Post hardcore band MASSIVE SCAR ERA, have released the title track of their upcoming EP, set for release sometime this year! The track titled "Color Blind", has already been all the rage since it's release. Frontwomen vocalist/guitarist Cherine Amr talks of the EP, the single that comes from it, and just how much they want to play as much shows as possible, besides wanting to promote and market these releases as well.
1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?
Cherine: We wanted a name that reflects the lyrics and at the same time could have an easy abbreviation for the Egyptian audience to pronounce with no difficulties plus at the same time reflects that we are women. After lot of brainstorming with an old friend of mine, he suggested Massive Scar Era (short: MASCARA) and we totally loved it! It reflects the lyrics of our songs plus it's a statement and it’s unique
2. Why did you want to play this genre?
Cherine: I was introduced to metal when I was a teenager. The lyrics and the aggression in the sound was comforting my ear and expressing all the emotions that I had and could explain. When I started writing songs, I didn’t choose a genre; it came out naturally from all the influences that are blending in my mind. You can tell there is a lot fusion in our songs but there is a consistency in our sound.
3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?
Cherine: I met Nancy is a jazz concert in our hometown, Alexandria, Egypt, she knew the pianist and I knew the guitarist and she had her violin with her. By coincidence, she was sitting in the chair next to me and she didn't stop head banging on the jazz music -which I found very strange. I thought she is a metal head at the beginning because of her physical reaction to the music but when we chatted backstage while we were greeting our friends after their show, she told me she doesn’t even know what metal music means. I was little bit curious about her interaction with music and we decided to jam.
I met Dylan, our bassist, when I moved to Vancouver in 2015. I posted about the band in the Vancouver Metal group and he listened to our music and like it. Later, he was putting a show together and he invited the band to perform in his show. When we were planning our trip for SXSW last year, I needed a bassist and I asked him if he is interested in joining in. I’ve always liked his playing and his taste in music and I felt he is a good fit for our sound.
4. Who are some of your influences?
Cherine: The three of us have very distinctive taste in music. Nancy is heavily influenced by pre colonial Egyptian music and experimental world music. Dylan and I have a common taste in bands like Katatonia, Porcupine tree. I’m into metalcore and pop so from Paramore to Killswitch Engage, Bring Me The Horizon, Scar Symmetry. I love A Perfect Circle, System of A Down, Anathema.
5. What about your music and lyrical context, what sort of themes or topics do they cover?
Cherine: Our music is our frustration outlet. We [Nancy and I] grew up in a male dominate society that traumatized us a lot. I wasn’t allowed to practice any of my freedom because of my sex and I write a lot about this. On a bigger scale, our Egyptian government has been censoring all sorts of arts which created a pressure on the arts scene that also left its mark on our songs. There is no society that treats women equally as men but the manifestation is different from one culture to another; after moving to Canada, I understood the position of women of color and Indigenous people and I was subjected to some unfortunate discriminatory events and there are songs in our new EP that talks about this perspective as well.
6. Can you discuss your current single turned video of your title track "Color Blind”?
Cherine: "Color Blind" was the reaction of an unfortunate event that happened on the USA borders. We were invited to play a free show at SXSW, at that time Trump had just released a bunch of travel bans on many Middle Eastern countries but Egypt wasn’t on that list. After the USA embassy grant me the visa, people started to protest regarding those travel bans and I think US didn’t want Middle Eastern band in SXSW to avoid feeding those protests. I wasn’t allowed in and Dylan’s was questioned about his indigenous identity although he presented official documents (his status card) released by both the Canadian government and his First Nation band. The experience was very frustrating and very disappointing and the song was the reaction of this incident.
7. Will there be any more tracks to come off the EP to be made into singles and or video releases?
Cherine: That will depend whether the EP will get picked up by a label or not! The next couple of months will decide the releasing strategy.
8. Where are you in the process of the EP?
Cherine: It’s now in the mastering process.
9. When can we expect to see its release?
Cherine: It will basically be ready very soon. We have Oct 2018 on our mind but if it got picked up by a label, it can be earlier. The best way to stay updated is to follow us on Facebook and follow our Bandcamp page.
10. What does the band plan on doing in mean time?
Cherine: We want to play as much shows as possible, we have a very important show coming up on May 15th at the Rickshaw (Vancouver, BC) opening for TYR + Orphaned Land. We will shop the EP, and try as much as possible to market the single.