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Idols and ideals

If your favourite band in the world is known to speak out, you are likely to be a conscientious fan as well. Fossils Force, the first official fan club of Bangla rockers Fossils, is exactly that — a “fan club with a difference”. In keeping with the socially-conscious ideology reflected in Fossils’ music, the fan club wants to make a difference through a common platform — its favourite band.

The Fossils fan base is wide, and not just limited to Bengal. The Force aims to channelise this youthful enthusiasm towards a purpose. Snehashis Das, a final-year engineering student, freelance bassist and core committee member of the Force, tells t2 how it all began. “We met the band members personally and came to know about their ideology. Since our ideas matched and we knew we were capable of catering to the demands of fans and also utilising the huge admiration that Fossils garners to do something constructive for society, we started Fossils Force (FF) in February 2009.”

Anirban Ghoshal, another core committee member and a software professional, adds, “Fossils has always delivered a message, especially towards the youth. It’s obvious that this band’s fan club will not just be a meet-and-greet sort of a place. We will encourage and appreciate creative adda, but social messages should play an important role in that.”

Dealing with evils like drug abuse, child-trafficking and discrimination against those affected by HIV in its words and music, Fossils has always been a band with a point of view. “Our songs have never been ‘entertainment’; we have always said things through our music that needed to be spoken about. These youngsters seem to have realised this ideology behind our music,” says Fossils frontman Rupam Islam. “I am very happy that they have given a different meaning to the phrase ‘fan club’. We’ll be standing by them for their endeavours.”

“The fact that this many people have listened to and been inspired by our music is the biggest reward one could ask for,” says Fossils guitarist Deep Ghosh.

The band has played numerous free shows for a cause, like its upcoming show for the Thalassaemia Society on May 21. The band has also composed the song Aeka nauo for those affected by HIV, along with Usha Uthup and Kolkata Sukriti Foundation.

Like their heroes, the fans mean business. Thus, Fossils Force has not had a fancy launch party. The first FF event was a blood donation camp and an awareness programme on the importance of blood donation on May 1, conducted by the Kolkata chapter of the Haemophilia Society of India at Baishakhi Shangha Club off Prince Bakhtiar Shah Road. Fossils offered its support with an unplugged performance. “The music of Fossils remains our primary motivation. Without their support, we could never have created this fan club,” says Abhinava Mukherjee, a final-year BCA student and a FF committee member.

“Every individual has a certain area of interest and we plan to put all these interests to use. For example, if someone is interested only in the music, we plan to use him/her to teach music to underprivileged children. Members who are interested in web designing will be in charge of our website, www.fossilsforce.in. Artistically-inclined members have designed tees and posters. The idea is to evolve FF into much more than just a fan club,” added Abhinava.

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