Over the years, the Bangladeshi underground and rock music scene has expanded greatly with the advent of bands such as "Owned".
With AK Ratul on vocals and bass, AK Samee on drums, Fasihuddin Ahmed Itmam and Pritom Arefin as the guitarists, Owned started off as a band in 2007.
They released their debut EP "Owned 1" in 2014 and "Owned 2" in 2017.
A teaser video of their new single "Omor", produced by Locust Productions and powered by Live2Web, has been circulating in the social media lately. The song will be released on June 25 and can be streamed on the GAAN app.
The video seems like a cross between the GTA games and the Netflix animated series "Love Death + Robots".
"It is a 3D animated video and we started work from November of last year," said Samee. "We thought of detaching from the mainstream and making a different sort of video."
Omor, as a song, is old but Owned wanted to give it a different treatment.
Watch teaser of "Omor" here
Samee added that international bands do not only focus on the music, they also focus on the videos to intensify the viewing experience. "This is why we wanted Omor to be a well-rounded experience," he said.
"We made a few songs before the pandemic began. But as shows are a faraway dream now, we plan to release one single every two months," Samee said, speaking about Owned's plans amid Covid-19.
Echoing Samee's words, Fasih said, "We have not released anything in a while, so now is the time to release those songs."
Anyone who has listened to Owned can bridge their music with Nirvana and Foo Fighters. Samee confessed that the Seattle grunge scene has been Owned's muse since day one.
The nu-metal era of the mid 1990s also defines Owned's musical style. According to Samee, nu-metal bands like Deftones, Slipknot and Queens of the Stone Age influenced their music to a large extent.
Fasih, awed with how far the band has come, said, "It feels unreal when we think how back in 2004 or 2005 we used to watch bands like Nemesis, Arbovirus and Cryptic Fate perform on stage and now we share the same stage."
Like most pioneering bands in Bangladesh, Owned also started their journey from the underground scene.
"We love underground shows more than anything. Big stages and fancy lights are great but the underground scene is where we thrive best. The people are right in front of us, and there are no barriers separating us from our audience," said Samee.
However, gaining commercial success has been the least of Owned's concerns, Fasih added.
On the flip side, the underground band scene in Bangladesh is fading away, and globally, rock music is slowly dying.
Agreeing to these, Samee said, "Indeed, the band scene is struggling. CDs are a myth and regular band gigs are a thing of the past."
But digitisation of the industry has given many newcomers the opportunity to flourish, which was not an option in the last decade, he added.
The conversation moved to the band's future plans. Samee said, "We do not have plans to release a new album for the next two years at least, but we will definitely be releasing as many singles as we can." Singles are often preferred over albums since music listeners tend to cherry pick a few songs and play them on repeat.
"But we will definitely continue doing music as it keeps us sane," Samee and Fasih said together.