What do most of us care when we do a show?
Sound? Lights? Crowds? Appearance? Profits? But things are different for DOG FACED CORPSE and other similar bands from Iraq and few other Mid-Eastern bands. They care about not being Killed!!!
Well it’s not easy to be doing ‘Metal’ in a place like Iraq, where being EMO is termed as gay, satanist, a threat to the society etc and the recent incident when those EMOs were brutally murdered, as far as the rumor goes they are being picked up by extremists who then crush their skulls with blocks of cement, it just shook me off my feet.
I had earlier came to know about the female fronted Iraqi band called JANAZA and with the popular documentary ‘Heavy Metal in Bagdad‘ I was introduced to ACRASSICAUDA and thus the fascination towards the Iraqi scene. I tried to contact Janaza but couldn’t find a single trace of her to follow but I was fortunate to come across DOG FACED CORPSE.
It was a great moment for me to be talking to these guys and to know about the SCENE there. With this interview I pay my deepest respect to all the Metalhead, probably the bravest Metalheads that I know, in Iraq and other Muslim countries who are pursuing their passion despite the danger and the odds. RESPECT!
(interview with Omar Khan, Guitars)
-Hey how you guys doing? What’s going on with the band?
All good man. The band was laying low for the last 3 months because of the event of emo killings and all. And we’re sorry to all the fans or the people who couldn’t find our pages or music, we had to lay low ‘cause some of us were scared. But now we’re back and we’ve completed most of the album songs on paper and we’re going to turkey to record our first album there.
-As a Metal lover it’s a great pleasure to know about Metal bands from Iraq, I went through all the DFC songs that I could get over the internet and I must confess I liked them instantly, what it’s like for you, as a band to play Metal there in Iraq?
It’s like a challenge that’s the first thing, you gotta have some balls to walk around with your guitar on your back in Baghdad or get into a musical instruments store, but you know what, some people are just tired of being scared and that first people in Iraq are the metalheads. So fuck it.
-I’ve interacted with few bands from the middle-east in the past and ironically they told me that at most places/countries you are not allowed to play live music (Metal). Tell us about the general Metal scene there. Are bands allowed to play live?
Yes, we’re allowed, but I think we have been blessed with that only because the government doesn’t give us full attention for now, and it’s okay to wear metal t-shirts and stuff like that ‘cause a lot of people here has no idea what it says but some posers takes it too far from the whole idea and they are the people who gets in trouble all the time.
-The world is aware of the things that Iraq went through over the last few years and you admit that the band draws its inspirations from all the sectarian clashes/war and whole lot of other shits that happened there. What was your mindframe at the time when it really happened in front of you and how do you incorporated that into your music?
First of all, there were some shitty moments, like running between bullets and you gotta keep 360 degree awareness from everyone around you. I admit it that there were some really bad days but what I recall most is just some friends laughing at what’s going on and having a high five after walking away from all this unscratched.
And for your other question, first it’s a tech death-sometimes brutal metal music, and what are the best subjects for such music??? It’s not that hard to look around nearly a destroyed country and real bizarre people and go make music (that story would be a great song).
-I am not a very religious person and pardon me for asking this but how do Islam take Metal music? Well I have heard that you will be punished or maybe just simply killed if found listening/doing Metal. (We came to know that, recently, many kids were murdered cold blooded because of their love for emo)
Well I don’t know about this shit. Me personally I had no fear at that time, I don’t wear metal t-shirts or hoodies, never, but at that time I swear I had a camo pants with metal t-shirt and a hoody every where I go, but one of my band mate said that he was threatened and that’s why we had to lay low, they say they killed a boy or two. So? Does that mean that we need to stop our thing?
-…but they can’t simply stomp you on the ground and make you quit, can they? After all Metal thrives on oppression!!
Dude, it’s not that easy to stomp DFC, no one will, no one can. We’ve lived faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more scarier serious shit, trust me, IT IS NOT THAT EASY.
-On a brighter note, despite the shits I have heard that the Rock n’ Roll/Metal sub culture are slowly thriving in Bagdad in the form of stores and all. Enlighten us!
Yeah there’s a rock café and stores that sells such music, but you know it’s not that hardcore yet, they are only trying to be between the (metal heads favorite store and the Muslim community good store) so there’s no such CD’s like Gorgasm or stuff like that. And now I think there are more guitarists, bassists and drummer than before, some kids are really trying and I know a lot of them, the same dream they have i.e having a metal band.
-Well we know it’s hard to be in a Metal band, tell us about the band’s practice session and where do you do it?
Aaahhhh, that’s a difficult question, there’s no places here that accept our loud music or places that can be rented by hour, you know a rehearsal place. So what we do is take our equipment and go to the drummers house, that’s where we practice most of the time, or just home, everyone by themselves.
-And what about recordings?
Recording was an issue here, there’s no studios that can record the whole drum kit, and believe me there’s some studios that the drums won’t even fit in looooooooool. So we had to record it our selves, me and lateef had some bad time at first but we did what we could to make the songs nearly good.
-Tell us about your demo(2012). What is the response like so far?
It had some great reviews, they gave us some great rating for it and the sells are good too, we had one review I didn’t like and it was about the quality, honestly he’s right, the quality wasn’t good at all but this is Iraq. And we are really happy for what’ve we done so far.
–Anything we should look forward to in the near future?
In early 2013 you’ll need to look for the album, and I think we’re gonna go live this year somewhere I don’t really know where. But keep a close eye on the album, it’s gonna be a something because it’s gonna be recorded in a real studio and in turkey, and we’ve some modifications on the demo songs as well.
-Well thank you for your time. Any last shout outs?
There’s a band you’ll need to look it up. It’s called Sodomophilia, that bands just came out. And they’re definitely DFC friends. So we need to help them.