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Emir Hot

Interview with Emir Hot from Emir Hot
by Yiannis Zervos at 30 September 2008, 10:37 AM

Emir Hot is the new guitar hero from Bosnia. With an amazing technique on the 6-string and with a great songwritting talent Emir talks to METAL TEMPLE about his first album Sevdah Metal.

Hello Emir and congratulations on Sevdah Metal.

Hello and thank you.

It's understandable that in Bosnia things are pretty much the same as in Greece as far as being a Metal musician, goes. Tell me, how did you decide to study music in the first place?

I have always thought you can never be wrong if you are investing in your future by getting a proper education. In Bosnia we don't have a school for contemporary music, only classical which I've done long ago.  First I wanted to go to Berklee College Of Music - Boston, USA. I did my audition in Germany but I never went to USA because Berklee was really expensive. My alternative was London Guitar Institute and that's how I ended up living in the UK.

How hard was it for you to leave your country for UK? What are the difficulties you encountered through this process?

It was hard at the beginning. I was all alone. No family, no friends †nothing. I found a couple of different jobs and somehow survived the first year of my guitar university. Later I met many good friends and slowly got used to living here. In 2005 I won the big competition Guitar Hero UK 2005 and that helped me a lot to meet many useful people who later helped in my music career. Last year, just as I graduated, I got married and my wife and I are both happy in the UK. Now things are looking good.

It's pretty clear that you have an outstanding and remarkable technique on the guitar. You think that this thing helped you on the songwriting part of Sevdah Metal?

Definitely. If I am able to play what I have in mind then I can easily visualize all other things for a song. If I don't then I would need to experiment and that doesn't always end up with what you initially wanted. Being able to play and hear what you want is a great benefit.

In Sevdah Metal you were blessed with the help of remarkable musicians such as John West (ARTENSION, ex-ROYAL HUNT) and Mike Terrana (MASTERPLAN, Tarja Turunen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony McAlpine, Axel Rudi Pell, GAMMA RAY, RAGE, Steve Lukather) how did this collaboration come to life?

I met Mike in my country 5-6 years ago. Since then we have been in contact. When I had songs ready for the studio I asked if he would play drums. He accepted it and soon he came to the studio in London where we recorded the whole thing. I had some people trying to sing on this record but I wasn't happy with their input so Mike suggested John West who had left ROYAL HUNT. John then came to London and that was definitely what I wanted. They both did a great job.

Sevdah Metal has many influences from your Balkan roots. Did you intent to use instruments like Saz and Accordion from the beginning?

Yes. We call Sevdah - Bosnian traditional music. Those instruments are always included in original interpretation of Bosnian traditional songs so I wanted to include some of those on the record. I think that made it more interesting and more original.

How much did it take you to record and mix Sevdah Metal?

Song writing process took year and a half. First I had recorded all the demos with different musicians. Then I entered proper studio and spent about 3 months. During this 3 months period I flew to Bosnia and recorded those traditional instruments and some other guests on the record. Mixing and mastering was done in Croatia. I spent 2 weeks there and the album was done.

What other musicians did influence your guitar playing style?

Many. I like 70's and 80's rock legends. Jimmy Page is my favorite guitarist of all times. Hendrix, Blackmore and similar players were also a big influence. Many people compare this album with Yngwie style of songwriting. He is also my big influence. Not because he can play fast but because he made a new revolution in guitar playing and that's something to be well appreciated. I also like styles of Vinnie Moore and Paul Gilbert.

Is there any other musical genre that you enjoy to listen, besides Heavy Metal?

I like to listen to many different styles. Jazz, Blues, Country, Classical… all these have something good about them and I often play all these styles as a session guitarist. I learned a lot from some great Jazz players. Heavy metal is something I enjoy playing but I don't listen to Metal every day.

How do you feel about people that download your music instead of buying your CDs? Do you think Internet and downloading is a way to increase your popularity by making your music accessible to more people? Or do you think that your work is been 'stolen' in a way?

I think that the digital era has arrived and we can't do anything about that. CD will probably disappear in 5 years. I don't know whether this is good or not but as long as artists get royalties from legal downloads it's ok. Downloads make the music more accessible. Imagine you are on the road and see on your phone or Ipod that your favourite band has released a new album. You just press one button and the album is on your device. No need to look for a CD shop that might be too far away. That's really good but of course I am against digital downloads.

What are your future plans Emir?

To do more albums and play live as much as possible.

Emir, is there anything else you want to say to our readers out there?

Thank you for giving me a chance to be on your website and also for the very positive review on it. Thanks to everybody who bought the album Sevdah Metal.  

Thank you for your time.

You are welcome.


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