There are some things you just don't expect. You don't expect snow in hell. You don't expect a bullet through your head at the supermarket and normally, especially as a „westerner“ you don't expect a metal band in Syria. Well, it's time to open your mind, because Undergrounded is...
...going deep down into the abyss of Damaskus, Syria, and giving a voice to the band Anarchadia! The bandmembers and Osama Abdullah, the manager of the band, will be our gate to an insight view of the Syrian metal scene.
UG: First of all, thanks for this opportunity, I guess you don't always have the chance to get an insight view of Syria, especially in matters of good music in these days. I am listening to your songs all the time and frankly said, they are all stunning. The lyrics of your songs are mostly about first world problems like „occupy the wall“ which is about rampant consumption, the occupy movement and greed or your song „Let us all unite“, which is based on the famous speech of Charlie Chaplin in „The great dictator“
Anarchadia: First of all we would like to thank you for conducting this interview with the band, and its definitely a great thing that our voice is reaching people around the Underground Globe, including our brothers and sisters in Germany.
UG: George Carlin is a famous person you quote in your songs. Carlin is known as one of the greatest critics about religion. Personally, I would love to have your opinion about religion and how the Syrian people or fans react to your music in general.
Raafat (Guitars): We are basically against any institutionalized religions. In other words we believe that religion is a spiritual matter and should be a privately embraced aspect. The key point here, is to NEVER impose your religion or believes on others, or use it in matters of violence whatever religion we are talking about here! In our songs we basically didn't approach or mention religion or religious topics that much you know it's a delicate subject to talk about freely and without being misquoted or misinterpreted in this region. Essentially most of our fans are not really that religious, and some of them are atheists. So the general feedback is focused on the message as a whole not on separate topics or issues. Bottom line is: Keep thy religion to thy self!!!!
UG: What is it that concerns you the most at the moment when you think about metal in Syria?
Alaa (Bass): Well the most important thing is the absence of all official representations and sponsorships for metal events, the lack of professional music institutions and as always the significant misperception, and negative prejudgment towards metal. A lot of primitive minds take a shot at you without really knowing what you are thinking and what your ideas are. And of course of the disgusting existence of some Metalhead wannabes among the real criteria that defines this mentality.
UG: Where do you play your gigs? I read something about a gig in Egypt?
Nour (vocals): As Anarchadia, we have not played a gig yet. We are now focusing on the album release. we want to make it as tight as it could get. We have received some offers and suggestions about throwing a gig in Egypt, and we are definitely psyched about it, so who knows!!
UG: What's the meaning of "Anarchadia" and what does it mean to you personally?
Raafat: The band itself means a vision to us. It's an attempt to contribute in finding or suggesting solutions to all the hectic shit that's taking over this planet. We are honestly trying to be a part of the change that every pure individual and free thinker dreams of, and of course, it's also a musical challenge; we always want to renew our ideas, and our approaches, challenge ourselves in being more original and unique in every piece, while maintaining the attitude and keeping it intact ,the name “Anarchadia” was basically inspired by all the horrific incidents and actions that are taking place in Syria and the world, it is a combination of two words: “Anarchy” , and “Arcadia”, and the exact meaning we are trying to convey is: The beloved or precious place of Anarchy.
Osama: I think that a lot of people from different areas in the world can relate and identify themselves with this name because anarchy is not just taking place in Syria, but everywhere, and some people are terribly pissed off because they want to lead better lives and have a better future and to be more specific also, it's important to mention that the idea of - patriotism - is utterly overrated, and misused, some people are blindly patriotic, even if their leaders are some unjust fuckin’ tyrants, but they still follow what they do and approve of it like hypnotized sheep. Point is here: It is not the individuals that matter, it's the cause, and the elements that shape your past and present, the place where you grew up and learned how to play soccer or music, that's what matters.
UG: Do you face any problems recording your music or finding studios/rehearsal rooms in Damaskus because of the style of the band?
Siam (Guitars): Few years back, it was hard to find a decently professional studio to record this kind of music and it was nearly impossible to find a sound engineer or a studio owner who understood this style of music and was capable of using the sound techniques that could enhance metal projects but right now things became somewhat better. There are a few studios that started dealing with metal bands. Fortunately, we worked with Omar Harb at his 'nextone' studio and this guy set the bar really high for other studios to participate more and be more specialized. As for the rehearsal rooms, they are not plenty, we still don't have our own room yet, so we have to go to rehearsing studios which are not really well equipped to match the intensity needed for this music but we are managing the best with what we have.
UG: You released your first Single, “Occupy the wall” in early 2012, when will there be a full album?
Osama: Well, first of all you should know political situation in Syria is getting worse day by day and somehow setting us back. Fortunately the EP had a great impact on listeners, the feedback is just encouraging and the band is excited, so we are working on releasing the album before the end of september by adding three new songs to the EP which have some technical flavor and we like to think it will surprise our fans.
UG: The short video for "Devolution“ really impressed me, it's only your drummer beating the hell out of his drumset to sounds of gunfire. Could you tell us the idea around „Devolution“ and give us a short glimpse of the situation in Syria in general for our concerned German readers?
Raafat: It's utter fuckin chaos man, we are in a situation where no matter what kind of opinion or supposedly democratic negotiation that you want to present freely, could get you killed, without knowing the side of the killer. No one is listening to anyone, nobody has the intention to listen to anybody except for his own voice. And this is the dilemma that brought this country into having guns in the streets. Unfortunately there is an amount of lunacy that no sane man could absorb and things got out of hands from all sides. We, as Anarchadia, are against all kinds of oppression and violence, no matter what the side of the violent oppressor is, and this is obvious in the lyrics we wrote.
Osama: In Syria nowadays a lot of people unfortunately are "pro arms" as a solution for the situation, well we always like to ask these two following questions: In case the revolution succeeded and prevailed, BUT with the possession of weapons and opposing with weapons, and if you believe that the solution can contain the - weapon factor-, then what would you do in the future when u disagree with this - armed solution - about any aspect regarding your simple liberties? And how will you guarantee that those very weapons won't be aimed at you in case of major disagreements.
Obviously, the gun bearer always has the ultimate power, guns assassinate bravery. As for Devolution, we all know that your human spirit definitely rejects the situation and all its consequences but somehow it's in the nature of this very spirit to find something artistic that inspires its creativity, even when you exist in the heart of chaos. Grave!! You could easily get your cell phone and go outside and press record and you will get the best fuckin sound effects for the song or any Hollywood action movie for that matter!
UG: A classic question in our interviews: Imagine you meet yourself about 5 years ago/before you started to manage the band with your today knowledge. What would you tell your younger self?
Anarchadia: Stop being an asshole and stop wasting time.. turn off your porn and practice your instrument more!! Stop being judgmental, and being a (know-it-all) kind of dickhead, open your eyes to new possibilities and start expanding your horizons. And most of all: Live up to your dream the way it deserves..!
Das Interview führte Grave von Undergrounded und Anarchadia - Pure fucking Metal aus Syrien .
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