Rock Era had the privilege to interview Anathema, presented by Traffik Events for the first time in Dubai.

There were four magazines including Rock Era (Yours Truly) there; and we shared funny moments with the Cavanagh brothers and Lee Douglas. John Douglas and Daniel Cardoso (Live Keyboardist) were busy checking their equipment for that night’s show.

They were showered with questions, but they were friendly enough to give us 10 minutes of their precious time.


What kind of advice would you give to the Arab bands that play rock and metal?

Vincent Cavanagh: You have to love it. It’s the youth who’ve got to do it; the government has to make sure to give them the chance. One day, all of the old establishments will die off and the youth will carry things forward. The time to think that rock music and metal music is the devil’s music, which is in the past, it doesn’t exist. This is about music, it’s not about religion, and it’s not about politics. It’s about music and good positivity. There’s nothing wrong with it, and nothing immoral about it, and there’s nothing corrupt about it.

Lee Douglas: It’s a hard business!

Who mainly writes the lyrics for the band?
[Daniel Cavanagh raises his hand]


While writing, do you set up a specific mood for writing, or do you just go ahead and write anything that’s on your mind?
Daniel Cavanagh: It’s all real emotions; it’s all from the heart. It usually comes out from a particular emotional state, maybe a good one or not so good. It’s about people that I’m really close to, in various ways… And, it’s all real. I might be saying the word “you” so many times, but I’m really talking to so many different people. It could be parents, it could be lovers, it could be friends, it could be myself, or even the listener, but most important that it really comes from the heart. And it’s all really connected to love in one way or another and different emotions.

While searching your music I found lots of people wondering, are “Lost Control” and “Forgotten Hopes” are in any way connected to each other?
Daniel Cavanagh: Not really, no. Every lyrics and every song has different feelings and different stories behind them.

Alright, what are the bands you guys are most influenced by?
Vincent Cavanagh: This is a double-edged question, because if you say “influenced” it’s like well, we want to sound like this or that. And the music that we listen to, those bands want to sound like themselves and we’re the same. We don’t really want to sound like anybody else and we have our own way of doing things, and they have their own way of doing things. So, the music that we listen to, whether it’s a band or an individual composer, is quite original. Everyone here has a different taste of music. I like contemporary classical composers. I like people who mix modern electronics with rock, post-rock and classical music and who do lots of sounds scape and soundtrack music, like Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, and John Murphy… people like that.
Daniel Cavanagh: I like 80s pop!
Vincent Cavanagh: Danny is different, he likes 80s pop! Lee likes The Carpenters, Blues and Soul.
Lee Douglas: The Doors for the win!
Jamie Cavanagh: I like any band that begins with the letter T! Take That, Tears for Fears, Talk Talk, Talking Heads, t.A.T.u from Russia.

Can you give us three words that describe Anathema?
Daniel Cavanagh: Love is all!


Share with us your funniest, or most embarrassing moment on stage.
Vincent Cavanagh: I once tried to spin round; I got my foot caught in a cable. I fell backwards with my leg in the air. I landed on my back and I split my trousers from the knee open till right through the groin until the other knee and we had to pause and go off stage to change my trousers. I was glad I was wearing underwear that day!


One last question, are you guys going to visit Egypt anytime soon?
Jamie Cavanagh: I’d love to. I’d love to visit all the Arabian states, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, everywhere!
Daniel Cavanagh: We would just like give a tribute to all the people who can’t come to the gig today, who can’t afford to come today, we are thinking of them tonight!
Vincent Cavanagh: And we hope one day we get the chance to go there. Egypt is an amazing country. I think we’ll end up going there on holiday before we actually manage to play. We’ll see. Keep your fingers crossed.


Vincent: Thank you for that amazing time! Shukran!

Interviewed by: NJ Bakr

Photographed by: Bill Mullally