Tony, could you please introduce the band to our readers? The origin, the current line-up members and the instruments they play?
Tony: TristMoon is a Lebanese metal band. The current line-up of the band is as follows:
Sako Helvajian: Vocals
Serge Keshishian: Lead Guitar
Gary Kabakian: Bass Guitar
Adel Youssef: Keyboards/Synth/Piano
Tony Tarazi: Drums
How did the band members meet each others?
Tony: TristMoon started with a group of friends coming together with their instruments and their musical vision. The original band members were close friends before they started the band.
How did you come up with the name TristMoon and why did you choose it as the band’s name?
Tony: The band wanted a strong name to reflect nature and man’s cruelty against it. The band members searched long and hard for a suitable name. “TristMoon” was the name that felt the best suited for this theme, and the best reflection of the musical style and inspiration of the band. TristMoon is a combination of words from two different languages: Trist from French, meaning sadness and Moon from English, representing nature.
What genre exactly does the band play and why did you choose this genre?
Tony: TristMoon is a melodic black metal band. TristMoon did not make a conscious decision to play melodic black metal; the genre sort of came out from the musical and lyrical themes and from the natural direction of the songs.
Tony, I knew through the band’s official fan page on Facebook that the band is preparing for an album, can you please tell us about it?
Tony: TristMoon is done recording its debut album and is now in the mastering phase. The songs on the album have taken a long time to be completed, and have gone through a lot of modifications over the years. TristMoon members are perfectionists when it comes to music, and the songs have gone through stages to become what they are on the album. The recording process was hard work, but very enjoyable because the band wanted to record the songs in the best and most authentic way possible. The result is fresh and strong material that will ensure that the fans enjoy the album, and look forward to more music from TristMoon.
What’s the message you want to deliver through this album?
Tony: The album will highlight the synchronization between musical skills and musical potential and their actual translation into music. This album will come as a confirmation that metal music is still alive and well in Lebanon and the Arab world; despite the strong competition from other musical styles, metal bands are still inspired and able to produce good albums that have substance both in terms of lyrics and music.
How are you going to release this album? Did you sign with any label?
Tony: The debut TristMoon album is still in the mastering phase, and we are working towards signing with a label once the final version of the album is complete. The album release would be the next step after signing with a label. As for details about the album release, they will be revealed in time.
Tony, during this summer many metal and rock bands in the Arab world released some albums, for example the Egyptian metal band Wyvern and now we have TristMoon, do you think that this is the start for the underground rock and metal scene in the Arab world to grow and show up?
Tony: We don’t think that the Arab metal scene is waiting for albums from new bands. The Metal scene in the Arab world has been in existence for a long time and there are many well-known bands that release new albums periodically. However, the role that our first album will play in the Arab world is to boost and strengthen the scene with a new style and fresh material.
As an underground metal band, what difficulties did you face while establishing the band and how did you get over them?
Tony: We had some difficulties in establishing and finding our style and the right members (musicians) that can play our style. After a lot of research and hard work we overcame these difficulties and now we know exactly what our style and direction are. The hard thing about being a metal band in Lebanon is to find support for the music we play, whether moral or financial support, and the difficulty in signing with a label here: the Lebanese and Arab record labels are not interested in signing with metal bands because they can make more money from the more mainstream music styles.
What did you feel when you all went on stage for the very 1st time?
Tony: Being on stage is always a great experience. The first time TristMoon played live the band members were of course nervous about the response they will get from the audience. This is no longer a concern because at every concert the fans call out the name TristMoon and cheer long before the members have taken the stage.
Describe the relationship between the band members.
Tony: TristMoon members share almost the same spirit and the same ambitions in music. Each member has his own lifestyle, but when it comes to the band, the members come together as one to create the music, make the decisions, and do what’s best for the band.
What’s your dream show?
Tony: Our dream as band is to participate in international festivals such as Dubai Desert Rock Fest and Wacken, and share this experience with international bands.
What are your plans for the future?
Tony: TristMoon’s future plans consist of releasing the debut album, composing more music and broadening the band’s horizons to become international.
Tony, is there any message you want to deliver to your fans out there?
Tony: TristMoon’s message for metal fans is to remain loyal to metal and not be carried away with other commercial music styles. Metal in Lebanon survives through you! Thank you.
Interviewed by: Yasser Mohamed