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Interview - Hani Al-Abadi & Additional Band Members (Bilocate)

Interview with Hani Al-Abadi & Additional Band Members from Bilocate
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 September 2012, 6:02 PM

Frankly, it isn’t surprising anymore to discover another band from one of the Arabian countries. Metal is everywhere and it is spreading fast. There is much to love in this music and everyone can embrace it and conjure it for his own needs. BILOCATE, from Jordan, have been doing their best in order to enrich their Metal music and extremities. Their new album “Summoning The Bygones”, via Code666, is a treasure to a Metalhead’s ears, there is a lot to appreciate here. Steinmetal talked with Hani Al-Abadi and several other members of the band about the album, the general idea behind BILOCATE, influences and plans.

Hello Hani, how are you doing? It is a pleasure on interviewing you for Metal Temple, thanks for taking the time to answer it. In order to introduce your band BILOCATE properly please tell in short about the history of the band

Thank you for conducting this interview, it's so much appreciated. BILOCATE is a six-piece Dark Oriental Metal band from Jordan. Formed back in 2003, released our first EP in 2003 as well and then released a full length album "Dysphoria" in 2005 followed by the masterpiece (named by the international media with more than 80 reviews) album "Sudden Death Syndrome" and now released our latest effort in this year 2012 "Summoning The Bygones", via Code666 Label, that is getting great response from the media so far. To shed some more on the past period, BILOCATE have faced several problems for playing this kind of music in the middle-east but still we are doing our best to keep our music alive. As for BILOCATE’s musical style, Dark Oriental Metal. Quoted below is a description of the style: “The new metal genre that BILOCATE introduced in parallel with the release of their new album "Sudden Death Syndrome". Oriental music in general has a sad atmosphere most often, its the combination of notes that drives the feelings of a listener, but Bilocate found a way to create a version of this music that presents it in it's darker atmosphere by inserting certain notes to the collection that give a new feeling, for a regular listener it might sometimes feel to be out of tone but when you absorb it deeply enough you will get the idea that it has a defined feeling because life isn't about feeling happy or sad or aroused anymore, you've got to develop the feeling of "The Wrong" without accompanying it with the result of this wrong, which usually drives sadness or depression, just think about the wrong and how it develops and why it develops, this is how you think dark, and this is reality by the way, another example is feeling to be in state of struggle but not from a perspective that you are so tired and depressed of this struggle, try to think of the reasons why do you as "human" have to struggle and the deeper it goes, at last we as oriental people found it comfortable to musically translate this way of thinking using the oriental music to some extent and so it yielded Dark Oriental Metal which is -by the explanation provided above- not ruled by any factor such as tempo, guitar riffing style, domination of a certain instrument, or the way of vocaling as you can find variety of values for those factors, it's just about the tone itself.”

 I have known the material of BILOCATE since your last album, "Sudden Death Syndrome". I must say that it really opened my eyes about your music but also about you being so close, as I am from Israel. However, when I received your amazing new album, "Summoning The Bygones", it was as if a giant step was made both musically, lyrically and also maturely. Do you agree?

Allow me to explain the album from our prospective; “Summoning The Bygones” is an old vision with a totally new arrangement, we took the tracks and rewrote many parts of their music and lyrics from scratch but kept the old spirit that everyone enjoyed in “Dysphoria”, the album will remind our fans of what we've given them before but they will surly feel the change… it has many passages and will carry you onto a heavy, fast, dark oriental Metal journey.

Nevertheless it’s still a jump forward. Since the first album “Dysphoria” didn’t have the chance to be exposed to the people via proper channels & via a label, not to forget the low quality it was recorded in which prevented such tunes and songs to be presented properly to the fans. So “Summoning the Bygones” will provide listeners with a wider perspective of our sound and materials, as the sound somehow differ from “Sudden Death Syndrome” and so does the new material we’re currently working on…

 Do you think, in comparison to your two previous releases, that you guys created something of your own with this album?

Surly, since we’ve rewritten some of the part’s to suite our current mood and current understanding of our instrument, nevertheless we wanted to keep the old spirit and not to venture far, however a good example would be for our new vision is the song “Beyond Inner Sleep”, as it’s style is a bit different from the “Dysphoria” era.

 It would be great if you can share with our readers if there is a concept for "Summoning The Bygones"

"Summoning The Bygones"’sconcept follow the main lyrics theme of BILOCATE, Tragedy, war, life and death… scenes we witness on daily bases in our part of the world. Unfortunately what media broadcast to the world is only 10% of the reality and many facts are hidden and only people who lives such moments can describe it, its not easy to put everything in 2 or 3 or 4 albums, it’s a life time of stories to tell… more than 60 years of unrest. The name of the album explains its idea, travelled back in time and brought with us the tones we were so proud of from the inception of BILOCATE and we felt that creating history in music forces us to improve and re-work those tracks and bring its production quality to our current standards.

 Can you please tell what this album means to you as one of its creators?

Speaking for myself, this album defines who we are as most of the tunes in it go way back to the beginning of the band, an example is the song  2nd war in heaven since it’s one of the first songs to be composed by BILOCATE at that time, and by re-releasing it (the album) in a proper way, it will work as a bridge which will give our fans an easy ride to the new songs that we are currently working on.

 Are there any particular songs that touched something deep inside?

Each song in the album has a different impact on me personally, more prominent would be “Hypia” and “A Desire to Leave”.
 When I first listened to the song "Hypia" I was more than surprised. When it comes to extreme Metal I have to admit that I am a hard dude to please. What can you tell me about it? Also it would be great to hear about the cooperation with Dan Swano on this song?

Rami Haikal:“Hypia” was actually the old version of the song “Days of Joy” which was released in the album “Dysphoria”, when we decided to re-release “Dysphoria” as “Summoning the Bygones”, we went back to “Hypia” and we did lots of modifications and tweaking which took the song to different level that pleased us all.
As for the cooperation with Dan Swano, most of the band members including me are big fans of him, I remember that we used to play the songs “Crimson” and
“Crimson II” in one shot enjoying every second of it. So when we were working on Hypia, we thought that his voice can make a great addition to the song, so without hesitation we contacted him about it and when he listened to the song, he immediately agreed to do it. So we would take this chance to thank him for his great spirit and his great cooperation.

 What can you tell me about the band's influences and your own?

Waseem EsSayed:BILOCATE has always been a contribution of all members who came from different musical backgrounds, and I believe this is a factor of success if maintained productively, because the variety of ideas is so extensive and broad, so each member puts his musical influences into BILOCATE, and my responsibility is to create a synergy among all these efforts to come out with something good and original, thus you can find influences in the range from funeral doom metal to extreme Black Metal, not to mention non-metal influences as well, such as ambient and atmospheric music, and slightly jazz in some cases, now basically we all come from the middle east, and we share the same non-musical influences, such as life and death, the wars in our region, our own middle eastern heritage, and we shape all this – considering the different musical backgrounds we come from – to eventually develop our own unique subgenre which we call Dark Oriental Metal, which is a special way of presenting the oriental music by manipulating the scales and notes to make them sound darker.Influential bands include: OPETH, KATATONIA, ANATHEMA, BLOODBATH, LIMBONIC ART, MYRKSKOG, EDGE OF SANITY, MY DYING BRIDE and a lot more.

Hani Al – Abbadi:in addition to what Waseem added I could say Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Berlin, Billy Sheehan , Flea and many more.

 After being independent, and for a while I think being a part of a small label, you were hunted down by Code666 Records. What can you tell about this great step to be signed to such a high caliber label?

When we finished “Summoning the Bygones” we started approaching the labels and it was really great that many labels replied back by saying that they know the band very well and they were following our news. We had many offers but Code666 being a high caliber label, their offer was the best and they provided the nearest release date of the album, we did not hesitate to sign with them. Till now we are really impressed and very pleased by their work and the level of professionalism they are showing.

 I know that many have been asking these following questions a lot throughout the years, but how can a Metal scene exist in a country like Jordan?

The scene is relatively small and when compared to other scenes its not that active due to the fact that Metal is banned by the authorities and live concerts are cancelled all the times. There are lots of bands in Jordan but the only way to reach to the world is by using the internet, one of the bands that is really worth checking is BOUQ, a one man band by one of our close friends, also him being a sound engineer, recording the bass lines for the our latest two albums was done in his studio.

 Do you have a large local fan base or your aim, as a band, is to find a way to leave your country and into a different Metallic future in a foreign land?

I’m glad to know that we have a good fan base in Jordan, but also it sadden me not to be able to perform in my own country due to the fact that we’ve been prohibited from playing by authority, which make it harder for both fans and the band, but hopefully this will change in the future. At the moment the band members are split between Jordan and UEA, 3 members living in Jordan, while the other 3 living in Dubai. We will never know where life will lead us, we all have our businesses and jobs which we attend to, as you know playing this type of music has never been profitable nor provided sustainable income.

 What are BILOCATE's plans regarding live shows in the future?

We are currently working on a European tour which might take place in the beginning of 2013, it’s something we’re really looking forward to. Nothing is final at the moment, but I’ll inform you once it’s confirmed so we can inform your readers.

 Hani I wish to thank you and your band mates for your time on taking the time to answer this interview. Your new album is that little freshness that Metal needs and I believe that you have the power to do great things with your talents. I wish you the best of luck!! Any last words?

Thanks for this interview and hopefully your readers will have a better understating of BILOCATE.


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