EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH ABED HATHOUT OF KHALAS !!
“Our Music Is About Celebrating Life Despite The Horrors Of Our Region, There Is No Difference Between a Girl That Go To Shout In a Demonstration And a Girl That Choose To Dance And Laugh Despite Of The Occupation, We All Resist In Our Own Way.”
COVER STORY : ANGRA “ANGELS CRY” 30TH ANNIVERSARY !!
“We Just Chose The Name Because It Was a Brazilian Name And There’s a Town Here Called Angra, Which Is a Beautiful Town. It Was a Name That We Thought Would Sound Good In Every Language, But, On The Other Hand, Would Also Mean Nothing. We Tried To Run Away From a Meaningful Name. We Discovered The Meaning Of The Word Later On, “Goddes Of Fire”, But I Think It Fits The Band’s Sound Well.”
EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH BLIND EQUATION OF JAMES MCHENRY !!
“The Largest Influence On Our Music However Is The Touhou Soundtrack By ZUN. Especially Touhou 8 – Imperishable Night. Yume Nikki And It’s Fangames Have Also Been Largely Influential To Me For The Last Two Albums.”
“I grew up listening to a mix of American and Persian music, and I think that’s where my sound comes from. As I got older, I started exploring music more and now I listen to pretty much everything from all over the world. Actually, one of my friends just got me into Japanese prog music from the 1960s. It’s good! I still don’t know much about it, but it’s something I’m learning more about these days.
It would take me way too long to name all the artists that have inspired me, but I wouldn’t say they influenced my writing because I try not to emulate other artists. I want to create original sounding music with my own style. I think copying another artists is a waste of time. That’s just doing a worse version of something that already exists. I don’t want to do that. I want to enjoy their music, and then create my own. I probably do subconsciously draw from artists I listen to, but I try not to.”
“I don’t know if they consider it “devil’s music” but they do say it’s “against Islam” and therefore it is banned. I disagree with this idea, and I would say most Iranian people do as well. Their current government is anti-western culture, so they ban anything that is western influenced, like rock and metal music. But suppressing music just makes people want to engage with it more, so it’s a silly idea to me. I’ll leave it at that.”
“I’d like to know more about what is happening in Japan to spark these kinds of discussions. I think the best way to get along with a group of people you’re not familiar with is to get to know them. Once you scratch the surface, you will find more similarities between people than differences. We all want the same things, and we all have the same kinds of struggles, desires, etc. They just have different flavors to them. But to aliens, we all look the same, like big talking monkeys.
Unfortunately, you can’t force people to be tolerant of one another. I don’t know how to get those kinds of people to accept immigrants. But if someone wants to immigrate to your country, they probably have a love or admiration for it, so take it as a compliment. They’re not here to ruin your country. Immigrants just want to live their lives in peace, just like everyone else. It’s oftentimes scarier for them to move to a new country than it is for the natives to welcome them in. So be kind to them and they will probably be kind to you too.”
“Absolutely! One of my best friends is Japanese. After high school he moved back to Tokyo. I visited him while I was in college. We explored Tokyo and Kyoto together. It was one of the most important experiences in my life. I love Japanese culture. The food is amazing, the people are kind, and the history is rich. Most of my musical instruments were made in Japan too. My guitar is a Caparison, hand-made in Japan. I also have a Korg synthesizer, and a few Yamaha instruments. I love all of them.
And yes, I do like video games and anime, most of my friends do. I’m a master at the original Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 64, and I will never back down from a challenge. I do enjoy anime as well. I think it’s very imaginative and often quite thought-provoking. The enthusiasm of Japanese voice acting is fun to listen to. Hayao Miyazaki films are my favorite anime, but I’ve enjoyed plenty of others as well. Howl’s Moving Castle is probably my favorite Miyazaki film.
To our Japanese fans I would say, thank you so much for listening to our music. It’s really amazing to learn it has made its way to Japan. I appreciate every single one of you and I hope we can meet soon. I’ve been wanting to come back to Japan for a while now, and playing music for our fans there would be a great reason to do so. Please feel free to reach out! Arigatou gozaimasu!”
“I see it all as a tragedy. I don’t know enough about world politics or the history between Israel and Hamas to really give an informed opinion on this particular issue. All I know is that it’s sad to see. I don’t know anything about Iran’s involvement in it either, or if they’re backing Hamas, but it wouldn’t surprise me. America is backing Israel in this fight, so I’m sure Hamas is getting support from other countries as well.”
“People enjoy and connect with music, which can enrich a person’s life. And that certainly is important. However, I don’t think music itself necessarily does anything to create change for a peaceful or better world; it’s people who do that. Music, just like any artform, can inspire a person to act, but it’s still up to the person to put one foot in front of the other.
A great example of this is the song “Baraye”, written by Iranian artist, Shervin Hajipour. It is a song inspired by the death of Mahsa Amini, who was killed by the Iranian government last year. Her death sparked a protest in Iran, and that song was so moving that it became the anthem of the protest. I think it inspired people to get engaged with the movement, and it also helped spread awareness of what was happening. In those regards, music can help create a better world, but it’s still up to people to take action.”
“Our Music Has Dark Parts And Light Parts. “Two Become One” Is The Concept Of The Band. Music Made Together By One Person Living In France And One Person Living In Japan. A World That Mixes European And Japanese Culture. An Atmosphere That Mixes The Past And The Present…”