Interview With NADEEM And JOHN (ANURYZM)

UAE-based progressive metal band, ANURZYM will be performing on June 7th at the upcoming Dubai Rock Festival (taking place at the Dubai World Trade Center Arena).

Back in October 2011, the band released their debut album "Worm's Eye View" with former Opeth drummer Martin Lopez behind the kit as a session member. The album featured 8 highly diverse tracks with an array of influences (a fusion of full-on grooves, speed picking, and soaring melodies) which was praised by fans and critics alike.

Front man Nadeem Bibby and lead guitarist/founding member John Bakhos recently discussed with us via email their upcoming performance at DRF, their latest album and work on its follow-up, among other topics in the following interview:

Thanks a lot for this opportunity, ANURYZM will be performing at the upcoming Dubai Rock Festival (headlined by guitar icon, Yngwie Malmsteen). Representing the local UAE scene on the bill. Are you guys excited to be performing at the festival?

Nadeem: Yes we are really excited to share the stage with a different genre of bands than we are used to. It’s always good to have new experiences and I myself am looking forward to sharing the stage with Dark Tranquillity.

Your latest album "Worm's Eye View" was released last year through Melodic Revolution Records. The album has received rave reviews from online media and fans alike. Can you tell us about the lyrical themes it explores?

John: The title ‘Worm’s Eye View’ cannot really be construed without looking at the artwork on the album. The idea was to have a bird’s eye view with a twist, with the worm replacing the bird. The word ‘worm’ in itself gives a feeling of disgust and loathing when you hear it. And by looking at the artwork, you understand that we’ve portrayed the philosophical term for ‘worm’ to be as the suited man conspiring to create chaos amidst his comfort.

Nadeem: Exactly. You will find that idea to be very prominent on the record. We’ve explored a variety of themes such as personal loss, inequality in the voting system, assassination, self- awareness, confidence, being one’s own worst enemy etc… Some people may already know that I am a huge fan of Sci Fi and Anime so I tried to bring some of those elements in as well to match John’s views on the political influence of man, particularly in this region. And as a result, we took this opportunity to deliver a strong message of the disappointed modern day Middle Easterners who may not be able or may not have the means to express themselves through art.

ANURYZM Live @ The Music Room (Dubai, UAE)

"Worm's Eye View" features former OPETH drummer, Martin Lopez, on drums. As well as Textures keyboardist, Uri Dijk (who provides guest synths on the album).  What was the experience like collaborating with such respected names in the international metal scene?

John: It was a fairly straightforward experience since we were on a friendly basis to begin with. The guys were very professional and really understood the music and what we were trying to achieve. Sure it was an honor to work with them and I’m happy that they feel the same way.

The album was recorded at MNK studios with the band's own John Bakhos and Miltiadis Kyvernitis. How long did the writing/recording process for Worm's Eye View take? What gear did you use to get the powerful sound achieved on the album?

John: I had started working on the tracks back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I met up with Nadeem and we had decided to seriously make the record. That’s when we reviewed all the music and made some significant changes to push it forward. You can thank Miltiadis for the powerful sound that you hear. It was a lot of long hours and late nights but it paid off. He’s a great engineer and producer and we wouldn’t be here today without him.

ANURYZM was formed in 2003, but due to line-up changes it took the band some time to release a full length album. Did you face any setbacks during the process of working on Worm's Eye View?

Nadeem: The only setbacks we had here during WEV were lack of time and money needed to record, and having to drive to Dubai from Abu Dhabi so many times at ungodly hours of the night, only to head back for a few hours’ sleep before going to our day jobs.

I know that these experiences aren’t unique to us, but in our case we wanted to give the album the time it deserved and achieve the world class quality and sound that we did. I think the major challenge is probably that the environment here does not cater to artists in terms of facilities and opportunities.

What is ANURZYM up to now? Are you working on the follow up to Worm's Eye View? Will the band be working with guest musicians on its next release?

John: Yes we are working very hard on the follow-up to WEV. We have a title, concepts and track names and most tracks are finished but I can’t reveal any details yet. You’ll have to wait and find out about guest musicians too. What I can tell you is that it sounds powerful, aggressive, melodic, and packed with intense guitar riffs... It’s Anuryzm on steroids!

Nadeem: I’m excited about this new record! I think that when we first came out with WEV we didn’t really know what to expect. We had no presumptions about how people would react to it. But, fast forwarding to right now, I can say that we have an absolute blinder of a record coming out that I can see as being highly appealing to our ever-growing global fan base and generally to people who understand rock and metal music. We just want to deliver records, get ideas off our chest and make ourselves and our fans happy. Very simple, everything else is just an opportunity to connect and entertain people.

Thanks a lot for your time; we can't wait to see you tear it up live at DRF! Would you like to add anything?

John: Thanks a lot for your time! Please keep in touch and check back on our websites to get more details about our upcoming record. We look forward to seeing you in the pit at DRF!

Catch Anuryzm on June 7 with Yngwie Malmsteen, Dark Tranquillity, Epica, Myrath, and Nightmare at Dubai Rock Festival (for tickets and info, click here).

ANURYZM online:

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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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