Myrath had their flag waving high when they released Hope (2007), their debut album. Three albums later, the flag is still waving high. Who knew a band from Tunisia would bring a plethora of new elements in with their music and sway the metal music industry asunder. In a tough competition where every band is trying to stand out and make their own identity, Myrath dug their flag much farther than the bands still struggling so hard. Eponymous to the album, Myrath continues their legacy with their latest masterpiece ‘Legacy’. A delight to heart and soul from the first note to the last; it’s a self-introspective journey you cannot afford to miss. The only thing redundant about the band is that their each song infuses into the soul and surplus amount of emotions flow; a redundancy every music fan loves. They do it with prowess and much deftness.
Metal Wani’s Shivam Kalra had an opportunity to have a chat with Myrath‘s keyboard & backing vocalist Elyes Bouchoucha. Here goes the conversation:
In promotion of the album, you have been touring with the power metal giants Symphony X. How has the playing with them on same stage as been so far? And what were your expectations?
We were covering Symphony X songs in the beginning of our journey, so you can imagine that touring with them was a literal “dream come true” for us. We are very grateful for the chance to share the stage with the giants of Symphony X, and the experience itself exceeded our expectations; the guys were very friendly, and despite their great fame and status, they have an incredible cool down-to-earth attitude.
Metal is known to be music that is directly in your face, you either like it or you don’t, there’s no middle line. Of course exceptions are there, you’d know because Myrath is one of them. Both in your lyrics and your music, Myrath has been the talk of the town. The best part of Myrath is touch of Middle Eastern music that it has, arranged by you. Whose idea was it?
We all shared the desire to create a unique sound, something that would combine the music we are passionate about with our heritage as well. We come from Tunisia, where there is an abundance of beautiful tunes and interesting melodies, and we wanted to integrate that into Metal music. Not to forget also, that our producer Kevin Codfert encouraged us a lot to continue on this route, as we weren’t very sure how it will all shape up in the beginning, but he was very supportive and encouraged us to venture more into oriental tunes.
Here’s a fun fact, which may not be so fun for you, it is for me. Myrath is Arabic for “Legacy”, so would you call this album as your self-titled album?
Legacy is a very personal album as it holds the energies of the past 5 years for us, and it only made sense for it to be a self-titled album with a twist!
Orchestra that you arrange for the Myrath’s distinctive sound is one of the factors that Myrath has an ever-growing fan base and listener falls in love with you in just one listen. What goes behind, in the studio, which creates this impeccable music the band is known for?
Orchestra is one of the factors as you mentioned, but I believe the magic lies in our collective effort to create something original and unique. We are all passionate about the music, and each one of us has a key role to play, and that is, what I think, the key to our sound, whether in the studio, or live!
Zaher Zorgati is another factor which keeps the band’s fan base strong. But before he joined, you were lead vocalist on the debut album, Hope. What made you look for a new vocalist back then?
It was difficult to maintain a dual role of Keyboardist/Vocalist, in addition to the fact that Zaher’s vocal abilities are a perfect fit of Myrath’s style, he is a great singer and looking back at it now, it seems like fate!
Getting to the album, you covered of the most important topics that very few bands cover, Drug addiction. The Needle talks about those addictions and its adverse effects on the users. What is your say on that?
Drugs only anaesthetize a person into forgetting his problems, but the causing factor for this need to escape will remain, the problems will not disappear, and they would most probably magnify. It is very sad to see people, especially youth, wasting their valuable time and amazing potential in harmful escapism. Facing our problems is not easy, but it is surely easier than going into the whirlwind route of addiction or drug dependency.
The world is crazy for Game of Thrones, Coldpay has conducted a musical on it. But for the first time, someone has officially released a track on one of the characters, Daenerys Targaryen. Why such a massive deviation from the topics Myrath usually covers. Which one of the members has a secret crush on her?
All of us, haha, we are all Game of Thrones fans, and as you know the show well, you’d realize it is not very far from the topics we usually cover, as it is full of fantasy, myths and legends – the lyrics of this particular song was written by Perrine Perez Fuentes, our producer’s wife, who also designed the album cover.
Myrath is one of the rare bands who stick to their root sound and still release one masterpiece after another. Legacy is not just the band’s fourth album, but the fourth consecutive masterpiece album. Just when we think the band can’t get any better, you crush that thinking into pieces with another album. What is the driving force of the band that it always releases such epic albums?
I think it is because we are all doing this out of true passion, we love what we do and we follow our hearts, and this seems to deliver us to where we need to be! In addition to the fact that Myrath is more of a family than a band, we have a strong bond, and it surely helps the creative process in all aspects, composing, recording, producing, and playing live!
At last, I’d just like if you could give a message to all those who do drugs or know someone who do drugs.
Any form of addiction is definitely harmful, and that especially applies to drugs, as it will negatively affect every aspect of the person’s life. As I mentioned earlier, it does not fix the problem, it only complicates it further, so my message would be to face your problems, seek help, and don’t fall into escapism of any sort.