Here we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?
Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!
Myrath – SOPHIE stage, Saturday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Malek: We are from Tunisia, North Africa, and our drummer Morgan is from France.
How did you meet?
Elyes: Malek, our guitarist, and myself were friends since our teenage years, and played together in a cover metal band in the beginning, before evolving to find our own sound in music and forming Myrath in 2006. Anis, our bassist joined us around that time, coming from another band called Propaganda, and our front man Zaher came in 2009. There is a solid yet tightly knitted metal scene in Tunisia so it was relatively easy for us to find each other, given our similar interests and mutual taste in music.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Zaher: We have been playing together in our current line up since 2011, when our drummer Morgan joined us.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Malek: Myrath is Arabic for “legacy”, and “heritage” if you like. It represents our main goal to introduce and immortalize our Tunisian/North African heritage through the universal medium of metal music which has always been our passion. So Tunisian influences became an integral part of our music, and the message we wish to express through it; the uniting factor that exists in Metal, where various cultural backgrounds could be integrated into the music and enjoyed by listeners all over the world, in addition to giving the audience a taste of our region through sound!
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Elyes: I can say that our main influences as a band are various metal & rock music giants such as Death – we began our career in music covering their songs – Symphony X, Dream Theatre, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and many more. Individually each member of the band has his own list of course, mine being Yngwie Malmsteen, Stratovarius, and Majestic to name a few. In addition to our own folkloric music and melodies which is very rich and versatile, and played a great role in shaping Myrath’s own music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Anis: We have been identified under various labels, like power metal, progressive metal, oriental metal, or even Kebab Metal! Yet the music in itself is not one or the other, we are integrating our own folk and traditional melodies into Metal music, so our signature sound comes from the fact that we rely on Tunisian, and North African musical scales in composing as well as using Tunisian dialect in some of the lyrics, which results in a unique rich combination of melodies.
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
Anis: Our live shows are quite energetic and filled with elevating high spirited vibes! They offer a different flavour of a head-banging experience, jam packed with unique melodies and powerful riffs.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
Morgan: During our tour with Symphony X we received an offer by Mek of Bloodstock to play, and it goes without saying that we were thrilled! It is such a great opportunity to share the stage of an iconic festival with great names and have the chance of introducing our music to a new audience!
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Morgan: We will be playing songs from our latest album, Legacy, in addition to several key hit songs from our previous albums, all songs which has proven to be successful and were well received by the audience during previous concerts!
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Elyes: I think that would be Gojira and Mastodon, who are playing in the main stage at the same day we are playing too. And I have to say we are lucky not to be in clashing times with our dear friends of Symphony X, and also having the chance to see Slayer and Twisted Sister too.
What are you working on at the moment?
Malek: We are currently preparing for our tour, which is actually starting right after Bloodstock! The tour will see us playing in various European cities in addition to Japan’s Loud Park festival, and many more to be announced. We also have started putting down ideas for our next album.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Zaher: We’ve seen a lot! but to mention the weirdest rather than the wildest, it was during our tour with Symphony X, in the UK, where we had to move two caravans by hand in order to empty a space for our bus to park! We literally had to lift the cars up in the air and move them several meters along the way! It was blood pumping and quite wild considering we were all hungover from the night before!
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Anis: Don’t give up! That is the main advice, the road to success could be a long and difficult one, but the key element is never giving up on the dream of making great music and sharing it with the world. If you have the passion, you must pursue it till the end, and improve along the way, considering every obstacle as a chance to grow and enhance, so in short, Believe and Carry on!
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Elyes: Many bands come to mind, but if I have to choose one above us it would be Dream Theatre, and the one below is Kadinja which is an excellent French band, check them out!
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
Morgan: We are playing at the Sophie Lancaster Stage on Saturday the 13th!