INTERVIEW WITH AK ON COMFORTABLY NUMB:

Q: How long have you been together as Comfortably Numb?

A: Since 1992, earlier incarnations were already in the works, but officially I created the band around ’92.

Q: How do you choose the players in the band?

A:  This is a very tough process as I am very picky about who plays in the band. I am always on the look out for the best players and the ones that are dedicated to bringing the best show to the fans of the music of Pink Floyd. It is a tremendous honour to be able to perform this music, and I know that this music is very special to the fans of Pink Floyd, as such it is our responsibility to deliver the best show possible and this means the best players in performance and attitude – also musically, sonically and personally and also a sense of drive, passion and desire. We have had a number of players over the years that have come and gone, some not quite up to snuff as it were, some it was simply a time for change and as such changes were made – I feel that the current line-up is the best line-up we have had so far – each line-up always being the best we have had. I can be tough to work with as I want the best at all times and I am driven to the extreme – I push the band hard BUT I expect this most of all from myself and I am my biggest critic first and foremost.

Q: What was the turning point that made you decide to start touring with Comfortably Numb?

A:  A desire to bring these shows to as many people as we can and to share the magic of Pink Floyd to all, we also hope to convert people that do not like Floyd to being Floyd fans.

Q: What lead to you being a Pink Floyd tribute band?

A: A genuine love for the music of 70’s Pink Floyd. We have always been amazed at the live concerts Pink Floyd in the 70’s and want to bring these types of shows to our audiences. In the initial stages I had different cover bands that focused on different music like, Genesis (I am equally a  big big fan of Genesis as well), Yes, classic rock etc etc. but in the middle of all the shows we did a big ‘floyd set’ – the reaction was always wonderful so it took off from there. I am a bit of a control freak…so I fashioned this band to be the best it can – and still do!

Q: Where have you toured with Comfortably Numb?

A: as far as Panama, Central America. We are hoping to head to West Canada and the US and also across the pond.

Q: What does Pink Floyd’s music mean to you?

A: Pink Floyd and music of this era have been with me through thick and thin. I can always turn to this music today and it sounds as fresh as it did the day I first listened to it. Having been born and raised in in Great Britain (England), the music and the country, which I still love, have had affects me on so many levels that it is hard to pinpoint just one, but it has shaped what I am today musically and personally – I do know that all of this combined is quite special and important.

Q: Have you ever seen Pink Floyd perform live? What about any of the band members, such as Roger Waters?

A: Yes I have seen them many times and also I have seen Gilmour and Waters live on many occasions. I saw Waters on Radio Kaos, In The Flesh and Dark Side Of The Moon (3 times) and The Wall (three times) tours. I saw Gilmour on About Face and On an Island tours. I am a HUGE Waters fan and have an IMMENSE respect for his work. Waters is up there with Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Gilmour’s guitar work inspires me to new heights daily. In our Numb shows I am always striving for ‘that tone’. I have gear that Gilmour himself uses as well so as to ‘get that sound’ – as all players know, sound comes from the hands and not just effects, so I am always trying to get it bang on.

Q: What do you enjoy most about doing Pink Floyd concerts?

A: Playing the music and feeling that magic on stage with my current band. The interaction between myself and the audience – this is very important to me.

Q: Why do you choose to recreate specific concerts?

A: I must explain that we DO NOT recreate shows in the sense that other bands do, note for note, scene for scene, haircut for haircut, etc. Our recreation is the emotion of these shows as it was in the 70’s. We do not re-create the PULSE/DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER type shows as our focus is on the 70’s. We spend a great deal of time trying to capture that spirit, not a clone of a show as it were. We do not spend time trying to look a-like or act a-like etc. Unlike some bands that simply perform and let the lights and video take over, we play to our audiences – each person in that audience has chosen to spend their time with us and we know how valuable time is these days, so we take this very seriously, and we want it to be a memorable night. Audience interaction for me is a MUST not an option. Folks that have seen the show know ‘AK’ will interact with the audience.

Q: Do you have any memorable stories to share about Pink Floyd fans?

A: I can share stories of our Pink Floyd fans, we have had some amazing hard core fans that come to EVERY single show and are so loyal – they help promote the shows, support the band and so on. One time I remember a fan was so into the show he had our band logo tattooed – well cool I must say! Another time a fan gave us his shirt in the middle of a winter storm – literally! I have been asked to sign several female body parts…and at our last show in Toronto a woman yelled out that she wanted to…umm…well you know…I find all this very funny and yet humbling that fans are so into the show.

Q: Your other band, AK Project, this music is your own compositions, correct? Do you think your Comfortably Numb fan’s would also enjoy the music produced by the AK Project? Do you ever do shows in Montreal with the AK Project?

A: The AK Project is ALL original. The first album was entitled ‘Outside The Cage’ and was a very personal album – the music was very much reflective of my Pink Floyd background, in fact many, many Numb fans have bought my albums in very big numbers, especially in Montreal where a group of fans spread the word and spiked up album sales considerably. My current CD ‘A Thunderous Exchange Of Silence’ also have some Floyd influence as well but is much more prog oriented on the ‘heavier side’ if you will. I am truly humbled by the success of the solo project and chuffed that so many have been so supportive!

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~ by theakproject on December 1, 2014.

One Response to “INTERVIEW WITH AK ON COMFORTABLY NUMB:”

  1. Hi Azim !
    Hope to see you again soon in Montréal
    Love you my friend Azim, thank to you and Solveig and the band for all the good show you do in Montreal, your music and show is so perfect what a great night wee have to see you perform Pink Floy’d song..

    I just hope too se you in Ak Project Band, what a great album Outside of the cage, I still listen it lot of time when I’m driving

    Sorry for my bad English
    Thank you again Ak Project and Canadian Comfortably Numb !

    Jacques from Montréal 🙂

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