Lebanese metallers Blaakyum will be opening for Epica tonight at the Byblos International Festival, and they couldn't be more excited. After interviewing Mark Jansen from Epica yesterday, Kareem C talked to Blaakyum's frontman Bassem Deaibess.

Hey Bassem how’s it going? Must be excited to be opening up for Epica tomorrow night at Byblos Festival in Lebanon.

It is indeed exciting to finally be able to perform in a festival on the Lebanese soil; actually I am wondering how will that experience be? How will it feel? Will it be similar or different than big festivals in Europe? But the thrill of doing this in Lebanon, along with the burden of meeting the expectations of people and yourself, for some reason, I feel an obligation to have this show the best we ever did, it is like a duty, this is my country and I want to give it the best we can.

Not many heavy bands play at the Byblos Festival, but we’ve seen bands like Scorpions and Nightwish play, and now Epica. For such a popular festival in Lebanon, it must be good news to metal fans and bands such as yourself and Blaakyum.
Of course any news is good news when it comes to having any kind of bands related to Rock and Metal on a Lebanese International festival, now sadly we would not at the moment dream of having Slayer or Testament or Hypocrisy for example on such festivals, I think this is far-fetched, but indeed Byblos have been doing a great job keeping some Metal elements there. I have no idea how will people react to us, since we will be our normal metal selves we will not compromise in our show, and definitely looking forward to see the people and the organizers reaction to some of Epica’s more heavy songs… Maybe this will pave the way for heavier and more “uncommon” bands to come later. Fingers crossed.

What can fans expect from Blaakyum’s performance tomorrow night? Are we going to hear some new tracks in addition to some songs off Lord of the Night?
Well taking into consideration that most of our fans will not make it to the concert, of course many will do but not the majority, and that more or less we will be performing for a new crowed, we will be performing mostly from our debut album, we do have a surprise ready though, and there will be probably two songs performed from the new album.

You’ve been working on a second album. How’s the process been so far?
Terrible hahahaha… Well we have completed the composition of the second (and even more, probably some of the third album) We were supposed to enter the studio last month, but we are delaying that till we find a way to fund the recording process.

What have you been listening to lately? Does what you listen to influence the writing process?
Sometimes I just stop listening to music all together, of course I do have my daily dose of Classical music, Metal, and some of the Arabic music I enjoy, lately I have been into experimental Jazz especially the oriental stuff and unbelievable talents such as Ibrahim Maalouf… But since few months now, I have been hooked up on Thrash metal again, my all-time favourite Metal genre, I have been slaying my ears with Onslaught, Testament, and a bit of the few Black Metal bands I like, Immortal and Behemoth, and of course Death Metal always have a share, Vader I must say. But the daily dose of Classical music is always a must. I think everything influence the writing process, although lately nothing is more influential than the anger I feel…  At a point where I wish my music can actually kill those immoral creatures (they are not even humans) that are making us suffer… Anyway I will try not to fall into negativity so yea, everything is influential.

Blaakyum have played many shows in Lebanon and abroad while touring. What was your favorite performance in Lebanon thus far and why?
I do not want to talk about the guys, personally and I think it is the same for my Brother Rabih who is our lead guitarist, our performance in Sour was the one we enjoyed the most, the sound was surprisingly amazing, and the atmosphere, and the fact that we were playing in the south… it was just really enjoyable.    

Any final words for’s readers?
Thank you for for the support and for your readers I can say Metal has never died, they keep saying it is dying, for hell’s sake that must be the longest death process ever, so Metal is always alive and has become a classical musical genre, thanks to you… So keep it up.

Thanks for talking to us, Bassem! See you at the show!
Metal on mate \m/

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