First, check out this previous interview we had with Weeping Willow just before they played at the Beirut Rock Festival 2011 alongside Moonspell, Katatonia and a number of local bands.
As for this one, we’re going to follow up on the band’s activity, especially regarding their upcoming album’s recording process.
So Garo tell us how’s everything going so far with the album? Are all members satisfied with the recording quality?
Garo Gdanian: Actually man this is the first album that we really feel confident about cause we worked so hard and we took our time, it’s been 6 months we’ve been in the studio and now the mastering and the mix down thing are ongoing, but until now everything went well and we’re confident that this one will going to be our best and maybe the best local recorded Metal album.
First we started with the drums definitely, doing the map for the songs; most of them are already done. We actually start writing music in the studio, had some ready stuff and also added couple of songs with some potential surprise old songs maybe, we’re still thinking about it, so the procedure is drums, than rhythm guitar, bass, lead guitar and then the vocals.
You previously said that the album should be released in December unless something fucked up happens. Tell us what happened.
Garo Gdanian: True true, the fucked up thing is you know man we all have jobs and we get busy; some people have to leave the country for a while and come back, so taking your time is a better option than making it fast and throwing it in the music shops and then getting criticized for it, so I rather take my time and come rated on man, and it’s going to be really good man you have to listen to it!
Regarding the material, are we going to see some variation in the musical styles? Is there a storyline in the album?
Garo Gdanian: Actually this album is not a concept album, it’s about many stuff you know, about everything we have, like you have a song about a lycan, another about a murderer, every kinds of stuff, so it’s a good mix, very colorful and definitely not a concept album.
As we know ‘Elias S Njeim’ is Weeping Willow’s lead guitarist who also plays with Blaakyum on their recently released debut album. Elias, tell us a bit about the style you go for when playing with this band, perhaps you go for a more technical approach because of the band’s extreme style?
Elias S Njeim: Indeed I have always been asked about the technical difficulties that a musician has to face when he plays many styles… As for me, the thing I’m known for is the ability to play different styles, from Armageddon (Progressive Metal), Shepherd of Sheol (Doom & Gothic metal), Blaakyum (Heavy & Thrash metal), Weeping Willow (Death Metal), Rabih Rihana (Oriental Jazz), Elias Njeim band (Instrumental Fusion)…
Well I do my best to give each style what it deserves and I also add other colorations to give something unique that I like myself to be known with…
As for The Weeping Willow, the challenge is certainly very high since the style is based around chromatic riffing… So for me I have to really study the progressions / the chord changes and do a quick plan for each and every riff the guys are playing, and since I do not prepare anything before, it’s all improvised since time is my enemy.
We all know that recording drums is the most time consuming and difficult part of an album’s recording process. Did you have problems with that?
Garo Gdanian: Actually, our new drummer ‘BACHIR’ did a very good job and I was actually shocked, we recorded the drums in a month as the guy was really dedicated and precise, so it was kind of an easy process with him.
The band’s bass player ‘Marco Ghorayeb‘ is working on the album’s artwork. What’s the theme behind it?
Marco Ghorayeb: we named the album “Impale”; Impalement, as a method of torture and execution, involves the body of a person being pierced with a sharp tool. The penetration could be through the body, and leads to a painful death, sometimes taking days.
The cover will reflect this image, and the whole idea reflects dreadful stories that happen in life, everyday around us.
So when will the album come out? Are you planning a release party, maybe with a live performance?
Garo Gdanian: Well sure man the album will definitely be out this Summer at a small gig with friends and people who want to watch us and buy the album, maybe some support bands or fans I don’t know we’re still not decided but it’s definitely going to happen during the Summer.
Any last words for your fans?
Garo Gdanian: All right mother fuckers, here we come, give us a couple of months and we will be on stage so see you there.