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Interview with Wael Osama of Enraged

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Enraged is a metal female fronted band from Cairo, Egypt. They perform originals and covers for mostly Gothic Metal bands, discover more about the band on our interview with Wael O.

How did the band start, when and where?

Enraged is a Cairo-based band. Our first performance was in the first edition of Egypt Metal in September 2005 in Al Badeya Village. Back then I was jamming with the Brazily brothers of Invaders and Ayman King of Instrumental Therapy … We mainly played songs for Iron Maiden and Metallica which helped me develop my skills. When we parted to different ways I wanted to try something different and new so I thought about forming an Evanescence cover band. Coincidently, I found a post on emajor.net from Rasha who also wanted to form a rock band and we took it from there…

 

It is a good step for any band to have official website, can you tell me about the website updates?

I personally spend a lot of time online and I know that most of the people who are interested in metal music in Egypt are pretty much like the rest of our generation; glued on to screens. So, I think being active online whether it’s on Facebook, Myspace or by launching an official website is the most convenient way to reach out to the Egyptian metal fans. We launched our website to further develop our band image and to also connect with people who are interested in Egyptian metal music but aren’t necessarily on Facebook. It actually worked and we were fortunate to be interviewed by the Finnish magazine Inferno. The interviewer simply googled “Egyptian Metal” and she reached our website so I advise every serious band to launch their own website; you never know what kind of opportunities it could get you. On our website you could stream some of our music, browse photos and check for updates. I’ve also launched a blog to document our experience as a metal band in Egypt and I frequently add videos from our jams and such. You can check it out on this link

 

Do you guys suffer from accusations towards the Metal scene nowdays in media? How do you think we can solve this problem?

Enraged is just like any other metal band in Egypt that suffers from these ridiculous accusations; in the sense that it is hard to perform in almost any venue except El Sawy Culturewheel. We’ve performed before in Metal Accord, Egypt Metal and Rock Station but these individual efforts by the organizers is a huge risk and after the last couple of incidents in underground events, I don’t think there are many people willing to take the risk anymore. However, I’ve never felt that I am personally threatened and, on the contrary, I think that these days the Egyptian Metal scene is in a much better shape than before. Wyvern released the first official and legalized Egyptian metal album, many rock and metal bands have performed in huge events like S.O.S and Al Korba festival and every month there are few rock and metal concerts in El Sawy.

There are many ways to deal with this issue and there is are some great efforts going on already. El Sawy Culture Wheel’s support for the rock and metal scene is most certainly a very strong and practical way of bringing rock and metal bands into the light. When people could see what we are doing, listen to the lyrics of our songs and understand that, at the end of the day, rock and metal is just music; that alone could make a difference. However, I hope that some rock and metal fans also understand that El Sawy’s support is not unconditional and that bringing in alcohol and hash into the venue doesn’t help us at all. We must understand the context we live in; our culture is very judgmental of certain practices of individual freedoms and since the spot light is on us, sometimes we must adjust some of our actions to suit our time and space.

Of course the media has a very important role and we’ve seen many talk shows host metal fans and I think it’s a positive initiative. There is also the existence of informative websites such as Rock Era and Facebook groups; if things keep going the way they are now I believe the association between Metal and Satanism will be a thing of the past.

 

Tell me about your current members and former ones?

Rasha (Vocals) and Bishoy (Bass),Omar(Guitars), Ehab Mokhtar (Keys), Tefa (Drums) and myself on Guitars. The former members is a huge list and I am grateful to each and every one of them; Hatem Ra’fat (Drums), Ahmed Gamal (Drums), Alaa (Drums), Omar Brazily (Bass), Tamer Brazily (Guitars), Shady Noor (Guitars), Muhammad Atef (Keyboards), Dunsha (Vocals) and Maynard (Vocals).

 

What are your favorite Metal bands in Egypt and why?

There are many bands that I respect for their efforts and achievements such as Scarab and Wyvern. But my favorite band in the Egyptian rock and metal scene is The Room. They play very unique music, their lyrical themes are very dark, shocking, aggressive, painfully truthful and smart, if I may say, not to mention that their live performance is unrivaled by any other Egyptian band in my opinion.

 

After the release of the legal metal albums do you think of releasing one?

We’ve been planning for an album since a very long time. However, money has always been an issue because producing a decent quality album costs a lot of it and, unfortunately, being in a metal band in Egypt doesn’t even cover the expenses of buying equipment and jamming. The other issue that has been standing in the way is that we’ve been experimenting with our music. So, many of the original songs on our set list that were regular say two years ago have been totally removed from our catalogue. Wyvern’s album release is inspiring but I don’t think that even if we are to release an album that we’d take the same road due to many different reasons. Who knows … Maybe we will; the first step is to write and record the music and after that we can decide what to do with it.

 

How can you categorize your music?

I don’t like to categorize it, to be honest. We play metal music and that is as far as I’d like to go with it. This is because when I write music for Enraged I try as much as possible not to impose a lot of limits on the creativity process and the outcome is not always the same anyway. Some of our tracks have straight forward heavy metal structures and riffing, some are mellow and some are hybrids of different styles. We have performed a total of 13 original tracks since our debut and I can’t list all of them under just one sub genre.

 

Enraged started as a tribute for female-fronted Metal bands then shifted towards performing originals why was that change?

When Rasha and I started talking about forming a band the original plan was to eventually include some originals in our set lists. The Egyptian Metal scene during 2005 and 2006 was developing a lot of interest in original song writing and we wanted to be part of that. We performed our first track “The Truth That Lies Conceal” in the third edition of Metal Accord in 2006 and 2 months later we recorded it and released it on the internet. People’s response was generally positive despite the relatively poor quality of recording and production but it was an important step. The more important reason, though, is that playing just covers was no longer satisfying for me and I felt that is was time for us to express ourselves with accordance to our own terms and ideas. Bishoy and Rasha supported me in that shift and from that point onwards Enraged decided to dedicate itself to original music writing and performing.

 

Tell me about your discography?

We are yet to release a full album. So far we’ve recorded and released four songs. The first one was The Truth That Lies Conceal featuring Sammy El Sayed on vocals. This track is quite different than any other track we’ve written and released since it has a very lengthy keyboard solo which reflects Muhammad Atef’s role in writing that song. Almost 1 year later we’ve released Ma’at which we’ve recorded entirely on a home PC and earlier this year we’ve released “Kemet” and “The Apsis of the Seeker”. On our website and Facebook fan page you’ll often find references to “The Odyssey of the Blind” which was supposedly the name of the album but as I said we’ve resorted to releasing singles of that album every now and then since we can’t afford recording a whole album all at once.

 

Are there any official videos for the band?

Making an official video for the band has been a reoccurring thought but I doubt we can make one in the near future.

 

Are you guys planning to enter music competitions around the world?

I’d really love to expand and reach out to the world with our music but I am also realistic. Enraged has to both improve and establish itself in the Egyptian Metal scene before considering going outside of Egypt. We also must have a good wealth of recorded material … We are planning to knock on that door but; first things first.

 

Can you give me names of bands you performed in and/or want to do a stage performance with in the future?

I’ve shared the stage with many Egyptian bands in festivals and El Sawy such as Redeemers, Dark Philosophy, Beyond East, Wyvern, Sirens, Hate Suffocation, Instrumental Therapy, Invaders, The Room, Classics Band and more. We were also part of the opening acts for Nervecell in Egypt Metal 2007. If I have to name one band that I’d love to share the stage with in El Sawy Culture Wheel and haven’t yet; I’d say Idlemind.


Give us a brief summary about your previous gigs and concerts.

Enraged has taken part in a couple of underground metal festivals such as Egypt Metal, Metal Accord and Rock Station. We’ve also played live with Invaders, Instrumental Therapy, The Room, Profile and Classics Band in El Sawy Culture Wheel.

 

What do you mean by the name Enraged?

Enraged literally means “to be filled with anger”. When I was thinking about naming the band I wanted to come up with one simple word that could be easily remembered and in the same time reflect an attribute of some sort. We’re pissed off so many things; there are too many disappointments in our lives and in the world, too much pain and sorrow and a lot of confusion. So I guess it’s only natural to be “Enraged” and so it was …

 

Are you guys planning to hit the western world?

It’s almost every band’s dream to become rock stars and tour the world the same way our idols in the west do. As I said perhaps when we establish ourselves here in Egypt and develop ourselves as a band we could knock on that door.

 

What are your plans for the future?

- There are many things I am looking forward to do with Enraged. The most important task on our hands at the moment is to develop ourselves as a live band and embark on music writing. I hope that by the end of the year we’d have achieved the first goal and also have a bundle of original songs ready for professional recording. I am also trying to think of ways to expand the fan base of Enraged so I am looking at what other bands may have done to boost their popularity as well as coming up with new innovations.

 

What do you think of Wyvern album as it the first legal metal album released in Egypt, is it a good step for more records soon and how we can promote Heavy Metal in Egypt?

- Wyvern has set a new standard for original music recording and has most certainly inspired a lot of musicians to record their music and try to distribute it legally. Wyvern themselves have generously offered to help us and any other serious band with their connections and experience and I think this is something quite respectful and encouraging. As I said I am not sure yet if we could take the same road of Wyvern but when the time comes I’ll most certainly consider it. I’ve been to Virgin Megastores and I saw first hand Wyvern’s album on the shelves among the CD’s of other metal giants. This is big not just for Wyvern but for everyone else.

 

Are there upcoming concerts soon?

- As a matter of fact there is. Enraged is hitting the stage with The Room, Instrumental Therapy and Varden on the 9th of June in El Sawy Culture Wheel in the third edition of Music Mana. We are all very excited about the event and we are preparing a new original track called “The Invisible Hand” that we will play for the first time on that event as well as a couple of covers for Nightwish, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and After Forever.

That will feature Enraged as well as other bands in El Sawy Culture Wheel. Part of the revenue of the bands will be given to charity as part of doing good to those in need, challenging the isolation of the rock and metal scene and the negative stereotypes about it as well as making a statement.

 

What are the lyrical themes of your tracks?

Many things. We have tracks that are about individualism, spirituality, social issues and global conflicts.

 

What do you think of Rock Era magazine?

Since Metal Gigs Forum has been shut down and I’ve been waiting for someone to take the initiative to start, at least a forum, to connect us once more. Fortunately, Rock Era has emerged and has a lot more than just a forum to offer. I’ve got no complaints so far and I think you guys are doing a great job. I only wish more people use the forum and maybe I should practice before I preach, but what the hell … Logon the forum guys!

 

Are you guys performing covers in addition to originals, can you give me names of the covers?

We’ve covered tracks for Evanescence, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil and Dream Theater. Hopefully we’ll explore covers that are rarely played for these bands and other bands as well.

 

As a female fronted band what are differences in sound and composing compared to male fronted ones and what do you think of Rasha as a vocal?

Sometimes I feel that some people don’t take female fronted metal bands seriously which I think is ridiculous. Of course it may be hard for some female vocalists to sing as deeply or aggressively as some male vocalists but everything has its advantages and disadvantages and the female voice brings a feel to music that males can hardly bring so I guess it is a question of how to distribute the vocal lines between Rasha and Eslam as well as myself.

I think that Rasha has good potentials of becoming a professional like singer because she has a very strong voice. She has developed through years of experience and studying and I hope that she keeps it up to finally reach her potentials.

 

Is there any message you want to deliver to your fans?

Quite simply, thank you. And thanks to Rock Era for its interest in Enraged.

 

Interviewd by: Hany Adly

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