Rocking with a view: Dubai band set sights on international stage
They had Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal flying into the city to jam at their debut album launch. It was a historic night as the Dubai outfit held their own, trading licks and solos with the celebrity guitarist while the vocalist ran through the set list at Hard Rock Café early last month. Historic, because no big-name international musician has ever come to the city for the sole purpose of supporting a local act. But Point of View turned a new leaf in Dubai’s growing rock music scene when they shared the stage with Ron to launch Revolutionize The Revolutionary.
With their long-awaited debut album finally out, Nikhil Uzgare, the POV frontman, talks to us about the band, the music and what lies ahead:
How has the reception of your debut album been?
It’s been very warm. The CD is already in Virgin Megastores all over the UAE, but we’ve also had numerous people picking up the album directly from us. Even those who aren’t in line with the genre we play have appreciated the quality of production.
You had GNR guitarist Ron Thal playing at the album launch. How did you get him on board?
It’s a long story but I’ll keep it brief. Ron is one of the most down to earth and humble celebrity guitar players ….. He liked our music and we asked him to join us at our album launch. He said yes. That’s how simple the story is. He has now endorsed the album publicly.
What else is he doing for you guys?
He has introduced us to his official clothing line, Dirtbag Clothing. Besides introducing our music to the international press (who have been writing in to us), he has been promoting our music to other celebrities like Snake from Skid Row and a couple of other international rock bands and promoters.
How would you describe POV’s music?
Message driven. Edgy. Hard. Intense. Shows a lot of our musical influences as individual musicians.
What’s the stuff you mostly write about?
We just write about stuff we feel strongly about. We feel strongly about corruption, poverty, inequality, animal welfare, special needs, injustice and a lot of other social evils.
Dubai is witnessing a mushrooming of local bands. How different is POV from the rest?
We are proud to hear from industry sources that POV are armed with some of the finest musicians in the UAE. We grew up listening to the 80s and the 90s music – a lot of that influence mixed with modern rock can be seen in our music which is not common these days. Some say we are bringing back the 90s hard rock mixed with the aggression of current day rock.
What’s the difference between being in a rock band in Dubai and in your home country?
All of us in the band are of Asian descent. Back home it’s a lot more fun because the crowds are bigger, more intense and they identify with the issues we write about. On the other hand, being in Dubai helps us showcase our music to a varied audience which is a huge plus point. Dubai makes you aware of how different nationalities receive your music.
Are you happy with the way the UAE rock music fans respond to gigs by local bands?
I’m not very happy to be honest. Many complain about not having enough gigs, but when there is one they don’t turn up. I have come across people who just don’t turn up quoting weird excuses. The majority of the so-called typical rockers or metalheads are a little shallow when it comes to showing dedication to the music they love. But I have not lost hope. More and more bands are cropping up and as the scene grows, the genuine fans will come out.
We know POV have set their sights on the international stage. Tell us about your plans?
We have gig dates in Turkey, India and Sri Lanka. We have UK and US tours lined up for 2013. We’ve tied up with distribution labels in India to distribute our music. We have fans from Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, US and India to whom we have started shipping merchandise. Well, the doors have just opened. We have yet to see what the future holds.
Get the album
One can connect with POV at www.facebook.com/pointofviewdubai and listen and download their music at www.soundcloud.com/pointofviewdubai or www.reverbnation.com/pointofviewdubai. To order the debut album Revolutionize The Revolutionary or POV T-shirts one can write to email@example.com