UAE progressive death metallers Voice of the Soul haven't played a show in Dubai since last June, but they'll be kicking off the new year at Metal East Fest on March 6th by JoScene and Metal East Records, headlined by death metal legends Vader. Editor-in-Chief and Voice of the Soul's founder and frontman Kareem C interviewed guitarist Monish Shringi, his own band mate...

Kareem C: Hi Monish…umm…long time no speak.

Monish: Hi Kareem. Yeah, a few minutes counts as ‘pretty long’ in my dictionary. I hope things are well with you.

You must be stoked to play with Vader at Metal East Fest on March 6th. How’ve you been gearing up for both Voice of the Soul’s and Verdict’s sets?

Absolutely! The last month or so has been crazy. It’s also the first time that I’m playing with two different bands at the very same show. Moreover, just knowing that Vader is sharing the same stage as you gives me goosebumps.
With VOTS we’ve never actually been in the same country so we just focus on preparing individually and collectively practicing a day or two prior to the show. Verdict on the other hand has been more conventional as all the members live in Dubai so we jam once or twice every week.

Even though I know, tell us about Voice of the Soul’s setlist. Is the crowd going to hear new songs off Catacombs?

This is the first time we’ll be playing in Dubai since we launched Catacombs in the Middle East, and I’m super stoked to play the new songs where we set ourselves a concrete ground. More importantly, this set list will constitute heavily from the new album. The tracks are more challenging and technical so its going to be as equally rewarding to pull that off on stage.

It’s been a while since Voice of the Soul played in Dubai, but they did play in Lebanon last October. How was Beirut?

Beirut was absolutely fantastic! The crowd was mental and the people there await these kind of shows. I remember the crowd jumping around and stage diving while we played without giving a single shit. With all the political unrest and confusion, metal heads wait for moments like these to come out mosh it out. Definitely playing there soon again!

Voice of the Soul have played shows in Kuwait, Dubai, and Beirut. What country or city is next on your wish list?

Alongside playing shows in the Middle East, I definitely hope we can venture out to India and Europe and check out  the scene there. Playing in a country you’re actually from is definitely a great feeling and I certainly would want to experience that!

With me and Rudy in Beirut, and you and live bassist Bam in Dubai- how do you guys prepare for shows?

Well, I think being in the band for so long and being away from each other has definitely been one of our characteristics. We always start off preparing individually and then jam collectively in our respective countries. Few days before the show, we gather and go through 1 or 2 practices. It’s easier that way because everyone is individually and part-collective ready. So at the end all it takes is one or two rehearsals.

Do you have a favorite song (or more) that you like to perform?

Every song in the new album is fun to play. It’s like every song has something special to look forward to. But if I had to make a choice, Perdition and Pendulum would be my go to at this point.

What are your pre-show rituals?

We haven’t followed any pre-show rituals as such but we individually just venture out, socialise and create a positive energy amongst ourselves. Few minutes before hitting the stage, we’re always together, talking and just boosting each others confidence.

Any final words for Metality’s readers?

Thank you for having me do this interview and I look forward to the 6th of March. It’s going to be one hell of a night not only playing with Verdict and Voice of the Soul but also sharing the stage with close friends and inspiring musicians. We're also really excited about releasing Catacombs in Europe through Hell's Hammer Distribution on March 27th! See you on the 6th!

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