Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

All Nite Skate

Grant Smith

Whatzup Features Writer

Published November 3, 2005

Heads Up! This article is 17 years old.

The joke begins as an off color comment made by

All Nite Skate guitarist Bob Haddad: “Two Arabs

walk into a band.” At first glance, this doesn’t

make a whole lot of sense, but then you take into

account that Bob is Egyptian and the other

guitarist, Omar Afzaal, is Pakistani, and it

makes a bit more sense on the racial level. But

if you take it just a little further, you find

that it is exactly how it really began: two Arabs

really did walk into a band, they became friends,

and the show starts.

All Nite Skate began after the demise of the

Plain Crashers and during the formation of the

Poseidon Adventure, two bands that have fewer

things in common musically than they do in

members. Afzaal was in Plain Crashers, with

bassist Cole Strader, who also happened to be

playing bass in the Poseidon Adventure after

Plain Crashers broke up. Afzaal and Strader

decided that they were not quite finished making

music together and began looking around for other

musicians. Strader introduced Afzaal to Poseidon

Adventure guitarist Bob Haddad, and things began


“The three of us went out to dinner one night,”

began Afzaal. “Bob and I began talking about

music and guitars, the usual stuff. We just

really clicked, Bob is probably one of the

funniest people that I have ever met.”

“Really it was because we’re both really big

Smashing Pumpkins fans,” added Haddad.

The two began jamming together and began to

click musically as well as socially. After

awhile, Haddad introduced Afzaal to Poseidon

Adventure keyboard player, Darcy Flannigan. Once

again, the four clicked musically. Flannigan

introduced the four of them to ex-Beautys’ guitar

player Kay Gregg and violist Michelle (last name

unknown). Finally the sound was complete. At the

end of the summer of 2005, Michelle left for the

metaphorically sunny shores of the Pacific


“The loss of Michelle was pretty tough,” said

Afzaal. “But, at the same time, it was probably

the best thing to ever happen to us. It forced us

to pick up the slack; she isn’t in the front


“It really did,” echoed Haddad. “Nothing against

her at all. We love her; we really do. She’s an

absolutely amazing musician, but it just forced

us to be a better band without her.”

Up until Michelle’s leaving, All Nite Skate had

been kind of floating by. There wasn’t – and

still isn’t – anything in town that sounds

remotely like them. The best hole to put them in

is the ever-widening genre of indie rock, which

is , after all, what most of the band listens to.

They do in a way sound like their component

parts. They listen to Pelican, Mogwai, Fugazi,

Slint, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Smashing

Pumpkins, Hum, etc., and this is also how they

sound. They are instrumental and melodic and have

a passive-aggressive undertone that makes them

sound very genuine.

“”We get compared to bands like Godspeed all of

the time, and I hate it,” said Afzaal. “I mean, I

understand why genres exist, so that we can be

placed on a shelf in some music store under ‘alternative’ or ‘punk’ or whatever, but it is so

limiting. We’re not special. We’re just a band,

and we’re not trying to be put into a category,

but people try to put us in one. We don’t

consider ourselves to be anything at all.”

“There is a void in rock n’ roll, and we intend

to fill it,” added Haddad with a laugh. “No,

really, we just like to play music together.”

“We like playing music, we like being an

instrumental band,” continued Afzaal. “People can

sing along to the music if they want, and there

is no way that they can get the lyrics wrong.

This band is pretty open musically, too, or at

least we try to keep it that way. Right now we

can kind of play whatever the hell we want, and

it still sounds like All Nite Skate.”

With all of this in mind, All Nite Skate look

passively into the future. What it holds does not

really matter one way or the other.

“Since Michelle left the band has grown and

changed a lot,” commented Haddad. “Right now our

goal is to just keep writing. We are all pretty

creative right now, and we are going through a

creative spurt. I’m sorry, I’m saying creative a

lot; we all just have really good ideas.

“It’d be kind of cool if we could do a bit of a

tour, keep playing shows around the Midwest.

We’re really not trying very hard to make

anything happen though.”

“It’s cool if something happens,” echoed Afzaal.

“But, you know, no big deal if it doesn’t. We’re

not out trying to get signed or anything.”

“Yeah,” quipped Haddad. “We’re in it for the

chicks. The chicks and the


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