One of the few Arab bands that made the Arab-Metal community proud. The band that re-defined Oriental-Metal and honored us with every concert where they played as an opening act. Lucky me, I had the chance to bless my ears with Myrath’s music in Dubai Rock Festival 2013. I met Elyes Bouchoucha – their keyboardist – and he somehow fit me in his tight schedule during Myrath’s few days in Dubai.
You’re one of the few Arabian bands that went out there and became an international band, how do you feel?
Elyes: It’s scary. To present Tunis, our Maghreb and the Arab World, I hope to honor it and make the Arab metalheads proud.
Why do you think other bands might be unlucky in the Middle East?
Elyes: There are a lot of good bands here in the Middle East, but as much as luck plays an important role, it’s the lack of support; there’s a lack of record labels. The more the bands are, the less attention they get which is really ridiculous and if you check them out they are incredibly good. I wish more Arabian bands get out there and show their work. It’s something huge to be proud of.
How does it differ to perform in Arabic than in English since you have lyrics that include both languages?
Elyes: The problem with writing in Arabic that we preform and sing in Tunisian, people don’t understand it. So, we do the following: We sing in English, but the chorus is in Tunisian Arabic because we don’t want to neglect the fact that we are originally Tunisian or deny our heritage. We love our country and love our language and accent.
Was it a challenge to put Arabic lyrics on Metal music?
Elyes: We are very attached to our Arab heritage and our roots and we really wanted to include and show this in our lyrics. It was hard, but we said “Yalla! Let’s do it”
Who writes the lyrics?
Elyes: Ayman Jawadi, a good friend of the band and like a brother.
When Myrath first started as a Metal band, what kind of obstacles did you face especially that you started in an Arab country?
Elyes: It took us years to form it. Lots of members came and left. Each one of those members played in a different band with a different taste. When we met we had to gather in one place, especially that Zaher – the vocalist – is in the South and Anis –the bassist- is in the North.
To be honest, we didn’t face any problems with the government. Our music is not death, neither our lyrics are Satanist. The only negative thing – I won’t call it an obstacle – was that we weren’t supported
How did you first meet?
What about the songs that need Tabla or Oud or any oriental instruments. Do use real instruments or replace them with keyboards?
Elyes: Of course we use real instruments. A while ago we posted photos from old rehearsals where we used Cello, Violin and Tabla and all percussion instruments.
A piece of advice to all young bands who’d like to develop?
Elyes: It’s easy if you work hard! Don’t wait, don’t say I’ll learn when I’m in a better place or in a better position. Start right away!
Photography by: Nidhal Marzouk