With their love for Manga, Anime and rock music, Dieski presents a unique sound of alternative/gothic music. Read more about one of Egypt’s most successful rock bands.
First things first, what does Dieski mean?
Dieski is Japanese for In The Love Of. In Japanese the word is divided in two, Die-Ski.
What do you mean by: If You like Manga & Anime, there should be nothing else on your freakin’ iPod except our tracks? What is the relation between your music and Anime/Manga?
We love Anime, and actually Dieski is the lead character in the 70’s famous Japanese anime Grindizer, even the cover of our album is an Anime character.
How would you categorize your music?
First of all we are a rock band, so rock is the essence of our music. We play both, covers for famous artists and our own original music. Our aim is to become a completely original band. I remember in our first big concert we played a set of about 20 songs, with just 2 or 3 originals. In our last concert half the set was original songs, and soon we will play just one or two covers per concert.
With a lot of changes in the line-up, what are the changes in sound, and what was the effect of Dalia leaving the band?
Of course each member of the band has his input which is reflected in the music, with members leaving and others joining I personally saw it as a positive thing which makes the music we play flourish, as every person has his own signature and ideas that he blends into the music, which gives it a different taste. I remember for example that we used to play one of our songs, The Thing You Hate, in a certain way, then when Fady Anis (Bassist) joined the band, he told us to change its ending, and when we tried it we found that it sounds even better. I believe that as long as your mind is open to different opinions and ideas, then this will help in improving the music you play, of course Dalia is an important member of the band, and her leaving wasn’t in its favour, but she took the decision and we respected it, and as I told you, we are used to changes, so it’s normal for members to leave and others to join. In the end, Dieski is still Dieski.
How did the band start? When and where?
The band started a long time ago, in 2003-2004, the idea started with Karim Hassan (lead guitarist) and myself. We used to jam together a lot because we’ve been friends since we were little kids, so we thought of actually forming a band. We then faced the problem of finding people who can fit into the style of music that we wanted to play. We met a bassist (Mahmoud nofal) who was with us at college, then a friend of ours introduced us to the drummer (Sherif Shaheed), then it took us a while to meet our vocalist (Dalia).
The line-up changed several times. After our first bassist left, we had another bassist (Karim Suki), and now we have Fadi Anis as our bassist. As per the drums, we started out with Sherif Shaheed, but after he left for the Gulf we got another Drummer (Maged Faltas). As for the Keyboards, we had several members joining. You know that sometimes we had friends on the band, like when Amr Khaled of Bad Apple joined us for a while as a Drummer (he plays drums really well) and Hany Mostafa of Egoz also pitched in as keyboardist and guest Vocalist.
Tell me about the current members, how did you meet?
Current members, well, our bassist nowadays is (Fady), Karim and I have known him for more than 10 years now, so we asked him to join after (Suki) left. About (Maged) the drummer, Karim met him in a studio and jammed with him and ever since then he became a member of the band.
What do you think of the scene right now and the accusations towards it?
Well the scene is expanding, a lot of bands are emerging, more people are getting attracted to this kind of music. But the problem in my opinion is that the venues are still few, I can’t recall having many places that allow bands to play, other than El Sawy Culture Wheel, and the Alexandrina Bibliotica, with its annual competition. Also, a lot of bands are commercializing content to attract more audience.
What are your favorite bands in Egypt and why?
Well, as bands who plays originals, I like Forgotten Notes, Abuse and Egoz, as they have great original music which distinguishes them from others. Regarding cover bands, I like Screwdriver, I personally think they’re the best cover band in Egypt.
Tell me about your discography?
We recorded a demo album titled Of Bloody Hearts and Broken Glass, the demo consisted of 4 original tracks and was distributed in our concerts last year. We are working on recording 5 other tracks and releasing a complete Album soon.
Did you guys play covers in addition to original songs?
Yes of course, we played many covers with various styles. For example, we played stuff by Guns n’ Roses along with covers of Lacuna Coil and Nightwish and even by Alanis Morissette and Pink Floyd, I mean we didn’t limit ourselves to a certain genre in covers, we used to play whatever we wanted to play, which characterizes Dieski. We all have different taste in music; I am a Pink Floyd and Camel fan, Karim is a Lacuna Coil and Nightwish fan, Fady is more into Jazz, Maged is into new metal and so on. Everyone has some songs that he likes and we all play them, that’s why you’ll find a variety of covers in our set list.
Is there any official band merchandise out?
Not yet, we’re planning on making some stuff using the band’s logo but we’re still in the brainstorming phase.
Are you guys planning on hitting Europe, the US and Asia? The latter seems like a given since you like the Japanese culture.
This is the dream of any Egyptian band, it’s not easy though. We are trying to contact some record labels abroad. If that works, then maybe the dream will come true.
Tell me about your upcoming concerts and release dates.
I can’t give you an exact date, as some of the band members are travelling abroad these days, but I can say that something will happen soon, but not before a couple of more months.
What are the lyrical themes of your songs?
Our lyrics express everything that a person can go through, from love to pain and aggression. As I told you before we don’t limit ourselves to any category. For example, the song Nothing but a Dream, talks about disappointment after break-ups, while the song Sorcerer talks about the fantasy world of one’s imagination, so as you can see, there is diversity in the subjects.
Are you guys signed to any label?
Unfortunately, not yet. We are trying to contact labels abroad, but still nothing yet.
How can fans listen to your work? Are there any videos out there or mp3s available for download?
Yes, there are videos of some of the concerts on YouTube, and we are currently working on a Myspace page for Dieski.
How many concerts and tours did you guys perform? And what were their highlights?
Oh, I’ve lost count. We played a lot and in many different places, from Sakiet el Sawy, to universities, like AUC, MSA and CIC, to the Alexandria Bibliotheque and others. My favorite concert/tour was when we performed in Alexandria, that was one of the best concerts, the stage and equipment there were awesome. We were playing in open air with the sea as our background and everything was well-organized.
Can you tell me the names of the bands you guys played with?
Oh, they’re a lot. Uhm, well, we played with Forgotten Notes, Egoz, Marbleheads, and many more.
Give me names of the bands you guys wish to share the stage with, whether inside or outside Egypt.
I remember we once talked about this and the answer was Metallica
Do you see your band as a global one?
Yes, I believe that our music combines both the melodic feel along with the commercial attraction, which appeals to most people.
Have you guys had any interviews with local, international music mags before? If there are any, can you give me some names?
Ahmed: Yes, we were interviewed on the Radio before, and they aired some of our songs. We were also interviewed in some magazines like Campus.
What do you think of Rock Era? The good and the bad points?
Actually I like your magazine very much, it’s a window for artists to reach a widespread audience throughout the internet. I love the idea of the online radio that you have, it has allowed me to listen to many Egyptian bands which I didn’t know how to reach before. Keep it going Rock Era.
What would you like to say to your fans out there?
Wait for us…Dieski will rock you.