Interview with Amadeus Awad
Band: Amadeus Awad
By: Carmina Khairallah - 2012-12-01
Critically acclaimed Lebanese guitarist Amadeus Awad has taken Lebanon as well as many other countries by storm since the release of his new album Time of the Equinox. After watching and reading several interviews he gave to local TV stations and webzines, we thought of asking Mr. Awad a few questions regarding a subject close to his heart: his relationship with his homeland Lebanon. Here are his answers.
JZ: Hello Mr. Awad, thank you for granting us here at JorZine some of your time.
Thank you Jorzine for giving us the opportunity to talk to the Middle Eastern Scene, you guys are doing an awesome job and I really consider you the best metal webzine in the Middle East.
JZ: You were born in Lebanon and have lived through the Lebanese war, as well as several other political incidents, yet you still choose to live here. How have those experiences affected your music?
Art is a complicated form of expression, and this form is affected by everything that surrounds the artist, hence the saying “Art is the face of Society” .
The Lebanese civil war and all what came after it had a great effect on the way my artistic personality was shaped; even though so far I never wrote anything about the subject itself, but I know that the elements are there.
JZ: We previously had a talk about your new album, "Time of the Equinox" and during it you mentioned the meaning of the 10th track, Nostalgia: a song carried by Liz Vandall's powerful vocals. Would you mind sharing what it is about with our readers?
“Nostalgia”, which is co-written with my brother Nidal, in my opinion is one of the best songs on my Album, and I am in love with the way Liz Vandall was able to decipher the feelings and express them perfectly.
The songs talks about a certain period in my life, when I was still in my home town El Mina, I am nostalgic towards everything that has to do with that era of my life.
The streets, the people, our house and my room. Inside that room I read my first book, I played my very first notes and wrote my very first poem; I miss those days and I dedicate this song to that room in which I discovered myself.
JZ: Do you think Music (and other forms of Art) could be powerful enough to solve or at least ease the permanent conflicts ruling in the Middle East?
I am very pessimistic about the Middle Eastern future in general.
I am sure if we start buying guitars and pianos instead of missiles and bullets there will be no conflicts, but this is hallucination.
I believe that Art can bring people closer, can make us thrive to learn more about each other, but it cannot End our conflicts unless we managed to create some kind of Artistic Utopia; Utopia it is.
JZ: Going back to the subject of Lebanon, we often hear from artists or event organizers that the new generation of Rock and Metal fans in this country are not committed enough to their scene. In that, they don’t buy Lebanese bands’ albums, don’t attend concerts, etc… do you agree? If so, how are you affected by that?
I understand the feelings and complain of everyone, and I know that they usually scream it out with good intentions; but I think that everyone holds the same amount of responsibility. However I do not blame the fans at all; I like to think that if they did not react well, maybe we did not give them what they really want.
So far the local like organizers Rock Ring and Freakshow are doing a good job and the fans are relatively loyal to them.
As for my band, so far I do not have any problems regarding my fans, we always sell out and our Album is selling like crazy and we are very happy; However we do not mind having a bad day, and we know that one day we might face a small crowd; when this happens we will sit down and review our mistakes and learn from them.
JZ: You have only performed once outside Lebanon, in Dubai back in 2010. Putting into consideration that you have made connections with many international artists, as well as your new association with manager, Tiziana Hurd, why is that?
The Dubai show at the Music Room happened way before I started contributing with the international artists and way before having any form of Management.
I think patience is virtue when it comes to touring and getting the international attention that we deserve; our music is not mainstream and the genre is complicated; we are waiting for the right offers to make the right choices for our carrier.
JZ: Don’t you ever get tired of the very frequent technical problems that all musicians experience while performing in most small or, sometimes even important, locations here in Lebanon?
Oh tell me about it; but take note that this happens around the world, technical difficulties are expected anywhere.
We try our best to take full advantage of what the venue can offer, because in the end a good sound will give us the chance to present our music in the right frame to the audience and this is the most important thing about a live show.
We are lucky to be associated with the “Lebanese Youth Club – LYC” they provide us with anything we need whenever we need it, and always help us put on the best show we can.
I just wish we have more well-equipped venues around the country, the bands and the fans deserve that.
JZ: You often say and show how inspired you are by women. Is there anything in particular about Lebanese woman that fascinates you? Something that you consider different than other women around the world?
The woman is at the center of my art; No matter what subject I am dealing with, she blends the elements together and opens the gates to that chaotic set of colors!!!
The woman that inspires me is a universe that sums everything a female figure can be, she is like a humongous feminine Mosaic made of all the feminine souls in the world; she is the Universe I roam in, and everything else is just details in that universe ~ She is Art and Poetry combined in one painting, and always ready for the next Big Bang that will create a new Universe in which life can bloom.
I do not think I should be asked about the Nationality of the woman I just described to you, she is Universal; but I believe that Lebanese women, with all their contradictions and lost identity, are the best women in the world.
JZ: Lebanon is a country where discussions about religion are frequent and often lead to violent ends, although there are various religious sects that are (supposedly) coinciding peacefully. What would your answer in solving these problems be?
Very simple, we need to build a civil state and not allow the religions to affect our social personality.
I’d say ban religious people from interfering with politics and close all schools and universities that were built by religious institutions.
JZ: Considering the very emotional baggage your music contains, you must receive very touching reactions from your fans. Have any really struck a chord your heart?
This is what keeps me going, the fact that my fans connect to my music and my poetry and find in my work a mirror to their psychology.
I receive messages and comments from my followers on a daily basis and they all touch me deeply and I am very very thankful to each word and each reaction.
One of the best moments were when a painter told me that ever she got “Time Of The Equinox” she keeps playing it for inspiration in her Atelier, I had no idea what to say!!
JZ: On the contrary, you are sometimes subject to very negative reactions, either towards your music or otherwise. Any general answer you would like to give to that?
We cannot satisfy everyone and we do not care to.
JZ: Is there anything else that you would like to add for our readers?
We sincerely thank them for their loyalty, the next album will take the Middle Eastern scene by a storm, that’s a promise; See you soon on the road.