Imaad Wasif

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Imaad Wasif
Imaad Wasif in 2013.jpg
Background information
Origin Vancouver B.C.
Genres Psychedelic rock, alternative rock, folk rock, experimental rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Associated acts Imaad Wasif, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lowercase, Alaska!, The Folk Implosion, , Grim Tower

Imaad Wasif is a singer, guitarist and songwriter whose music combines elements of psychedelic folk and rock. Wasif’s music has been described as "unbelievably intense with sparkling, raga-influenced guitar and a mystic bent."[1]

Wasif was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, but was raised in Palm Desert in Southern California. He began playing music as a teenager and formed his first band lowercase; "a guitar-drums duo that played a weird hybrid of minimal lo-fi pop, post-rock and slo-core." They were signed to the seminal noise rock label Amphetamine Reptile. In 2001, he formed the psychedelic folk-rock group Alaska! in addition to briefly joining Lou Barlow’s Folk Implosion.

In 2006, he started releasing solo albums. Also during 2006–2008, Wasif played with Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the Show Your Bones world tour playing acoustic guitar, bass and synths. He performed as the supporting act for most shows. He stopped touring with YYY's in 2008 to focus on his own music. Wasif assumed more of a collaborative role, writing songs with Karen O for the soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are (2009), most notably the song, "Hideaway." In 2017 he rejoined Yeah Yeah Yeahs, again as an auxiliary musician.

His first self-titled solo album was released in 2006 on Kill Rock Stars. The record featured minimal, acoustic songs with psychedelic influences, reminiscent of Skip Spence’s Oar and Syd Barrett’s Opel, and was recorded by Mark Nevers in Nashville, TN. This record introduced Wasif’s primary lyrical themes; love, madness, transformation, isolation, and spiritual influences, which continue through his subsequent albums.

Wasif’s second album, Strange Hexes, was recorded in Los Angeles and self-released in 2008. The album is a "tense, trippy collection of songs that become fiercely emotional explorations."[2] The songs incorporate Eastern modal tunings and drones.

Wasif’s third album, The Voidist, was released in 2010 on Tee Pee Records. Recorded in Los Angeles, The Voidist is at once "regal and exuberant. Its unique sonic tapestry is sprinkled with ragas, blues rock, and something totally new that exists at the apex of these varied influences."[3] Influences that Wasif has cited include Paul Bowles, Gérard de Nerval, Neil Young, Can, John Fahey, Captain Beefheart, Jimmy Page, and Vilayat Khan.

In 2012 and 2013, Wasif completed two self-recorded works, "The Dark Water EP" and the album "Great Eastern Sun." Both albums were held back from release, Wasif citing them to be "too dark and too personal."

In 2014, he finished work on his fourth solo record, a concept album titled "Figurehead" again recorded with Mark Nevers. The album's release was stalled due to contractual issues.

In 2017, Wasif released "Dzi," on Grey Market. The album was recorded by Bobb Bruno on a Tascam Cassette 8-Track Machine, capturing a raw, live feel.


In 2010, Wasif was peripherally involved in writing the demos for the first incarnation of Sabbath Assembly Band, a musical project based around the occult liturgy and hymns of the Process Church of the Final Judgement, published by Feral House Books.

In 2012, he collaborated with Stephen Mcbean from the band Black Mountain on a project called Grim Tower. They released an album in 2013 called "Anarchic Breezes," on Outer Battery Records.

In 2013, he started a concept project called ACID, with artist and musician Jeff Hassay. They completed three self-released full-length albums, "Romance," "Science Fiction with Acid," and "Persona."


Wasif played the role of a British musician named Dean in the 2002 film "Laurel Canyon" by Lisa Cholodenko. The film featured Frances McDormand & Christian Bale.


Solo albums

Solo contributions on compilations

  • "We Give Our Lives" on "Ye Are Gods" by Sabbath Assembly (Svart Records, 2012)
  • "Go Insane" (Doors Cover) on Beat LA Compilation (Narnack Records. 2011)
  • "The Fire" (ft. Lykke Li) on L'Aventure (remake of the 2nd Television album) (Aquarium Drunkard, 2010)
  • "Not Immune" on RAISE Hope For Congo Compilation (Mercer Street Records, 2010)
  • "Ecstasy" on LA Collection 7" (IAMSOUND, 2010)
  • "The New Year" on Kill Rock Stars Winter Holiday Album (Kill Rock Stars, 2006)
  • "Other Voices" on The Sound the Hare Heard (Kill Rock Stars, 2006)

Bands, collaborations, and guest appearances

  • Karen O - Crush Songs, (Cult Records, 2014)
  • Sabbath Assembly – Eno Ot Derotser (Svart Records, 2014)
  • ACID - Persona, (ACID Records, 2013)
  • ACID - Science Fiction with Acid, (ACID Records, 2013)
  • ACID - Romance, (ACID Records, 2013)
  • Grim Tower - Anarchic Breezes, (Outer Battery Records, 2013)
  • EFG – EP lI (Narnack Records, 2012)
  • EFG – EP l (Narnack Records, 2011)
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Motion Picture Soundtrack (Interscope, 2009)
  • Lou Barlow – Goodnight Unknown (Merge, 2009)
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Its Blitz! (Interscope, 2009)
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – "The Love I’m Searching For" (AOL Exclusive, 2007)
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mississippi Studios: Live, Vol. 3 (2007)
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Live Session EP (iTunes Exclusive, 2007)
  • Lou BarlowEmoh (Merge, 2005)
  • Alaska! – Kiss You/Pink Frost, CD Single (Altitude Records, 2005)
  • Alaska! – Rescue Through Tomahawk (Altitude Records, 2005)
  • Alaska! – Five Songs (self-released, 2004)
  • Alaska! – "r u listenin" on Tracks & Fields (compilation) (Kill Rock Stars, 2004)
  • The Folk ImplosionThe New Folk Implosion (iMusic, 2003)
  • The Folk Implosion – Pearl, 7" (Domino, 2003)
  • The Folk Implosion – Brand of Skin, 7" (Domino, 2003)
  • Alaska! – "In My Time" on The Fold Comp (compilation) (Credit Records, 2003)
  • Alaska! – "Lost the Gold" on Speed of Sound (compilation) (Flying Nun Records, 2003)
  • Alaska! – Emotions (Flying Nun Records, 2003)
  • Alaska! – Four Songs (self-released, 2001)
  • Lowercase – The Going-Away Present (Punk in My Vitamins, 1999)
  • Lowercase – "Surefire Solvent" on Multi-Vitamin Compilation (Punk In My Vitamins, 1998)
  • Lowercase – The Open Sea / Don’t Cry No Tears, Mail Order Freak Singles Club #1–4, 7" (Kill Rock Stars, 1998)
  • Lowercase – Imbedded In Ice, 7″ (Punk in My Vitamins, 1998)
  • Lowercase – "Ringbleeder" on AmRep Equipped (compilation) (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)
  • Lowercase – Kill The Lights (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)
  • Lowercase – All Destructive Urges…Seem So Perfect (Amphetamine Reptile, 1996)
  • Lowercase – "My Shame Your Shame" (compilation) (WIN Records, 1995)
  • Lowercase – Cadence, 7″ (Amphetamine Reptile, 1995)
  • Lowercase – Brass Tacks, 7″ (Xmas Records, 1995)
  • Lowercase – Two Songs, 7″ (Punk in My Vitamins, 1995)


  1. ^ Lannamann, Ned. "Music: Up & Coming," The Portland Mercury, June 4, 2009
  2. ^ Lannamann, Ned. "Music: Up & Coming," The Portland Mercury, June 4, 2009
  3. ^

External links

  • Official Site
  • 2006 article in No Depression
  • 2008 article in LA Weekly
  • 2008 interview in L.A. Record
  • 2009 interview
  • 2010 Circa Poetry Journal
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