The band started out as a Joe Satriani tribute band, but after a while they changed direction and decided to make their original music. The reasons behind that shift and more, coming up next in our interview with Aymen of Instrumental Therapy…
What does Instrumental Therapy mean?
Aymen: We’ve been thinking about a name for the band for so long, we had many ideas and got many suggestions but none of which expressed what we were really about. We’ve been looking for a name that reflects what we do. Since we play (Instrumental) tracks, we believe that music can change, and can heal. From here on in we decided that this will be the name of the band, Instrumental Therapy.
Can you tell me about your discography?
Aymen: So far we’ve got 6 original tracks. We worked on the first 3 original tracks on December 2007 (The American Dream, Peace, and The Rise of the Kings) then we played the 4th original (Let’s rock) for the first time in March 2008. Our 5th original (Release) had lines, so we got a guest vocalist in March 2009 concert. Then there was the 6th original (Psycho Therapy) which we are planning on performing in our next gig in July 2009.
Instrumental Therapy changed from a tribute band to an original one, what are the reasons behind that?
Aymen: True, we were concentrating on Joe Satriani tracks till we decided that we needed a new challenge. You can feel the identity of the band from its original tracks; you can be a very good band by covering tracks for well-known artists, but you still won’t have your own musical character until you’ve created your own music with your own feelings and emotion.
Weren’t you afraid of covering a guitar legend like Joe Satriani? What was your reason behind that choice?
Aymen: Joe is a very talented musician, it wasn’t an easy thing choosing him, but that’s the music we loved, and that’s why we chose it. We were ready to put in all the efforts in the world to play his music as tightly as we can. We were even focusing on the sound’s output, so we used our own sound engineer to ensure that we would get the best sound quality in our live shows.
What are the difficulties facing you as a rock band?
Aymen: The most difficult thing is that Egypt doesn’t have variety of known venues to perform real rock concerts, I guess the stage is what a musician lives for. Here we just have three or four places where we can perform rock concerts.
Have you guys signed (or thinking of) a record deal with any music label?
Aymen: We are not signed yet, and yes we are thinking about that.
Have you guys performed any concerts outside of Egypt or are you planning to hit the western world?
Aymen: We still haven’t performed outside of Egypt, we are working on more original stuff to complete at least a one hour setlist.
What are your plans for the future?
Aymen: There are different directions, one of them is to perform concerts outside of Egypt, another direction is to concentrate on recording our 1st album.
How did the band start, when and where?
Aymen: The band was formed in 2007 When Ayman (who was a member in a blues band called Blues on the Rocks) wanted to make a new musical project which basically covers Joe Satriani’s great hits. After some music sessions with some talented musicians trying to start that new project, it didn’t go so well at the beginning. This is because some people weren’t interested enough, some weren’t responsible and some were very good but there wasn’t what we call chemistry or spirit between us. So the idea was paused for a while until Ayman met Mostafa (Drummer) by chance. After a few months, Ayman talked with Mostafa about the idea of covering some Joe Satriani tracks. Mostafa was good enough to go through with the project and he liked the idea. Mahmoud El Masry (X-bassist) who was the bassist of Blues on the Rocks band was ready to join the band as he was a big fan of Satriani, so he accepted Ayman’s offer to join. The band wasn’t ready yet as the project needed another guitarist, and Omar Osama’s touch was strong enough to start the project.
Tell me about your current and former members?
Aymen: The current members are:
- Ayman Moharram: Lead Guitarist and Composer
- Omar Osama: Rhythm Guitarist
- Mostafa Taha: Drums
- Sherif Roshdy: Bass Guitarist
- Ashraf Magid: Keyboardist
- Mohammed Emam (Vocal – guest)
- And the former members are:
- Mahmoud El-Masry: Bass Guitarist
- Feras El-Rifae: Bass Guitarist
Do you suffer from any accusations towards the rock & metal scene nowadays in the media? What do you think could be a solution to that problem?
Aymen: We can’t say that we are suffering, we feel the atmosphere is better nowadays, people began to understand what rock and metal is all about, you can hear rock and metal music in T.V. programs and radio, but the problem still exists, some irresponsible individuals can be pinned down as the reason. I guess we can solve it when we begin to respect the music and respect others too, you know what I mean. I mean you have the right to enjoy the music, but you don’t have the right to harm others.
What are your favourite rock bands in Egypt and why?
Aymen: There are many talented bands here in Egypt, Andromida is a good old band, their music is so tight.
How would you categorize your music?
Aymen: I don’t like to categorize our music, we’ve got an oriental touch in some tracks, we’ve got an all rock spirit in other tracks, some are heavy, to feel the real metal music, some are lighter. Well, I’ll leave the categorizing to you, that will be fair enough I guess!
Are there any official videos for the band?
Are you planning on entering any music competitions around the world?
Ayman: I don’t believe in dealing with music as if it is a sport, because competitions were made to show the best, and there is no (Best) in music, but whenever there is a chance to perform music on stage, we’ll be there.
Can you give me names of bands that you shared the stage with and bands that you hope to work with in the future?
Aymen: We shared the stage with (Amadeus) in our 1st concert in Sakia.
Enraged on 8-3-2008 in Sakia.
Redeemers on 11-7-2008.
Give me a brief summary of your previous gigs and concerts?
- 1st concert (5-8-2007) in Sakia Culture Wheel:
- The band prepared a list of 10 tracks for the 1st gig as the they were sharing the stage with a Rock band from Alexandria (Amadeus).
- 2nd concert (17-10-2007) in Sakia Culture Wheel:
- After the 1st gig the band’s main focus was to cover more tracks to perform a whole concert, after 2 months the band was ready with 18 tracks adding new artists to the list (Steve Vai and John Petrucci).
- After the 2nd concert, the direction was changing a little bit, the band began to focus on creating original tracks.
- At the same time Mahmoud decided to leave the band to focus on his business career, so the band had to stop for a while to search for a good Bassist. Feras El-Rifay (a very old friend of Ayman) offered to join the band, and he got in.
- 3rd concert (11-2-2008) in Sakia Culture Wheel:
- The band was ready with 3 original tracks for this gig with new Satriani tracks.
- The three original tracks: The American dream, the rise of the kings and Peace
- 4th concert (8-3-2008) in Sakia Culture Wheel:
- Our band shared the stage with a Metal band (Enraged). We played the 3 originals with some Satriani covers.
- 1st concert (5-8-2007) in Sakia Culture Wheel:
5th concert (27-3-2008) in Sakia Culturewheel (New Generation’s branch):
- The band played a new original track “Let’s Rock”
- 6th concert (11-7-2008) at El Sakia Culture Wheel:
- The band shared the stage with a Symphonic Power Metal band (Redeemers).
- After the 6th Concert Tarek El-Sharkawy joined the band as guest on the bass guitar
- 7th Concert (28-11-2008):
- The band took a part in the Ain Shams annual festival which was in Ismailia city.
- 8th Concert (02-03-2009):
- The band performed in Sakia Culture Wheel and performed a new original track called (Release).
Is there any merchandise for the band?
Aymen: No there isn’t.
When are your upcoming concerts, album, EP releases?
Aymen: We’ve got a rock/metal concert come 9th of July at El Sakia Culture Wheel, we’ll be sharing the stage with Varden, The Room and Enraged. That’s gonna be a big one I guess.
What do you think of Rock Era magazine?
Aymen: This is a great effort guys, really we are glad you can come up with this great magazine which supports the bands, we wish you the best of luck.
Is there any message you want to deliver for your fans?
Aymen: YEAH, waiting to see all of you. We miss you so much, we’ll be seeing you 9/7/2009, till then, ROCK ON.