Carthagods (Progressive Power Metal , Tunisia) Interview

Interview with Tarak Sassi 

Hello and Welcome to Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia , For those who wouldn’t know your band, a few words of introduction could be useful to help them and plug their brain on the right circuits… So you can depose it there ?

Carthagods is a Tunisian metal band. We first started off as a 90’s cover band then began making our own compositions around 2002. We have two essential missions: We would like to promote our music and we also care very much about the fate of the Tunisian metal scene.

Why was the name ” Carthagods ” chosen as the bands name ?

We believe that Carthage was the most interesting civilization in our history and most of the members grew up just beyond the ruins of Carthage. That’s why we decided to pay tribute to this civilization through the name of our band.

What was the initial goal behind the band and what motivated you to create it ?

At first there was no purpose behind it. Our love for metal music brought us together. Shortly after, little by little, our goal was to be satisfied with our own production and music rather than be famous and have worldwide recognition.

Was it easy to find the suitable musicians and are everything okey on a line-up point of  view ?

To be honest, we had a lot of difficulties to get to the current lineup, but I think there is a certain chemistry that we are proud of. After the departure of our former guitarist Haythem Mahbouli, we decided to replace him with a professional live guitarist so that we could avoid wasting more time integrating a new member.

The band was formed at 1997 but as We see that you guys have only was ful l release in 2015 ” Carthagods ”  under ” Hands of Blue Records Label ” , Do you think that it’s a few production in 20 years Heavy Metal playing  ?

You’re right, but for Carthagods, disregarding the difficulties we went through at that time, what also slowed down the release of the album in my opinion was the energy we spent on promoting the gig in Tunisia. 

How many times a week do you rehearse and what does it take to have the songs all tight and technically good as you imagined ?

We practice our own parts individually, but on average we all rehearse together once a week .

This question became quite a bit cliché , but I like to ask because it enables readers to have a more precise idea of the band’s music. What are your strongest musical influences ? I know some musicians refuse to answer, since they don’t want to be taken as copyers, but even without voluntary copying one can find similarities between his music and those of other bands ?

Our influences are very divergent but if I were to give a band for each member we would choose Iced earth, Jorn, Dream Theater, and Opeth. 

Who composes the most in the band ? Have you got a quite particular way of composing, or does everything occur during rehearsals and then exchanges through emails ? Your songs generally contain a minimum amount of how many riffs ?
There are really no formulas for all this. Sometimes Mehdi (our singer) comes up with the melody and we make music along with it, sometimes it is the opposite, and then we do what we feel works best for us. The tendency today is to make a certain number of riffs or to make short solos but we don’t necessarily follow it.
According to your biography,.. We could wonder how the newer songs would sound. Can you describe what we could hear one day ? Will there be little differences, or not  ?

We recorded a new single  “ The devil’s dolls ” which we are really proud of. It will be online very soon and we think the next album will follow the same sound.
A little question about your lyrics , Can you tell us more about the subjects of your texts ?

The album deals with several themes, especially since it was written in different moods over a long period of time. You’ll find manipulation, slavery, love, hate, death … so we’re not dealing with one special theme .. not on the first album at least.

Being a musician in Tunisia, what are the problems you faced through you career ?

During our years of existence as Carthagods, we have faced all sorts of problems : Technical, sabotage, death of a member … Today, we are much more independent and we have acquired enough experience to be able to straighten everything out .

 How do you see the Tunisia Metal Scene now ?

There are less concerts and the live conditions are terrible in general. Even though we receive a lot of proposals to play in Europe, the evolution of this scene in Tunisia remains one of our most important objectives.

If a listener doesn’t seem to be too much interested by your music at the first approach, how would you convince him to pay a closer attention and to try to get in the ring ?

If someone does not like my music I will not try to convince him to like it. There were plenty of album reviews made by very big webzines like Decibel, Bravewords…and around 100 others and they were generally good. I think it is the main strategy of the label to incite people to buy the CD. 

Where do you normally play ? What have been some of your bigger tours/gigs and whom have they been with? Any good stories that you would like to share along those lines? Any upcoming plans/events that we need to know about ?

Umm what do we begin with .. Just after the release of the album we played our biggest gig as a support for Blind Guardian in Istanbul. We also played as a headliner in Malta and it was great, we played in Paris with our friends from Acyl .. There is the era of the “PLUG” which allowed us to have a lot of guests stars playing with CARTHAGODS like Max Cavalera, Tim Ripper Owens , Paul Di Anno and many others and that’s why some of them are on our album . We also played as a support for EPICA 2006 (the first international Metal gig in Tunis) and with Dark Tranquillity in La Coupole d’El Menzah , And the last one “Metal United” was very important too since it is an ambitious project which will surely have a great impact on metal in Tunisia .

Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there ? What can you tell us about your forthcoming projects ?  This question is free, so you can speak about the subjects you wish, and then conclude.. 

I would like to thank “Acier Doux MetalZine Tunisia ” for the interview, all the people who supported us and believed in our music … and all the guests who didn’t hesitate to join us.

Interviewer : Med Manef Slama

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