Interview with Zix – Metaldays 2016
The band formed in 2010 in Beirut, Lebanon. ZiX is Ziad B (bass), Juan (guitars), Maya (vocals), Ziad A (drums), and Walid (guitar). Jelena Dobric joined the band Zix as their touring vocalist. They're touring to promote the upcoming release of Tides of the Final War.
Olga: I’m more nervous than you guys are! This is my first metal interview ever.
Zix: *everybody claps*
Olga: I saw you play up there. Thank you for coming to Metaldays! How does it feel being first on stage at a huge festival?
Ziad B: We were surprised by the turnout – it was good.
Olga: Yes, it was a huge turnout!
Juan: I think it’s lucky because after that it started raining.
Jelena: Many people enjoyed it, it was so hot these days that the rain felt good.
Olga: They had fun! So the reason I was interested in your band was because of how little metal seems to be there in the Middle East. How do you feel about playing metal in that environment?
Ziad B: Most of the bands from the Middle East focus on the local community. They don’t invest themselves into going out; instead, they use social media, networking, and finding the right people in the underground community.
Olga: So you don’t have a lot of flyers out promoting different bands?
Ziad B: Mainly they promote albums and sell them. We can’t be expected to be known if no one listens to us.
Juan: I was surprised that there is quite a metal scene in Beirut, I wasn't expecting to see so much heavy metal. It's really really good music there.
Jelena: Yeah, it’s quite developed.
Juan: One month we had 6-7 bands playing with us, and they’re really good metal bands. We’re like, “Come on, get out!”
Jelena: Maybe they don’t want to. Maybe they’re just happy with where they are.
Olga: What are some other bands from Lebanon in the metal scene?
Ziad B: There’s a band that’s not heavy metal, it’s thrash – it’s called Blaakyum.
Ziad E: Actually, there are many bands in Lebanon, but the problem is that the government doesn’t make it easy to travel. There are a lot of musicians who are good, talented people and it’s really tough to make it out there, someone’s gonna give up.
Olga: What can you say to the other bands to encourage them to go out?
Jelena: They have to do it themselves. If you don’t do it yourself, nobody will do it for you.
Ziad B: You have to put the music for free online. You can't just record an album and say to everyone, "Hey come buy our music!" You have to give out something for free to get people interested.
Olga: How did you get into Metaldays?
Ziad B: We applied and the Metaldays founder was willing to give us a chance.
Olga: There were at least a hundred people watching you! By the way, how do you feel about the sound?
Jelena: The sound was great! We had time to do really good sound checks so we’re really happy. It was our first festival, and everything is super professional. I think none of us are used to the conditions like that. Now we are spoiled because we got the premium equipment and a premium sound agent, so altogether it was a really great experience.
Olga: Is this your very first metal festival?
Jelena: Yes – outside [of Lebanon], and a big one.
Ziad E: What do you have to say about people starting new interviews?