1.Great cheers from Serbia...For the first time- please introduce the band.
SAYED: Cheers from Egypt, our friend! We are the Egyptian Death Metal band "Scarab" and we have been together for 9 years now, since 2006 and even before that... since we were under the name "Hate Suffocation". We have released two full length's so far, "Blinding the Masses" and "Serpents of the Nile".
2. First band's name was Hate Suffocation. Why you changed band's name in Scarab?
SAYED: When Al Sharif Marzeban started the whole thing, he was looking to meet musicians in alignment with his dedication and his goals. The lineup had to be changed many times until Hatem El Akkad joined, followed by Tarek Amr Later on, They are both the oldest Scarab Members since Hate suffocation. Later on, Mohamed El Sherbeiny joined followed by Sammy Sayed. It was obvious that the band has gathered a completely different aura by then, and we had to change the name into something that really fits our identity and our energy as a band. We changed the name into "Scarab", The Ancient Egyptian eternal archetype. It was inevitable that we get influenced by the spirit of Ancient Egypt and just by uniting with the Ancient wisdom, we became heavily influenced, and everything flew out from there!
3.I was in Egypt last year on summer holidays and I know that Egypt is Islamic country. How difficult is it to make Death Metal (or any kind of Metal) in a country in which Islam plays a key role in every aspect of society?
SAYED: It depends on which part of Egypt you were, the Metal Scene here in Cairo is expanding and getting more accepted than any other area in Egypt, and so is the case with Alexandria as well, although we do not hear of shows being held there like before, but Alexandria always had a strong art scene in general, and somehow in the end it all flows towards Cairo. There will always be at least a Metal show or two in Cairo a month and sometimes more. The metal scene here is definitely minor and underground, and to be honest, Metal in general isn't a mainstream type of music and it shouldn't!!!! Egypt has a lot in it my friend, it is almost like the chaos sphere, meaning that there is everything and nothing at the same time, with infinite possibilities... you cannot judge from a visit! It is the land where all mysticism and religion rose for the magic it holds within it, the matter is much wider than what anyone may think or condemn.
P.S. Not everything the media projects is necessarily the complete truth about anything.
4. What types of music are you guys influence by and what inspires you?
SAYED: We are inspired by a lot, and not necessarily a certain genre in music.We all have different tastes in music and different bands that we listen to. Our daily lives and the spirit of Egypt and Ancient Egypt is what inspires us more, to channel and write down the music all together. Anything can inspire us literally, and itis limitless. But we have always been into bands such as Morbid Angel, Nile, Behemoth, Gojira, Immolation, Malevolent Creation, Monstrosity, Bloodbath, and the list will continue! This all does not mean that it is our influence or inspiration in writing our music and we described, these are just bands that we like!
5. You released your previous album ''Blinding The Masses'' in 2009. What is the main reason for this long period of silence of the Scarab?
SAYED: ''Blinding the Masses'' was self-released locally in 2009, then later in 2010 it was released worldwide through ''Osmose Productions''. In 2011, we started recording "Serpents of the Nile" and we were done with it by the end of the same year. We have been performing abroad yearly in big festivals to promote our band and spread the energy! And all of our performances were a total success. Meanwhile, we were sending out "Serpents of the Nile" to record labels, and we have received a few replies. Some of them was along the doubt tone that a Death Metal band from Egypt can be really active and continue to write music. They liked the release but since they didn't want to risk it, they asked us to send our upcoming release. Others replied with deals that should not even be worth considering. Meanwhile we were even writing newer material. Time is relative; Scarab is always keeping busy!
6. What is the difference between ''Blinding The Masses'' and new album ''Serpents Of The Nile''? Are you evolved as a band musically and lyrically?
SAYED: "Blinding the Masses" & "Serpents of the Nile" are both connected. In Blinding the Masses the energy as a whole summons a fierce outer rebellion upon anything that can strip you from your own freedom as a human being. While "Serpents of the Nile" is the natural evolution of that same concept, more of an understanding, and an inner rebellion within the self, knowing that nothing around you will change unless you truly project the change from within, an inner revolution that takes us toward greater initiations. Both concepts of course are expressed in the music as much as they are in the lyrics in both albums. Our music is naturally channeled and written automatically without too much thinking, we analyze the meaning as we are in the process of writing or maybe even later sometimes...that's the enigmatic part for us.
7. Tell me more about the lyrics of the each song on the ''Serpents Of The Nile'' album.
SAYED: To be honest with you, everyone should listen to the music and read the lyrics and make their own interpretation, the one that may resonate with them. What we can say is that "Serpents of the Nile" is an individual journey of a man seeks to attain a greater wisdom through conversations with both, the higher and the lower self. This takes him towards initiations through meeting Gods and Goddesses throughout his journey. That is of course symbolically expressed in the music, lyrics and also the album's magical artwork. Yet, everyone should really find out their own interpretation, if they will to do so.
8. Cover artwork on the ''Serpents of The Nile'' is amazing... Are you satisfied with Rusalka design work?
SAYED: Working with ''Rusalka design'' couldn't be more magical. All we did was to explain the concept we had in mind, and the symbolic meanings, and that was it! He completely got the energy and the idea. He created the right artwork that fits the energy and meanings behind "Serpents of the Nile" and we are definitely satisfied with it!
You can check the artwork through this link:
9. Please explain how the album was recorded. I think, it's surprising to see that there are studios in Egypt that can produce Death Metal albums.
SAYED: Nothing that should surprise you, when there is a will, there are infinite ways. We recorded the album with Alan Hurly in Cairo/Egypt he is one of the promising Metal producers in Egypt, and also one of our close friends. We did the recording and the mixing with him, and we mastered the album with one of the best mastering & recording studios for metal, Hertz Studio in Poland.
10.''Blinding the Masses' was released by ''Osmose Productions'', and ''Serpents Of The Nile''was released by ''ViciSolum Productions''. Why you changed the label? Are you satisfied with the ''Osmose''?? How you made a deal with the Sweden ''ViciSolum Prod.''?
SAYED: ''Osmose Productions'' has given us a great push and initiated us. It was more of a distribution deal than a record label. Because of that, "Blinding the Masses" was available internationally and which has helped in a great part of financing our album "Serpents of the Nile". On the other hand, ''Vicisolum Productions''is our record label now, and through it we have also released ''Serpents of the Nile'' worldwide. When we sent out ''Serpents of the Nile'' to ''Vicisolum'', they liked it a lot and understood us as a band, we are both in great alignment. Both albums are available for purchase, ''Blinding the Masses'' through ''Osmose'', and ''Serpents of the Nile'' through ''Vicisolum''! Now that we’re signed to ''Vicisolum'', we have been getting great exposure! Our spirit is charged and that is manifesting into more material to show up from Scarab. \m/
11. Scarab have played a lot of international shows with some of the biggest metal acts. Which gig was your favorite? How is playing in Egypt different from playing in international venues?
SAYED: We have been performing in international shows abroad since 2009, every show had its value and energy, and they are all just great. We enjoyed all of our performances abroad! Always been receiving an immense support from the audience and the organizers too, and it is always an inspiring experience to be in a place where the nature and energy is new and different. Our favorite is all of them really, but to be honest, the most unique was Metal Days at Tolmin, Slovenia. Such indescribable, amazing nature and atmosphere, it was very magical to perform there!
In Egypt it is different because the Metal Scene is local and underground, the equipment and backline is not that good, and the live sound engineers are not as experienced and knowledgeable as those in international festivals to be honest...but nevertheless, we come up with our own KVLT sound, and there are a few sound engineers that we can trust in producing a sound that is at least understood. Nowadays the organizers are trying to upgrade their standards regarding the backline and equipment, it is getting there! We need more venues that can host metal shows here too... We believe in the law of cause and effect, and since the cause is there, the effect will be happen! The Egyptian Metal Scene is where we rose from, and surly more great bands to come out of it. \m/
12. What are some of your favorite Egyptian bands?
SAYED: We are six members in the band, we will end up writing all of the Egyptian Metal bands with this question, and we do not want to miss anyone. You can check "The Egyptian Metal scene" or "Egypt Metal Scene"facebook pages, it has all the updates you need to know about Egyptian bands. You will find us all in there!
13. What do you want Scarab to have accomplished in years to come?
SAYED: More songs to put out to the world, more knowledge and wisdom to be attained & understood through music. Expanding & evolving with Scarab towards all artistic directions. All this accomplished through the unity with our fan base as a one hive mind! \m/
That's all for this time ... Thanx for the interview , good luck and more good albums in years to come... Cheers!!!