Interview With E.Y.E. (Empty Yard Experiment)

Progressive rockers, E.Y.E., are one of the UAE's premier experimental bands. Influenced by iconic acts such as Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree, and King Crimson; the band utilizes visual art to create a vivid picture to their musical expression.

Back in February E.Y.E. released a new single titled GHHR; a beautiful 6 and a half minute musical journey with an opening vocal line made for Mikael Åkerfeldt (which you can stream below):

On April 19, E.Y.E. will be performing at the Yas Arena in Abu Dhabi as direct support for thrash metal giants, Metallica, on their second performance in the UAE (the band has also performed alongside Anathema and Evanscence in the past).

We got a chance to interview the band via email last week to talk about their upcoming performance, their debut album and the recording process behind it; we also discuss future material and plans to enter the studio to record their next LP.

Thanks a lot for this opportunity. EYE is one of the UAE's most interesting acts. The band plays a blend of Post-rock influenced by veterans such as: TOOL, Porcupine Tree, and Nine Inch Nails to name a few. Can you tell us about the idea behind EYE (Empty Yard Experiment)?

This band has always been about setting ourselves apart musically as much as possible, and trying to make a difference. Like all art and forms of expression, ours comprises our own interpretation of our surroundings, experiences and ideas about human existence. We provide our audience with our unique perspective on the world without spoon-feeding, and encourage them to construct their own as a result of that interaction. It’s in this way that we try to build a lasting spiritual and intellectual connection with them – and that’s definitely the most memorable aspect of our performances, at least for us.

One of the most interesting aspects of EYE is the fact that the band utilizes visuals to a full extent, and features a full-time member in-charge of visuals (Altamash Urooj). What inspired you to focus on presenting a more visually attractive side to your music?

We have always believed that the aural experience can only come full circle if it is complemented by a visual one. We don’t see our songs as comprehensive or complete without the visuals that accompany them. The overarching purpose of a live performance is obviously to connect with the audience in the most intimate manner possible, and the visual materials that we project while playing live are a very powerful means of generating such a connection. They have always been an essential aid in making the overall experience more meaningful for the people that come out to see our shows.  

Back in 2011, EYE released its latest self titled album, which showed off the band's intricate dynamics and strong musicianship. The album at times was even described as reminiscent of Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates of Dawn." Can you tell us about the album and the recording process?

It took us quite some time to feel that we are ready to finally record the songs. In our band, songwriting is an incredibly elaborate affair, and most performing musicians out there will agree that the process of refining a song is never truly finished. You can always find something you would have liked to perfect. We recorded the album with our producer Joshua F. Williams in the space of about 3 months, followed by several months’ worth of experimentation with different mixes of the songs. The record is actually a product of some 4 years of collaborative songwriting, and up to almost a year of work in and around the studio.

Has the band been working on new material since?

Absolutely. We have a collection of brand new songs, some of which we have already performed live several times throughout the past 2 years. We will enter the studio shortly after the Metallica show to record the second LP, which will mark a notable departure from our first album in terms of depth and diversity. In the meantime, we felt that it was important to reconnect with our fans through new material, and released a single titled ‘GHHR’ in February, which will also be featured on the new record.

On April 19, EYE will be supporting heavy metal icons, METALLICA, on their upcoming show in Abu Dhabi, UAE at the YAS ARENA. Are you excited to be sharing the stage with one of the big four?

We couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s the ultimate privilege, and definitely a massive weight and responsibility to shoulder. It really doesn’t get much bigger than Metallica. We’re also excited about the fact that we will be performing in front of many people who are hearing our music for the very first time. The opportunity to make a connection with them on that level and gain exposure for our work to such an audience is epic for us.

What can fans expect from your show?  Will you be bringing your signature visuals to the performance?

The show will feature visuals as much as possible, in accordance with the venue and organizers’ policy and regulations. It’s the Du Arena after all, a fantastic setting for us to put a massive sonic and dynamic spin on our music. So the fans can expect nothing short of a performance to remember. 

Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to us. Hope you guys tear it up at the YAS ARENA on April 19! Would you like to add anything?

See you all on April 19 in Abu Dhabi!

E.Y.E. online:

Posted By:
Moe E.

"Moe is the head admin/editor at He's currently hating the weekly wait for new episodes of Game of Thrones."

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