Imaad Wasif interview


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Listen Here: Imaad Wasif Interview

Craig Garber (00:00.998)
Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar. I’ve got an awesome musician, artist, guitarist, songwriter, singer with Imaad Wasif. He’s, were you out of LA? He’s out of LA. Let’s get into it. He’s beautiful music this guy makes, man. Cliff Notes on Imaad. He’s originally from Vancouver, Canada, now living in LA. He’s an extremely talented artist. This isn’t his bio, this is what I wrote.

Imaad Wasif (00:11.804)
Let me know that you know. Yeah.

Craig Garber (00:29.322)
A guitarist, songwriter, he’s released six solo albums to date, including his most recent one which is called So Long Mr. Fear, which is a pretty heavy concept. He does a tremendous job writing and arranging songs in the psychedelic, electric, acoustic, rock and folk genre. And he’s super talented. He’s a multi-instrumentalist. He plays guitar, bass, keyboard and synths. And he’s been involved with other projects as well. You should check some of these out. One of them is called Acid.

Grim Tower, the Electric Flower Group, Alaska, which is really cool, New Folk Implosion, and another one that was cool called Lowercase. Also, he tours with the, he’s been touring with the Yeah Yeahs for a long time, as well as playing on Karen O’s solo album Crush Songs. Yamad, thank you so much, man. I appreciate you coming on the show. Thanks for your time, man. Glad to connect with you. You’re welcome. Likewise. All right, so you grew up in Western Canada.

Imaad Wasif (01:19.879)
Thank you, Craig. Nice to meet you.

Imaad Wasif (01:28.304)

Craig Garber (01:28.475)
But your family moved when you were very young to the Palm Desert. Was that, what prompted that move? Was it just time to leave Canada or?

Imaad Wasif (01:38.247)
Yeah, my parents have a, or my father has a weird kind of story. Like my mother and father both were essentially like run out of India under death threats because, well, he was Muslim and she was Hindu. And so when they were together, that was viewed as like, that was the worst thing you could do. So.

Craig Garber (01:52.458)
like religious persecution.

Craig Garber (02:00.834)
That was a no-no.

Craig Garber (02:04.749)

Imaad Wasif (02:06.611)
So yeah, they moved to England and lived there for 17 years and then moved to Canada. And then from Canada moved, just lived there briefly, which is when I was born, and then moved to the desert, which is like as far away as you can get from civilization at that time. It was very remote, you know? Yeah.

Craig Garber (02:27.846)
Yeah, that’s wild. I figured you had some English background because a couple of times we talked, you said, oh, I got to get that sorted out. And like, that’s such an, nobody in America says, sort it out. Yeah, yeah, it’s a very British thing. I know from my wife, it’s a very British thing. Did your folks get you into music?

Imaad Wasif (02:37.807)
Oh, weird. Okay. Yeah.

Imaad Wasif (02:46.891)
Um, well, that’s it’s an interesting thing. My father was a Krasil singer, which is a form of Urdu, um, uh, romantic. It’s a romantic language, um, uh, based on a couplet form. Um, and, uh, it’s a very specific type of singing. Um, he did that.

And there was a lot of Indian music around the house all the time. I didn’t really discover rock music until much later, but I was a little bit sort of daunted by music initially, I think, because it was such a, like, heavy presence in his life, and I don’t think that I necessarily understood what it was that, that.

I was supposed to pursue through his language of music. So it really wasn’t until I found rock and roll that I connected with it and decided that I was gonna actually become a musician.

Craig Garber (03:55.318)
What was the first thing that sort of like engaged that you remember that like, Oh man, I need to check this out. Do you remember what that was?

Imaad Wasif (04:04.291)
Um, well, it’s, so it’s interesting. I had a really weird, um, upbringing in the desert. Um, not only was it extremely like sort of isolating, um, and, um, uh, like, I’d have to say at that time, the amount of like sort of discrimination that I experienced was, uh, pretty intense on a daily, on a daily basis, you know, just being like, um,

Craig Garber (04:28.16)
Oh shi- yeah.

Imaad Wasif (04:32.687)
like, you know, South Indian, East Indian in the desert at the time. But I also.

Craig Garber (04:40.482)
There was just not a lot of other you were like a very small minority being out there.

Imaad Wasif (04:44.299)
Yeah, yeah, and you know, there was a, you know, non-stop sort of like racial, you know, racial slings. And I sort of learned to become numb to it, which is very strange for me to like think about now. But it became like sort of part of my persona, I think. And I also

started high school like very early at 11 and like the first the first

Craig Garber (05:17.942)
Wait a minute, how the hell did you, you’re like super advanced?

Imaad Wasif (05:21.847)
I just, yeah, I skipped a few grades and…

Craig Garber (05:25.558)
Holy shit, that’s like almost torture to start high school. I couldn’t imagine an 11 year old Indian boy in the desert starting high school. Oh man, I feel so sad for you right now just hearing that. Ha.

Imaad Wasif (05:29.605)
It was… it was fucking traumatizing.

Imaad Wasif (05:37.032)
It was so traumatizing then. I mean, you know, like I got fucked with so much. But in a weird way, like, yeah, like it made me try to find something that was mine, that was like a protective shield, you know? And really like, it wasn’t until like my junior year that…

Craig Garber (05:41.852)

Craig Garber (05:56.758)
Yeah, you needed one.

Imaad Wasif (06:04.151)
I got kind of taken under the wing of these guys that were like stoners that, because the first two years, I think I remember that the only people that would really talk to me were like the girls softball team. I was taken under their wing or something that were like protecting me because I was this tiny little person. Yeah. It was really weird. But then, yeah. So I got…

Craig Garber (06:22.978)
Cause you like, they were like maternal with you probably at 11 year old boy. Oh my God.

Imaad Wasif (06:31.895)
sort of taken under the wing of these stoners that just started giving me like all the records, you know, and like I started listening to records. And I mean, that’s where like my, that’s where my sort of lifelong fascination with, you know, sort of altered states came at an early age and sort of a duality of life.

of the way that I existed and the way, like, you know, by, like it was like very Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. Like I was like one thing by day, one thing by night. But yeah, I, you know, I kind of like locked myself in a room, in my room like one summer and just like taught myself how to play guitar. I got obsessed with it. And like, I would play along to all the records I would play along to, yeah, like all, like Pink Floyd records and.

Craig Garber (07:03.328)

Imaad Wasif (07:30.003)
Zeppelin records, try to play along to Hendrix records. And, you know, I was listening to a lot of other stuff at the time too. I was getting the early sub-hop tapes as well, and stuff like Minutemen and, you know, The Cure, like things like that as well. But it was mostly like that, like, you know, Page was like a huge influence at that time.

Craig Garber (07:58.892)

Imaad Wasif (07:59.431)
for me. So, you know, and also, yeah, Gilmore and like, I would just like listen to those records, play along with them, try to teach myself how to play. And at the end of that first like summer, I was at a party after that. And I realized that, like, I could actually play like there was like, like a sort of like a jam setup. And I could actually play with these people on this guy that was like, around.

in the desert, he like came up to me after the party and was like, all right, man, like you’re going to be in my band. And like, you know, so that’s when I started kind of playing in bands. I think it was just 14 and a half, 15 or something like that. Yeah. They were older. Yeah, for sure. He was actually even, I think that dude was like not even in, he wasn’t in like high school with us. He had already like left. He was already out of school.

Craig Garber (08:37.434)
Oh, that’s, and how old were you then?

Craig Garber (08:44.59)
And these guys were probably like 18, 19, 20.

That’s really cool.

Craig Garber (08:58.38)

Imaad Wasif (08:58.775)
But it was, yeah, so I got kind of taken into this, that generator party thing that happened down in the desert, which spawned like, it was like, Kaius was already kind of happening, but yeah, it spawned like Queens of the Stone Age and all of that whole scene. But it was weird. It was like a very sort of, for me at the time, it was also like, it was a little bit terrifying as well, because everyone’s losing their minds on acid, whatever kind of drugs are around.

Craig Garber (09:23.488)

Craig Garber (09:28.791)

Imaad Wasif (09:28.895)
And I started getting into that stuff at the same time, but it’s like you could just get these, it was like super violent in a weird way too, very alpha male. So I was constantly under threat of like just, or under fear of like getting pummeled or something. But yeah, you know.

Craig Garber (09:45.345)

Craig Garber (09:53.335)

Imaad Wasif (09:59.019)
in thinking about it, I mean, it was a really interesting scene, but I feel like, you know, we, I like formed, through that, like, I sort of formed, like, what I really didn’t want, you know, in a weird way, like, I didn’t know that 100% at the time, but I had started getting, like, influenced by, like, a lot of different music.

past like the sort of classic rock music. I had just started coming up to shows in LA and there’s this like seminal club called the Jabberjaw there that so many bands from like Pacific Northwest came down and played. There’s like a really famous show like Nirvana played there.

And it was this like tiny little coffee shop, you know, but like I became kind of immersed in that scene. And I think a lot of that stuff was a lot of that music then informed. Like, you know, my first kind of forays into like writing music on my own, which was through this band, Lowercase that I had when I was, you know, from like 18 to I think 23.

Craig Garber (11:15.214)
So how did that go down with mom and dad seeing you come home two in the morning kind of out of your mind? Conservative Indian family must have been horrified and freaking out.

Imaad Wasif (11:22.727)
Well that’s the thing, it’s like I would be conf- Yeah.

They, I would just completely conceal it. Like it was all concealed. It was all concealed. Yeah, like I have this weird thing where I was like, I was not, like I was not fucking up visibly. I think I was like, I was thinking that I was expanding my mind and my universe, but I was still very much like.

Craig Garber (11:33.544)
Oh really? Yeah.

Craig Garber (11:44.865)

Craig Garber (11:50.542)

Imaad Wasif (11:55.655)
fixated on this idea that I was gonna go to college and I was gonna, you know, and yeah. I think the thing that really changed actually now that, you know, that we’re talking about it, like, I saw Nirvana play just prior to like, Nevermind coming out. And I think at the age that I was, it’s akin to like, you know, when you listen to, or when you hear like, you know, someone like,

Ozzy talk about like, you know, the Beatles or something. Like it was like that for me, like seeing them at that time. I mean, it really was that generations, like the phenomena was so insane. And you know, I went to the show, I was kicked in the head from somebody jumping off stage. And I remember the interesting thing was like this girl.

Craig Garber (12:27.458)

Imaad Wasif (12:52.691)
I kind of like came to and this girl that like, you know, picked me up was like, are you okay? And it turned out, I like looked at her and I recognized her as this like actress that was on the show Beverly Hills 9210 at the time. Yeah, so this is like one of my first experiences at like a major show in LA and I was there and like, yeah, she, I was just like, wow.

Craig Garber (13:07.906)
Oh, yeah. That’s a long time. That’s so funny.

Craig Garber (13:18.543)
That’s intimidating for a young boy too, man. I would imagine. I would have been.

Imaad Wasif (13:23.052)
It was just, it was weird, but seeing Kurt, Cobain play and then like, you know, I think getting like sucked into that whole.

sucked into the whole deification of him at the time. I mean, I sort of resent that at this point in my life a little bit, you know? Cause it’s like, really just like he had this whole death trip thing going on. And like, I was extremely susceptible to that. Like it just completely, like in a way, like it put the shadow over like what I was interested in it at the time and thinking that like, that was like a way forward.

Craig Garber (13:46.209)

Imaad Wasif (14:05.679)
and that it was okay to sort of like, you know, become obsessed with this like, sort of death cult idea. So for as much like, as much as I love that music, you know, I don’t necessarily go back to it, but like, there’s a part of me that sort of resents that thing that I experienced through that music too.

Craig Garber (14:19.255)

Craig Garber (14:26.538)
Yeah, because of how it impacted you at that particular stage of your life. Yeah, you had a lot of shit going on, dude. That’s, that’s a lot. Uh, who you say you were playing guitar at? Was that like, did your dad have a guitar lying around the house or something? Or

Imaad Wasif (14:28.7)

Imaad Wasif (14:32.551)

Imaad Wasif (14:39.495)
No, there was this really shitty classical guitar that I had initially. And then I got a Tisco guitar at a garage sale. And I got, I bought it because it looked cool. I didn’t even know what it was but it was an electric mistress, like flanger, flanger pedal, like one of the old ones. And I didn’t even know that this could be like,

Craig Garber (15:01.122)
pedal? Okay, yeah.

Imaad Wasif (15:08.967)
that this was an effects pedal or anything. So I had that without an amplifier for a long time and I was just learning how to play on those guitars. And then when I really got obsessed then I ended up getting like another guitar. No, I wish I did. Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (15:23.662)
Do you still have that Tisco? Yeah, those are really cool. I see them on reverb now. They’re like beat up to hell and they’re like 800 bucks. I’m like, I mean, they’re valued. Okay, so when did you start playing professionally? How did that come about? And how old were you at that time?

Imaad Wasif (15:33.647)
I know.

I know.

Imaad Wasif (15:43.783)

Well, so we, you know, when I started Lowercase, we drove up to, we would drive up to LA and start playing. We would play like a lot of shows. I think I moved to UCLA to go to school. And at the time that was, you know, I was, no, so yeah, the weird thing was is that like, so I graduated high school very early and then,

Craig Garber (16:06.306)
You’re like, what, 15?

Imaad Wasif (16:17.135)
Um, yeah, my parents were like, no, you’re like too young and too small, like to go. Um, so I ended up staying in the desert for two years and that’s when I started lowercase. Um, I was, I was just going to this like community college there. Um, but yeah, so.

Craig Garber (16:28.336)

Hmm. Do they made a good move there? Like I couldn’t imagine sending a 15 year old child to college, man. That, that, that would be, it’s tough enough when you’re 18 or, I mean, for me, it was to just get used to socializing and the whole thing, but 15, that’s, you know, it’s punitive. Yes. Yeah.

Imaad Wasif (16:39.559)

Imaad Wasif (16:50.683)
Yeah, this is terrifying, you know? But yeah, so sorry, I kind of lost where we were at, where we were talking about.

Craig Garber (17:01.834)
No, you tell me I said I had said what was when you first start playing professionally, you said you go into LA with lowercase

Imaad Wasif (17:05.879)
Oh, yeah. I mean, I think the first like, like professional tour that happened was when I was at I was at UCLA and lowercase it started playing and we got offered this like seven tour. And so that was like a really big deal. That was a that was a big deal for us because I you know, Lou Barlow at the time was like, you know, he was a songwriter that I had, like, completely connected with.

and like the music. So for them to ask us to go out on tour, that was a big deal for us. And they were big shows for, you know, we were playing to like, I don’t know, like 2000 people a night, you know. I mean, definitely on the first major tour that I ever did, yeah, it was pretty incredible. It was, you know, I don’t know how much like people loved that music, because it was a very tortured, like angsty, noisy duo music.

Craig Garber (17:41.698)

Craig Garber (17:47.806)
on your first tour.

That’s awesome.

Imaad Wasif (18:05.424)
Um, but yeah, it was an amazing experience.

Craig Garber (18:11.042)
That’s cool, man. And what was your, like, what would you consider, did you get a, what was your, like, your first break?

Imaad Wasif (18:18.503)
Um, well I don’t know what does that mean because I sort of view like all these things as breaks, you know?

Craig Garber (18:23.722)
All these things are breaks. Yeah. Yeah, I get it. Let me, well, how about this? What prompted you? You you’ve been a, I mean, I know you do some work with the AAS, but by and large, the bulk of your music is solo. And so like number one props to you for doing that because that’s difficult as hell, especially now as time marches on, unfortunately more and more, were you always like,

Imaad Wasif (18:39.152)

Craig Garber (18:53.31)
Hey, I’m going to have a solo career or like, when did that, how did that evolve?

Imaad Wasif (18:59.719)
Um, well, I think I always sort of, I think I was always solo, even in whatever band I was writing in. I just, um, the songs have always come from the same place. I’ve realized that recently that they’ve always come from this, uh, like there’s like a microcosm, like a universe inside me that, that is, is striving to expand all the time. Um,

And it’s about me sort of like letting go of my limitations of the moment. Um, and, uh, like getting past like these layers and layers of shells that are, that I feel like are so densely packed. Um, but yeah, I, you know, I definitely, um, I’ve felt like I’ve always been on this like solo path, um, in my life.

Craig Garber (19:56.534)
Side note to what you just said, I think all of us, if you have some like conscious awareness anyway, are trying to let go of limitations. Any like specific things that have been helpful for you that like what have, what’s worked for you to let go of stuff? Cause I know everybody listening has got shit that they’re dealing with the same.

Imaad Wasif (20:17.207)
Um, yeah, I mean, you know, I think we, we touched a little bit about on, uh, you know, sort of letting go of trauma, like letting go. This is a life’s work, I think, um, you know, and, uh, you know, in many ways, like, I think that’s why I found music. It’s like, it was not necessarily like an escapism. It was like, it was a true, uh, means to sort of express.

Craig Garber (20:32.604)
Oh yeah.

Imaad Wasif (20:47.311)
um, not only like what I felt towards this trauma, but like, try to get to a point of, um, like transcending it. Um, because it, cause it, cause it, music is like such a beautiful thing in that it’s really, you can’t articulate what it is. It’s not just like notes and sound, you know? I mean, there’s, there’s vibrational aspects of it. There’s a, this complete emotional aspect of it that, that touches you and lifts you. Um.

Craig Garber (20:56.672)

Imaad Wasif (21:16.943)
But yeah, I don’t know that I’ve, I don’t know, you know, certain days, I don’t know that I feel like I’ve been able to let go of anything. You know, it all comes back in waves. It’s like we’re constantly sort of like requesting waves and then also getting, you know, taken under the, taken under in like the undertow of a lot of these things. But.

Craig Garber (21:29.709)

Craig Garber (21:40.043)

Imaad Wasif (21:46.799)
But yeah, I mean, I came to understand that was like the purpose of the music that I wanted to create, you know, in my life.

Craig Garber (21:54.542)
But I think what you said when I initially asked you that it’s a life, letting go is a lifelong pursuit. And I agree with you there 100%. You know, you have those little demons, they go back in the closet, but they come back out. When you’re least prepared or least ready for them. So, you know, hopefully you get stronger over time. I know for myself, that’s the way it is.

Imaad Wasif (22:11.216)
Right, yeah.

Craig Garber (22:22.614)
I want to talk about some of my favorite songs of yours. And let’s start with razor like from the album, the voidist. And just to tell people how he might came to be on the show. So I.

I several years ago, I downloaded this album that somebody had compiled on the internet. It was like stone or rock stuff. And so I had that song razor like and I’d heard it but I was in the gym training and it came on. And it’s firstly mods music is very moving. I mean, it’s extremely melodic and it’s very soulful. And

I listened to the song I’m training and of course it gets me through whatever I’m doing. I’m all pumped up. But I said, holy shit, this is amazing. And I was pissed at myself that I hadn’t followed up with who is this guy? And I got to listen, does he have more music? Because oftentimes on these compilations, a lot of the people don’t. It’s like a one-off thing and you go search for them and it’s like there is nothing else. And I think I just assumed that. And I said, okay. So I sent.

the song Razorlike Home, you know, took a snapshot of it, sent it home to here to my desktop to check it out. And then I just did a deep dive into his catalog. I’m like, whoa, all this stuff is great. So I wanna talk about where it started for me with you is Razorlike, amazing song, such a great buildup, so melodic. And I would love to know what the track is about if you could tell me the backstory.

Imaad Wasif (23:58.855)
That was a really interesting period of time for me, like when I was, that was a record, on a record called The Voidist. And at the time I was reading a lot of, I think, like I remember reading the varieties of religious experience and Jew the Obscure. I was reading these sort of like things that were steeped in mysticism.

and like, philosophy. And I was tapped into something in myself that was like, I felt like I was receiving, I would receive like whole songs. Like that song came to me like, as like a whole composition, which was like, I haven’t actually experienced that.

Craig Garber (24:48.373)
That’s awesome.

Imaad Wasif (24:54.091)
on that level since then with like a song like that because it’s such a long like sort of journey. And yeah, it like, you know, there’s a lot of sort of, there’s a lot of imagery within that about sort of,

Craig Garber (25:01.986)

Imaad Wasif (25:23.075)
There’s a lot of apocalyptic overtones in the song and about sort of rising beyond that. I mean, weirdly, so many of my songs go back to this theme. I feel like we’re always headed for end times. We’re always at the verge of end times. And I find myself as this lone figure,

you know, on this landscape, you know, of course, this is like, that’s the beauty of this sort of like, imagining yourself in the world, creating your reality. Yeah. But I found that that, you know, I think that song, like, I feel like. There are people who would identify with that character of of. You know, that’s kind of getting these messianic

Craig Garber (26:00.342)

Imaad Wasif (26:24.943)
like being pulled, it’s like, sorry, I know I’m just babbling here, but like.

Craig Garber (26:33.078)
No, you’re not. It’s not an easy question.

Imaad Wasif (26:36.455)
No, I mean, okay, you know, there’s a disillusionment that we that we feel and the idea like of getting beyond that, you know, is really sort of, I think the idea with Razor like, you know,

Craig Garber (26:52.626)
I think anybody who’s had childhood trauma probably has imagery like that or identifies with the lone character. Because if you’ve had childhood trauma, you’ve been the fucking lone character in many uncomfortable situations. So I think…

Imaad Wasif (27:02.14)

Imaad Wasif (27:06.64)
Yeah, yeah.

Imaad Wasif (27:10.523)
Like you, you take that, you assume your, your role and you take that role and then that becomes like, I mean, it does become a shield. It does become a protective mechanism.

Craig Garber (27:18.546)
Right. Yeah, until you do the work to like unwind it. And it’s not like do the work like, you know, read a book and it’s done, unfortunately, you know, is a lot of it’s a lifetime pursuit, as you said, a few minutes ago. Did you play most of the instruments on that track?

Imaad Wasif (27:30.661)

Imaad Wasif (27:36.211)
I did not. I did all the guitar. So yeah, like, as I said, like I received that song as like in one stream. Like, if you were to take away like the bass and drums on that song, like the whole sort of the whole composition of the song came to me, but I was at the time I was playing with I had a band called Two Part Beast. And that was

comprised of my friend Adam Garcia and one of my main collaborators in life, Bob Bruno, who has been, he’s played on like so many of my records now. Yeah, you know, I brought it into the band and like, it was really like pretty fast the way that song came together. Like the potency of it, like was just intact. And the great thing about

I think about working with Bob is that we both go for first thought, best thought, and gut instinct to not belabor something. And so, you know, that I feel like was really captured in the recording of that song too.

Craig Garber (28:43.838)

Craig Garber (28:52.61)
guitar in there is awesome. I mean, it’s awesome. And the arrangement, you have a lot of stuff going on at times in the arrangement there. And you did all that, you put all the arrangement together, I’m assuming.

Imaad Wasif (29:04.911)
Yeah, I mean, you’re definitely working with, you know, like, working in the studio with the band, but like, I don’t play drums, you know, like, you know, I can play other instruments, but yeah. That was just a very magical, like the composition of that, of that song, you know, like I can’t actually, I can’t actually claim it because I don’t even know like, where that came from, you know. It’s a really like…

Craig Garber (29:22.632)

Craig Garber (29:30.194)
Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome.

Imaad Wasif (29:34.568)
I go back to that song sometimes and it’s one of those things where I don’t know how I’d write another song like that.

Craig Garber (29:41.214)
Yeah, you’re like, Hey, man, send me another one, right?

Imaad Wasif (29:44.915)

Craig Garber (29:46.81)
Off so long, Mr. Fear, Poet of the Damned. Again, beautiful track. You and Karen O are on there from Karen from the Yay Yes. What does the expression Poet of the Damned reference or mean?

Imaad Wasif (29:59.107)
Um, again, my persona and like, I mean, that’s, that was like an early, early persona, like I realized like, you know, when I would get fucked with all the time, I was like, I would, I would be like, yeah, like I have this whole world inside me that you don’t fucking know. And that’s mine and you’re never going to touch it. And, um, you know, I think, uh, a few of these songs that I have though, are also like,

Craig Garber (30:02.914)

Imaad Wasif (30:27.063)
sort of trying to dispel my own mythology and like what I believe about in myself. That song, I remember actually, I wrote it. It came about during the pandemic and hence like there’s lines like, it all seems stranger now.

Imaad Wasif (31:01.903)
What I was gonna say is like, basically the early title of that song was Ballad of the Omega Man. And it was like based on that Charlton Heston film. Like, you know.

Craig Garber (31:09.582)
Dude, I just rewatched that like about six months ago. That’s so funny. Yeah, that was a very apocalyptic, yeah.

Imaad Wasif (31:14.819)
Yeah, and you know, so it’s like this sort of apocalyptic vision, you know, of the future. But yeah, like, you know, like with the veins tapped and the vials drained, it’s been a long way down. You know, there’s just like, there’s a lot there that at the time, we were all like completely isolated. And, you know, I was just thinking about what is the

What is my role in this? Like how am I, what is my place in society? What can I offer to society? What can I be? How can I be of help? Like how can, you know, and really, ultimately it always comes down to this thing of like, like my music is the thing that I can give and offer to others, you know? And I mean, to not be so preoccupied with the self, you know?

Craig Garber (31:47.447)

Craig Garber (32:01.004)

Imaad Wasif (32:08.543)
to actually like try to do something outside of yourself, to give outside of yourself.

Craig Garber (32:11.436)

Craig Garber (32:15.146)
Yeah, it’s a great track, man.

Imaad Wasif (32:16.967)
And like, you know, yeah, sorry.

Craig Garber (32:21.418)
No, it’s cool. And then from also from so long, Mr. Fear, Fader, another beautiful track and the lyrics, that’s you released that as a separate single too. The cover on that was really cool too. I liked the cover design. Yeah, it was nice.

Imaad Wasif (32:26.122)
Oh yeah.

Imaad Wasif (32:33.371)
Oh yeah, that’s Louise Bonnet. She’s like amazing artist that I know. Yeah.

Craig Garber (32:38.402)
It’s very cool, really cool. But I’m waiting for the beast to transform. So my question is, is that about your dark side?

Imaad Wasif (32:47.223)
Yeah, this is a confronting my shadow, you know, that song which and I think that we all do that. And it’s about sort of, you know, like, coming again out like to a place outside of, of that, like bringing the shadow to the floor so that we can actually illuminate it.

Craig Garber (32:50.871)

Craig Garber (33:12.062)
Yeah, yeah. And what who or what is a fader as it’s related to this, huh?

Imaad Wasif (33:17.955)
Um, Oh, well, you know, like there’s part of that song that’s, uh, actually, you know, one of my favorite records is tonight’s a night by Neil Young. And, um, there’s, yeah, there’s a lot on that record. I think in fader in particular, I can remember, um, being, being really influenced by, uh, like tonight’s a night on, on that, on that, um, but you know, the fader is the persona.

Craig Garber (33:27.742)
Yeah, that’s an old friend. Wow, I haven’t heard that in a while. Yeah.

Imaad Wasif (33:47.371)
of like the one who like is leaving, leaving the self behind.

Craig Garber (33:56.894)
Okay. That’s cool. Yeah. I love that track. And then on after images you have, which is like a, what is that? Like a B sides or like, okay.

Imaad Wasif (34:09.603)
Yeah, that’s like a B-side and rarities thing, like record that I released. I think it was actually just a little after pandemic I released it.

Craig Garber (34:20.342)
Yeah, there’s a great track on there called the demon. It’s a short and sweet acoustic song. You have like some echo or like ethereal echo or reverb in the background. And I was curious, cause you don’t usually write short songs like that. And it’s a beautiful song, man. What’s the backstory there?

Imaad Wasif (34:34.947)
Right. Yeah, that’s um…

Imaad Wasif (34:40.311)
Um, that song was early experimentation with self recording. Cause I, I just really kind of started doing that. Um, in the last like 10 years, um, I mean, you know, I’ve always done demos and stuff, but I’ve been like, trying to, uh, experiment more with like making full records, you know, a lot of, a lot of so long, Mr. Fear was done. Um,

I did it like at home and then I would send my tracks to Bob Bruno, who then would send me back tracks. So it was like we were working that way. He doesn’t do my mixing, but he would add instrumentation. Really beautiful stuff to that record. I mean, keeping it sparse, but just hitting the right notes all the time.

Craig Garber (35:19.134)
He does your mixing?

Craig Garber (35:26.452)

Craig Garber (35:33.782)

Imaad Wasif (35:35.867)
But the Demon, yeah, it was actually an early form. Lyrically, I think there’s a song on So Long Mr. Fear called Regeneration that the lyrics for the Demon ended up taking shape into. So those two songs are connected. But that song also, I was, this sort of preoccupation fascination that I’ve had with selling my soul to the devil.

Craig Garber (35:51.745)

Craig Garber (36:03.766)

Imaad Wasif (36:05.003)
On the, at the crossroads, you know, that’s like a, like an ongoing fascination. Um, we’re talking about, you know, Paige, we’re talking about, uh, you know, Robert Johnson, um, these kinds of characters. Um, and like, what would that actually mean? You know, like what would happen?

Craig Garber (36:12.599)

Craig Garber (36:18.39)

Craig Garber (36:25.43)
That’s cool. That’s really cool, man. Who do you do your own mixing on on? Or do you have someone because all your records are mixed and engineered really well, man. I mean, and there’s a lot going on there. So I mean, because there’s so much going on. I’m like, Whoa, it’s not easy to, you know, balance all that.

Imaad Wasif (36:37.211)
Um, no, I don’t. I don’t.

Imaad Wasif (36:44.739)
Yeah, yeah, no, I don’t mix my own records. Yeah, that’s an entire, that’s like a skill that is not, that’s left to bed.

Craig Garber (36:48.201)

Craig Garber (36:54.574)
It’s like roofing, you know, someone says, oh, you’re going to fix your roof? No. I mean, yeah. But you can find it on YouTube. Great. I’m still not fixing my roof, you know, nothing I want to do. You wrote a song called hideaway with Karen O for the movie where the wild things are, and I remember as a young child getting that book or reading it in the library. Yeah. How did that come about?

Imaad Wasif (36:57.979)

Imaad Wasif (37:02.492)

Imaad Wasif (37:15.298)
Oh yeah.

Imaad Wasif (37:20.037)
Um, yeah, that-

Craig Garber (37:20.927)
You’re a licensing foray, there you go. Ha ha ha.

Imaad Wasif (37:25.792)
Yeah, Karen was asked by Spike to do the soundtrack for that movie and she assembled a group of musicians. It was like me, Bradford from Deer Hunter. Who else? There was little Jack Lawrence who had played in the raconteurs. Like a really cool group of musicians.

Imaad Wasif (37:53.551)
just worked on the music for this film. It was such an incredible experience. That song in particular, again, it’s just like complete magic. Like Karen and I were, we were in a room and the song literally just like happened. It just, it completely like, we recorded it like almost as if

Craig Garber (38:07.83)
Beautiful track.

Craig Garber (38:15.584)

Imaad Wasif (38:22.339)
almost as it was being written. And the guy who produced that stuff, who engineered that stuff was named Tom Biller and he actually had recorded my second record, Strange Hexes. So it was this studio that was down the street from my house at the time then. And yeah, so it was great.

Craig Garber (38:35.68)

Craig Garber (38:39.978)
That’s cool.

So I want to talk to you about something that’s kind of heavy. If you’re comfortable, if you’re not, that’s totally cool. I read an article where you said so long, Mr. fear is as much about love for the child within you to the child and anyone that yearns to be free. I’m just so sick of being crippled by fear in parts of my life. And I really wanted to write a song to shatter it. And I also read something about one of your goals is to help create music that helps.

overcome childhood trauma, which we’ve been talking about. Me as someone who spent a lot of time working to overcome childhood trauma, I was very intrigued by this, especially specifically about talking about the child within stuff. And I was curious if you speak to little Imad at times. And if so, does that help you because I’ve learned as I get older when I’m if something bums me out, I’ve learned that oftentimes, it’s not me. It’s like little Craig.

So I like, I know this people listen to this may think I’m totally fucked up and that’s okay because I’m doing what helps, what works. So that, you know, but, um, so I’ve learned that there’s like me and then there’s little Craig and I’ve learned that a lot of times when the, when I’m upset, it’s not really me, it’s coming out of me, but it’s this guy, little Craig, and I got to go deal with him and check in with him and let them know everything’s cool.

Imaad Wasif (39:51.143)

Craig Garber (40:11.658)
and not to be so wounded. And that allows me as the adult to not be an asshole or be wounded. So I was just, to whatever extent, if at all you’re comfortable, what your experience is with any of that stuff.

Imaad Wasif (40:26.967)
Yeah, I mean, I wish that I could say that, you know, that I had achieved that song. It’s really just a recognition of the fact that every, like, I am making fear-based decisions every single day of my life, and it’s paralyzing. And I tried to…

Craig Garber (40:51.222)

Imaad Wasif (40:55.663)
go back into the point of like, where is that fear originating? I know where it is, you know, it’s, and it is through the lens of, as you said, like, you know, the little Imaad. And.

Craig Garber (41:08.011)

Imaad Wasif (41:14.429)
I’ve avoided confronting that part of my childhood for so long. And I think that’s part of this new idea of somatic therapy. And also even…

Craig Garber (41:18.882)

Imaad Wasif (41:32.595)
trying to become, trying to go back to that place so that you could actually see like how you’re viewing the world at that moment. What is making you view the world at this time in the same way? Like what is the connecting channel there? But yeah, I mean, every single day of my life, you know, I have to sort of confront that.

in so many decisions and you know, that whole record was really just like about trying to get to that very pure place before all of those sort of negative experiences and like those negative influences happened in my life.

Craig Garber (42:30.562)
Great title for that.

Imaad Wasif (42:32.103)
The beauty of beauty in that. Thank you, thank you, yeah.

Craig Garber (42:34.838)
Yeah. So long, Mr. Fear. What an awesome. Now that I understand the back, what a great title, man. You know, so very fucking cool. Yeah. Really cool. When I first started dealing with a lot of this shit and I realized I needed to deal with little Craig, I said, okay, man, what questions do you have? And I was sitting right out back on the patio one night smoking a cigar with a patent and a paper and that little kid.

Imaad Wasif (42:43.899)
Yeah, thanks, man. Thank you.

Craig Garber (43:04.49)
like 30 or 40 questions came out. And so then every time I would do some work, I would answer like two or three of them. And then after like a very short few days, I, they’re, they’re all different versions of my answers were all different versions of. It wasn’t your fault. That was because of these assholes here, but every question that little Craig had, that was the answer to in some way.

Imaad Wasif (43:07.195)
Hmm. Wow.

Imaad Wasif (43:27.42)

Craig Garber (43:33.402)
And that was liberating. It helped me a lot realizing that. And it helped him a lot. You know, I’m talking about us as two separate entities because I think for me in my head, I realized they were. You know, because I don’t react that way. But yet I am reacting that way. But it wasn’t me. It was little Craig. And it was the healthiest thing I ever did. Write out those questions. And I wrote all the answers out as well every time I come out and do some old

Imaad Wasif (43:39.598)

Imaad Wasif (43:46.405)

Imaad Wasif (43:53.976)

Craig Garber (44:03.001)
very helpful.

Imaad Wasif (44:04.623)
Well, you know, it’s interesting when you do those things that you find a line of logic there. You can see things much more clearly, you know? I mean, I guess the one thing I’ve realized that I need to really, that I, forgiveness is something that I have to practice, I need to practice, but really that’s just.

Craig Garber (44:14.269)
Oh yeah.

Craig Garber (44:24.706)

Imaad Wasif (44:31.323)
one of the most insurmountable mountains at times, to just completely let go of something and accept someone who you feel hurt you, just to let go of your emotion towards that and to try and selflessly see how…

what, why that person was that way in the situation, you know, and to take your, to remove yourself out of it, you know, that’s a, it, it’s really difficult to do. Um, but.

Craig Garber (45:09.91)
I did that when I was doing, going through this whole process. And it was only about five years ago and I’m just turned 60 recently. So this is not something that like, you know, I nailed down and I was in my thirties, but, uh, I forgave my parents. And when I did, I literally, I wrote them a letter. I was smoking a cigar. I took the letter, I crumpled it up, I put it in the ashtray and I struck a match. And when I did that,

Imaad Wasif (45:19.855)

Craig Garber (45:39.23)
It was like a 1 million pound weight lifted off my shoulders. And the only thing I could think of was why didn’t you do this 20 years ago? I wasn’t capable of doing it 20 years ago, but the freedom that, that gave me, I, if you could have told me that was the result, I never would have believed you because it was that, that powerful. And I was just so grateful that, excuse me, I was there at that point in time in my life that I was able to do that.

Imaad Wasif (45:42.098)

Imaad Wasif (45:46.611)
Mm-hmm. Right.

Imaad Wasif (46:07.943)

Craig Garber (46:08.254)
And then years later, when I met them again, after about close to 40 years of not seeing them. And I saw how simple and, you know, like, really like cavemen these people are, that took me to the next level, like, oh, my God, I’m free. This has nothing to do with me, man. You know, and it was really like the most cathartic thing that ever happened to me in my life, those series of events. So it was.

Imaad Wasif (46:23.408)

Imaad Wasif (46:34.251)
Yeah, I mean, I’ve come to also there’s a there’s a sort of idea within occult esoteric philosophy that’s it’s there was this book that I had a long time ago, I don’t have it anymore. It was called occult anatomy. It was part of the University of Philosophical Research here. It was like the a book that I think Manley P Hall had put together.

But there was a notion in it about, that I do believe actually, but that you choose your parents, you choose your parents at the moment of conception and your soul enters your body and your soul’s purpose. You are given your purpose through the actual, through your birth.

with the parents that you have. And like, you know, I often wonder, like I remember wondering this quite frequently, like why am I, why do I have to deal with this? Like, why is this my reality? Why is this like, these are all things that, these are, these are things that you’ve been given like a task for you.

These are things that you have to understand that you have to get beyond, that you have to get to the next level. You have to continually ascend. But I thought that was really interesting and I think that comes from probably an early Vedic kind of philosophy as well. This idea that at the moment of conception that you actually enter, your soul enters this body.

Craig Garber (48:27.938)
I wouldn’t have made that choice that personally. I don’t know if I agree with that. I would have chosen almost anybody else.

Imaad Wasif (48:31.34)

I don’t know man, I don’t know, I think you’re on your path though, you know? You are on your path.

Craig Garber (48:38.794)
Yeah, no, I’m on my path. And it’s, it’s interesting that you said that though, because there, you know, there may be some, I always thought my whole life that I never believed in like a higher power until very recently, last four or five years, because I thought I was just abandoned there because I had it so, it was pretty fucking difficult. And I came to realize that when I met my parents as an adult years later,

Imaad Wasif (49:00.699)

Craig Garber (49:08.37)
If I hadn’t had all this like abuse, I might’ve stayed there and become like them. So I came to realize the abuse wasn’t, didn’t happen to me. It happened for me in a sense. Cause I left at a very young age. And if that hadn’t have been around, I might’ve stuck it out there. And I could have turned out like them. Who the hell knows? So maybe that’s correct. I don’t know.

Imaad Wasif (49:22.119)

Imaad Wasif (49:25.778)

Craig Garber (49:35.69)
about where the soul enters you and that’s your choice. I don’t know, but I’m happy today. So that’s all I, I can’t really, I have no regrets because this minute I’m pretty fucking happy. So, yeah.

Imaad Wasif (49:35.845)

Imaad Wasif (49:44.555)
Yeah. There was that one record for all the fucked up children of the world, like it’s like a Spaceman 3 record. I remember when I found that record early on, I was like, so… what was that?

Craig Garber (49:56.918)
FaceMan 3 for all the fucked up children in the world? I’ve never heard that.

Imaad Wasif (49:59.783)
For all the fucked up children in the world, yeah, it’s like, yeah.

Craig Garber (50:02.966)
That should have been like a couple of hundred million copies sold.

Imaad Wasif (50:08.247)
Yeah, for sure. They’re just maybe slightly too weird for it, but that’s also another thing, like why are we in that reality that kind of a record isn’t more well known?

Craig Garber (50:13.698)
That’s funny.

Craig Garber (50:21.934)
Crazy. Hey, let’s shift gears for a few minutes. What’s your, talking about gear, what’s your go-to guitar right now? And what other two guitars would round out your top three?

Imaad Wasif (50:25.413)

Imaad Wasif (50:31.883)
Oh yeah. Yeah, my main guitar is a, it’s like a Fender Jazzmaster. It’s a 62 and it’s come, no, it’s a 62, but it’s been modded out completely. Like I have these Gretsch Filtratron pickups in it. And I picked those ones specifically because I was obsessed with,

Craig Garber (50:39.583)

Craig Garber (50:44.042)
Like a legit 62 or like a reissue?


Craig Garber (50:54.944)

Imaad Wasif (51:01.539)
like the guitars on White Light, White Heat and like that Belbitz record. Yeah, but it’s interesting because those guitars usually have a very sort of flat, clear sound and those pickups are really, the ones I have in are really microphonic. So it has a really weird, like the guitar has a very weird sound. But I’ve always been, I think from the early time of, I was mentioning that Tisco guitar that I had.

Craig Garber (51:05.727)
Oh, Lou Reed.

Imaad Wasif (51:30.711)
I think I’m just like that. That was like a formative experience for me to have like kind of like these fucked up guitars that are just like, I’m not very precious about, um, like. About them, but I have also this other, I have a magnetone, um, guitar that basically feels like it’s made out of. Yeah.

Craig Garber (51:39.22)

Craig Garber (51:47.25)
Magnetone guitar? I’ve never even heard of a magnet. I thought you were gonna say an amp. I didn’t know they made guitars. Wow.

Imaad Wasif (51:52.791)
No, yeah, they had a series of them. Actually Bowie played one. I had a Bowie one for a while. And Hagstroms, I was into Hagstroms. But the Magnetone’s interesting. I have like a, also again, it’s modded out and I have these 1969 humbuckers from a Firebird in them. So it’s like the guitar itself, yeah, there’s many hums, but they’re…

Craig Garber (52:17.18)
The mini hums? Yeah.

Imaad Wasif (52:21.859)
It’s like the guitar feels like it’s made out of balsa wood. It’s so light and it has these pickups in it that are, you know, like almost like too powerful for the guitar. But it’s also a really cool sound. But I’ve always been into just sort of like haphazardly assembled things, guitars. But I’m also obsessed with those like Nippon Gaki Yamahas.

I have like a 12 string and the six string now. And I didn’t realize that like those guitars are the sound for like the 12 strings, like the sound on like the big star records. And yeah, it’s like these are the orange label ones that are like from early seventies. And then somewhere I found that, yeah, the six string is like,

Craig Garber (53:06.385)
I didn’t know that.

Imaad Wasif (53:18.363)
like Paige used that specific guitar, though I’ve never really seen pictures of him with one. But yeah, I think the main acoustic that I have though is a Martin D28 that I love. It has like a, it’s like a pre-war. It’s a reissue at some point it was made, but it has like all the pre-war sort of, like the composition of it is pre-war.

Craig Garber (53:22.655)
Oh, that’s cool.

Craig Garber (53:46.146)
That’s very cool, man.

Imaad Wasif (53:47.289)
So the bridge and the nut and everything and the bracing on the inside is different.

Craig Garber (53:52.19)
And when I asked you a question about those pickups, cause I was thinking about, I’m friends with, I had a guy on my show, his name is, I don’t know if you know Jeff Carlesi, he’s the guitarist. Yeah, he’s the lead guitarist for 38 Special and we became buddies and he has, the guitar he used for most of the solos for 38 Special was a Les Paul Deluxe, which is basically Les Paul with those mini hums. But I’m reluctant to get one because I’ve never played it. What are the hums, what do mini humbuckers sound like?

Imaad Wasif (54:00.579)
Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Imaad Wasif (54:14.341)

Imaad Wasif (54:23.476)
Um, God, they’re really, um

Imaad Wasif (54:29.951)
You know what I like about them is that they almost feel like they break up in the same way that like a little like a, like if you’re just cranking like a Fender Tweed, you know, it’s almost like that Keith Richards kind of vibe. They’re hot. They’re…

Craig Garber (54:42.722)

Craig Garber (54:48.306)
Are they high pitched? But are they high pitched or are they like, I like a fat, like a British, what you’re talking about, I like a British brown sound. And I was only concerned that those are like more high pitched. I don’t know though.

Imaad Wasif (54:58.245)

Imaad Wasif (55:04.647)
Um, I wouldn’t say they were high pitched. No. Yeah. I really know. I’m, I’m really into it. I’m really into it. I mean, it might be also the guitar though. It’s also, you know, again, we can talk about all this stuff, but it’s ultimately the player, right? It’s your, it’s like, it’s your, your fingers, you know, your, your energy.

Craig Garber (55:06.391)


Craig Garber (55:17.261)

Right, right. Yeah, I’m gonna have to go to my local store and check one of those out and just pick it up and play it. Like I don’t need another guitar either, so.

It was funny, my wife said the day she’s like, I said, I’m selling, I’m just selling this strat I have. And I was just mentioned there. She goes, Oh, so you don’t need to buy another guitar. I’m like, hun, I’m a guitar player. Of course I do.

Imaad Wasif (55:46.937)
You always need another guitar. It’s like a lifelong fascination. They’re so beautiful.

Craig Garber (55:52.223)
Yeah. And then you let it go and then you, you know, it’s just, yeah, they’re so beautiful. Hey, do you, what’s that? Yeah. Would you?

Imaad Wasif (55:57.239)
I had that for Razor-like, Razor-like was actually like, I have an SG, cause that one’s like C to C, it’s like detuned. I had an SG that I think I wrote that on, and then Bob gave me this baritone. I think it’s like a weird baritone too, it’s like a Schecter baritone, but that’s the guitar that’s actually on that record. It’s like a, yeah, it’s a super, yeah, it’s like a metal.

Craig Garber (56:06.594)

Craig Garber (56:20.846)
Oh, on Razorlight. Your solo is on a baritone?

Imaad Wasif (56:26.275)
Solos are on the baritone. Everything’s on that baritone. Yeah.

Craig Garber (56:28.946)
Wow. I’m going to re-listen to that now. That’s interesting, man. Because the guitar work on there is fucking awesome. I mean, man, you did such a good job of just creating this monstrous buildup. And then like, the climax of it when it came, that’s a perfect song for me. That’s a perfect song. I think it’s a beautiful track. And I was telling you earlier before we

Imaad Wasif (56:35.791)

Craig Garber (56:57.706)
It’s very, it reminds me a lot of David Gilmore, not that you’re playing is like his, but the note selection was pretty damn perfect on there. You know, there’s not a bad note in all of your music really, but that song just like, is that the most popular song that you’ve released?

Imaad Wasif (57:06.384)

Imaad Wasif (57:16.863)
Uh, I don’t think so, though I’m not good at, I’m not good at gauging that, but, um, no, I mean, I, like people do like that song, but yeah, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t think that’s the most popular.

Craig Garber (57:18.911)
Really? Okay.

Craig Garber (57:25.undefined)

What do you think is most popular song?

Imaad Wasif (57:30.535)
Um, weirdly, I think, uh, I think this song called Redeemer that’s on that record is the more popular song.

Craig Garber (57:37.378)

Imaad Wasif (57:40.471)
And fader actually has now become one.

Craig Garber (57:42.902)
Yeah, fader is a beautiful track.

Craig Garber (57:47.566)
Do you remember the first album you bought?

Imaad Wasif (57:50.639)
I do because I was thinking about this. The first album that I actually bought with my own money was at a garage sale and it was the Tacoma Sampler that had, it was like John Fahey, Peter Lang, Leo Kaki and I bought it just, I didn’t know who those people were. And I…

bought it because of the cover, because it was so amazing. You know, it has this weird kind of archaic, these two symmetrical dragons on the front. And I became completely obsessed with John Fahey after that, like, and weirdly, like…

Craig Garber (58:28.79)
He’s a great player.

Imaad Wasif (58:34.731)
I didn’t realize that a lot of the music that I was listening to, like, Page was taking from like Roy Harper and a lot of his detunings and then the Fahey tunings, like all this stuff, all the alternate tunings, that was like an early experiment with me that I kind of dove into, which I don’t…

Craig Garber (58:44.204)

Imaad Wasif (58:58.939)
know that like, like no one, none of my friends were like doing that at the time when, when we were younger, like, or that I knew of. So I was just a lot of that stuff. Um, cause I listened to a lot of Indian classical music when I was growing up, um, because it was around the house. And so when I started playing like rock guitar, um, I was essentially just sort of trying to like come up with tunings that would sound like.

Craig Garber (59:25.99)
Oh, like Indian. Yeah, because that’s what music was in your head. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Imaad Wasif (59:27.511)
certain ragas. Yeah. And, and, yeah, but it was, it was just, it’s weird, like, almost like, how did I find, how did I go to this garage sale and find that record? Because that record, you know, that was like a complete, like, channel into, like, trying to put those pieces together, you know? I always find that, find that interesting.

Craig Garber (59:50.174)
Yeah. Oh, so do I. It’s very interesting. And I hear all these stories too. So it’s, it’s net, there’s everybody’s, it’s everyone’s question. Why did that happen? How did that happen? You know, and I don’t know if there’s ever an answer. And you have a worst gig ever story.

Imaad Wasif (01:00:01.049)

Imaad Wasif (01:00:07.58)

Um, like worst, uh, yeah, I was curious what, what’s worst, like, you know, what, what does that mean to you? Like, what, um, yeah, I have, I mean, I have like a nightmare gig that happened when I was really young. It was actually, uh, it was on that. That first saboteur tour that we did and we had a show in Albuquerque.

Craig Garber (01:00:17.302)
Whatever you interpret it, total, totally up to you, man.

Imaad Wasif (01:00:36.683)
and those guys from the Butthole Surfers were on tour. They like hung out for a couple of the shows. I barely knew who they were at the time, but Gibby gave me some pills that I took before my show. And I was like, at the time I was drinking, like I don’t drink anymore. And my drummer just…

Craig Garber (01:00:50.222)
I’m out.

Imaad Wasif (01:01:04.439)
He told me this whole thing, like I turned to him at some point and I was like, I like, we had maybe gotten into the first song and I apparently said to him, like, uh, I think I’m going to need to go to the hospital or something. And then I guess I just, I just fell over my stack and I had a, I had a son. I was using sons at the time. So I had this like huge kind of like son stack that I fell over. And then.

Craig Garber (01:01:17.17)
Oh my god.

Craig Garber (01:01:24.641)

Imaad Wasif (01:01:32.023)
My only memory after that is just waking up in the back of our country square station wagon because we used to tour in that, in a parking lot in Albuquerque at like six in the morning. And I was just like alone. So.

Craig Garber (01:01:32.071)
Oh my god.

Craig Garber (01:01:42.718)
Wow. Note to self don’t take pills from Gibby.

Imaad Wasif (01:01:47.971)
Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:01:51.502)
Shit. Hey man, tell me your top three Desert Island discs, no particular order and just for this moment because obviously that changes.

Imaad Wasif (01:01:59.819)
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, I definitely know Leonard Cohen. I would have a Leonard Cohen record on that for sure. But maybe Terry Riley, some Terry Riley records.

Imaad Wasif (01:02:17.979)
Vilayat Khan, who was an amazing sitar player, lived weirdly in the shadow of Ravi Shankar, but kind of had, yeah, he’s pretty interesting. I think he did a lot of the music on this really amazing Sathya Jit Ray film called Jalsagar, which is the music room. It’s a beautiful film in India’s history, if you ever wanna see it, but he…

Vilayat Khan did all this amazing work on it. And then I think when the posters came out, they credited Ravi Shankar with it. Yeah, and it’s like, so they had this like life, apparently they had some kind of like lifelong feud or something going on, but I don’t know how true that is. But yeah, maybe that music. Vilayat, V-I-L-A-Y-A-T, Vilayat Khan. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:02:56.394)
Holy crap.

Craig Garber (01:03:06.721)
Spell his first name for me, please.

Craig Garber (01:03:13.746)
Okay, I got it right. K-A-H-N or K-H-A-N. Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’ll get it.

Imaad Wasif (01:03:19.995)
There’s also these other singers that I’ve been pretty obsessed with these Indian singers, Nezakat and Salamat Ali Khan, they’re brothers. And they do this Kayal singing. Um, it’s a, like it’s, it’s cosmic. If you want to fucking hear cosmic, it’s like, I don’t even know how they do what they do, but it’s incredible. Like Nezakat and Salamat, that’s two brothers.

Craig Garber (01:03:44.523)
Nesekat Ali Khan.

Craig Garber (01:03:49.428)

Imaad Wasif (01:03:49.615)
And they have like, I mean, I’m sure they have recordings. I have like the coolest thing I ever got. I have, so when my parents moved from India to London, they put all this stuff in trunks, all their belongings in trunks that were on boats. And then there was like one that got lost.

and that one had all of these early records, like his master’s voice records, Indian classical music, Indian vocal music, and those records were lost. And my dad, I guess he had told me that a year after they got to England, that they were found finally, but they had been waterlogged, so all the covers were ruined, but the vinyl’s all perfect.

Craig Garber (01:04:38.487)
Oh wow.

Imaad Wasif (01:04:43.783)
But I have.

Craig Garber (01:04:43.906)
That’s weird. Usually that’s like the vinyl is like shaped like a, you know, when that happens.

Imaad Wasif (01:04:47.831)
Yeah, no, it’s like, it’s incredible. Like there’s some 78s there too, but I have this box of those records that has been like, you know, I mean, it’s just like constantly, like I go back to those records. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:05:02.402)
That’s cool, man. It’s nice to have that. Tell me, Imad, one or two moments of your life you’ll never forget.

Imaad Wasif (01:05:12.634)

Imaad Wasif (01:05:18.441)
I had this really amazing experience in South America. It was with getting to meet Patti Smith, but we were on tour, like I was touring with Yayayayaz and we were doing this tour with Patti Smith and Beastie Boys and there were, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:05:40.902)
Oh wow, that’s pretty, pretty good gig. Yeah.

Imaad Wasif (01:05:44.327)
It was amazing. So we were in this situation where we were kind of staying at the same hotels and I became sort of friendly with her, though I was in awe and keeping it at the distance and a little bit unable to. But at the time, I was on this whole trip where I’d become obsessed with this idea of…

Craig Garber (01:05:59.051)

Imaad Wasif (01:06:12.791)
eating marijuana and drinking coffee in order to direct my creative impulse, but doing it all day long so that I would get so deep into it and I would like start having visions. I was bringing about all this stuff. No, I mean, it’s hilarious, dude. It is hilarious, but I was like convinced that this was like my way, you know?

Craig Garber (01:06:28.974)
I don’t mean to laugh. I’m sorry. It’s fucking hilarious. You ever go back though, you look at it like that. How did that fucking thought get in my mind? Like where? Because I’ve had, you know, we’ve all done shit like, like how did that stupid fucking idea like even surface, you know?

Imaad Wasif (01:06:43.949)
I think I just got…


Imaad Wasif (01:06:51.671)
Dude, I know where it came from. It was like literally just reading. It was like, I was reading about Dylan and I was reading about Tom Petty. And like, apparently that was like something that they both had done. And I was like, okay, I’m gonna try this thing, you know? And I realized that like six months into it, I had become completely fucking different person and completely unable to like, I mean, I was functioning, but I was like, I’d gotten so far into this world.

Craig Garber (01:07:19.583)
Oh my god.

Imaad Wasif (01:07:19.911)
And so I was in South America at the time. And, you know, obviously like kind of going through a weird kind of withdrawal because I don’t, you know, I wasn’t like traveling with that stuff. And like, I wasn’t able to like keep my normal, you know, sort of thing up. And I had this weird thing where all of a sudden in this moment of complete, just freedom, I…

Craig Garber (01:07:36.478)
Oh, yeah, your normal routine going, yeah.

Imaad Wasif (01:07:48.143)
was at the airport, Patty Smith was there. We had been on tour or whatever and we’re sort of familiar. And I went and sat at her feet basically, and was like, I have this problem. I don’t know how to stop relying on this thing for my creative impulse. How do you do it? And like…

she immediately was like, she told me this story about how on tour, or like, sorry, when she would get off a tour, when she was married to Fred’s Sonic Smith, like MC5, fucking MC5.

Craig Garber (01:08:31.598)
Mm-hmm. Right.

Imaad Wasif (01:08:34.859)
she would, I guess, play, I can’t remember if it was trumpet or oboe, but it was like some kind of wind instrument. And that she had like a similar thing where she was like, he would record her playing the same piece high and the same piece clear. And then like the one that she always picked that she liked was always the one that she did when she was clear.

Craig Garber (01:08:59.938)

Imaad Wasif (01:09:00.267)
And yeah, it was this whole weird thing. Like she was, you know, she was like, ah, she started talking about burros and how like, you know, it was just like amazing experience, but it really like, it had a profound effect on me, you know, at the time. I’ve never, like, I’m not like, I think I’ve seen her once since then and like was too terrified to talk to her again, you know.

Craig Garber (01:09:17.097)

Imaad Wasif (01:09:30.043)

Craig Garber (01:09:30.44)
I don’t know how like people function smoking weed all the time. I got to be honest with you. I mean, when I was a kid, I smoked a lot, but like, I’ll take a puff of it now and again.

Craig Garber (01:09:44.558)
I don’t know if it’s stronger. I just, I don’t like being like, I feel so stupid, you know, like I’m watching a movie and I’m like, you know, 20 minutes into the thing, I’m like, I don’t know, a single fucking person on the screen. What is this guy’s perp? Like, like, you know, it’s like, it’s like a time block removed from my life that I don’t like, you know? It’s.

Imaad Wasif (01:09:44.832)
Yeah, I-

Imaad Wasif (01:09:51.217)
Oh yeah.

Imaad Wasif (01:10:05.151)
Yeah. I’m not vouching for it at all. Like it’s like, yeah, it’s just something that I did at the time or whatever. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:10:13.546)
Yeah, it’s crazy every day man. Holy shit, I definitely couldn’t handle that.

Imaad Wasif (01:10:17.352)
It was deep. It was like a really long time. Like I was like, you know, it was this whole thing. I was committed to it.

Craig Garber (01:10:21.902)
And so after you had, after your conversation with her, did you cut it off or?

Imaad Wasif (01:10:28.487)
I just realized that this is someone that I respect so much. And yeah, it was like for me just realizing that my sort of notion of being this person and like, oh yeah, I’ve got this idea that I’m going to write this amazing fucking record and these songs, you know. And then I realized that like…

No, like once all that wears away, all that goes away, like is the song gonna mean anything to you? Or is it just gonna be sort of this like, is it gonna be this sort of delusional kind of creation? So ultimately like, I don’t know, yeah, like I don’t know. Like I know so many things that I love in the world have been created under the influence of psychedelics or drugs or whatever. I think that’s part of it, but I think ultimately

Craig Garber (01:11:02.577)
Yeah, good point.

Craig Garber (01:11:09.09)
That’s good.

Imaad Wasif (01:11:24.091)
the person behind that, the conscious person, the aware person, you know, if it like, as long as that is like the thing that you are actually hearing and that person was in control, that, you know, the work is still pure.

Craig Garber (01:11:28.988)

Craig Garber (01:11:45.874)
Yeah, and maybe some people could do that. I certainly am not one of them. Yeah, for sure, man.

Imaad Wasif (01:11:49.49)

Craig Garber (01:11:52.658)
Most important lessons you’ve learned from getting older.

Imaad Wasif (01:11:57.475)
Oh, yeah. I think being aware and being giving.

Imaad Wasif (01:12:12.623)
would be…

Imaad Wasif (01:12:16.271)
Yeah, would be like, would be where I’m like moving towards.

Craig Garber (01:12:21.742)
It’s one of the best answers to that question I’ve ever heard. I like that a lot. I always say awareness is like the scarcest commodity in the world now because, and it’s been incrementally because of these things, you know, like, I’m just amazed I’m driving my truck in the, through the mall to get to the gym or something and

Imaad Wasif (01:12:38.066)

Craig Garber (01:12:47.458)
Like people are walking out from the curb into the parking lot on their, nobody’s aware of anything. Even when they’re in the car, they’re on their phone. You know? And it’s like, when I get on the highway, I’ll be, I’m like, terrified. I like, I just got to be super hyper aware because no one else is. It’s just kind of creepy.

Imaad Wasif (01:12:57.523)

Imaad Wasif (01:13:08.259)
Right. Yeah, no, it’s we’re, you know, with the advent of AI, like everything is, I mean, it is pretty terrifying to think about, you know, what our position is, as human beings.

Craig Garber (01:13:24.594)
It is odd. It’s when, how do you drive a car, but you’re texting it. You can’t do that. It doesn’t work, you know? And I always know when someone’s on the phone, cause the light turns green and it’s like, nobody’s moved. They don’t even get off the pedal. It’s like, you know, I’m like, you got to honk and remind them. Best decision you ever made.

Imaad Wasif (01:13:41.19)

Imaad Wasif (01:13:48.191)
Oh my god.

Imaad Wasif (01:13:58.143)
Uh, Jesus Christ, you know, I want to say something that is not just about like, playing a guitar, but I would say…

Craig Garber (01:14:12.183)
Getting that jazz master.

Imaad Wasif (01:14:12.643)
Um, yeah, no, you know, I think honestly, it’s going to be, uh,

I think it’s going to be fatherhood.

Craig Garber (01:14:24.627)
Ah, that’s nice.

Imaad Wasif (01:14:26.263)
Um, and I think it’s almost, there is a selfish reason behind that. Um, because you realize that these children are perfect and innocent. And any issue that you have with them is your issue that you need to work on. Uh, and just to have something that like to be accountable.

and to be.

Imaad Wasif (01:14:59.363)
like forced outside of yourself whether or not you want to be you are. So yeah.

Craig Garber (01:15:05.056)
Yeah, right.

Imaad Wasif (01:15:12.747)
I came to that very much like, yeah, it’s not something that I would have ever seen when I was younger, you know? But yeah, this sort of idea of learning how to be a father, being a father, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:15:24.022)

Craig Garber (01:15:33.214)
It ain’t easy, that’s for sure. And it’s not very rewarding till much later. It’s a tough question. What do you like most about yourself?

Imaad Wasif (01:15:45.065)
Uh, my energy actually, I like my energy, uh, sort of, uh, the regenerative power of it. Energy is, yeah, that’s like, that’s it.

Craig Garber (01:19:01.162)
So what’s the most important thing your father taught you or taught you not to do.

Imaad Wasif (01:19:08.363)
Yeah, I mean I’d say as a reaction to him is trying to like realizing uh

perfectionism is not real, you know? That…

Craig Garber (01:19:20.62)

Imaad Wasif (01:19:24.996)

Craig Garber (01:19:26.902)
Yeah, good is good enough.

Imaad Wasif (01:19:29.927)
There’s the discipline too that I had, that I resented incredibly when I was growing up, but now can see that there was a benefit to that.

Craig Garber (01:19:45.342)
Yeah, yeah, discipline was good. They wrote a book. I read a business book years ago. I think it was Tom Collins. Good to great. And the number one thing he just profiled all these companies. And he said the number one thing that they all these successful had companies had in common. Number one was discipline. So there is a, you know, there is a, I know in my life it’s, I’m super disciplined and I’ve been lucky. How about your mom? Most important thing she taught you.

Imaad Wasif (01:20:12.568)
Um, yeah, I mean, as a reaction to her, you know, I think, uh,

recognizing negativity and

Imaad Wasif (01:20:27.939)
Yeah, and understanding that we do not need to like become that negativity.

Craig Garber (01:20:33.77)
Yeah, for sure, man. Hey, do you have any, you’re obviously a bright guy and reading I’m sure is on your list, but on this list, but do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?

Imaad Wasif (01:20:43.935)
Um, yeah, you know, I love cooking.

Craig Garber (01:20:49.358)
That’s the number one hobby for musicians. Yeah.

Imaad Wasif (01:20:52.431)
Yeah, it’s like, I mean, there is a parallel kind of thing happening there, I think. You know.

Craig Garber (01:20:56.286)
Yeah, for sure. What do you cook, man? What do you like to cook?

Imaad Wasif (01:21:01.455)
Um, Oh, you know, like a lot of Indian food, um, I mean, like all kinds of things.

Craig Garber (01:21:08.662)
You must make delicious indie food. Like when you grow up and it’s like, that’s what you grow up eating and it’s like native. My God, I can’t imagine what a good cook you are. Wow.

Imaad Wasif (01:21:15.763)
Yeah, it’s like, it’s like the comfort, it’s this deep, deep comfort food.

Craig Garber (01:21:21.802)
Comfort food. Yeah. Favorite place you’ve traveled. You’ve been all over.

Imaad Wasif (01:21:26.795)
Yeah. Most recently, Portugal was incredible. I went to Sintra, which is this small town on the coast there in Portugal, just maybe 30 minutes away from Lisbon, where there’s like the Well of the Initiates, this incredible like well that is like it was dug down into the

Craig Garber (01:21:54.21)
Wow. Like you walk down into it. That’s pretty cool.

Imaad Wasif (01:21:57.817)
Yeah, it’s a whole little sacred site. Yeah, incredible. Or like also those, I went last year to the pyramids at Teotihuacan just outside of Mexico City. That was also like incredible.

Craig Garber (01:22:05.95)
Oh, wow. Yeah. I’ve actually been to Portugal. I was in Porto, which is pretty, it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I mean, the, and the food there, the food, I’m not like a foodie. So like I’m not usually a guy like, but the food there was, it was so fresh and just so, I just remember eating fresh fish every day, man. It was just awesome. Fresh bread. God.

Imaad Wasif (01:22:12.847)
Oh yeah.

Totally so beautiful, I know. I played, yeah, I played a show there recently too.

Imaad Wasif (01:22:28.71)

Imaad Wasif (01:22:32.068)

Craig Garber (01:22:35.542)
Best advice you’ve ever been given and who gave it to you.

Imaad Wasif (01:22:40.939)
Um, wow, these are, uh, he got me, he got me, uh, under the gun here. Um, let’s, I think, uh, I’m going to maybe say Lou Barlow, um, like songwriting. Um, we had this whole, uh, one of my many tour stories, like, yeah, we were going to do this, we were going to do this show where we played.

where I got on stage and we did this cover of a Nick Drake song and something happened in the show and like he had a weird kind of meltdown during the show. And so that never happened. And afterwards I was talking to him and we just started talking about songs. And he’s told me about receiving the lyrics to this song that he had written called Soul and Fire in a dream.

And I remember kind of just telling him that I like, I didn’t know how to like, you know, that I wasn’t comfortable with feeling that I could reveal that part of myself, that I had to keep some part of myself sacred. And he was like, no, you just, you have to like, you have to lay it all out. You have to, that’s like.

that’s like the beauty of the song. And so I, you know, that was early on. And I mean, that’s been also like a lifelong kind of discovery for me of, you know, I, you know, I read a lot of poetry. I’ve always been very immersed in poetry literature, but like, so there’s been a kind of crypticism around like what I’m trying to say, which is part of the language of what I’m trying to say, but.

Craig Garber (01:24:07.757)

Imaad Wasif (01:24:31.083)
Ultimately, like I think I’m getting closer to being able to refine those things. You know.

Craig Garber (01:24:35.542)
Your song is pretty heavy, man. I don’t think you need to be a… Yeah, your songs, your lyrics are pretty, you know, pretty forthright.

Craig Garber (01:24:46.562)
So you’re doing what you want to do.

Imaad Wasif (01:24:49.257)

Craig Garber (01:24:50.387)
Most fun thing you’ve ever done.

Imaad Wasif (01:24:55.608)
Oh shit. Man, I don’t know. No, no, I don’t even know. I’m just like not a very fun guy. Like I’m pretty one dimensional, you know? I’m pretty one dimensional that way. Yeah, I don’t know if I have a good answer for you Craig.

Craig Garber (01:24:55.81)

Craig Garber (01:25:03.147)
Everybody gets that thought that comes in, I can’t say that.

Craig Garber (01:25:10.038)
I’m not a fun guy.

Craig Garber (01:25:16.91)
That’s all right. Okay. Last question. Biggest change in your personality over the last 10 years in mod. And was this change intentional or just a natural part of aging?

Imaad Wasif (01:25:30.521)

Imaad Wasif (01:25:35.264)
Uh, yeah, I’d say learning patience.

Um, I think that that’s not necessarily attributed to aging. I think it’s attributed to, uh, the number of times that being impatient has like served me wrong, you know?

Craig Garber (01:25:54.782)
Yeah. Well, dude, having kids will teach you patience. Let me tell you right now, whether you, whether you want to learn it or not. Any final words of wisdom? And I’ll tell people where to find you after that.

Imaad Wasif (01:25:59.844)
Yes, yes.

Imaad Wasif (01:26:09.074)

Imaad Wasif (01:26:12.464)
I don’t have any more final words, no.

Craig Garber (01:26:16.514)
Dude, thank you very much. Let me tell people where to find you. Hey, it’s, I’d love everybody to check out Imad’s music. Let me spell his name, it’s I-M-A-A-D, I-M-A-A-D and Wasif, W-A-S-I-F. If you’re into really melodic rock psychedelic music, mixed in with folk, it’s, if you wanna be moved, listen to this guy’s music. And check out his catalog, it’s on Apple and every place else you can stream music. And also check out some of his other bands.

You can go back and listen to the beginning of this, but his other projects are acid, grim tower, the electric flower group, Alaska, new folk implosion and lowercase. And also he did a lot of work with the yeah, yes. And, uh, Karen knows record crush songs. And also you could follow him on Instagram under Mod Wasif and on YouTube. His channel is strange hexes. Did I forget anything? Or is that, that everything.

Imaad Wasif (01:27:15.197)
No, no, that’s good. You know, I’m going to be, I’m working on a new record. So, you know, looking forward.

Craig Garber (01:27:20.63)
Where will you be announcing? Will you be rolling that out on Instagram? Is that the best place for people to?

Imaad Wasif (01:27:26.383)
Uh, yeah, it’ll come out on that too, but, um, yeah, I don’t know. It’s just in the, it’s in the process of being recorded now. So, you know, but, uh, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:27:34.894)
Do you have any shows scheduled for 2024?

Imaad Wasif (01:27:38.087)
Um, right now I just have one at the beginning of the year with this amazing harpist named Mary Lattimore. Um, and, uh, yeah, that’s the only thing I have booked. There’s a couple of things in the works, but yeah. Um, that’s going to be in Los Angeles at a Zebulon.

Craig Garber (01:27:49.942)
Where is that? Where is that gonna be?

Craig Garber (01:27:55.358)
Okay, cool. Alrighty, man. Thank you so much for everything. Hold on and we’ll wrap up. I really appreciate your time and thanks for being so forthcoming and sharing all this cool stuff. I really appreciate it.

Imaad Wasif (01:28:06.659)
Craig, I mean, thank you for reaching out. I mean, seriously, it’s just, it’s always shocking to find someone that just appears out of nowhere. And, you know, I think what I responded to was like, you already knew the music. And, you know, so yeah.

Craig Garber (01:28:24.886)
That’s why I reached out. Cause I like, it’s so cool for me when I’m like, Oh my God, this guy has really moved me and then I like shoot an email or make a phone call or, you know, this guy and this guy connects me and like the next thing we’re having this conversation. So it’s like, how the fuck did that happen? And then, and it’s happened like, I, you know, when it, and it’s happened with people like that. I’ve listened to my whole like Robin Trower. I was sitting there talking to Robin Trower and I’m like,

Imaad Wasif (01:28:51.612)
Wow. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:28:54.882)
how did this happen? You know, cause I’m in my head, I’m 15 in my room listening to Robin Trower or Ian Pace or Phil Collen from Def Leppard. I’m like, how does this happen? You know, and it’s like, so, you know, now I’m like, so now it’s so cool. I’m in the car and I’m driving and your track will come on and I’ll be with my wife. So, I mean, I had that guy in my show. He was super cool. We had a good car. It’s like, how does this all happen? So, you know, I’m just, thank you for coming on the show, man, I really appreciate it.

Imaad Wasif (01:29:02.332)
All right.

Imaad Wasif (01:29:08.048)

Imaad Wasif (01:29:25.275)
Thanks for having me.

Craig Garber (01:29:26.25)
You’re welcome. Hang on one sec, we’ll wrap up. Everybody, thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this, please share it on your social media channels. We appreciate your support. Please check out Imaad Wasif. Again, it’s I-M-A-A-D, Wasif, W-A-S-I-F. Super cool music. You’ll definitely enjoy it. Please follow him or whatever it is on Instagram. I don’t even know. It shows you how out of touch I am. Imaad, thanks for spending time with us. And most important…

Remember that happiness is a choice, so choose wisely. Be nice, go play your guitar, and have fun. Till next time, peace and love, everybody. I am out. Imaad, thank you so much, brother.

Imaad Wasif (01:30:03.291)

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