Interview With Zaher Zorgatti (MYRATH)

© 2012 Nidhal Marzouk Pro / YoG Photography

Tunisian oriental metallers, MYRATH, are one of the country's most popular metal acts. With the release of their latest album "Tales of the Sands" the band has garnered a bigger following, giving them access to festival performances across Europe.

The band will be performing in Dubai, UAE on April 12 at the upcoming DUBAI ROCK FESTIVAL.

Kareem Chehayeb got a chance to catch up with front man Zaher Zorgatti via email to talk about the band's upcoming performance at DRF, their latest album, participating in Star Academy (Arabia), and more!

Here's how it went:

The biography on the Myrath website said you guys started out as a cover band for a few years. What sorta bands did you cover, and do they still influence your music today?

Yes in the past at the age of 13/14 we started covering many bands  and we played many styles , from blues to death metal. Ex: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Metallica, Pantera, Death, Symphony X, Dream Theater.

What was touring with Tarja like?

Touring with Tarja was a great experience for us, and sharing the same stage with talented musicians and singing with the ex-Nightwish star was really something big ! That was the same with Orphaned Land.

© 2012 Nidhal Marzouk Pro / YoG Photography

 How have you seen the band grow since releasing Hope in 2007?
Ahhh ! It was like yesterday ! The band made perfect steps in the right time in the right place and Myrath grew with a Musical Maturity with the time and at every release to finally become one of the fews great oriental metal bands in the Music industry.

What was your experience in Star Academy like?

It was cool , nothing special ! Only that "show business" side to discover , and it was also a cool idea to participate to spread the name of Myrath through TV .and to get known !

Unlike several other bands that are labeled as bands with oriental influences, I find your oriental elements more authentic. What are your favorite Middle Eastern artists?

Tunisians artists and folklore ! The tunisian music and folklore can gather all the oriental scales thanks to our history ! We've been invaded and conquered by many civilizations, in the Middle East you will never find the tunisian scales such as "houssin scale" for example.

Tales of the Sands, as well as your other albums, was produced by Kevin Codfert from Adagio. What's working with him like?

He is like a brother ; not only our producer ! He is an official member of myrath family ; same thing for our new manager and brother Nidhal Marzouk ! Working with Kevin is something special cause you learn a lot about music industry and musicology , a very professional and cool person, and very very funny ! I think it's very rare to find these qualities gathered in one single producer ! Luckily we work with a person that helps us to create and go forward to reach our goals, and who's not only here to play the "serious boss". and… it works great ! 

What's your favorite part about touring? Worst?

There's good and bad things but.. the full stuff is like being in heaven !

© 2012 Nidhal Marzouk Pro / YoG Photography

yrath will be playing at the upcoming Dubai Rock Festival in April 2013 alongside Dark Tranquillity. What are you most looking forward to about it? Didn't they play in Tunisia a few years ago?

Yes they played in Tunisia last year or the year before, they have many fans here and I am one of them ! Actually we played together at the same festival last year in France (Motocultor) and it was great ! I'm looking forward to see them once again :)

When you aren't writing music and performing, what do you usually spend your time doing ?

Music, work , family, relaxing ! I work on a side project, local stuff.. Tunisian music ! And what else !! i am working as a director of photography in a communication agency, and at night i have a cover band with who I play in some cool places in my hometown.

What other Tunisian bands would you recommend us to check out?
Barzakh for example

Are you a fan of any bands from the Middle East?

Orphaned Land (and we made an european tour together !). Also Pentagram from Turkey.

© 2012 Nidhal Marzouk Pro / YoG Photography

What advice do you have for young and ambitious musicians and bands from the Middle East that aspire to be active touring artists?
Just to work, work and … work again and to wait for the chance !

Are you guys working on new material? If so, any info you'd like to share with us?

Yes we are composing now the new album and it will take time to release it, cause i think It's worth it. We are writing the music with inspiration and its not calculated and we want it better than any album we made in the last seven years.

Do you ever listen to Myrath? Do you have a favorite song that your band has put out?

Yes always! To figure out the good from the bad (lol) , and of course to enjoy what we made !
Hmmm, a favorite song .. There are many songs I like ; Silent Cries, Madness, Beyond The Stars, Tales Of The Sands, No Turning Back, Shockwave, Memories, Merciless Times, Wide Shut !

Any final comments for and its readers?

Thank you so much for this interview and i hope you will like the new album!
I'm looking forward to see you.

Visit MYRATH on: Facebook | Official Site