Interview with Anuryzm
Anuryzm is a progressive metal band based in Dubai, UAE. Started by John Bakhos in 2003, the band recently release their album Worm’s Eye View after going through different line ups while based in Lebanon, Canada, Turkey. Find out more about the album, the latest line up and their plans for 2012 in my interview with John below.
Hi John, congrats on the release of your album ‘Worm’s Eye View’ (WEV). It has been a while in the making, what are your thoughts on the album finally being released.
Thank you! I’m breathing a sigh of relief. In hindsight, we couldn’t have released it at a better time. It’s as if the pieces of the puzzle fell into place exactly when they should have.
What was the song writing process for the album like?
Back when I started writing the material, I was transitioning from writing extreme metal tunes (with my other band Ordum) to prog rock/metal ones. I wanted whatever I did next to be even more guitar-driven than before. In no time, I had written and layered a handful of material into song formats ready for an album. It was only when Nadeem and I teamed up that we had to revisit many sections of songs to fit vocals and melodies and make sure everything sounded right before we hit the studio. We gave Rami and Martin complete freedom in writing their parts the way they saw fit, they are both professional musicians and they knew exactly what WEV needed.
“Worm’s Eye View” sounds great. Tell us a bit about the recording process.
We had somewhat of a relaxed atmosphere doing the album. Drums took a little longer than the rest, considering the logistical issues of having Martin record in Stockholm with us being far away.
All the other instruments were done in the UAE. Guitars and Synths were mostly recorded at my place, bass guitars at Rami’s, and vocals were done at Deff Ears Productions & MNK studios.
Are you satisfied with how the album has turned out?
Definitely! We wanted to make sure that we got a huge and clear sound overall. The music certainly deserves it in my opinion, and I’m really happy with the results.
Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the album.
I was inspired by more of an early 90’s metal and classic prog rock vibe than by anything new, however we also worked hard to make the sound modern and relevant to this day and age. I suppose all my travelling and erratic displacement was an inspiration in the album.
Also releasing this album was intended to honour my old friend, and one of the founding members of Anuryzm, Bernard. He passed away some years ago while I was in Turkey, at a time when the band had been put on hold for different reasons.
Martin Lopez plays drums on the album. How did you manage to get him on the album?
Well, I just got in touch with him and showed him some demos. He really liked the material, so I asked him if he’d like to play drums on the record, and surprise surprise… he said yes!
How did Nadeem, Rami, Milton, Jay and Imad become part of the band?
Nadeem and I were friends since high school when we started playing in a thrash band. We kept in touch over the years, and when I came back to the UAE, I met up with him to catch up. Then I heard his vocal capacity and range, and my jaw dropped instantly. He was the man for the job, and I keep telling him to this day that his voice is the next voice of metal and rock!
I saw Rami playing bass at a local show in Dubai. I remembered watching him years earlier at a gig in Lebanon, and I remember thinking “this guy can play!” So, I just walked up to him after the show, we got introduced and talked, and the rest is history.
We worked on the album at Milton’s studio, and after hearing his production and guitar work with Private Government, I was really impressed. He was also very familiar with Anuryzm’s tunes, so it seemed only logical to ask him to play rhythm guitar live with us as well.
As for Imad, we had watched his videos and then got in touch. His playing has an excellent mix of finesse and aggression that coincided exactly with Martin’s playing on the record. It came as no surprise that he’s a big fan of Martin’s work, so the choice was obvious.
Jay is a very creative synth player. I’ve known him since my days back in Lebanon when he used to play with a band called Dilemma. Somehow we bumped into him at a bar in Dubai, and found ourselves jamming with him shortly after.
You’ve continued with Anurzym across 3 countries (Lebanon, Canada and United Arab Emirates), where does the future for the band lie ?
Don’t forget Turkey; actually the majority of WEV was written there. Hopefully Anu will stay in the UAE hahaha! I’m just tired of moving. I’m very grateful to have found all the guys here, it’s been really amazing so far and I’m pretty confident that we’ll be around for the long haul.
What are your thoughts on the music scene in Dubai/UAE?
From my experience in the places I’ve travelled, I see Dubai as being still in the early stages of development for a ‘thriving’ rock/metal scene. There aren’t enough supporters yet to help push the music higher, and foster creativity. There are also very few good promoters, sound engineers, studios, and merchandise stores, mixed in with a lot of red-tape when it comes to metal music. We have a ways to go before we look something like London or Istanbul. But we’ll get there eventually.
What are your plans for 2012?
We’ve been pushing WEV to labels and working hard at getting coverage in many countries. 2012 will be no different; we’ll continue to do the same for this album. Our website http://www.ANURYZM.com should be launching soon as well.
I’m also happy to say that we’ve already begun pre-production work for the next album.
You’ve played a couple gigs so far, any more happening soon? Tours being planned?
We are planning to put out a show in Dubai for the OFFICIAL release of the album. It should happen by end of January or beginning February. As for the rest of the year, I’m sure we’ll have more UAE-based shows lined up.
As for touring, details aren’t set in stone yet, but we are definitely working at a mini-tour arrangement around the Middle-East/Africa/Asia later this year. We’ll have more news about that in the coming months. Definitely some surprises in store!
Thank you for taking time out to answer my questions. Do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you Peter! On behalf of the guys, I want to thank everyone that has been supporting us so far. A big shout out to you and the Indian fans! Nadeem loved India when he visited and had great things to say about the rock and metal scene so we hope to get invited to play one day soon!
John Bakhos – Guitars
Miltiadis Kyvernitis – Guitars
Nadeem Bibby – Vocals
Imad Dahleh – Drums
Rami Lakkis – Bass
Jay Jahed – Synth
Martin Lopez – Drums (session)
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