How does your new album, False Utopia differ from your first, New Blood?
Quite a lot actually. False Utopia was recorded with a band. I’m the singer and guitarist, Imad Jawad is the bassist and Pascal Elias is the drummer. The songwriting is more mature, the sound is definitely bigger and for the production I had to put on different hats to get it sounding big and raw like its supposed to. The whole process of nailing down the recording, mixing and production took around a year and a half.
The Incomplete Heart music video looks really professional. It must have been quite a challenge to achieve this as an independent artist, how did it come together?
When I finished writing Incomplete Heart, the director Fares Sokhon had those cool abstract images to portray the woman in the song. We all loved the idea and thought it would work perfectly. It was produced by my team with the help of Ziad Oakes, the director of photography and editor. Lara Pulton, my manager, was the producer and we had Stoli and Puma on board as sponsors. Red Bull also supported us immensely. It was a great team effort! Now the video is being played on MTV Arabia.
What’s with the guy in the wrestler’s mask in the video?
Our bass player Imad couldn’t fly in for the video shoot due to visa issues. So we had to find a replacement at the last minute since everything was booked! The mask idea was inspired from Watchmen’s character Rorschach. It was crazy but it gave the video more edge and it didn’t confuse our fans by showing someone else.
You grew up listening to Aerosmith and you ended up supporting them at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009. Was that something you ever believed would really happen?
It was a great rush! I never thought I’d be sharing the stage with rock legends like Aerosmith, but it happened and at that concert I was the lead guitarist for my friend’s band, Paulak. That experience changed me and it was an eye-opener.
Do you come from a musical background?
My mom always used to sing quietly at home, she has a sweet voice and my dad used to play the drums as a teenager. He introduced me to bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. They were very supportive when it came to my passion.
Tell us about your wardrobe and your personal style. Your look is a little Frank Zappa-esque.
The moustache was inspired by Guy Fawkes and it became part of my persona. I tried losing it once and it didn’t work at all. It just grew on me. My wardrobe includes brands I like such as Ted Baker, custom T-shirt stores online, DC shoes, Puma and Diesel.
What gigs have you got coming up next year?
You said a couple of years ago that Dubai didn’t have much cultural drive and wasn’t inspiring. Two years on, has that changed at all?
I see a big positive change happening on the scene. I grew to love this city more and more and I appreciate what it has to offer.
Who would be your dream all-time band line up?
John Bonham on drums, Flea on bass, Jeff Beck on guitar, Freddie Mercury on vocals.