Interview by Uzma Latif for weekly Newsline dated 6th October, 2002

Spreading-the-light How did you all get together as a group?
Ali Noor: What had happened was that Ali Hamza, my brother, and I had decided to form a band a long time back. We wrote a few songs ten years ago, and that made us realize that we could do it. Then Hamza left because he wanted to do his own thing. But he’s back now. Because he moved out, Noori went into the backburner till the time that I decided to release a song by myself. Actually, it wasn’t supposed to get released by my name, I had prepared the song for a movie and since the movie got cancelled I released the song {Manwa Re) solo. Mohammad Ali Jaffri was then a part of Coven; he liked my work and therefore opted to join Noori. That’s when we decided to get serious and pull our act together. Farhad Humayun came aboard but that didn’t work out too well. With him out of the picture, I desperately needed a drummer and invited Gumby to play for us. Drummers in Pakistan are so few that they usually only perform sessions and rarely join a band, but I was lucky to get a hold of Gumby.

Gumby: Joining Noori was a great move on my part as my contract with Junoon was coming to a close. I had been playing with them for three years; but now they had other plans. I never really had my own thing; I’ve always done what I have been asked to. So it was excellent timing and definitely a move I up for me.

Mohammad Ali Jaffri: While I was playing with Coven, we were only doing covers of bands like Guns and Roses etc. Ali Noor, on the other hand, had his own original pieces that really fascinated me. So about 8 years ago, when Coven was fizzling out, I hopped onboard Noori.

How did the name ‘Noori’ come about? Is it true that it was inspired by Ali Noor’s name?
Ali Noor: Hey, if Jon Bon Jovi can call his band Bon Jovi, why can’t I call mine Noori? Naah, actually I tried to come up with names for the band and couldn’t think of anything other than Noori. See, Noor means light/roshni. And I wanted our music to be of a nature that takes you a step ahead; I wanted it to be meaningful. Light allows you to see new things at times and that’s how the name evolved.

Tell us a bit more about your music.
Ali Noor: My intention is not to be different for the sake of being different. There has to be a purpose to your work. The purpose takes greater importance over the means that you employ to achieve that purpose. I wanted to use music as a vehicle whereby I could encourage people to strive to take a step ahead in whatever it is that they are doing. I write about how young people can make a conscious effort to grow in life. Plus, I also, wish to give due importance to my country, highlighting the negative and the positive factors to the Level where the negativity is overcome’ by positivity.

In your opinion, how has the response been so far? Didn’t you ever have second thoughts about how your work would be received?
Ali Noor: Oh, I was quite sure that my work was going to be well received. The only time I might have second thoughts about my work would be if someone complained that there was something lacking - a technical issue perhaps. The main concern for me is that there should be no shortcomings and the high standard of quality should be maintained at any cost.
How do you see the band a few years from now?
Ali Noor: Well, we would definitely have 3 albums out by 5 years or so. Hamza and I have managed to compile a large number of songs and now are just waiting for Ali Jaffri and Gumby’s input. Then we would be reach’ to roll. We have set aside some money especially for videos so you are going to be seeing a lot of Noori in the future. The upcoming video, which will be aired any day, was a lot of fun to do. We went to Minar-e-Pakistan after getting special permission from Kamran Lashari, just set up the drums and all, began doing our thing and waited to see what would happen. There was this massive crowd that gathered and all of them wanted to know if Reema was going to show up! You can stay abreast with the latest at
our website

How do you all work it out as a group? Are the decisions made democratically or does Ali Noor rule all the way?
Ali Noor: Hey! It’s not a draconian-Hitler type thing happening here. I try to approach things as objectively as possible so there is little room for ruffled feathers. Besides, we have hired a manager (Nadia) and henceforth she is our boss.
Ali Hamza: We come to a point that our ideas match and so there is little conflict and if there ever is, it is resolved through mutual consultation.
Mohammad Ali jaffri: We work things out together.