LebMetal: Hello, Toni, it’s great to have you here on Lebmetal.
Toni: Mar7aba! (Hello)
LebMetal: Let’s start things off with a brief story of when and how this band came together. I understand that you and your brother, the Yammine brothers are the founders?
Toni: The band was founded in 2006 after Fouad my brother and I have found, in our grandfather’s basement in beitchabeb, an old document that probably goes back to world war II. That document had handwritten Lebanese rock lyrics and songs in it. It seems that some talented old Lebanese guy used to play rock and blues on his guitar in the early 40s and has written all these songs, but him or his work were never popular. So when we found his songs, we decided to take them and pretend we are the writers and start performing.We started recruiting musicians and we had our first concert in Nov 2006 at the beryte theatre in Beirut.
LebMetal: What is the story behind the name “Meen”?
Toni: MEEN, or M.E.E.N. stands for “Miras Estimos Eqipiturio Nustamis” which is an old saying in the old alienisatic language. I do not remember what it exactly means, however, I do remember that it is something extremely witty.
LebMetal: What are the main influences -musical or otherwise- of the band?
Toni: We used to listen to groups like iron maiden, pink Floyd, the beatles, and other boring bands. And then we discovered Dominique Hourani and since we can’t stop listening to her songs. We also like Ayham Bchara (Birakis alshayateen wal hjara), and also get inspired a lot by Fawaz Jaber’s clips.
LebMetal: As a rock band in Lebanon, a country where rock music is not too popular to say the least, what are your goals? Is there a certain message you are trying to deliver?
Toni: Of course we have goals to achieve! We hold the noble mission of promoting Lebanese rock music as the main objective, followed by other worthy goals such as getting rich and impressing lots of chicks. Interested girls that want to get a date may submit their CV, three pictures, and a motivation letter in the contact form on our website www.meentheband.com
LebMetal: I’ve been to a couple of your shows, and your music and performances were as lively as they can get. Coupled with your infamous satirical lyrics, do you think that helps get the message across to as many people as possible? Who is your target audience?
Toni: We like to keep our show as authentic as possible and we do not try to put silly acts! And I think the audience likes it this way.
LebMetal: I heard you guys are working on an album, any release dates set? Maybe a sneak peak on what’s on the album?
Toni: The album will be released in 2009 hopefully. It is a live recording of our tournesol concert. Many songs will be included like pussycat, shifta jeye mni b3eed, banadoura, superhero, wil khasr yhiz, jongar, and others.
LebMetal: Where can one find any other, previous “Meen” releases?
Toni: Many songs can be downloaded for free from our website, including “qamlo l 7arb” (written in the 2006 war), the song we did for the Beirut marathon “yalla nerkoud”, all the songs we did for Annahar, and many others. Also, many songs and clips can be found on youtube and on our website.Finally, the banadoura compilation can be found in Lebanese stores (virgin, cdteque, maison du disque, etc…) and online on itunes and on cdbaby.
LebMetal: Any final words for the Lebmetal Audience and Meen fans?