ObliskExperimental rock band Oblisk offers some of the hardest hitting ambient music that Detroit has to offer. Producing powerful vocals behind a wall of  sound, Oblisk is a truly unique outfit that captures a new phase of local Detroit music. With a myriad of bands exploring the experiemental side of the garage rock genre, a rich landscape of avant garde music is being created. Detroit Underground recently caught up with Oblisk guitarist Asim Akhtar to get his opinion on the band as well as the Detroit music scene.

Detroit Underground: There seems to be a scene of ambient rock growing within the Detroit scene. What are some other bands you believe are up and coming acts within that vein?

Asim Akhtar: There are a lot of quality bands like this in Detroit. Some are Solar Temple Cult, Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment, Pewter Cub, Oscillating Fan Club, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Friends of Dennis Wilson, Jura, Coyote Clean Up, Indians Guides….

DU: When you started playing, did your music take that shape on its own or did you make a conscious effort to produce your sound?

AA: I definitely had a vision of how I wanted the sound to be. Of course, over time it has evolved and other concepts have been thrown into the songwriting, but overall there is a certain vibe that we like to put out.

DU: What current projects does Oblisk have in the works and when can people expect to see the finished product?

AA: Right now we have been writing nonstop and trying the songs out live. We are going to put out another full length album and an EP. We really want to spend quality time crafting these so they might not be out till next spring. I think they will be the best ones yet because we will take some risks with these.

DU: There is definitely a hint of 90′s shoegaze in your music. Do you site the bands around at the time as influences or did your music evolve independently of these bands?

AA: Our music evolved independently of these bands. We really like 90′s shoegaze music but we probably got more into it after we realized how we sonically related to those bands. It’s really enjoyable to listen to that era of music and at the same time it keeps us from doing things that has already been done by them. If anything, we’d like to take ideas from that era and push them into the future.

DU: The Detroit underground scene seems to be becoming more diverse in the genres that it is successfully producing. Do you see this is always being the case or is this a recent development in your opinion?

AA: It seems to get more diverse every year which is one of my favorite things about playing music in this city. Most people also have a mutual respect for each other’s music and we all play shows with each other. It’s really something special happening in this city. I think there should be a documentary made about what’s going on right now. I hope it stays this way. Too much of one style gets boring.

DU: What do you hope the band will accomplish in the next few years?

AA: Touring the UK/Europe is a goal. It is a destination where we feel our type of music is the most appreciated. Also we hope to keep putting out at least one album per year. A main goal with that is to really evolve with our songwriting and concepts behind them. Really make interesting music unlike most things you hear. Finally, I wanna expand on the visual aspect of our live shows so coming to our shows will be the craziest audio/visual experience.

DU: What are your opinions on the publications covering the local music scene?

AA: They kinda cover the same bands over and over again it seems. More so catchy, poppy, dancey or rock n’ rolling stuff. I’d like to see more of the thoughtful bands and the ones making music on a deeper level around here getting written about. Ones that are create a darker sound as well. I find that stuff to be more inspiring. All the artists are hardworking, so I don’t want to take anything away from anyone. Unfortunately a lot of coverage come from who you know as well.

DU: What do you think about the direction that the city as well as the music scene are heading?

AA: The music scene here is heading in a great direction. More and more bands are popping up who are doing something special. There definitely seems to be some unity in this city, unlike what I’ve seen in other places. This means a community that builds to be stronger and stronger over time. Hopefully the city as a whole will turn around. At the very least, I know a lot of us making music here are very proud to be from here.

DU: Add anything you wish to share or find relevant.

AA: keep it real.

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