous with it over the years. These ballads are very much subcontinental and borrowed from traditional tunes. Beautification has happened with applications of instruments as wells as different genres of music that influenced the members.

“When we made music, ballads came to us very naturally. They became popular later on, but when we made them we found them beautiful,” says Hamin.

Songs like “Phiriye Dao”, “Dhiki Dhiki”, “Jala Jala”, “Neela”, “Jadu” and “Ridoyheena” gave the band popularity. All these songs were penned by Mahmud Khurshid.

The third album, the first Bangla, “Protishruti” (1991) was another milestone in the band's history. It set the ultimate pathway to popularity.

The 1990s were a very positive time for band music. Miles has a great contribution during the flourishing of Bangla rock in this decade. The audio industry grew by that time and there were increasing demands for albums.

Talking about song productions, Iqbal Asif Jewel (guitarist) says their preference is doing the tune first and then putting in the lyrics. “Someone first submits a song. Everyone participates on composition altogether. When we find that the composition is good, we bring the lyrics in,” says Jewel.

“In the overall approach of a composition and arrangement, we are cautious that the song gets priority and the instruments only add colour to it,” says Shafin.

Not only those ballads, songs like “Frustration” and “Shanti Chai” reflect Miles awareness of issues like social anomalies and the political milieu. For a band like Miles, it's a responsibility to make people aware and the band is doing it on a high note.

Several 'firsts' enrich Miles' achievements. It is the first band that had a CD release, when they converted from cassettes. It is the first band from Bangladesh that toured the US. According to Shafin, it is the only Bangladeshi band that was interviewed by international channels such as BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera.

So far it has released nine studio albums, including two in English. The latest one “Protiddhoni” was released in 2006. The 10th, “Protichchhobi”, will be released this year.

The 30 year celebration concert will take place tomorrow (February 10) at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla, where the band began its journey. The event will be a treat for fans, as Shafin says, “We have a plan to introduce all the former members once again. Our celebration will be for them. We are going to invite some musician friends from India and Pakistan as well. Hopefully they will be with us”.

The band's history will be screened chronologically through audio-visual projection. The members will perform popular numbers. Souvenirs will be available as well.

It will be a time travel back into the world of Miles. - The Daily Star


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members