Octavarium is a progressive metal band From Alexandria and was formed in early 2008 by guitarist Amr El Gendy and drummer Rafik El Naggar. The band plays originals and covers, Rock Era interviewed them to know more…
How did the band start, when and where?
Amr: The band started in 2008, when Amr El Gendy (Guitars) and Rafik El Naggar (Drums) decided to make a new progressive band which is influenced by great bands like Dream theater and Symphony x.
We started searching for members who have the ability to play this kind of unique and difficult music because of it’s strange tie signatures and timing. Moustafa Heffnawy (Vocals) joined the band later as a keyboardist , later he joined the band as the front man and the main vocalist of the band , Ashraf Osman (Bass) Joined the band sharing the bass guitar duty in the band, and finally Amir Hamdy (Keyboardist) Joined the band as the keyboardist.
Do you guys suffer from accusations towards the metal scene nowadays in media ,how do you think we can change that?
Amr:Yes ofcoarse we do, we all know how people think about metal music and how aggressive it is, but we are keeping the good work and trying to change what people think about this type of music.
Tell me about your current members and former ones?
Current band memebrs are:
- Moustafa Heffnawy: Vocalist
- Amr El Gendy: Guitar
- Ashraf Osman: Bass guitar
- Adham Dafrawy: Keyboard
- Rafik El Naggar: Drums
- Amir Hamdy: Keyboard
- Amr El Gendy: Guitar
- Rafik El Naggar: Drums
What are your favorite metal bands in Egypt and why?
Amr: Wyvern , Varden , Redeemers and Scarab ..Because each band has it’s taste of music and has great music to present and show people how talented they are.
After the release of metal albums are you guys planning for an album ?
Amr: Why not ? We are working on our own material now which has the progressive taste and we hope you’ll like it
How can you categorize your music?
Amr: Progressive with a heavy metal touch , sometimes it’s loud sometimes it’s quiet ..We really love progressive music.
There are rumors that Octavarium split up is that true?
Amr: No, the band is still there and we are jamming and preparing for a concert very soon.
Tell me about your discography?
Amr: We are currently working on our own songs, we have one finished, it’s a slow and romantic one and it’s called “Jewels and silvers'” but more to come isa.
Is there any official videos for the band?
Amr: On the youtube website, just write Octavarium and you’ll fine some videos from previous concerts
Are you guys planning to enter music competitions around the world?
Amr: Sure, if we had the opportunity then sure we are in.
Can you give me names of bands you shared and or want to share the the stage with in the future?
Amr: We shared the stage with a number of great bands like; Varden, Foxido, Simplexity, Entity X, Amadeus, Kerosene, Scarab, Crescent, Sick Silence, MASH, Worm, Vortex, Dark Philosophy, Headcase and so on…
Give me a brief summary about your previous gigs and concerts?
Amr: The first one was @ the bib Alex music competition 3rd edition, August 6th 2008, along with Varden, Foxido, Simplexity and Entity x bands.
It was just a start for the band, the crowd loved what we played and they enjoyed it so much although we had some and sound problems and made some mistakes, but overall it was cool.
The second one was @ metal night II , November 20th 2008 , Along with many bands ..It was a very succesful concert for the band and helped in putting our name into the spotlight way to rock the scene with the progressive music.
The 3rd one was @ Cairo Sawy culture wheel along with Varden band , February 22nd 2009 , it was the best concert for the band till now , The sound system was excellent , we all were so excited about playing @ Sakkia so we did our best in this concert and Cairo fans were really awesome , I think they loved us and they were singing with us!
The last one till now was @ Bib Alex Alexheadbangers , February 28th 2009 , It was a good concert although the sound wasn’t that good , but we enjoyed it and people enjoyed too.
Is there any merchandise for the band?
What does the name Octavarium mean?
Amr: Originally it’s a name for a dream theater album, Octa means 8.
Are you guys planning to hit the western world?
Amr: Yeah we are planning to do this as soon as we finish our plans here
What are your plans for the future?
Amr: To enlarge our fan base and to perform more and more concerts and let the people hear our music.
What do you think of releasing a legally released metal album in Egypt,is it a good step for more records soon and how can we promote metal music in Egypt?
Amr: It’s a great step for all the bands in Egypt , and it’s really such an encouragement to all bands to do as Wyvern did.
Are there any upcoming concerts soon?
Amr: Yeah we are planning to do a new concert in Cairo soon.
What are the lyrical themes of your tracks?
Every track has it’s own condition and subject, but mainly we are concentrating on political issues.
What do you think of Rock Era magazine ?
We love it , Because every single piece of news is on it, anything u want u can find.
Are you guys still performing covers in addition to originals? Can you give me the names of those covers?
Amr:The root of all evil (laughs) is “Dream theater”.
Those are :
Forsaken “Dream theater”
As Iam “Dream theater”
Paradise lost “Symphony x”
Vacant “Dream theater”
Stream of consciousness “Dream theater”
Sea of lies “Symphony x”
Constant motion “Dream theater”
Cemetary gates “Pantera”
Are you guys planning for making an official website or an official my space page for the band?
Amr:Yeah for sure as soon as possible, we are working on that.
Is there any message you want to deliver to your fans?
Amr: We just need your support, each one of you, because it gives us the strenght to keep on going and rocking on.