Interview with Ascendant
By: Mohhammed Bilal Al Lahham - 2016-11-09
It’s always a pleasure to have one of the important bands in UAE you with us once more as the scene in UAE looks at Ascendant as one of their favourites bands and for that we would like to ask you few questions so we can update your fans with your latest news.
Ashish: Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for having us.
-First let me ask you about your upcoming show ‘Metal Mania II’ that will take place in Dubai
This is your first time to perform in one of JoScene’s events in UAE, and your band will perform on on November 25, are you guys excited about it?
Ashish: Yes, we are extremely excited to be playing at one of JoScene’s events. This gig also marks our return after a pretty long hiatus, which we took to work on our debut album – and we really want to bring the house down!
-Are u bringing some new songs to the set list, or are u going to use the same list u used the last time you can hear, we would love to hear some surprises !
Ashish: Yes, we have new songs ready – which are a part of our upcoming album, and at this show the audience will get to hear a couple of the newer songs - as a treat, prior to our album launch date.
-Since you are a a heavy metal group, of course the 80's groups as maiden , Metallica and Judas Priest are among many others of your heroes growing up , but over the years after you formed , have any new band locally or internationally influenced u and became among your favourites ?
Ashish: The band actually has incredibly diverse tastes in music. We can spend the next ten minutes naming bands and we still wouldn’t be able to finish that list. Artists ranging from Alt-J to Bonobo… from Eloy to Shpongle.
But if we’re talking about metal – there are some which stand out. Primal Fear, Orden Ogan, Metal Allegiance, etc.
-What’s your favourite thing about the music scene in Dubai?
Ashish: The music scene in Dubai is a close knit community, and audiences are very supportive of the artists. It’s easy to network with fellow artists and pool our talents.
Also, because of the reputation of the city, loads of international acts play in Dubai – which gives opportunities for local artists to showcase their talents to larger audiences than they would otherwise get.
-Is there any other country in the Middle East you wish to perform in? Why?
Ashish: We would love to play to our metalhead brothers and sisters, anywhere. We hear Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have very good local music scenes. In fact, some impassioned fans have been asking us to perform in their countries. Something which we hope to do if we get the chance to.
Someday we hope that we can perform in Syria, as well – 3 of our members grew up there, and some of our songs are about what’s happening there.
-From all the stages around the world, what stage do u wish to perform in , when given the chance?
Ashish: Wacken…. We came so very close. Hellfest wouldn’t be too bad either lol.
The Barcelona Rock Festival is pretty underrated but they’ve been having a great lineup of bands for the past several years.
-Is there a new album in the making? What updates can u give your fans about? For the fans and listeners what surprises should we expect from it?
Ashish: Yes, we are 95% done with our debut album. It will feature 8 tracks – we’ve poured our hearts and souls into this album and we’re all proud of what it’s turned out to be. As for surprises – I think listeners will recognize there is emotional breadth to the songs, and it’s not restricted to what people might expect of a traditional metal album.
-Is there a possibility of a guest coming on your next album?
Ashish: Yes, but we’ll say no more. Add that to the surprises you can expect from the album
-Any famous artist you wish to have on your upcoming album?
Ashish: On our wishlist – I think vocalists like Tim Owens, or Jorn Lande, or Doro would absolutely be awesome on our songs.
-Off the bat, out of all the albums released this year, what’s your favourite?
Ashish: Speaking only for myself (Ashish), I would pick Primal Fear’s ‘Rulebreaker’ album.
-Your band won the competition of Wacken Open Air battle of the bands for Middle East in Dubai, But you guys did not participate in the final competition, why?
Ashish: We wanted to participate, obviously – because as we mentioned earlier, playing at Wacken is a dream come true for any metal band. We even completed our reservations for flights and accommodations in Egypt for the final battle round with Blaakyum from Lebanon. However, the organizer used the uncertainty of us getting our visas as a pretext for cancelling the show and disqualifying us.
We tried to convince the organizer to give more time to see if the visas would come through, but they deemed their decision to be final. It’s a decision we believe was wrong, but it’s water under the bridge at this stage. On to the future \m/
Thank you Ashish for your time and we are looking forward to hear good news from Ascendant soon.
Best of luck in your upcoming show.
Ashish Shetty – Guitar
Interviewed by: Mohammed Lahham
Edited by: Muhammad Jaber