A year has passed since Phoenikia, one of the only local power metal bands, played live. Being a fan, I was curious to get some information from the inside. I’d like to thank Mr. Nader Nader, Mr. Jad Feitrouni, and Mr. Rany Battikh for this exclusive interview.
So how about we start with a bit of history? Could you tell us a bit about Phoenikia’s storyline?
We (Jad and Rany) met in a hard rock cover band then decided to form a band suitable for our music direction back then (progressive power metal(, so we recruited some friends, Anthony Saab (guitars), Anthony Feghali (guitars), and Anthony Dirassoyan (keys) who all shared our same vision towards this project. Dany Deaibess (vocals) also worked with us as a sessionist. We then recruited the talented Nader Nader (guitarsto replace Anthony Saab who left the band for personal reasons later on, due to music differences, later on Anthony Feghaly left Phoenikia and decided to focus on his band Silent Anthem. Charlie Sawma (keys and Cynthia Maalouf (guitars sessionist for a short period of time) helped us keep on going. The band stopped in 2009 after playing live at Nova with Kristian Abou Anni on vocals. Kristian is a great vocalist although he isn’t very familiar with the genre. Shortly after, the band went on hiatus and has reformed in December 2010.
Where have you guys been in the past year and a half? We haven’t seen you live since then.
Well, we all were busy during 2009 and 2010. All 3 of us were involved in numerous other projects, not necessarily Metal or Rock oriented, but we always had Phoenikia on our minds as we were constantly composing new material for this particular reunion in order to release our debut album as soon as possible.
What about the line-up ? I see you’re missing a vocalist and a keyboardist.
Yes we are missing few members but for now we are the main members of Phoenikia. We would also like to point out that due to our new musical direction the missing members will be formed out of session musicians including a second guitarist
What bands are you currently covering during practice?
Back when the band started we used to cover mostly European Power Metal. For now, we’re focusing on original material stepping away from Melodic Power Metal into a more diverse style combining Progressive, Thrash, American Speed/Power and NWOBHM.
Last time you went live, you played an original entitled “Rising Phoenix”. Who composed that song?
Rany is the main composer in Phoenikia but we all participate in the composing procedure for example Rany creates the main theme of the song and then Nader adds the guitars and jad adds the drums, also its notable to mention that Nader has composed a couple full length songs and ideas for Phoenikia and so did Jad who also plays the piano and composed the ideas on it, but ultimately Rany is the main composer of the album.
Can we expect an EP soon?
You can expect a Phoenikia release in 2011; it might be a single, a prelude to the debut album.
Where will the recording take place?
We are currently recording at Jad Feitrouni’s studio where we’re recording live drums breaking the VST routine thus expect an optimal result concerning the quality of the album.
Any last message for your fans?
Well, as mentioned before we are recording our songs and that is our main focus now. We currently have no plans for any live performances for now although we would consider playing a decent gig. 2011 will definitely be the year of Phoenikia where you can expect something that has yet to be done in Lebanon on both musically and technically.