Reporter's Notebook: Radiohead Project

Imran Hussain is a database analyst for Wells Fargo in Downtown Minneapolis. It's loads different from his former life in Bangladesh, where he was a founding member of Rock Strata, a group that pioneered the heavy sound now called Bangle. He plays guitar in the "What's That?" (a Radiohead Project). This would be like Krist Novoselic of Nirvana trading in Grunge fame to play tiny crowds in a tribute band. No matter, playing the tunes of Radiohead is different, Imran explains in a beautiful note written to City Pages.

Here's his email in its entirety:

Brad, i was thinking about what you were asking regarding how Radiohead is different from other bands. Well, I guess one thing I can say, that my wife confirmed is that, bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd are very personal. I mean a good hard rock band can also be personal for some, like it used to be for me once. But I think, at one point in life I realized that these two bands give me solace in times when nothing else could, or touch an emotion that no one else could. Radiohead can help me lick my wounds, they can be around when I'm down or don't want to get up. When Yorke is singing, he's singing about his most deepest personal demons or desires and whether you understand it or not you understand something that hits you very deep. So it's not about the musical genius or the beautiful chords but about the emotion that it creates within you that you can't get anywhere else. 

No one else can be Thom Yorke, or maybe Radiohead, but to be able to create some kind of similar emotional atmosphere or to be able to recreate a similar depth is possible through playing their songs. It is one band giving you all kinds of emotions that a single band usually aren't able to create because of the vastness of their dynamics. Just as there is beauty in joy, there is beauty in pain also. And when you can create beauty that came from pain, I think that gives you hope and inspiration like no other. And Radiohead does it lyrically and musically. Guess I'm trying to make sense out of something that cannot be done with words. Or at least by my words. When I started writing this email, I thought I had something for ya, but half way through this email I realized I'm kind of mumbling the same words we talked about yesterday. 

There are quite a lot of songs done by others that I would love to play. But I don't think I'd love to be playing any band exclusively other than Radiohead. Because they cover so much ground and are so complete.