Playing alongside heavy metal giants Metallica is something many bands have dreamed of, but very few will be able to achieve. However, for one Dubai-based act, this dream is set to become a reality this week.
Empty Yard Experiment — or Eye — will open for the rock legends on Friday (April 19) at the du Arena, Abu Dhabi. This will mark the first gig in the Yas Island venue for the foursome comprising frontman Bojan Preradovic (30), keyboardist Gorgin Asadi (31), guitarist Mehdi Gr (30), bassist Kaveh Kashani (30), and drummer Josh Saldanha (22) — who have been together since 2006.
tabloid! spoke to Preradovic ahead of the concert to find out more.
Congratulations on opening for Metallica! How does it feel?
We couldn’t be more excited about it. Metallica are obviously one of the most influential metal bands of all time, and sharing a stage with them is the ultimate privilege. We all grew up listening to them, and opening for them is going to be an emotional experience to say the least.
How were you chosen to open for the band?
Our friends from Red Bull put us forward as an opening act and applied for the slot on our behalf. They have been doing incredible things in terms of supporting homegrown artists and have really been putting their weight behind promoting and empowering the local scene. We got the call and were told that Metallica had selected us to open for them, which was, of course, unbelievably flattering.
For those who have not heard your material before, what should they listen to before watching you on Friday?
We released our self-titled album in 2011, which can be purchased and streamed online (cdbaby.com/cd/emptyyardexperiment). People should also definitely check out our new single, GHHR, which we put out earlier in February this year.
What are your favourite Metallica songs?
A: You can’t really pick out favourite songs when it comes to Metallica, but titles that immediately come to mind are Master of Puppets, King Nothing, The Unforgiven and The Call of Ktulu.
What are you most looking forward to on the night?
Meeting the guys from Metallica would be absolutely unreal. We’ve heard that they are actually very accessible and really cool people. We’re also excited about the fact that we will be performing in front of many people who are hearing our music for the very first time. The opportunity to connect with both our current and potential fans and gain exposure for our work to such an audience is epic for us.
Do you think local bands receive enough support in the UAE?
There’s still a long way to go before that statement can be even remotely true. The level of support and amount of resources that are at the disposal of local musicians are still very much sparse. Our band has had the great privilege of being able to secure the backing of Red Bull, who really believe in our work and are deeply committed to helping regional talent grow beyond their current means. Many other acts, however, struggle to produce their own material and gain exposure because of the many constraints that they face, both financial and otherwise.
Finally, what are your plans after the gig?
We are scheduled to hit the studio shortly after the Metallica show and record our second album.
For more information on Eye, visit emptyyardexperiment.com.