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As part of a new segment in RockEra magazine we are featuring young upcoming artists. We’ve had the chance to speak to the members of a band formerly known as Oblivion who have reformed as Nous and are experimenting with new musical styles to create new material.

The band members currently are Sameh – Lead Guitars, Faisal – Vocals and rhythm guitar, Ramez – Drums, Ali- Bass and a new band member Basma to be a main vocalist. 


So how long have you guys been jamming for?
We’ve been jamming together for 3 years. Basically we started doing it just for the fun of it because we’re all really passionate about music. Then again this is what metal or rock n roll in general is about; have fun and do what you love. We’re all pretty much self-taught, and share one common love: Music. Originally we started out with Faisal, who’s also the rhythm guitarist, as being the lead vocalist. At the moment he’s doing the backup vocals and Basma is our main vocalist. Some of us knew more about music than others, but we taught each other and improved each other’s skills. Constructive criticism and determination are really vital for being in a band.


Who are your personal inspirations?
Sameh: For me, Slash is a big inspiration, generally speaking Guns N’ Roses have influenced my style as a lead guitarist.
Ali: I like Manowar, Iced Earth and Ozzy. In a way or another they affect my style though I did not try to cover their songs directly.

Ramez: I have many idols, but my favorite one would be Chris Adler from Lamb of God. I enjoy trying to cover his way of drumming as I think it’s really challenging. His techniques are awesome. I would sit and listen to his stuff for 15 times in a row and then improvise and add in from what I’ve heard when we all jam. I also like Rev from Avenged Sevenfold and Mike Portnoy – Dream Theater.

Faisal: I like Lamb of God and As I lay Dying. I love their rhythm patterns. I’ve always been interested in Rhythm guitars. I like the way they carry a song along and are in the background but really make or break a song. As for doing the vocals, I growl and sing. I like vocals done by Lamb of God, As I lay Dying, Whitechapel and All Shall Perrish. Growling requires you to practice and push yourself and I really like that.

Since you are jamming with a female vocalist now, did that change things for you?
Yes of course it did, a lot changes. A female vocalist can add a lot to a band, but it also requires some changes to be made. We have to adjust the tuning, the way we play – including the type of songs we play, and the style. We haven’t jammed so much yet, but we are planning to see where things go and how they go. It’s good to make changes and see how the results turn out to be. Then you can take what works and leave what doesn’t.


Have you been the same band members since you formed your band?
No we haven’t. We’ve had a different bassist who had to leave due to personal reasons, so from there Ali took on being a bassist. Being in a band you need to adjust to change and be able to cope with it. Ali was originally trained in playing classic guitar, Spanish. But we figured he was really good with finger picking so we handed him a bass and saw he was able to align himself with that really fast. The bass-line is really important in a song even though people might not notice it, because it’s not so in-your-face as other instruments, but luckily Ali being able to cope really well we reformed and took it from there.


Tell us more about the stuff you play!
We started out by covering songs, we still do. We like to cover alternative rock bands including 3 Doors Down, Breaking Benjamin, Nickelback and Bullet for my Valentine. But we also have our own material that’s still being processed and developed to be produced professionally in the future. We all have very different inspirations, so we try to take some parts and improvise, experimenting until we get the best result we’re satisfied with. You take your inspirations from different genres and then kind’a reinvent your own thing.


You mentioned that you have some material, where are you planning to go with it?
At the moment we’re jamming in a studio we rent, but we are not working with a producer yet. We are planning to finish all the material that we have which is hard work because we have to keep on experimenting to get a result we’re satisfied with. Once we have enough finished raw material we are planning to release an EP and then put it together into an Album.


So once you guys have enough material, are you planning to step out into the local metal scene?
Hopefully in the future we are. We are taking things one step at a time. At the moment we are preparing to play at the EXIT show, which is a graduation exhibition for the college of fine arts and design in the University of Sharjah, so we are heading there. From there we are planning to take things on and see where they lead us. It’s a huge step that needs a lot of thought and work put into it. The metal scene in the UAE is growing after a relapse a couple of years back, so hopefully with the right preparation we are hoping to make a release someday.


Do you have any advice for young people like yourselves who want to form a band but are scared?
It’s really important to love what you are doing, love the music and enjoy it. Don’t think about being too commercial or anything, just be passionate about the instrument you are holding and let things take their way. Rock n Roll is all about enjoying the music and this is what you should do. Don’t give up if you can’t play a full song immediately and don’t get bored, just keep practicing. Be determined and be passionate, and have fun!


Interviewed by: Jamie Tofu


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