In the Valley of the Dead
SCARAB band convinced us last year with their "Blinding the Masses" debut, that death metal is playing also in Egypt, but if anyone would have expected the second NILE, he would be far from the truth, their music is not so oriental, they donít use even any oriental instruments, only their lyrics are just focusing on the spiritual heritage of their homeland. This album got the distribution care of the well known Osmose label, what is very successful for such an exotic band and they even played on big festivals. Since then has passed already quite a long time to be able to come up with something new, so I have to ask them ...
Whatís up in SCARAB band?
We are looking forward to a new release after "Blinding the Masses". We finished writing the material already and we are currently focused on its recording phases. We are very excited about this one. Itís more progressive, heavy, melodic, brutal and it describes our identity pretty well!
What about the recording of "Blinding the Masses" album? Did you have any sound engineering problems with your production?
"Blinding the Masses" went through many stages in order to reach what it is now. Our type of music is not that popular in Egypt and that's why we had to go through problems in the sound engineering of our album even while recording it. Because most of the sound engineers are not experienced and they don't know how to produce death metal properly but that was until "Ahmed Samadie" remixed and remastered our album. He is the founder member of the industrial Egyptian death metal band "Worm". He helped so much in giving our album the sound that it has now and we are happy with the outcome of "Blinding the Masses" yet looking forward to the other new one we are recording now cause it will definitely sound much better and stronger!
What was the main idea behind composing debut CD? Do you write first lyrics or music?
The main idea is to let out our emotions, spirit and thoughts so that our voice would be heard through our melodies telling the story of how the masses were and still blinded. The lyrics and the music in "Blinding the Masses" describe everything quite well. We write the music first then place the lyrics later on.
You have released album on your own, but now itís distributed by Osmose prod., how did you get to them? Will you work with them in the future?
We've sent packages to several labels and Osmose's reply was the best of them all. Herve first showed the appreciation and he liked our music. He gave us a good distribution deal and we immediately signed it after a little bit of negotiations. Osmose are doing fine so far we would like to work with them in the future if there was a progress for sure. It all depends on our new material and what will come out of it!
What is the situation in respect of Death Metal in Egypt? Probably itís not easy there; I mean especially fanzines, live shows....
There are no professional shows supporting extreme metal bands in Egypt so far, we hope there will be in the future. This won't prevent us from writing music and performing it when we get a good chance to.
Once you had name HATESUFFOCATION. What forced you to change name to SCARAB?
We weren't exactly forced to do that, we just felt that the name is not fitting us nor our theme and we had to change it.
Do you think the masses are blind? Is the album conceptual? Havenít you been thinking to use Egyptian language in your lyrics?
"Blinding the Masses" is not conceptual in the sense of a story that's being told and that's it. Itís conceptual in the sense of discussing almost the same issue through out the whole album with different approaches. The album is about mind control and how the masses are being blocked spiritually, mentally and physically from their sense of individuality and freedom. This issue goes back to the old ancient civilizations just as the new one that all of us are living now. We never thought of using the Arabic or the Egyptian language until now but maybe we can use some phrases and words in the late future.
How continues the work on the new album? Do you already have something prepared?
Yes as we mentioned before we've finished the process of writing our new album musically and lyrically. We are currently focused and busy with recording it.
Egyptian themes in the DM were better known mainly due to NILE band. What is your look at them from the Egyptian point of view? Wouldnít you ever use traditional instruments?
Nile has their own sound and style in showing their appreciation to the ancient Egyptian times and they are damn good at what they do. Our case is a bit different since we are already brought up in this country and strongly routed to it. Our inspiration is what we already live in; maybe this is something that would make our sound unique. We have been always fascinated by the mysticism, philosophy and the magical symbolism in ancient Egypt yet we still approach our actual present time and that's what we are trying to implement to our music and lyrics. Itís a mixture between the past, the present and maybe a bit of the future since history repeats itself or to be more accurate we are the ones who repeat it!
Do you think it would be good to have a rehearsal room in the pyramid, or at least rehearsal in the shape of a pyramid?
Haha, yes sure this would be an awesome idea since the shape of the pyramid can absorb energy and project it into us, it will help us create some magical tunes! Hehe
Iíd like to know your opinion how were built the pyramids in Giza. How many times have you been there?
We've been there several times actually two of our members lives close to them, our lead singer "Sammy Sayed" and "Bombest" our bassist. The building of the pyramids remains a mystery no matter what people say. Itís another hidden knowledge that the ancient Egyptians invented or discovered!
How close are you to Egyptian mythology? Do you think it describes the things realistically or symbolically only?
As we told you before we are brought up in Egypt and feel deeply connected and rooted to ancient Egypt. Letís say that Egyptian mythology describes things in a very deep, symbolic and surreal way which would lead to almost infinite ideas and conclusions that are in the end real!
There must be a hell heat in Cairo, how can you endure that? Tour in Finland wouldnít be probably your cup of coffee...
It's OK we are pretty used to the brutal heat in here, maybe that's why we play death metal haha... a tour in Finland would be very unique to us! Although one of our members is kind of used to that type of weather. "Al Sharif Marzeban" lived for a while in Poland before "Scarab" came to life, by this time the band was called "Hatesuffocation".
You played in German With Full Force fest, how did you get there? It had to be a great experience for you...
We got in an online voting system and we were chosen to perform in "Dubai Desert Rock Festival" and later on in "With Full Force Festival". It was a great experience in both events and it helped us in building a fan base around Germany and the UAE. Thanks to "CSM" the organizers of the "Dubai Desert Rock" they gave us a very good opportunity to expose our music.
Did you ever drink some Czech beer? How do you value the quality of beer in Egypt? Do you prefer bitter, sweet or sour beer taste?
We didn't try the Czech beer yet but we'd love to! We have many brands in here; you can find the sweet, the bitter and the sour. Our favorite is the wheat unfiltered beer.
Ok, that's all from my side, you have the last words. Can you add your current top 5 albums?
It's hard to add our top 5 albums cause each and every one of us has a different taste in music. Thereís a section in our website "www.scarabegypt.com" that mentions the top albums of each and every member.
"Our love and belief in our music will continue to serve us in our path and those who feel us will love it and will believe in what we do. Thanks for this lovely interview and we hope you'd enjoy "Blinding the Masses" and what's to come after it"
Scarab 28. 10. 2010 Storm