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Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Contents 4

Editor’s Note The Road Ahead


Album Reviews

If Not Now, When? – Incubus Suck it and See – Arctic Monkeys



Fuelled, Fired, and Desired


Mashrou’ Leila:

The Little Engine that Could


Your Brain on Music


JLP A Wall Smashing Phoenix


Beirut Rock Festival


The Colours of Rebellion: An Interview with Akram Fadl


Staff Publisher Managing Partner Director, Partner Editor in Chief, Partner

Gonzo Co. Nader Ahmed Sherif M. Zaazaa Walid Abouzeid

Editorial Department Regional Editor Noha El-Khatib Associate Editor William Mullally

Art Department Art Director Mohamed Nabil Labib Photographers Ashraf El-Mahrouky - OJO Studios Amira Kourtam

Marketing Department Marketing Manager Nesma El-Batal

Sales Department Sales Management Nariman El-Bakry Kareem Ashraf

Contributors Writers C. Taylor Ross Ashley El-Jor Thea Price-Eckles Joanna Jaoudie Ashley El-Jor Photographers Shaft Kiblawi* Willam Mullaly (p.10, 44) Maliki Ghossainy (p.25) Nadim Kamel (p.28) Ahmed Waddah (p.33) Peter Morcous (p.38)

Legal Affairs Legal Consultant Abdel Latif Abdel Aziz

Anathema: Live in Dubai

*Cover page photography Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Editors Note The road ahead is not one of self-discovery, but of self-deconstruction... “The road is out there… but it is only when you see the edge, and choose to go beyond it, towards the unknown, shifting gears towards full throttle… that the strange music begins. The edge, there is no honest way to explain it, the only ones who know where it is, are those who went over.”1 It is only on this socalled road where our future, our identity, our intent and any pursuing actions, that predominantly define and give purpose to our existence, are brought in for questioning. We may go as far as to say that it is more of an interrogation of the Self from a philosophical and logical standpoint. It may seem at first as an existentialist approach whereby we attempt to define ourselves (our existence) though our development. This is partly true, however, it is incomplete. In my opinion, it misleads the general public to hastily define/ label us, which in turn leads many to react to our magazine according to the ideas and feelings evoked by the culturally implanted attachments that society designated to those very labels. So you may ask, who are we then?

understanding and accepting

“The ride is a lonely what complete creative really is.) It one… especially when expression is a constant battle we must face, as a magazine as one is out to face well as themselves. It is a rite of passage of some “Be sure of this, the sort…”2 Self at war with itself, has but one victor… Who Are We? and it will leave a mark Only by crossing over the edge with full fervor ever so deep... 6 feet can we shed light on the under, to be precise.”3 unknown. And only then can we realize that those very questions we posed, before crossing the edge, hold no answers that are of value. What we do encounter is a process of identity deconstruction that occurs through critical analysis. What it reveals is beyond questioning, as it exposes the hidden internal assumptions and contradictions of traditional reasoning, one that privileges certain types of interpretation and represses others. What happens here, just as the unknown suddenly becomes unmistakably known, is our need to further shed what qualities we constantly attach to the meaning of expression and its various forms; we can only do so by dismantling the certainty found in the ‘here and now’ (which without a doubt shall draw us closer to

Be sure of this, Discord Magazine shall and without a doubt become an uninterrupted calculating monstrosity: A literary rebel that weaves a presence, dangerously defining and unrivalled… one that favors to spit at the face of death rather than be an ally. For we are determined to reach full throttle: Only then will the engine’s roar stop the beating heart of Fear and shatter the mask of Conformity, and only then will our voice be truly heard… truthful, fearless, loud and discordant.

Walid Abouzeid Editor in Chief

Selected texts (1,2 and 3) taken from Hunter S.Thompson’s – Hell’s Angels


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Losing Your Integrity: If Not Now, When? Ralph Anderson

Some Thoughts on Incubus’ Latest Release It has happened: self-indulgence has finally overwhelmed talent and musical integrity. The idea of a “pretty-boy front man” inexplicably has taken over a group that is thought to be blessed with extraordinary musicians. The members of Incubus were known for their monstrous melodic know-how, wide range of staggering use of instruments, myriad influences, and ability to swiftly hop from one mindset to another. Most of the credit goes to Mike Einziger, who is now left on the sidelines, just another stripped down back-up on the band’s first studio release in five years, If Not Now, When?

Musically, it lacks depth. Extended sections are truly missed. The likes of “The Warmth” and “Megalomaniac” are nothing more than relics of the past. The disharmonizing after-effect of Brandon Boyd releasing a solo album, The Wild Trapeze, last year, is certainly a setback for the devoted large fan base. Incubus was arguably considered the savior of hard rock in that shameful era of red baseball caps and baggy shorts, but certainly not anymore. I understand that after six albums a need for straying from their tried-and-true formula would arise, but if they end up sounding worse than modern pop ballads, driven by melodramatic vocals from their six-packed American rocker, then maybe sticking to what you know best is a wise decision. Musically, it lacks depth. Extended sections are truly missed. The likes of “The Warmth”


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and “Megalomaniac” are nothing more than relics of the past. Compared to the full sound of those much-loved pieces, this sounds tinny and brittle. “The Original” offers a decent build up that reminds me of my Myspace favorites The Octopus Project, but once it gets to the chorus, it falls flat. There is some heavy guitar riffing towards the end that provides some energy, but it only underscores the absence of such on the rest of the album. This is then followed by “Defiance”, which contains a brilliant set of chord progressions that reassures us that the band still has a guitarist, a brief and shining moment on a decidedly dull affair. We get glimmers of Morning View, but they are always squandered. “In Company of Wolves” builds up to a dark Porcupine Tree sound alike, slow and unholy, illuminated and precise. But again, it turns into an offensively bland Grey’s Anatomy soundtracker, which begs the question, where are the bollocks, man? “I’ve seen the porcelain shell, you’re exoskeleton.” I would accept lyrics like these from Syd Barrett or Bowie with endless amusement. But out of Brandon Boyd’s mouth on “Friends and Lovers”, it doesn’t ring true, and therefore becomes an eye-roller when it should be a soul-stirrer. And the lyrics don’t get better. The more you listen, the more false seductive “I wanna get into your pants without making too much effort” clichéd talentless white boy pick up lines.

As absurd as it seems to say this, this effort of Incubus’ is more of a disappointment than The Strokes’ underachieving Angles. With everything blended together, the result is a squirming, unexpectedly fragile and shallow musical product that is just an excuse for the band to tour for another 18 months. As absurd as it seems to say this, this effort of Incubus’ is more of a disappointment than The Strokes’ underachieving Angles. Both bands are capable of so much more, and it’s disappointing that both bands felt their new material worthy of release. In an attempt to stay relevant, Incubus has, instead, added a footnote to its otherwise “stellar” catalogue. And it’s a footnote best ignored. Rating: 2 / 5

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Arctic Monkeys Suck it and See It’s not very often to come across a band that comfortably cruises between commercial success and artistic integrity. With their latest release, Suck it and See the Arctic Monkeys have shown that they are definitely not anywhere close. However, one may easily claim, with great certainty that they are on the right track. To be able to survive without repeating yourself in four studio albums, and by not getting stuck on repeat is clearly an achievement when compared to bands like Muse and Franz Ferdinand.

Abstract lyrics, vintage Brit-pop guitars and sometimes heavy and explosive sound schemes, all have been very casually blended in.

Despite being recorded in Los Angeles, Suck it and See sounds extremely British. Abstract lyrics, vintage Brit-pop guitar sounds and sometimes heavy and explosive sound schemes, all have been very casually blended in.

Traces of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) are clearly evident but are far more personal. “Don’t sit down cause I moved your chair” is the heaviest yet most appealing track. Powered by a thick bass-line right into its core. “Brick by Brick” is also a revived classic


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Ralph Anderson

from the AC/DC era. Despite being released as singles, both are the least representative tracks. They stand out very bluntly, a move that is regarded by some as a declared attempt to drop a big chunk of their audience. Elements of Humbug are also present through “Library Pictures” and “The Hellcat Spangled Shalala” but there are no more tunes that compare to “Pretty Visitors” and “Crying Lightning” that is for sure. The lyrics are as abstract and shocking as Anthony Kiedis’ (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) nonsensical rambling. It is all about chaotic mental imagery. “Don’t Sit down cause I’ve moved your chair” is an unsolvable jigsaw puzzle where Alex James sings, “ Go into business with a grizzly bear.” He then goes on saying “do the Macarena in the Devil’s lair.” “All my own stunts” is a twisted sing-along imitation of modern day romance where he calmly muses: “And sorrow slow dances at the edge of her eyes.” The rest of the songs are also packed with words that are heavy in a visual sense but are absolutely meaningless on their own, as if it truly matters. The emotion and passion in which he sings gives out that “Kurt Cobain” effect. There is beauty in nonsense that is certainly not for everyone to grasp. When listening to the album as a whole, the only weak point would be the repeated song structures. As a common criticism of all popular music, it targets everyone. Every transition is somewhat expected. There are certainly no sur-

The lyrics are as abstract and shocking as Anthony Kiedis’ nonsensical rambling. It is all about chaotic mental imagery. prises. Bad news for all the music fans out there that are craving after something new. But to be fair, I do believe it’s a huge leap forward. Suck it and See is for sure one of the best releases of 2011 and the best we’ve seen from Arctic Monkeys so far. Rating: 4 / 5

Top New Albums Fall 2011

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2011 has proved to be an exceptionally exciting year for music so far, and the trend seems to be continuing well into the fall season. Bands such as Feist, Bjork, Jane’s Addiction and Blink-182 have returned once again with new releases that are new, fresh and long been awaited. Read on to see our top must-listen-to picks for best albums this fall. Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto The oddly named album Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay’s fifth, and first experimental, record. The group wanted to attempt something entirely different; with this one focusing more on acoustic instruments and a lot of electronic manipulations. Rihanna will be featured on the track, “Princess Of China”. Release Date: October 24, 2011

Blink-182 - Neighborhoods Since their timeout in 2009, Blink-182 fans have been eagerly awaiting a new record. The wait is over as Neighborhoods, the sixth album by Blink-182 has been released on September 27th. Neighborhoods is by far Blink 182’s best album ever released. Release Date: September 27, 2011

Lou Reed & Metallica - Lulu Metallica meets The Velvet Underground? Hell yeah! However, we’re not going to get too excited for this one, not after after the disaster that was Death Magnetic. Still, a collaboration with Lou Reed seems very promising. The album features sevteral reworked, yet unreleased, Lou Reed tracks and is described as a love child between Reed’s Berlin and Metallica’s Master of Puppets. It doesn’t get better than this. Release: November 1, 2011

Jane’s Addiction - The Great Escape Artist Finally! It has been far too long and about time for a new album to emerge since Jane’s Addiction’s last album, Strays was released. The band reunited in 2008 after their second break-up and went on tour with Nine Inch Nails (the NIN/JA tour). It has been almost four years, the band has recorded and will be releasing their 4th album entitled The Great Escape Artist. Let’s hope that a third break-up won’t happen soon after... or ever after. Release Date: October 18, 2011

Feist - Metals While it’s been a while since The Reminder, Leslie Feist has been busy with other projects, namely aiding Broken Social Scene, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, and releasing her documentary: Look At What The Light Did Now. Her latest record hit stores on October 4th. Release Date: October 4, 2011

Björk - Biophilia There’s been a lot talk and much anticipation over Biophilia: Firstly, because it’s Björk’s latest album, and secondly, because it will be the first App album ever. Recorded partly, believe it or not, on an iPad, Biophilia will be released exclusively on the iPad and will have a CD release soon after. This version will be released as a series of apps. We’re not entirely sure what to expect, but we’ll keep a close eye on this one. Release Date: October 10, 2011

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


The lights dimmed, and before the first chime of “Ecstasy of Gold” even started, men, women, and children couldn’t hold back their screams, and in some cases, tears.

Noha El-Khatib / William H. Mullally

Photo courtesy of FLASH Entertainment

The quartet that spent decades thrilling us and pissing us off was finally taking the stage in Abu Dhabi, making this their first ever performance in the Middle East. William, my photographer, was several feet away from James’s moist forehead, taking pictures of the intro track transitioning into “Creeping Death” while I was in the fan pit a few rows behind him, regressing back to the 15 year old me that first heard these songs on my big sister’s cassette tapes on a compound in Saudi Arabia.

Will we have to sit through any tracks from St Anger? A big concern I had about this concert was shared by many other fans I spoke to: Will we have to sit through any tracks from St Anger? Did I just get my hopes up to reconnect with 15 year old me who fell in love with S&M,


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Master of Puppets, The Black Album, … And Justice for All, Reload, et al.? Or, was I more likely to reconnect with the disenchanted me of 2002 (see Metallica’s first album after Jason Newsted quit)? If the latter was the case, I might seriously be forever and irreconcilably “over” Metallica. I’d always loved this band, even when they sued their Napster-using fans, even when they replaced beloved band members, even when they produced St Anger. I would always realize that I was one of those fans, the ones who always had faith. I also always believed that what they had already accomplished was enough for them to retain my respect, and that despite the metal suicide that might have been a byproduct of sobriety and domestication, they have pretty much earned the dispensation to do whatever the fuck they want.

A grown up me stood in the crowd on that day, witness to Metallica’s first concert in the Middle East after 30 years, with that sense of adolescent entitlement rejuvenating in me, because I wanted to meet the band, damnit! My press pass, unfortunately, did not allow me the privilege of going backstage. So just to add salt to a boiling wound, one of my friends introduces me to a very serene Salim Khalaf, 30, another fan standing near me. Not long into our conversation Salim tells me about his invitation backstage to meet the band thanks to his membership (why didn’t I think of that??), and I didn’t even hold back my jealousy when I expressed my pseudo-hatred towards him. Similar to Salim, but more publicly supported, is Basel Anabtawi’s story. Basel, 27, began carrying out an online campaign with his friends to help him finally meet the band in person after about 15 years of fandom. When Basel’s campaign was supported on Facebook by over a thousand people, one of the event’s sponsors, Du, took notice, and reached out to Basel by offering him one of their exclusive backstage passes. Basel’s lifelong dream came true. “Hamburgers for everyone!” he posted. “He’s going to be telling this story for the rest of his life,” a friend said.

I could see the word “exit” written in Arabic in the background. It was then that it really started to sink in: METALLICA WAS HERE! As Metallica began to walk on to the stage, giant high definition screens showed the crowd of 30,000 that their beloved band was here. But it wasn’t until I could see the word “exit” written in Arabic in the background of the footage that it was clear this video was coming from right in front of me. It was then that it really started to sink in: METALLICA WAS HERE! “Creeping Death” was followed with “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Fuel”, after which James stopped, as if to look into the eyes of the crowd and say hello.

“Thank you for waiting,” said the frontman politely to the star struck creature the crowd had morphed into at the Yas Island Arena in Abu Dhabi. “We’re here to play our heavy music for our Metallica family.” Angry and death-obsessed lyrics aside, James is a really grateful celebrity. James Hetfield, a 48 year old California native, had to escape his musical duties in 2001 to face his alcohol addiction, and comes to us in the UAE, fuelled, fired, and still inexorably desired. An added satisfaction for his Middle Eastern audience was that his excitement and gratitude towards us came from a clean and sober James. He wasn’t intoxicated and distracted; he was genuinely loving this Abu Dhabi monster.

“You need more, don’t you? You don’t want it, you need it,” James declared.

“I hope you like the old stuff,” he then said coyly as he pulled his guitar back into place and led the show into “Ride the Lightning,” the titular track of their 1984 studio album. The songs that followed were more delicious old stuff: “Fade To Black,” “The Memory Remains,” “Sanitarium,” “Sad But True,” “One,” “Master of Puppets,” “Nothing Else Matters,” and “Enter Sandman.” After “Enter Sandman,” as is their routine, they left the stage and returned for an encore, and in this one James announced that he wanted to pay tribute to the band that got them started, Diamondhead, with “Am I Evil?” followed by “Motorbreath.” As the latter track ended, they said goodnight once more, and started to take off their instruments and exit the stage. “You need more, don’t you? You don’t want it, you need it,” James declared. He was right, we did. And, the generous guy he is, he gave us what we needed. And we needed the early stuff, the tenacious thrash energy of Kill ‘Em All. “SEEK AND DESTROY!” James triumphantly declared, and the guitars started blaring. After it finished, he let the silence hang, the crowd scream, and then, played the song again. “SEEK AND DESTROY!” we echoed, and nothing could have felt better. It was an oldschool Metallica fan’s dream setlist come true.

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Kirk Hammett’s on stage presence the whole night, as ever, was cool and confident, concealing how sensitive and dweeby he is off-stage. Take the instrument away from this 47-year old lead guitarist and he is the kind of dork who, when trying to crack a joke, leaves those around him blinking, waiting for the punch line. Kirk with his guitar, on the other hand, makes the ladies melt like they would do anything to steal his attention away from his instrument. He also looks the youngest of the bunch.

It was an oldschool Metallica fan’s dream setlist come true. On drums is the ever-loved and loathed Lars Ulrich. At 47, he and James are the only two original members of the band. He is arguably the reason for their slipping reputation, but that could in recent news also be attributed to their collaboration with Lou Read on Lulu. In the band’s 2004 documentary, Some Kind of Monster, we see the band working painfully and forcefully on St. Anger and auditioning for a new bassist. Rob Trujillo, also 47, was the winner. Rob’s caveman-like long hair and ape-like stature gave us the feeling that Rob will protect these men with his giant muscles and roaring bass lines. The man is a beast, and wields his bass like a barbarian wields his axe. James, Lars, and Kirk left the stage at one point to give Rob his own moment to shine and play a bass solo, to which the audience chanted HEY after HEY at a steady beat in encouragement. This was not just a Metallica concert. This was a Metallica concert in the Middle East. Paraphrasing James’ stage banter from the concert: “People keep telling us, you HAVE to play there! The fans love you there. They love the real metal. They like their rock to be hard. It’s a special experience, and we’re so glad we can finally be here with you, Abu Dhabi.”


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

It’s true. Long after most parts of the world will hang up their black clothes and move on with their lives, Metallica and Megadeth t-shirts will always be worn in this part of the world. Metal is about anger and rebellion, but it is also one of the most uniform of all sub-cultures. So many complete strangers showed up at the arena, all with the same black clothes, t-shirts, devil horns and punk sneer, even if they were carrying different flags, representing different lands. Something about Metal, and the music of Metallica especially, is so incredibly important to the people here. There was a different level of excitement. This wasn’t just a popular band, it was a group of men who were important to the lives of each and every person in the crowd. There was something about Metallica that brought out a feeling in most of these fans at young ages that they never quite let go of. To say that people were waiting in line for this event is to say that the rebels in the Arab spring were being kind of aggressive in wanting their dictators to step down. People would have done anything for this. And we were all in it together. James was right, we needed this. Especially now. Especially in the middle of our Spring, our time of rebellion, our time to stand together, and stand up against those that have oppressed us and work towards a new better future.

To say that people were waiting in line for this event is to say that the rebels in the Arab spring were being kind of aggressive in wanting their dictators to step down. People would have done anything for this.


were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall here is something different about of Fame. And, most importantly, they are Metallica. There always has been. probably the only Metal band your parents When they arrived on the scene, have heard of. But this success seems to they had been clearly influenced be largely anomalous. by the bands that came before them, Diamond Head, Black Sabbath, etc. They            So, was this success just a freak were clearly a part of the bay area underaccident? If you’ve spent any time studying ground, stomping on the earth that Rock had salted after the death of Disco, prepar- the members of this band, the answer is clearly no. Like many of the great ing arms for a long war with this new bassuccesses of music, their members added tard MTV that was turning musicians into the right ingredients to make it happen. whores dancing for the camera and the Lars Ulrich, founding member and much falling money. But even as the band was one of them, they were never really at that more than a drummer, has clearly always level. When Kill ‘Em All was released in the been the one to push the band further. As he was interviewed during S&M, the summer of ’83, it not only bloodily birthed Thrash, but it also legitimized a scene that film Some Kind of Monster, and recently when talking about the album Lulu the was easily cast off by the critical mass as a bunch of young idiots who screamed and band recorded with the legendary Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed, Lars said turned up the distortion to cover their own almost the same thing—how great it feels paucity of musicianship. to push yourself out of your comfort zone and into a land of creative uncertainty. And             But it didn’t stop there. Each this is where he and James have always successive album was more startling than been kindred spirits. Though James isn’t the last, both in the way that it expanded as big-picture minded, both subscribe to the form, and the way it found a bigger the mantra “change or die.” Both are very and bigger audience. Their success came conscious of the brand of Metallica—who in stages: the band reached their artistic they are, how they should sound—but apex in ’86 with Master of Puppets and have never felt the need to pander to a their popular peak five years later in ’91 certain audience. And though this apwith their eponymous work referred to proach worked very well for them through by fans as The Black Album.  As others, the 80s, it has infuriated many since. like cast-off member Dave Mustaine and his band Megadeth, toiled away, releas            It’s hard to say that what they ing heavily respected albums, they never found the audience that Metallica did. They aspire towards is necessarily greater fame, or money. Though fans have slogged “sell never found the mass critical praise that out” at them countless times for countless Metallica did. Metallica is rare because (absolutely bullshit) reasons, this is never those ‘four horsemen’ did something bands can rarely accomplish: they became a band that was selling out to ‘the man’. They are merely trying to push themselves the most revered band both with those as far as they can go, because they are pedantically faithful to the Metal genre and with outsiders—people who only wore never satisfied with where they are. They believe in Metallica more than anyone black at funerals. does. But their idea of what that should mean, or who they should be, isn’t as             The strange thing is, one would limited, or limiting, as what others have think that the legitimization of Metallica decided. This personal drive that they have would have lead to the legitimization of will most certainly lead to mistakes: overMetal as a whole, but this never really production on Load and Reload, taking happened. The closest Metal got to really crossing over again was with the ‘rap-rock’ the wrong approach towards the creative process on St. Anger, following Lou Reed’s phenomenon that we have all chosen to forget. This is clear looking at their page on lead on some impossibly-difficult-tolisten-to tracks on Lulu. But making “safe” the AMG website, which catalogs a bands decisions isn’t what this band is about. place in music history by listing both their influences and those they have influenced. In their latest interview, they talk about some of the beautiful moments of creative Influences are names we all know: clarity that they found while making Lulu. Sabbath, Zeppelin, Motorhead, Judas If one listens to “The View” this sounds Priest. Followers: Eternal Decision, Crowlike a joke. But if one can get to the final bar, Biohazard, Stormtroopers of Death. track, “Junior Dad,” it’s clear that they were Even if you’ve heard of one of those from right. It’s not perfect, but there’s greatness the latter list, you’ve probably never seen in it. This is clearly a band that is finding their name on a bestseller chart. beauty in the unknown. For a band that             Metallica’s success is staggering. has always been obsessed with death, this They’ve sold albums in numbers that are is clearly a band that has finally become hard to fathom; they were the most popular obsessed with life. live act in the entirety of the 1990s; they Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Mashrou’ Leila

The Little Engine that Could Although I arrived early at the venue where ML (Mashrou’ Leila) were performing, the bouncers at the door were rather reserved about entrance -though the place was practically empty when I got there. It was then I knew that the Cairo Jazz Club would be boasting another jam-packed and overly populated smoky night. It was clear at the doors that my face still marked their so called black-list, and that my lewd and drunken brawl last winter at the venue had not yet been forgotten. I had to call up Haig Papazian to ask management to let me in. And being the gentleman that he is, and with much haste he let me right in. The place was somewhat different. Though dim and orange, as always, the stage has been setup to accommodate for the sevenperson lot that was up to perform that night. I spot some of the band members setting up the equipment on stage, while the rest were at a table to my left; talking things over, sharing a few laughs before the show. It wasn’t long before the crowds began to pour in, and it was getting difficult to walk, let alone breath. Firas had seemed to be affected as well, and getting a bit claustrophobic and short of breath, he stepped outside for some fresh air. It wasn’t panic though that got to him, rather poor ventilation, the rare and sympathetic non-smoker couldn’t stand the smog for long.


e had met them the day before for morning coffee, and a one-on-one interview, which ultimately diverted from that to more of a friendly gathering. Although each one of them comes off as strikingly different at first glance, the whole lot shared an air of humility and an unassuming nature. Firas, Omaya and Haig were the first to show up. Carl and Hamed made their way in about ten minutes later, fashionably late. The latter had an obvious presence as he walked in. Sharp black eyes, focused, with a punk-funk attitude, adding up to his popular frontman persona. I pressed the red ‘record’ button, and so the story goes… It was mainly a need for expression that drove the whole lot -one that needed to vent out the daily bustles of work and hassles of life. They were a clan sickened of the heart ache/break/love songs that infiltrated the airwaves. There was nothing


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

genuine to the prevalent music of today, not much to relate to. Rather, songs that epitomized either a surreal state of well-being or lack there of. The alternative (to finding relevance) was, at most times, to look to the West. Their stories although very personal, were also those of one and all. They appealed to a lot of us, seeing how the state of affairs is more or less the same across the board in the region. Starting out as what Hamed called “mere thoughts”, they evolved into something bigger, of genuine reverb, transcribing their songs with evocative meaning and musical eloquence. It was a process of change as he put it. Words that we use in our everyday life, in contrast to the abstract ‘fos-ha’ that seems distant from our relevant perception. It’s this evolution from the irrelevant abstract that has brought many closer to their music, making it heart felt and much more personal.

Their stories although very personal, were also those of one and all. They appealed to a lot of us, seeing how the state of affairs is more or less the same across the region. The group’s musical orientation varies widely from one member to another; manifesting the fact that each member’s background had added its own set of spice to create the right recipe for this “over-night” project. Succulent food for the soul that nourishes our hearts and minds. So who bakes the music? It’s always a back and forth progression, Hamed says. “I could write something in English for example, and we’d find the right, or rather spot-on feel, Arabic words for it. There’s no one person that brings it together. It’s a very organic process. The recording and culmination of a song could take up to several months, each adding on his ideas, to a point where it sounds just right.” Firas added, “There are times where we all sit together, and it plays out from there. Sometimes one of us would come back with a catchy riff or music line

Frontman: Violin: Guitars: Keyboards: Drums: Bass:

Hamed Sinno Haig Papazian Andre Chedid & Firas Abu Fakher Omaya Malaeb Carl Gerges Ibrahim Badr

and we would each add on to it. It’s as a circular process between each of us.” Back at the joint, I could literally feel the anticipation build up around me during the final sound checks. Hamed would mumble something into the mic, flexing his vocal strings a little, for the massive (vocal) range of sounds he was about to produce. Carl and Firas would add some pumping beats and riffs to get the crowd warmed up for a night to remember. And that it was. Their stage presence far exceeded my expectations; the crowd, the whole venue shared a vibe, mesmerized. Hamed, adjusted his brand new hair-do every now and again, would tremor the crowd with his sly tonalities, getting them in a bit of a frenzy –I honestly could see a young Morrison in the making. The sounds of Haig’s violin had the crowd swooning. I’m still hearing a lot comments from ladies about him (I see the whole Armenian/Lebanese/violinist persona played out well). The whole band was really getting into a drift; a fast paced one that rose the mood past elation. Carl banged the roof down, while Miles T (standin for Ibrahim on their Egypt visit) responded with a riff on his bass equally capturing. Andre and Firas raised the bar further, while Hamed with his deep gushing voice would overlay the tunes into perfection, swaying the crowds into screams. It was only Omaya that kept her calm, adding subtly engaging notes to the harmony, while flashing delicate glances nonchalantly out at the audience –I have to admit, the girl’s a muse in her own way. A lot of the delivery was in their live act that played out as natural, rather than “powdered up”, adding so much to the power and relevance of their performance. Their gig was none like I’ve seen before at the Jazz club, a commanding stage presence that demands much respect for a band that’s

Reflections: On why The Little Engine that could, did Though more fortunate than others, the band had faced the same problems of starting out in the region; one that lacks adequate musical infrastructure for aspiring artists, a dearth of financial (and moral) support, difficulty in attaining any record deals -that would enable you to quit your day job and take up music (or arts) professionally, et al. Bottom line: no one wants to invest in talent that won’t commercialize and bring in the big bucks. Experimentation, breaking traditional barriers, and taking leaps of faith on fresh talent are almost non-existent in a culture that’s been accustomed to the same style of music for generations. For a good four decades, we have not encountered the movements that shaped music as they did in other regions around the globe; they were either too short lived to have a lasting effect or were put to sleep by dogmatic structures that shape society. Our styles of living, our cultural ingrained habits, our fear and prudence towards what is new, have held back raw talent for years on now. Movements have been minor and constrained, barely, if ever, seeing the light.

Experimentation, breaking traditional barriers, and taking leaps of faith on fresh talent are almost non-existent in a culture that’s been accustomed to the same style of music for generations Even big names in the recording industry would rarely take a chance or gamble on talent that diverts from the “popular”. It’s very hard to score record deals, and it’s a lucky few that can do so without selling out. There’s not much popular support for music that sways, or alternates from what people are used to. But it’s also not only a problem of ‘what’, but rather ‘where.’ The existence of venues that support the radical side of music and arts are sparse and faint, and rarely allow for a full-blown expression of what’s within. So the chances of finding that channel in which

you’re able to put yourself completely out there are rather slim.

We have not encountered the movements that shaped music as they did in other regions around the globe; they were either too short lived to have a lasting effect or were put to sleep It’s fairly easier to find these individual differences embraced, or at their very least, begrudgingly tolerated, in countries that are liberated in a sense of accepting their interpersonal differences, even if at face value. This definitely explains why up to now Beirut has ventured far more into experimental music and arts when compared to areas like Amman or Cairo for example. Further, the fact that social strata’s, although visible and existent in Beirut, are not played-out in every day life; allowing a sense of acceptance (to oneself) and in turn the ability to better express what’s within.

This definitely explains why up to now Beirut has ventured far more into experimental music and arts when compared to areas like Amman or Cairo for example Take for example the simple fact that most bars and cafés in Hamra, Beirut are mostly run and managed by youth of the same “understanding” –keeping in mind though that Lebanon is a massively diverse cultural nation. They shared something in common -a communion; everyone was at eye-level. Well, almost everyone. I realize I am being rather generic, but it’s all in relevance to other communities, a comparison so to speak. This underlying fact in itself, the drop of social barriers based on wealth, background

or, something as inane as, looks, creates a sense of well-being amongst one another, a mode where one isn’t afraid or reluctant to go all out there, to experiment and venture into his or her own visions. In the words of ML “we know a great music scene exists in Syria or in Egypt for example, but we don’t really know what’s going on within that scene”. Which is another problem: the geographical distance, the socio-economic and political frameworks and lack of (or better-notdisposed-of) finances, have constructed hurdles in creating unity for these vast and varying musicians and artists to come together. Even cultural centers, although attempting to work around such conditions (the likes of Al-Mawred Al Thaqafy), lack an ingrained outreach to the varying underground musicians and artists, and are far too few in number to contain the ever-growing artists in the region. Point is: demand far outstrips supply. *Demand’s love for supply is unrequited* The region lacks the necessary initiative to push forth the great talents that exist, but face virtually impenetrable barriers that only work as a means to distinguish rather than replenish. In my humble opinion, it’s only through The Arts that a nation truly develops into its own skin, perpetuating the culture of generations to come.

Read the exclusive interview with Hamed Sinno on page


Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Your Brain On Music Joanna Jaoudie

Should you avoid listening to music while you study?

With the start of the academic year already rearing its unfortunate head, many people are getting ready to go back to school, while others are settling back into a post-summer, work routine. For most of us, that means that the fun is over. But does that mean that we need to pack up our music along with it? Music is an essential form of entertainment and a good way to kick off a variety of celebrations for many people, young and old. With this mode of thought, we tend to associate music with festivities and socialization. When it’s time to have fun, we crank up the volume and put our worries behind us; we kick back and relax or put on our dancing shoes for an hour or two, swaying to “feel-good” tunes. However you enjoy your music - whether it’s at a concert with a thousand people or simply tuning out the more unpleasant noises of life in the comfort of your home, it is a pastime that is greatly appreciated by the majority. Music is therefore an element that is usually reserved for the less serious events of the

day, unless of course you are one of the lucky people who get to pursue this wonder on a professional level (thank you for making our lives more bearable). So, does this mean that the rest of us need to switch off this simple pleasure of life at the workplace and school?

When it’s time to have fun, we crank up the volume and put our worries behind us; we kick back and relax or put on our dancing shoes for an hour or two, swaying to “feelgood” tunes.

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usic has managed to penetrate almost all areas of our lives. Apart from social situations that call for celebratory tunes, we listen to music on the road, at the gym, in the shower and when we’re doing the laundry. However, all these activities have one thing in common—they are habitual in nature and thus don’t require much focus to do. Therefore, listening to music in the background will not disrupt our ability to go about engaging in automatic tasks. In fact, we are more likely to enjoy those tasks while we listen to our favorite setlist. You could even sing along to the lyrics and it will not effect how well you rinse and repeat in the shower.

We are only able to store a certain amount of new information at a given time. Everything you do requires attention, particularly if you are learning something new or trying to produce something novel. So what about those activities that do require quite a chunk of our attention? If you are writing an assignment that requires some creativity, how well can you do it without being distracted, or even influenced, by the lyrics you are listening to? What about students cramming for an exam or writing a term paper as they sing along to Pearl Jam? Just how much cognitive load can we handle at once? Several limiting factors come into play, namely that of our working memory. We are only able to store a certain amount of new information at a given time. Everything you do requires attention, particularly if you are learning something new or trying to produce something novel. Coincidentally, it is the level of attention that we need to pay attention to in the case of working and music.


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If you are attempting to study the principles of physics while you sing along to your favorite lyrics, both activities will be competing for memory space, and while we are aware of which is more important, our working memory is only interested in sucking in as much information from the environment as we are exposed to at the time. It is then up to us to decide which information is worthy of selective attention, but again, our memory modules will be competing for space either way. Next time you decide to multi-task, just remember that you are using up valuable space. Storage space is not the only problem. The cost of switching between tasks- listening to music and working on a project - is time consuming as well. You may want to reconsider listening to music as you work the next time you have a close deadline. Another issue arises when you opt to listen to music with lyrics while you read textbook material. This is the concept of cognitive interference. Since you are required to learn whatever it is you are reading, it will be difficult for you to focus on the material at hand if you listen to music with lyrics. Imagine juggling between e=mc² and a fast paced rap (Yeah, right!). For those musical enthusiasts who cannot live without constant auditory harmony at their disposal, do not despair because there is an alternative to not listening to music at all: listen to an easygoing lyricless beat. Just don’t select something that has too much going on at the same time or you won’t be able to focus at all. Save those tracks for the next rave you decide to go to.

Music is said to have a general positive emotional effect on people and hence help one become more tolerant of their workload.

It seems safe to conclude that it’s generally not a good idea to mix music and work, however that is not entirely the case. Music is said to have a general positive emotional effect on people and hence help one become more tolerant of their workload. This is consistent with the popular “Mozart Effect”, although this effect is not restricted to listening to Mozart or classical music. Any music one finds enjoyable can suffice. The same applies for music in the workplace. If you insist on playing music as you work on something requiring a lot of attention, then make sure you put together a preferably instrumental, familiar, and ‘light’ setlist that’ll keep you going as you work. If you turn on the radio, however, which will present spontaneous stimuli, you will likely keep getting distracted and struggle to keep your energies focused. If you can find your tempo, you can find your balance of music and work. A surgeon, for example, might well be able to listen to rock music or rap, as long as it is music he is well familiar with and it does not break his focus. His working memory thus can devote its energy to the task at hand—keeping the person in front of him alive. Happy multi-tasking!

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A Wall Smashing Phoenix C. Taylor Ross

A Lebanese friend leads me, an American grad student from California, into a small Hamra bar, neatly tucked away in a grungy alley in Beirut. We descend a cramped staircase in the back, which leads into a small seven by seven meter room, filled with enough people to send a US fire-marshal into convulsions, and enough cigarette smoke to have the area classified as “suicidal” by the American Cancer Society. The room is too crowded for us to make it down the staircase, so we flag the bartender to get some drinks and have a seat on the stairs. I’m not sure what to expect on my first night out in the Middle East, but I know I’m in for a night of rock and roll. Before we could finish our beers, JLP walks onto the stage and does a final prep of their gear. Boudy Boustany, the lead singer, uses the time to ask for requests and tease the crowd about their taste in music,


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building a rapport with an audience who seems to already love him. Now set up in their comfort zone, JLP is a five-member mostly-acoustic cover band playing the best in rock, pop, alternative, and oldies. The band is comprised of Boudy Boustany on vocals, Ramzi Ramman on guitar and vocals, Ghassan Bouz and Ziad Ramman on percussion, and Joe Mokbel on the bass guitar. The Ramman brothers aren’t twins, but are so similar looking that they often get mistaken for each other.

We descend a cramped staircase in the back, which leads into a small seven by seven meter room, filled with enough people to send a US fire-marshal into convulsions, and enough cigarette smoke to have the area classified as “suicidal” by the American Cancer Society.

The band begins the night by performing Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy,” and then continues through a panacea of classic and contemporary rock songs. The energy in the room seems to pick up with each and every song; the stairs are no longer stairs, but fifteen miniature dance floors on which about twenty-five drunk twenty-somethings’ attempt to accomplish both dancing and balancing – with surprising success. After just a few songs the temperature in this tiny room begins to soar, as more and more drunk and debaucherous people begin convulsing to the music. Before long this little club is hotter than a bedroom full of Satan’s seventy-two smoking-hot mistresses, and Jesus himself couldn’t drag me out of here.

The stairs are no longer stairs, but fifteen miniature dance floors on which about twentyfive drunk twentysomethings’ attempt to accomplish both dancing and balancing – with surprising success. Their stage presence carries a playful joie de vivre, moderated by eloquent musical composition. A few songs into their set JLP performed an exemplary version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” which by any reasonable standard unabashedly shamed the original. The dreary and half-impassioned vocals of David Gilmour and Roger Waters hardly compared to the vibrant, diamond-like, piercing, vocals of Boustany. Listening to Pink Floyd’s version of the song has always left me feeling as if there was nothing deeper in the words than the ignoble angst of some sluggish hippies – who were followed by a bunch of going-nowhere fans as if their words were at all remarkable and revolutionary. The JLP version of the song, however, breathed refreshing life into Pink Floyd’s over-glorified

anthem of anti-intellectualism. In this small venue in Beirut, “Another Brick in the Wall” finally reached its potential as an art-piece of revolutionary energy and passion. Perhaps it was only in the beautiful youth of Beirut, struggling against the overpowering forces of sectarian enculturation and parochialism which have permeated this country for decades, that a song like “Another Brick in the Wall” could ever be infused with the meaning it has always pretended to have. The throaty screams of Boustany, and the crackles in his voice, brought visions to my mind of concrete being violently shaken, slowly breaking apart, sending rubble and dust into the air, as he and the crowd sung in harmony: “We don’t need no education… We don’t need no thought control… No dark sarcasm in the classroom…” Here, tonight, these words embodied something near and dear to the hearts of the people in that room; they were words that aimed to tear down walls between people – they were words that aimed to separate the future of the youth from the histories of their parents. Pink Floyd gave birth to a drearily sung still-born - JLP vibrantly brought the child to life. It was like watching a star being born, not from the ashes of something old and great, but from the branded footprints of something false and commercialized: this was a new kind of phoenix. As the band finished their last song I made my way down the stairs to the stage, shook their hands, and thanked them for their performance. My friend and I paid our tab and meandered out into the early morning air. The sultry summer breeze cooled our salty skin, as we bid our friends farewell. We slowly stumbled back toward home, through the deserted alleyways of Beirut, passing numerous armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft guns, and constructions projects - perhaps standing as symbols of the struggle between the past and the future of this beautiful city. JLP play regularly throughout the greater Beirut area, especially Hamra, and were featured in the 2011 Beirut Music and Art Festival.

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


An Interview with Hamed Sinno Noha El-Khatib

*Thanks to contributor William H. Mullally

Philosophical (non) Flamboyance And how he found himself listening to Nancy Ajram

Hamed Sinno was wearing a plain white t-shirt, skinny black jeans, and a disheveled Mohawk haircut—quite a departure from the bright assortment of hipster couture that he sported before his fame. I was sitting at a small table in front of the stage at The Music Room in Dubai, watching the seven Mashrou’ Leila members undergo their sound check while Hamed politely asked the sound engineers to raise or lower the levels on respective instruments. They were preparing for a concert in the UAE for the second time after having won over a larger audience in the region.

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I was so proud of this band; proud that we were of the same generation, proud that we were of the same community, but I was mostly proud of Hamed, who I first met in 2006 when he was a freshman at the American University of Beirut. He was an intellectually rebellious art student whose presence never went unnoticed, thanks to his ostentatious jokes, inappropriately sharp commentary, and beautiful voice that fetched many admirers before he even performed in public. Sometimes his impromptu lyrics were about sour or taboo topics like child molestation, homosexuality, and violence. Being exposed to his bluntness and volume, however, convinced most of the onlookers to think that he was confident, sexually ambiguous, outgoing, and unfazed by social expectations. Most of that was not true. He was shy, apologetic, struggling through social turbulence, and anxious for knowledge and peace of mind. But his journey through college and through the formation of Mashrou’ Leila has not only humbled his pseudo-arrogance, but has given his self awareness a more confident tone. He shyly glanced at me and spoke into the microphone, “Sorry Noha, almost done.” I waved my hand at him to take his time. I was touched that he would give me this interview at all, given his limited time and near-celebrity status. Finally Hamed, my colleague William*, and I went to a nearby café where I turned on my voice recorder and we started to catch up.

Hamed was an intellectually rebellious art student whose presence never went unnoticed thanks to his ostentatious jokes, inappropriately sharp commentary, and beautiful voice that fetched many admirers before he even performed in public. So, with the first album, did you have a certain kind of message in mind, or was it just jamming? It definitely wasn’t just jamming. Not that just jamming is not its own message or that it’s less valuable… We were over-indulging


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that part of everyone that wants to change the world without understanding how the world really works (smirks), to a certain extent, and it was also just a lot of pent up anger. We were all really really angry at everything. Not that it’s traumatic, and call in Oprah.. but it’s just unnecessarily difficult in Beirut. Difficult is an understatement, actually. And it’s not just Beirut, it’s the whole region, and I guess we were all at a point in our lives where we really were considering whether or not we wanted to stay. So naturally the city had to make its way into what we were writing about… writing about our own lives, trying to be as objective as possible about certain issues.v I got the vibe that you were the main voice – not in the vocalist sense – but knowing you as a college freshmen and seeing the way you approached songwriting, it sounds like an evolution of your style. Are the lyrics all “you”?

Yeah...mostly. The content on the first album was stuff I wrote because we had a band together and we were going to write songs, it’s not like there was a stock of lyrics that I had written before that I wanted to use. That might be done for the second album. My own stock of… rubbish. But the first album is all stuff we were either negotiating or talking about, it’s nothing profound, it’s stuff that everyone in Beirut talks about: Sectarianism, gay rights, gender equality, most people in college at that point have those questions marks. Anything that helped you deal? Not in the obvious “I need to vent” kind of way – that doesn’t actually ever change anything (smiles) – but it’s actually funny, like a lot of the stuff that we wrote about, I guess, is the product of being in a collective body of narration and negotiating how you can live as an individual in a particular social group or social background or whatever… What ended up happening is that we were venting about

that and because people started liking it, it was a bit cathartic for ME that people could identify. Because it was a lot of stuff that makes me feel like I’m different from my family when it comes to these things, or from MOST people around me when it comes to these things… so when you get 17,500 people on your Facebook page saying “Hey I really like your music!” it sort of means something, you know? So it was extremely cathartic. It helped a lot with my confidence.. it was a bit rewarding to know that your ideology or whatever you want to call it is not just yours alone.

“When you get 17,500 people on your Facebook page saying ‘Hey I really like your music!’ it sort of means something, you know?” As a band, do you have a specific kind of schedule to practice, or some kind of routine? We used to when we were in college, we’d jam like 2-3 times a week, that’s why we were that productive actually. At this point, everyone has jobs, and different schedules, so we always jam before a gig at least twice, especially since often we need to find sessionists to fill in. (Ibrahim, the bassist is a student at MIT and is not always around for gigs) Otherwise it’s once a week if we’re lucky.

Which tracks might you revisit, or always include? For me, Shim el Yasmine. It’s something I will never outgrow.. it’s not a song I can ever… see it’s a very visceral thing that happened.. it sounds very fartsy, and I have a pet abyss or whatever (we chuckle), it was just very real at the time, so I’d always include that. Could you tell me more about that song? Your experience writing it? I had a really bad breakup. I got really messed up about it for a while. It’s not really a mindfuck of a song. We know why you chose the name Mashrou’ Leila, for overnight project, but can you tell me about the day it happened? Was it an epiphany/spark or more a logical conclusion of sorts? Our name WAS going to be The Architecture and Design Department Band. I’m serious. The second gig we wrote it as Mashrou’ Leila - ‫( ليلة‬written as the word for night) and then we decided fuck it let’s just make it ‫ ليلى‬. The plan was that we’d always have room for people to cycle in and play with us, as we were still cycling bassists, but then we decided it would just be the seven of us. So let’s give it a proper noun. It just sounded and felt right, and then we made all these justifications and stories for it after it, but the truth is it just felt right.

What’s the hardest thing about keeping that up? It’s not enough. Before Byblos (Summer 2009) we got this apartment together in Bhamdoun (a village in the mountains of Lebanon) and we stayed in it for a month and a half. The 7 of us lived there for a month and a half and we just wrote. We ended up writing 7 tracks in a month, which is super cool so we’re doing that again as soon as Ibrahim comes back, for next time. Byblos again? No, it’s for our launch party actually, it’s not an album, it’s an EP. We took our sweet-ass time recording it, we went all out, we got all this new equipment, Carl and Firas did their own mixes and they sound beautiful, we got a string septet, we got a choir, children, but it is stuff that we’ve played before but we majorly tweaked and reworked everything. Discord Music Magazine Issue One


What’s the best bullshit story you’ve given to explain to people “Who is Leila?” She was a sex worker in Hamra who Carl was in love with. I said it on a television show once and the woman panicked! One of the hardest things to explain about living in Lebanon? People might not be following the laws, but we are still very much controlled.

“We once said that Leila was a sex worker in Hamra who Carl was in love with. I said it on a television show once and the woman panicked!” How “out” are you? It’s a very difficult conversation to have, but it’s not a shameful one. How do you deal with how difficult that is? In the classic sense of someone who has matured, as most of us do when we graduate from college, you seem to have gotten slapped in the face, or perhaps have gotten humbled by your experiences. We lived in a bubble [when we were in college]. AUB was a big bubble. It’s one that promises you that you can function within some sort of cultural alienation practically; I mean it still very much is a sort of protestant colonial mission. And then you walk out and it’s NOT the way the world is working here. Would you consider them the best years of your life? No. The first two years, maybe. I was with Sophie, who is just a phenomenal person, I was reading Nietzsche, had my black turtleneck and everything. So what changed? I think you start coming to terms with


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the fact that you don’t necessarily get to change everything about your core, unless it’s reformative. But otherwise, things don’t change. Maybe they do and we die too early for that to happen or something. I got a lot more sympathetic. My life stopped being so much about myself. I don’t know why. What do you want music to be? What I look for in music is writing. Lyrics, comfort, words. I want it to be what listening to Tracy and the Plastics was when I was 20. What other music has affected you? Everything. A lot of stuff! At this point, literally everything I’m listening to is affecting me, even Nancy Ajram – ultra generic Lebanese pop. She’s actually less generic than you think, she has a great voice. But in terms of obvious influences, I really like Dylan, Morrisson, I know it’s really cliché. What do you like about them? Again, the themes.. the existentialism. I really like Tracy and the Plastics… actually I don’t really like Tracy and the Plastics, I KINDA like Tracy and the Plastics. But I went through a phase at 20 where it was THE most inspiring thing for me and made me feel like I belonged to something. What else? I really like James Blake. His sound is really particular.. ridiculously prolific.

“Nancy Ajram is actually less generic than you think, she has a great voice!” Do you feel you write as a character or as yourself? I feel often when I’m writing that I’m thinking “What would I say if I were someone who was doing blablablabla?” So there’s a scenario and I’m writing performatively. There’s a catharsis in it and there’s a distance. There’s a really easy way to waiver responsibility from doing things (laughs), so if you get in trouble, hypothetically, someone calls you a racist or whatever, blame the character.

Has music become more important to you – more powerful? Yes, definitely. It’s this thing you’ve always been waiting for and aiming for [as we did when we were in cover bands] and it’s now here. It’s life. It’s also become more trying. I do research – theory, songwriting, literature, scripts, reading about performance, rock history, what other bands did, philosophies so I can create shared platforms – it’s more accessible to write about than neuroscience – everything. Any of those ideas that really affected you – that you found in your research? Judith Butler, gender performativity. But I’m not gonna pretend to be the first person to say that. It’s what Bowie did, what Oscar Wilde did, it’s why Bowie said he was an Oscar Wilder. Performance in general, amplifying these things is fascinating, and when it comes to gender, it becomes even more fascinating. She has this thing where she says that all gender identities are socially constructed; behavioral patterns that exist a priori to an individual need to be internalized and reproduced, and you get controlled via social systems of punishment and rewards. It’s not something that comes as instinct or as part of your sex, it’s something that’s constructed. The way that comes into performance – I find mindboggling.

Do you write prose, too?

ics, you can write them down, you can get up and read them or whatever. As Yeah, and it’s going much better. It’s soon as things start coming out of your not as restricting as music – with music mouth, it’s the most narcissistic thing I have a problem because I stick to you can do because it’s really just you… comfortable meters that repeat, and with it’s someone demanding something prose, that drops. human about language. With instruments you’re doing something a lot less natural. With your voice it’s kind of like taking care of your hair. It’s not about meaning, it’s very narcissistic, and you have to be there as a body, it’s more like acting.. Anyway what was I saying? Right. With music, if you told me we’d lose our fan base or make no money at it, I’d still love to make music. It’s never been a way to get to something else. It is its own end.

“When we were in cover bands, music was like this thing we were waiting for. Now, it’s like… it’s here. It’s life.”

Is music important to you in itself or is it a means to an end? The cool thing about music is that it’s very for me as a vocalist is very physical. You’re singing, I don’t care how many people say it’s about the lyrics, it’s really not. If you want profound lyr-

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Ashley El-Jor

Feast Your Eyes on The ’11 Beirut Rock Festival 028

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his year, as summer came to its unwelcome close, Lebanon witnessed a second installment of the Beirut Rock Festival, uniting major and minor names in the international and hometown Rock and Metal scene in The Roman Amphitheater of Zouk Mikael.

Amongst them Serj Tankian with the Lebanese Symphony Orchestra, The Weeping Willow, Kimaera, Moonspell, and Katatonia. Crowds from around the region poured in to share their enthusiasm for a controversial artform.

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Serj Tankian Headliner and System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian returned to Lebanon for the first time in 37 years to attend the rock fest and perform on stage with his father and legendary Armenian folk singer, Khatchadour Tankian. Serj’s usual guitar-laden accompaniment was replaced with a full orchestra, which added a pinch of classic seriousness to the usually more manic singer’s persona. He still maintained his tenacious charisma, only dropping his humorous theatrics to duet with his father, beaming with pride, watching in awe and never overshadowing Khatchadour’s robust vocals.

Eileen Khatchadourian On the first night of the Beirut Rock Festival, the flags flew a proud red blue and yellow as the Armenian diasporic population flooded into the arena to witness some of its most respected musicians take the stage. Singer Eileen Khatchadourian, half Lebanese and half Armenian and a veteran of the fest, wore her heritage with pride, thrashing on stage with an ebullient spark.


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Kimaera Kicking off the second night was Lebanese Doom-Death Metal act, Kimaera. Though certainly proud of their musical accomplishments, having established an international fan base, that pride can’t be extended to their heritage. When asked if they consider Lebanon their home, Drummer Simon Saade responded: “Definitely not. They treat us like a normal band, like we have nothing. No matter how much you achieve, no matter how much you do on an international level, you’re still just another local band here in Lebanon"

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The Hour Glass

The Hour Glass, purveyors of Syrian/Lebanese Heavy Metal, were ecstatic for the chance to share their talents—and change perceptions—on such a grand stage. “The Beirut Rock Festival is big for us,” said Rawad, lead guitarist.  You know the situation of every metal band here–in the Middle East, and in Syria in particular, we’re ‘outcasts.’ There are so are many stereotypes and misconceptions about heavy metal.  So this is a big opportunity.”

The Weeping Willow The members of The Weeping Willow, 15-year veterans of the ever-burgeoning Lebanese metal scene, have weathered their share of bruises trying to stay afloat in a home that has not always embraced singular brand of death metal. But through the tribulation, they refuse to make excuses. “Listen, if you want to play in a band, or make a band, or record an album, you should support your own f*#king ass. This is for sure. Unless [you] go play something commercial, and play popular music or something, and make money and play at weddings whatever, you know. But, for Metal, it’s about you and yourself, that’s it.”


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Moonspell Local Lebanese singer Stephanie Maalouf sang “Scorpion Flower” with Portuguese Goth-Metal band Moonspell. Stephanie beat out many others to win the chance to sing on stage with her favorite band. “Usually I perform in small pubs, where there are like 80 people watching maximum. [To have the chance to sing with Moonspell] was absolutely amazing! I had the time of my life. Fernando was really adorable. He is very sweet and he helped

me a lot. Especially on stage. He really boosted my spirit out there. He’s an amazing person. He has such positive energy. They were all encouraging me before the show. They were awesome. To know that Fernando loves my voice is a great honor for me. It was more than a dream come true.”

Katatonia Swedish band Katatonia, playing its inaugural show in the country, performed with unbridled enthusiasm after visibly brandishing Lebanon’s favorite local beer, Almaza, to toast the audience.

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


The Colours of Rebellion Nader Ahmed

An Interview with Akram Fadl When trying to get an interview done around Cairo, one of the holdups is finding the right place for it. It’s too crowded and just damn loud. I had to pick up reading lips in order to make sense out of this one. We sure lack the concept of proper parks in this town. With that said, I am pleased to have discussed the local art scene with one of Egypt’s most profound visual artists, Akram Fadl. We interrogate the devastating conditions of the forever-under-construction arts scene in Egypt that, without any doubt, is far from being recognized. What music do you listen to? I grew up listening to 80’s synth pop, by the time I reached high school I began moving towards hard rock (Guns & Roses…etc). Now I’ve stuck on extreme metal for 11 years now but still I enjoy listening to everything else.

"Art is all about exploring new territories on a personal level. You can’t reach a point where you say that’s it… It’s an ongoing process"

Well, seeing your artwork I could swear that you are a big fan of Tool. It is evident that music has a huge influence on your work. Is that right? When I was in school my teachers always complained that my work was “too depressing.” As a kid I was never attracted to bright colors. The concept of album art triggered my understanding of the visual dimension in music; I still remember when I first bought the compilation “Beauty in darkness”... everything changed ever since.


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Akram Fadl’s profile: Graduate of Fine Arts, University of Alexandria Contributed to more than 14 galleries. Has worked for over 8 years as an art & design teacher in international schools. A 14 years’ avid metal-head. Favorite local bands: Machine Eat Man and Crescent (designing the Album art for the latter). Website:

Regarding your commercial work, do you think it is important to seek commercial success as an artist? I don’t find it challenging. I perceive it as some sort of training. It’s good to improve your technical skills. So there has to be a balance between recognition and integrity. Is that right? People here don’t know what an artist really means. The concept of an independent artist is not there. Art is all about exploring new territories on a personal level. You can’t reach a point where you say that’s it… It’s an ongoing process.

”Yeah, certainly there is some kind of a mental civil war going on. You fight for your ideas everyday. Traditions here are taken for granted although it lacks ethics.” Do you consider anything experimental as genuine? Well, art has changed from a form of expression to a hunt for a shocking effect. Some may exploit this concept by displaying a blank canvas or something. As an art teacher I expect you to be a supporter of the idea of teaching art, although its a subject of debate whether art should be taught as a form of giving instruction(s) and limiting the possible outcomes that children can come up with.

That was well put. However, I personally think that as a society we lack the capacity to recognize that way of life. People that are truer to their ideologies find it hard to coexist. ”Yeah, certainly there is some kind of a mental civil war going on. You fight for your ideas everyday. Traditions here are taken for granted although it lacks ethics.” My students for example, their parents, the other teachers and most of their friends have absolutely no respect or appreciation for art. Is that it? I mean do you think that it is a good enough reason for them to give up? I’m sure you’ve already seen that yourself, while growing up you look for a group of friends that rebel against the norm and just say “Fu*k the system” but by the time you all are grown ups 90% of that group would probably become another accountant for Ernst & Young working around the clock all month to pay installments for their recently bought ultra quiet automatic washing machine. (laughs). They don’t find something for themselves because they are either afraid or not confident why should they be granted any respect then?

No one can teach you how to be an artist. They may provide the skills to master your instrument that you use to express. You got to have something to say. Have we improved as a society in the sense that we encourage future generations to value arts and other forms of expression? It’s a dual responsibility. People should be keen to support art and artists should be keen to provide a good example. Discord Music Magazine Issue One



this tugging at your feet,

to sink down and be swallowed up by the ground?

It can be done.

Get into a cab and tell him to take you anywhere.

Have him drop you at a metro stop and ride it until the end of the line,

then back.

Keep in motion,

although you will sit still,

the boxes on wheels make your own private atmosphere;

keeps you from hitting the back of your cage when the engine starts.

The world stands still at this scale, while you move too fast to exist.

By not being anywhere long enough for it to register,

you have been swallowed by transit: bask in the anonymity. Don’t bring a book or listen to an iPod.

That just promotes consciousness.

Slip willingly into unconsciousness, letting the landscape revolve like a shadow lamp, mesmerizing and numbing you.


blood cells through the veins of the city streets,

we die,

we regenerate,

we poison the body of the world

weandlive in then we try to repair it. Sink in deep,

wake up small, regenerate,



Thea Price-Eckles Discord Music Magazine Issue One

The Archive: Q-019

The Sternest Test of Independence

“One must test oneself to see whether one is destined for independence and command; and one must do so at the proper time. One should not avoid one’s tests, although they are perhaps the most dangerous game one could play and are in the end tests which are taken before ourselves and before no other judge. Not to cleave to another person, though he be the one you love the most – every person is a prison, also a nook and corner. Not to cleave to a fatherland, though it be the most suffering and in need of help – it is already easier to sever your heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to cleave to a feeling of pity, though it be for higher men into whose rare torment and helplessness chance allowed us to look. Not to cleave into a science, though it lures one with the most precious discoveries seemingly reserved precisely for us. Not to cleave to one’s own detachment, to that voluptuous remoteness and strangeness of the bird which flies higher and higher so as to see more and more beneath it – the danger which threatens the flier. Not to cleave to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some parts of us, of our ‘hospitality’ for example, which is the danger of dangers for rich and noble souls who expend themselves prodigally, almost indifferently, and take the virtue of liberality to the point where it becomes a vice. One must know how to conserve oneself: the sternest test of independence.”

Friedrich Nietzsche; Beyond Good and Evil

Discord Music Magazine Issue One



TAKES THE UNDERGOUND MUSIC SCENE TO THE NEXT LEVEL! THE STORY BEHIND UMF Whether you are a musician or a music fan, you have probably noticed the lack of support and professionalism in the music scene in Egypt; especially the underground scene. Underground musicians and artists faced many barriers that affected their progression and development of music. Such barriers like support from music industries to new taste and genres of music, availability of professional venues for live performances, unprofessional introduction and advertising that accounts for minimal awareness about such talents and music genres.

the day where a change could occur that might shift and take this underground music scene to a professional level but I found no signs or hope. So I thought why shouldn’t I do something about it? Why can’t I exploit all my passion for music into something that would actually make a difference?”

In the past few years, Egypt witnessed an evolution in music where many potential local talents crafted spectacular music and songs. Many bands have emerged fusing different genres and styles of music and instead of covering artists’ music, they created their great originals songs and music which made them no different than any other professional bands and artist.


“So I thought why shouldn’t I do something about it? Why can’t I exploit all Underground musicians my passion for music and artists faced many into something that would actually make a barriers that affected difference?” their progression and UMF-LIVE.COM. EGYPT’S FIRST AND development of music OFFICIAL UNDERGROUND MUSIC

UMF “Underground Music Federation” as an idea was inspired by a prolonged music experience where Muhammad ElAyat; founder and director of UMF as a musician faced the same problems and barriers. “I was waiting and hoping for


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

First, it all started with an idea to introduce and showcase Egypt’s best underground music talents in a professional way; an online hub and platform that hosts the best underground musicians in one place that could be easily accessed by their fans. UMF-LIVE.COM was launched on June 15th 2011, offering professional online portfolios for the hosted bands and artists including their biography, pictures, videos, social gadgets, news and events and online distribution for their albums and music. By now, many professional underground bands and artists have

joined UMF; Cairokee, Salalem, Uss W Laz2, Hany Mustafa, Shady Ahmed, Massar Egabri and many more. Recently, UMF has partnered with Virgin Megastores to offer underground bands and musicians a healthier atmosphere and platform whereby they can progress and distribute their material.

UMF-LIVE.COM is the foundation of change in the underground music scene; which is a part of UMF Records business and range of services that are to be revealed soon.

UMF Launch Concert

NICE TO ROCK YOU The Underground Music Federation (UMF), Egypt’s first official underground music website, celebrated it’s launch by bashing out one of the biggest rock concerts this fall. UMF rocked the night away with a superb line-up consisting of Salalem, Simplexity, Egoz, Cairokee, Shady Ahmed, Fo2 El Setou7, Ahmed El Haggar and a guest appearance by the U.S. based band The Johnny Rodgers. The venue was set up at Markaz Shabab El Gezira, rounding out a massive arena in the club with quite an impressive stage. The event started at around 5 pm and played out till around midnight. The event marked a prominent turn in Egypt’s music scene, moving away from the shut-off, cement and seated locations to more of a Woodstock-ish feel; spacious area, green grass, loud music and fans spread out on the field, dancing and singing along to their favored tunes.

Photo courtesy of Picsmeister

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Discord also got its share of the thrill, covering for the event as the Official Media Sponsor. The Discord booth, which was set out as a mini stage, played off some mini-music jamming sessions between band intervals by some of the prominent artists on the scene. At one point NEOBYRD’s Wael Alaa played out the infamous ‘Light My Fire’ on the keyboards, to be joined in by Majid Hassan (Ze KHODZ) on the drums, Hakim (United Nile Reggae) on the Guitar and Nader (Feed Me!), while Mohammed Jamal from Salalem took on Morrison’s deep vocals bringing the surrounding crowd into quite a buzz - I think it was the spontaneity that got to them. Photo courtesy of Picsmeister


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Viva la Musica!

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Anathema Live in Dubai Noha El-Khatib

"AW-NAW-THEEMA!" "AW - NAW - THEEMA!” the predominantly Iranian crowd chanted in harmony, demanding Anathema’s appearance. We had just watched the opening act, eye (Empty Yard Experiment), warm up the Jumeira ballroom at the Sheikh Zayed Road Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dubai with the fueled drumming of Sasan Nasernia and solemn, guttural vocals of Bojan Preradovic. Eye, whose name is usually written in lowercase, much to the frustration of my editor, is a Dubai-based metal band of mostly Iranian twentysomethings whose sound often

gets compared to Tool, something I consider a compliment but Bojan wouldn’t. Saying they sound like Maynard and Danny Carey? As someone who often hungers for her Tool fix, that is something I had to see for myself. While they might not flaunt the elaborate time signatures that tell listeners yeah, we’re progressive, they do complement their sound with striking visuals during their performances. I recommend you peruse their website (www. for a sample of their visual accompaniment.

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


I got in touch with Bojan, whose performances I was familiar with from our college days in Beirut. There was something different about these guys, and something very cultish about their following. While they can easily be lumped with other progressive rock contemporaries, Bojan says their music isn’t necessarily aiming to fit that genre. According to him, the point is to connect with the audience, as well as with each other as a band via their love of music. “What we want to incorporate is our love for melody and an emotional construction of musical pieces,” says Bojan. They are a five man troupe who, with the exception of Bojan who is of Serbian origin, all hail from Iran. Roll call please: Bojan on vocals, Mehdi Gr on guitar, Kaveh Kashani on bass, Gorgin Asadi, who handles a lot of their PR, on keyboards, and Sasan Nasernia, their voice of discipline, on drums.

For a band who seemed as sweet as honey and preached making music for music's sake earlier in the day, I was surprised that they would be okay with this kind of capitalist segregation Finally, the main act was about to grace the audience with its Dubai debut. I stood very close to the stage watching Vincent, James, and Danny Cavanagh (all brothers, two born on the same day) alongside Lee Douglas, a woman with a strong voice and sincere smile. Though they methodically plugged through their reverse chronological setlist with contagious energy, I was a bit distracted. I thought the VIP (an overused acronym in Dubai) area I was standing in (courtesy of my press pass, not my budget) would fill up by now since the main act was finally on stage. But as I looked around I noticed far too many spaces in the fan pit, other than a tightly packed semicircle around the stage, the rest was an empty floor with a few scattered onlookers. I turned around to look at the fans behind the “regular admission” barrier, and there must have been a stretch of around 30 feet of just open space, big enough for cattle to graze unimpeded. For a band who seemed as sweet as honey and preached making music for music’s sake earlier in the day, I was surprised


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that they would be okay with this kind of capitalist segregation. One could sense, however, a similar dissatisfaction on Danny’s face--while his hands were on his guitar giving us a technically flawless performance, his scowling eyes hardly ever left the back of the room, almost as if he felt cheated on behalf of the fans way in the back. Other times he just looked lost, torn, shackled to the stage, wondering how his Middle Eastern dream had turned into a nightmare without him noticing. Some fans, however, purposefully lingered in the back, or arrived late because they expected “the old stuff” at the end. You know, the old stuff, “before they sold out”, says Karam Toubba, a heavy metal fanatic, and pedantic purist, who said he planned to give them a piece of his mind tonight. “Where’s the fucking metal?” It turned out his band intervention was unnecessary, much to his delight, as the long-retired doom metal side of Anathema did emerge towards the end of the show. He, and his self proclaimed “Metal Crew” took this turn of events very seriously, arranging themselves so all aggressive fist pumps, indignant leaps and hair whipping head bangs could be enjoyed to their full capacity. It was their moment, and the metalheads seized it.

Empty Yard Experiment (Eye)

Every song was for them, for the fans, who they so wished could be just a little closer. Ironically enough, there was a barrier this evening as well, but of a different kind. There were fans being held back from being with the band by the organizers of the event itself. And finally, after an hour and a half, the walls came tumbling down.

As the opening notes played for almost every song throughout the night, young and old, there were always a few people in the audience who would clutch their companion, feeling that special sweet release that only hearing a beloved track live can do.


hese brothers from Liverpool, these Anathemeans, definitely did not speak from a realm of anger or destruction like a stereotypical metal band would, as their journey has led them to speak of nothing but love, understanding, and tolerance above everything. When there is darkness in their tracks, it is one of regret, personal distress, or of frustration overcome. But they worked back from their personal dénouement, back into the pain and conflict of the past, all the way to some of their oldest heavy metal, moshpitinducing songs, off their fan-loved, banddisowned first two albums. Gone were the prog influences, the flashes of Dream Theater, the GY!BE sonics and Floyd echoes that are so present on their later albums. But not all fans were like Karam. As the opening notes played for almost every song throughout the night, young and old, there were always a few people in the audience who would clutch their companion, feeling that special sweet release that only hearing a beloved track live can do. And with Anathema, you know that every track is playing just for you. This is that kind of band. Early in the evening, after singing “I will help you heal your mind”, the boys dedicated the entire show to their fans in Iran that were unable to make it to the show, bashing “that fucking barrier” that keeps them from their fans there.

It took too long if you ask me, but in the spirit of a metropolitan society where one can’t disappoint the fortunate, the band finally convinced the organizers to open the gates holding back the regular admission fans from the fanpit. Fans at first trickled and then flowed in like a stream, filling up the room and giving the room an entirely different energy. Once the barrier was broken, it was the first time I could see a smile find Danny’s face. A beautiful acoustic performance of “Are You There” was followed by another dedication to their Iranian fans. Danny stopped to exclaim: “I feel so much better!”. We all did. A few more songs followed as Lee, their female vocalist returned to sing “You cry for me, you die for me” along with Vincent before yet another dedication to their Iranian fans, after which point Vincent came bouncing out from backstage with an Iranian flag wrapped around his neck, which cued a hissing and crackling recording of a song that could only be a national anthem, which one could assume was probably Iranian as well. As the show was coming to a close, the band let out a perfunctory salute to each of the Middle Eastern countries they could remember, and after some audience urging, some they’d forgotten as well. “What about Lebanon?” I yelled, and when the band added my home to the list, I couldn’t help but scream with glee. Last but not least, they were singing for me, too. Discord Music Magazine Issue One


The Interview:

Intuition, Iran, and Inebriation Inspired Indolence

I was slowly walking around the press conference room where we were to meet with Anathema when I saw a buff-looking curly haired British man talking with a starry-eyed Egyptian girl with a head scarf. Not really looking at either of their faces, I thought it looked like a good depiction of the diversity that is everpresent in Dubai. Rudely interrupting them to ask if we could snap a photo of them talking, the staunch Englishman looked at me curiously to ask where I was from. “You mean Lebanon, my country? or Discord, my magazine?” I responded, feeling embarrassed that perhaps I was too aggressive in my interruption. The man saw my copy of Discord and flipped through it as we talked small and he came out with, “very cool, very Gonzo,” at which point my skin begins to tingle. He offered me some private interview time and when I turned on my voice recorder, he introduced himself as Vincent Cavanagh, frontman of Anathema. Holy shit. I was talking to the frontman this whole time and didn’t even realize it. (Note: When you’re reading the following interview, try to imagine his voice as somewhere between a Beatle and William Wallace. It makes him sound less preachy. )

"I see in young people of the Middle East something of ourselves. People who love music, absolutely adore music, people who live for music". After playing Lebanon twice, what brings you back to the Middle East? “It’s definitely the people. I see in young people of the Middle East something of ourselves. People who love music, absolutely adore music, people who live for music. I don’t even want to speculate why that is. I know that I’m obsessed with music and always have been in my life. And for me, it provided the perfect tools that I needed to do something with my life—to get on with this life. It was simultaneously my escape and my passion, and it still is. I’m obsessed with


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

it. I find that here it is to a lot of people as it is for me...I really hope that we can play in more places in the Middle East. Egypt would be a great possibility, but it might take a couple of years. I’m a Northern European though, so you have to remember that I’m not used to the climate!” Are you familiar with the band that’s opening for you tonight? “Well I’ve heard that they are a mixture of Mogwai, Tool, and kind of progressive post-rock... I like that. That’s kinda good [that they would open for us tonight]. We never really concern ourselves with genres though because we don’t write music for genres, we don’t write music that sounds like other bands. We do what we do for us. Our attitude to it is one of instinct. It’s not really an attitude in fact, when you’re composing music, it’s actually intuitive. It’s about the subconscious rather than the conscious. Right, if you’re very conscious of it, it doesn’t work. “Right, if you’re thinking about it too much that’s something different. That’s entertainment. We write from a more subconscious point of you, and the music that we go through in these states is what comes out. Granted not 100% of the time you’re doing that. But a lot of what we use in Anathema is written in a certain state of consciousness, of mind, that’s much more connected to your intuition, rather than your reason. A lot more right brain than left brain. And then there are a lot of bands that try to do the opposite, and calculate their product. “Yeah and that’s cool, because that’s just entertainment. AC/DC have been doing that for 30 years. Modern bands like The Hives... You know, they create rock and roll to make people dance, and that’s what they dig, they’re into that. And there’s nothing wrong with that, people like dance music. But a lot of people I go for, are... [bands that] have blazed their own trail. Like? In electronic music that would be Aphex Twin, Board of Canada, Casino Versus Japan.. Strange and unique artists. From the rock side of things, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, …

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead…bands like that who really have a unique style of their own. Classical composers... Johan Johannsson, Max Richter, John Murphy, people who write great music for movies And in the past, Ennio Morricone, Angelo Badalamenti. All these people had amazing music, and were different. Look at the greatest classical composers of all time: Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, all the greatest artists in history, all the greatest writers in history, there was something different about them. It’s okay to do something that pleases the masses and leases yourself, but there also are some people who have to be unique because there’s no other way. John Lennon was one of those people. Pink Floyd. Radiohead. You can watch the history of their musical output, you can see their change, their evolution. That’s fascinating to me. I think we have more in common with the Beatles, or Radiohead, or Pink Floyd, than any rock band that you care to mention. Because metal, or even rock, is a genre.

It's okay to do something that pleases the masses and leases yourself, but there also are some people who have to be unique because there's no other way. Since we’re on the subject of bands who ‘change genre’, you must have faced criticism from people who say you’ve changed your style or sold out. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. The only people who criticize the change are people who only liked the first album. And even quite a lot of those are still with us these days, so I don’t think it makes as much difference to us as people think. People understand that we’re an evolutionary band, we’re still going through music. We’ve got a long way ahead of us. People are gonna be like “oh fuck, what’s the next CD gonna be like?” I have no idea. We just did a classical album. We weren’t trying to, that’s just the way things happen.” At This point we were interrupted by the organizers, who were anxious to start the press conference our impromptu private interview was delaying.

Below is the transcript of the interesting bits. On limitations of being allowed to play in Iran: Vincent: “The old establishments will die off, and it’s the youth that will carry things forward. The time to think that rock music is the devil’s music is in the past. This is about music, not about religion, not about politics, it’s about music. And it’s about good positivity. Danny, on his Iranian fans: “They for some reason mean a lot to me. And I think it’s because they love music as much as we do. And because we can’t play there, and I feel for them. And we just wanted to let them know, I’m going to dedicate a song to them tonight, to every Iranian fan who’s not there, who’s not able to make it tonight.” Vincent continues, “Rock music is not evil. In fact it has a healthy influence on the country’s young people. Music does. Our music does.” Danny adds, “We’ll still be playing music in twenty years, so even if it takes us twenty years to be able to play in Iran, we will do it.” Three words to describe Anathema? Danny: Love is all. James: .... you need. Danny: That’s five words. *laughter* James: *shrug* On why A Fine Day to Exit feels like an opposing sentiment to We’re Here Because We’re Here: Vincent: Sonically they are similar.. but lyrically and content-wise are completely different. Danny: A Fine Day to Exit was made in a period of doubt and difficulties and fear, where We’re Here Because We’re Here was made after some answers were found, and a corner had been turned....*pause* and we stopped getting pissed [drunk]. On advice for undiscovered artists/ people who want to improve their skills: Vincent: “It depends on how you want to approach it. If you want to produce it for other people, or produce it for yourself. But if you have to produce it for yourself because you have a need to do it then nobody needs to listen to my advice, because it’s all intuition, it’s all within themselves, whatever they express, in whatever way, whatever form that takes is up to them and it could be multiple different things really. But if you want to

entertain people or do stuff that’s going to be successful that’s for the masses, then... I don’t really have any advice about that because I don’t really do that.” Danny, pointing over his brother Vincent, the vocalist: “Lee is a very good singer, and maybe she’s got good advice about vocals.” Vincent: Don’t practice your instrument, play it.” Me: “What if you’re really bad at your instrument?” Vincent: “Then start a punk band.” Danny: If you’re good, get a good manager, and trust them. Vincent: Have the right haircut.

The ultimate question is 'what has been the quality of your love?' On what kind of legacy you want to leave behind: Danny: Would like to have lived an honest life. The ultimate question is ‘what has been the quality of your love?’ that’s the only thing that really matters, and we do really love and care about each other and we want to keep spreading that. As long as we keep doing that. Discord Music Magazine Issue One



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REM disband after 31 years

Sad news for music lovers today as R.E.M has disbanded after 31 years and 15 albums. The band made the announcement on their website in late September:

of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening."

"To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude,

The band released their latest album Collapse Into Now earlier in the year which was excellent.

Kaiser Chiefs admit they're worried about the future of guitar bands

Radiohead announce London show to premiere new remix album Kaiser Chiefs have admitted that they're worried about the future of guitar bands as they believe new bands' chances of securing a "viable career" have plummeted. 
 Vocalist Ricky Wilson said that though he acknowledged guitar bands would always be there, he was unsure if they'd enjoy too much success. 
 Bassist Simon Rix added that he believed that the demise of record companies has been very damaging for new bands as they needed support early on in their careers.

Radiohead have announced a London event to celebrate the release of their new remix album 'TKOL RMX 1234567'. 
The band, who were just in New York for two live shows, celebrated the album's release at London's Corsica Studios on October 11. 


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Frontman Thom Yorke will be DJing, as will Jamie XX, Caribou, Lone and Illum Sphere, all of whom have contributed remixes to 'TKOL RMX 1234567'. The whole event will be available to be live streamed from

He added: “What you need when you're a band, what it took for us was for a record company to give us a little money to get us on tour in a van, to get people to see us, to like our band, to get us on the radio and the telly. That's what record companies do, and how bands get somewhere, but now they don't do that because they never make it back.”

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Kiss talk up possibility of duet with Lady Gaga

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has talked up the chances of the band recording a duet with Lady Gaga. 
 Asked if the band would like to work with Lady Gaga, who is a noted fan of the band, Stanley replied: “Anything’s possible. She’s terrific, and it’s not improbable,” and that the band would be very open to working with the ‘Born This Way’ singer. 

Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ is the catchiest song ever, say scientists

The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their 20th studio album Monster, which is due for release in January 2012 and Stanley has said The track listing for Monster has yet to be formally confirmed, but songs titled ‘Hell Or Hallelujah’, ‘Born To Be A Sinner’, ‘Out Of This World’, ‘Are You Ready?’ and ‘Wall Of Sound’ are all reportedly set to feature on the album.

Metallica: ‘We can go anywhere and do anything’

Metallica and Lou Reed have opened up more about their unexpected musical collaboration. 
They recently unveiled their debut single, ’The View’, which was met with much controversy. However, the unfavorable reactions did not seem to deter the musicians. Guitarist Kirk Hammett said: “Lou and us – we're kindred souls. We both have a clear vision of what you should sound like and say. Also, he

has an edge that totally fits. He speaks our language, slightly sarcastic and blunt, like another pea in the pod." Lou Reed previously called their musical partnership a ”marriage made in heaven”. Their joint album ’Lulu’ has been released last October 31. You can find out more about the collaboration at loureedmetallica. com.

Queen's 'We Are The Champions' has been found to be the catchiest song ever written, according to new scientific research. Scientists at Goldsmiths University conducted new research into what makes a song memorable and compiled a list of the ten "catchiest" songs of all time. In order to get the results, they observed thousands of volunteers singing a selected list of tracks. 
During the court of the research, they discovered that sing-along songs contained four key elements: Long and detailed musical phrases, multiple pitch changes in a song's 'hook', male vocalists, and higher male voices making a noticeable vocal effort. Using this formula, the scientists found that ‹We Are The Champions› was the track most were able to sing along to. This was followed by 'Y.M.C.A' by the Village People, Sum 41's 'Fat Lip', Europe's 'The Final Countdown' and The Automatic's 'Monster'. Discord Music Magazine Issue One



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DUBSTEP, the new Nu-metal

Rumors have been swirling recently about KoRn heading out on tour in support of their upcoming album, The Path of Totality due out December 6th. Check out the video of the first single, Get Up featuring Skrillex. They’ve also worked with Excision, Datsik and 12th Planet on the album, so there’s definitely some Dubstep influence in there.

Occupy Wall Street: When Music Stars Invade

Maya Jane Coles took home the best newcomer award at the annual Ibiza DJ Awards held earlier at Pacha. The 24 year old beat competition from the likes of Jozif, Nina Kraviz and Avici to take home the title, capping off a year that has seen her complete a coveted Essential Mix for Radio 1, play Glastonbury and Sonar and of course, the holy grail of the dance music world, appear on the cover of Mixmag. Other winners on the night included Carl Cox for best techno DJ and a special award for 10 years of Revolution at Space, Axwell for best house DJ and Luciano for best tech house DJ.


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Kanye showed up and said not a single word (on his personal supposition that his sheer presence speaks for itself). Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Tom Morello sang protest anthems with the people. While just the weekend before, Katy Perry and husband Russell Brand swung by on their bikes. Even Radiohead were linked to

a surprise Occupy Wall Street show, which ended up being a total hoax but was believable nonetheless for the few short hours it lasted. The 99% have not only rallied for the Occupy Wall Street protest since September 17, music stars have also been among the masses.

Discord Music Magazine - First Issue - - Discord Music Magazine - First Issue- - Discord Music Magazine

Singer, poet Leonard Cohen to release new album

David Guetta named number one DJ

David Guetta has been named the number one DJ in the world by taking the crown from Armin Van Buuren. Van Buuren held court for four years, but now it is Guetta’s title. Here is the list of the

Top 10 DJ’s of Dance:

 (1)David Guetta (
2)Armin van Buuren 
 (5)Above & Beyond
 (6)Avicii (7) Afrojack (
8)Dash Berlin (
9)Markus Schulz
 (10)Swedish House Mafia

Coldplay: ‘The days of selling tens of millions of albums have gone’

Renowned Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen had recorded his first new album since 2004 and would release it some time next year. Cohen told journalists that his album, “Old Ideas”, consisted of ten previously unpublished tracks. “I’ve played it for a few people, and they seem to like it,” 77-yearold Cohen said. When asked if he planned to go on tour again he said “God willing, I never quite know whether there’s going to be a tour or not.”

Coldplay have said that the only pressure they feel when making new music is “selfinflicted”, as they are unconcerned by how many copies of their new album they sell. The band, who had just released their fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto, were asked by what measure the band would consider the album a success, drummer Will Champion

said: “The sense of achievement we get comes from knowing we’ve tried to make the best record possible. I think that’s the only real measure now. The days of selling tens of millions of copies has gone, so there’s no point using that yardstick anymore.” Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Lost At E Minor is an online publication of inspiring art, design, music, photography and pop culture. “We take our low brow sensibilities and mash them up with the grittier elements of high brow culture to shine a discerning light on the exciting expressions of creativity that our team of writers discover”, founders Zolton and Zac Zavos.


An apparent fascination with classic women of horror (Bride of Frankenstein, Elvira), as well as zombies, mermaids, and all things aquatic, informs the beautiful paintings of Jacqueline Gallagher. I like them because they aren’t too directly referential of any pop culture, so they stand alone as their own images.

Serena Malyon, a student at the Alberta College of Art and Design, used Photoshop to simulate a tilt-shift effect on paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. Pretty darn cool.

There is no one on earth who wouldn’t like a bunch of Stephanie Têtu’s exquisite flowers delivered to their door. The works in her ‘Age of Innocence’ collection have names like Madame Bovary, Courtisane, Mademoiselle Beatrice and Eurydice. Pure romance for old-fashioned hearts. Sometimes I come across an artist that I’m instantly jealous of. London-based Ruben Ireland is one of them. His work walks the line between illustration and fine art, fitting seamlessly into either category. It is beautifully balanced, partly down to his incredible use of tone and silhouette.


Discord Music Magazine Issue One

Michael Peck’s work is creepy: kind of like stills from weird horror movies, where children control the score

Rick Berry is known for his prolific tour de force bravura style of painting. The figures in his work are both dark and mystifying, brimming with life that seem to breathe in and outside of his canvases.

I love Geirrod Van Dyke’s work for his portrayal of our imperfections and vulnerabilities. The first thing that caught my eye were the bodies and the pools of light, but there is a sense of impending doom that creeps in and it feels like all the iPads in the worlds won’t do a thing to stop it. Of course, I have always had a soft spot for the end of the world. Italian painter Nicola Samori is a man out of his time. He paints meticulously detailed Baroque-style portraits reminiscent of Caravaggio and Van Dyck. Samori creates eerie and chilling figures that live in a world I’d be happy only to observe from a distance.


In this series, Martin Klimas experimented with the arrangement of different colors, like a painter’s palette, on top of a speaker diaphragm, in order to translate music into vivid action imagery. Sounds from music by Paul Hindemith, Carl Orff, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mouse on Mars, and Kraftwerk vibrated into these animated leaps of color.

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


The work of American fine art photographer Brooke Shaden is, as she says, a way to create new worlds where the impossible becomes possible. Floating women, fairy tales, transparent cloths, dreams, textures, all freeze a moment that never seems to end.

"In all of my images, I find myself deconstructing nature, whether it’s a landscape, or a flower, or even food. I then reconstruct these natural things to create my own world, in which things exist in a way that they do not in nature," Matt Walford.

GL Wood is a fashion photographer based in New York City. His unique style combines photography with dadaist design, japanese minimalism, and colorful, tangible papièr collages. His models seem to undergo a body modification that is somehow beyond photoshop.

He received a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Yerevan State University in 2001 for research in the field of Quantum Chaos and investigations in the field of Quantum Technologies. Yet, Suren Manvelyan is probably best known for his stunning macro-photography. Especially popular is his series called Your Beautiful Eyes.

Madame Yevonde was an eccentric female photographer in the early 20th century. Her works appeared in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. ‘Be original or die’ was her motto. She was a truly creative spirit and a role model for modern female artists.


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Luminous and dreamlike, illustrator Jeremy Enecio’s often erotic and mythic images mix comic book exaggeration with classical reverence for the human form.

His drawings are so realistic that, after first thinking it was photography, you then search for a ‘zoom button’ to get the most details you can. Then, slowly, the drawings seem to be moving, they appear to be alive, something is coming, and the story, after a minute, is already all around you.t

Joe Fenton has had a string of successes that any artist would give his right hand for: working with the likes of director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) as a film concept designer and sculptor as well as with companies like Disney and Miramax.

Carmen Ortiz is a self-taught illustrator from Spain with a huge talent to feel and express faces of human soul. Her hand-drawing technique, using only black and white, makes her style unique and recognizable. She can distil a personality and tell a life story with just one image.

I love Claire Scully bejeweled word. I first spotted the bear in Air Canada’s En Route magazine, and think her birds and tiger work is extraordinary. Very special.

For creative people Discord Music Magazine Issue One


The “Rip Off” Guide TABS Blur – Out of time

Verse 1: Em



Am G


Where’s the lovesong to set us free? Em G




Too many peoples down, everything’s turning the wrong way around. Em





Verse 2: Em




Feel the sunshine on your face. F

And i don’t know what love will be.

It’s in a computer now.

Em G










Gone are the future, way out in space (G)



And you’ve been so busy lately

And you’ve been so busy lately



that you haven’t found the time



that you haven’t found the time



to open up your mind


to open up your mind Discord Music Magazine Issue One


and watch the world spinning gently out of time


But if we start dreaming now, lord knows we’ll never leave the clouds.








and watch the world spinning gently out of time Am


Tell me i’m not dreaming, Am/G


but are we out of time? G we’re out of time F out of time G out of time F out of time C out of time

SoundCheck Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood’s setup:

Jonny uses a Fender Telecaster Plus, with a custom cut-off switch and special rewirings made by himself and Plank (Radiohead’s Guitar Technician). This guitar is equipped with Lace Sensor pickups. 

- BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive

Effects used:

- Vox AC30, used for clean tones.

- Pro Co RAT Turbo RAT Distortion

- Fender Eighty Five, solid state amp, used for distorted tones.

- Marshall ShredMaster 

In the earlier years he used a Fender Twin Reverb for clean tones and a Fender Deluxe 85 for distorted tones.

- Digitech WH-1 Whammy - Demeter “The Tremulator”

- BOSS RV3 Digital Reverb/Delay - BOSS FV-300H Volume Pedal Amplifiers used:

- DOD 440 Envelope Filter 
 - Electro-Harmonix Small Stone - Electro-Harmonix Poly Chorus

Discord Music Magazine Issue One


Classifieds Discord Business Freelancer’s Community is Now Hiring This offer is open to all creative freelancers,


The term first appeared and was in use during the early 1820’s. When broken down, the word means “medieval mercenary warrior.” Something we at Discord are expecting to find when hiring…

which include:

Writers Photographers Illustrators Graphic Designers Etc... So if you have that rawness… that unfiltered creative desire to be all you can be...


Then apply now simply by submitting a sample of your work to the following address: And join the biggest freelancers community in Egypt.

general warning freelancing with Discord may cAUSE the extinction of blue sperm whale’s, penguin erectile dysfucntion and depression of hyenas…


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Discord Music Magazine - Issue #1  

Discord's first issue is finally out!