Interviewed by Jessica Clingempeel
How big is the metal scene in the Arabic countries?
Elyes Bouchoucha: The metal scene in the Arab world is quite big, although
not always represented in music festivals or mainstream media, it is large and
expanding. I believe we will be seeing much more representation of rock and
metal in the Arab world soon.
With Islam being one of the most prominent religions in your area, how is being
in a metal band affected? Have you had great support or backlash with religious
Zaher Zorgati: We had both support and challenges,
similar to everything else in life. We had a lot of support from fans and music
lovers since we were one of the first metal bands in the region, and in the
same time we faced the challenges of some people not understanding this type of
music or accepting it.
Have the members always been into metal or is the genre just a route the band
decided to take?
Morgan Berthet: We have always been into Rock and Metal,
in addition to classical and oriental music. This fusion of influences is what
helped create Myrath’s signature sound.
As far as religion goes, do all or any of the members of Myrath follow Islam or
any other religious teachings?
Anis Jouini: I believe religion and personal beliefs are quite
“personal”, As far as we are concerned we believe in the absolute power of
music as a unifying factor between all people, and don’t really pay attention
to other things!
At the start of the band, how did you go about getting signed and what obstacles
did Myrath have to go through? Did you ever think the band would become as
successful as it is today?
Malek Ben Arbia: We started with the dream all musicians
have, to make good music and be successful doing it! Thanks to the love and
support of people who liked our music, and our producer Kevin Codfert who
discovered us back in Tunisia, we had the chance to play internationally and
get a label deal, which led to another, and here we are. The obstacles we had
were tough for sure, but the main key was not get discouraged and keep on
pushing for our dream.
You started out as X-Tazy which then became as we know now Myrath. What sparked
the interest in name change and how did the name X-Tazy come about?
Malek Ben Arbia: X-tazy was our very first try at a band,
and we were only playing covers, the name was a wordplay on ecstasy, which is
the feeling we had to be together jamming. Once we created our own music we
decided to change the name to make it more compatible with our style and
What has been the greatest touring experience so far?
Morgan Berthet: Every tour experience was special for us
and cannot really be compared to any other. We enjoyed every tour we had,
whether a headlining tour or accompanying other awesome bands, and we had a
great time on the road in every one of them.
Japan was very special, and so was our Europe tours, so
it’s very hard to pick one!
Back in 2012, you supported Tarja on her What Lies Beneath tour, how was that
and do you have hopes to tour with her again or maybe even collaborate on an
Anis Jouini: Tarja is one of our favorite artists, and we
were very happy to join her back in 2012. We are always hopeful to repeat that
experience and have further collaborations with her!
I love how Myrath not only sings in English, but also uses Arabic in the
lyrics. It goes to show music is a universal language and can bring everyone
together which in these tumultuous times is needed. Myrath’s lyrics can also be
used as an inspiration for a falling world. What hope do you have for today and
what do you hope to bring with your lyrics?
Elyes Bouchoucha: We always have hope for a better
tomorrow, on all levels and aspects. And we make sure to convey this in our
lyrics by focusing on topics of love, freedom, self-reflection and progress. We
wish to lift up people’s spirit with melodies and words that are relatable and
meaningful, and also help them go through their daily challenges with some
Speaking of lyrics, if you had to choose one song from Myrath, which would be
the most personal and hardest song to be written?
Zaher Zorgati: Just like our tours, all of our songs are
special to us in one way or another, we have a lot of favorites and cannot
really pinpoint the reasons behind that. I personally like No Body’s lives and
Madness to name a few.
What kind of oriental instruments are used in the music and
do you find it difficult to integrate that into metal?
Elyes Bouchoucha: We use a lot of North African and
Tunisian instruments in our music, including: Zokra, Gasba, among others. It is
not difficult to integrate them into metal, as that was our main goal, and we
focus our efforts on making their presence harmonic and compatible with metal
Can we expect an album release in the near future? What about a live DVD?
Morgan Berthet: Our album is nearly done, and we are
excited for its release in the near future, along with a mega concert DVD and
many exciting surprises!
There has been so much focus on the bad in the world, with nations wanting to
wage war, gun violence, etc. what do the members do to keep peace of mind and
to keep inspired to write such wonderful lyrics? What does the band do to keep
Zaher Zorgati: We try our best to focus on the things
that are within our control, since we cannot possibly control all the madness
in the world! We make sure to stay inspired by listening to good music and
practice constantly. We also spend time with our family and friends which gives
us the peace of mind and positive energy needed to make music.
Our advice would be to always try and become a better
version of yourself, because that would reflect positively on all other life’s
aspects around you!
With the recent events with both the North and South Korean leaders, do you see
hope for the future? Do you think there will ever be peace among the Islamic,
Jewish, and Christian nations?
Elyes Bouchoucha: I don’t think there is a divide or war
between Islamic, Jewish, and Christian nations. The conflicts we witness are politically
and financially induced to serve certain agendas. There is always hope in the
future, as long as we are fully conscious and aware, and don’t allow division
and hate to separate us!
I read that Zaher is a fan of Assassin’s Creed. Being gamers ourselves, what other
games is Zaher into? What about the other members?
Anis Jouini: We are all into video games, and we spend
time playing them even on tour! We love Fifa, GTA, Fallout, Call of Duty,
Resident Evil, World of Warcraft…
What are some other hobbies of the band? Musical interests?
Malek Ben Arbia: Sports, specially Soccer, and Tennis.
And as for musical interests we have a diverse collective taste where we like many
different genres, from Pop and Soul, to Electro!