mercoledì 31 agosto 2016

An interview with Myrath

An Italian translation is available here.

Thanks to their distinctive sound made of a mixture of typical metal sounds and Arabic tunes, Tunisian Myrath is the best known metal band in their own country and one of the most relevant realities of the oriental metal scene. The band released four studio albums so far between 2007 and 2016 and their most recent work called Legacy was released at the beginning of this year.

Myrath kindly accepted our request for an interview that we are offering our readers. We would like to thank Myrath for their kindness and availability.

125esima Strada: Hi everyone, first of all thanks for the time you are giving us. Let's talk about the music of Myrath, how did you guys have the idea of mixing Arabic music with power metal?

Elyes: In the beginning we started as a cover band, playing several shows in our home country, Tunisia, yet we all shared a desire to create a unique sound which combines all the elements we are passionate about, both in metal and folkloric music. In Tunisia there is an abundance of captivating folk tunes and interesting melodies, and we wanted to integrate that into metal music. And I must add that our producer Kevin Codfert encouraged us to venture unto this route, as we weren’t very sure how it will all shape up in the beginning, but he was very supportive of the idea of mixing Tunisian oriental tunes with metal.

125esima Strada: What are your thoughts about oriental metal and do you guys consider Myrath an oriental metal band?

Malek: We definitely like oriental metal, as a genre that has a great room for creativity and renewal. We have been labelled under several different genres of metal throughout our career: oriental, power, progressive and so on, yet I think the music is not one or the other. Our music is influenced by Tunisian and North African music, so perhaps Tunisian metal would be a more accurate label.

125esima Strada: I think the video for Believer is striking and resembles Prince of Persia a lot. How did you guys have the idea for the video?

Zaher: Indeed, the video is inspired by Prince of Persia, as we are all fans of that game, in addition to One Thousand and One Nights tales, and such, we found that the general atmosphere or scenery of those stories goes very well with Myrath’s musical identity, and so we decided to create a storyline inspired by those imageries.

125esima Strada: In my opinion Tales of the Sands is the album with the greatest influence of Arabic music. Do you  guys agree and if so how do you guys explain that?

Elyes: I don’t quite agree, perhaps Tunisian and North African elements in Tale of the Sands were more present than in the albums preceding it, but I believe Legacy is the one with the most diversified elements of our Tunisian heritage and metal. In Legacy we managed to balance the roles of each instrument so that guitars, strings or percussions have equal appearances, depending on each song of course, but overall I think Legacy is our signature album so far.

125esima Strada: Five years passed between Tales of the Sands and Legacy. How come? I mean, five years is a very long time.

Anis: Circumstances were not very favourable for us to work on a new album during the past five years. We have sadly lost our manager, Malek’s father, our country, Tunisia, was in political turmoil and we had to break a curfew on some days to make it to the studio and thus many different aspects delayed the production process of the album! Although this has contributed in a way to shaping Legacy; we had the time to reflect on what we wanted our fourth album to be, and renew our inspiration through several tours that took us from USA to India!

125esima Strada: Do you guys think the unstable situation in Tunisia is somehow having an influence on your music?

Malek: Definitely. From a technical perspective as we told you in the previous question it made it a bit difficult for us to write and produce our songs in due time, and musically speaking it has inspired us to write songs and melodies from the spirit of what was going on at the time. Get Your Freedom Back is dedicated to the Tunisian people of the revolution and inspired by them.

125esima Strada: What can you guys tell us about the rock and metal scene in Tunisia? Is Myrath the only valuable band?

Anis: There is a solid metal scene in Tunisia, with its own challenges. It became a little underground post the revolution, but it is advancing too and developing.

We have several metal or rock bands like Carthagods, Persona, Nawather, to name a few. And we are all supported by our fans and community, although there is no governmental or state support for the music, they tend to focus more on pop and mainstream music. As for us, we were the first Tunisian metal band to be signed on a label and gain momentum internationally.

125esima Strada: And what about the metal scene in Africa? Are there interesting scenes in other African countries?

Elyes: Of course. I am aware of several bands in Algeria and Egypt and I am sure other African countries have a metal scene too. Although it is not as thriving as the European scene for example, due to lack of support, it is basically still developing.

125esima Strada: Who are the bands and musicians that influenced you guys most?

Morgan: Many bands, but to name a few it would be Symphony X, Death, Dream Theatre, Pantera, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.

125esima Strada: Apart from these ones, who are your favorite bands or musicians in general?

Elyes: Textures, Muse, Periphery, Meshuggah, Ghost, and many more. But those are who come to mind now!

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