In the last January I had reviewed their last album ‘Preaching Venom’, I
had interested in the Dubai band. We had an interview about the band in the name
of presentation before the concert who is going to come to Turkey with the band
are the first band I know in Dubai as a metal band. One of my friend’s who had
been there before, told me that it’s a beutiful place instead of it’s heat.
Nervecell pronounced as a Dubai band but I learned that you came from different
countries. What is the thing that makes you come all together in Dubai?
Barney Ribeiro (guitars): I was born and raised in Dubai and yes it is a
beautiful and nice place to live in. The people who live in Dubai basically come
from all over the world so similarly Nervecell also consists of members that are
originally from different countries too. When Nervecell was first formed back in
the year 2000 we started off as a 5 piece band playing covers along with some
originals and the band consisted basically of a bunch of friends of mine from
back in collage. It was only about 2003 when I met James and Rami at a local gig
where at the time they were new to Dubai as students in a university here. It
wasn’t very long after that however since they joined the band and eventually
became part of what the complete Nervecell line-up is today. Rami like James
moved to Dubai to study here and me being based here already with the band
eventually made things work itself out. We first got along as friends and of
course ended up being band members , just for the record anyway - Rami is
Jordanian, James is Lebanese, I am half Portuguese / Indian and our current
drummer Loui is Australian!
In drums you have been working with David Haley from Psycroptic and Louis
Rando from Pathogen and if I’m not wrong Louis Rando is also joining you on the
concerts. But as a permanent drummer who is with you? What is the last case
Rami Mustafa (lead guitars): Dave recorded our album "Preaching Venom" and
we met Louis on our Australian headlining tour in 2007 while his band The Furor
was touring with us and we became really good friends since then. Louis started
sessioning for Nervecell since 2008 and since he is a really busy drummer
playing with 3 different bands and Nervecell and for the fact that he lives in
Australia, which is pretty far away from us, we never thought or spoke about him
joining the band for these reasons. We are in a really good relationship and we
feel he is the 4th member of the band already but he is not a permanent member.
Louis played every gig in Dubai starting with Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2008
and loads of European festivals including With Full Force, Wacken and more, and
2 European tours already including the latest one with Suffocation and we are
all happy to work this way at the meantime.
had taken stage in a bar called Rockwell Bar in Dubai. How is metal music scene
in Dubai? Like Places, bands…
Barney: I wouldn’t say there is a metal music scene as such, we do have a
number of bands around but its not really a metal scene as you would see in
other countries. It’s more of a general music scene with very few bands that
actually really invest a lot of time and effort to take their music seriously! I
mean most bands here are still getting around to putting out their first full
So in other words we are still in the early stages before you can call it a
scene so to speak…What we do have is a lot of fans of metal music here but not a
lot of venues for these fans to go out and have a good time. I think this
remains to be a problem, also there are rules like 21+ venues where a lot of the
metal kids don’t really get to come out and watch their favorite local bands
because of age restrictions. Lastly promoters here are very few to hold
consistent metal nights and only lately have these few promoters started to take
the initiative to organize live events where bands can now get the opportunity
to play original music and be able to perform every now and then.
I think being involved with the music scene in Dubai for the last 12 years
things are certainly getting better, I keep reminding myself it could always be
a lot worst so you have to learn to appreciate what you have.
‘Preaching Venom’ has arrived to me by Lifeforce Records but it also seems
that album also came out from Music Master. One of them is saying that the album
came in 2008 and the other one is saying that it’s in 2009. I guess the one
Lifeforce Records had, is a re-release? What is the situation exactly?
Rami: At first Music Master released “Preaching Venom” in the Middle East
and North Africa region in April 1, 2008. Music Master never signed a metal band
before and we were the first band ever in the Middle East region to release a
death/thrash metal album with them so that was really exciting for us. Then we
thought that we can go with a more focused label and Spellbind Records deal came
after signing a deal with our management CSM (Center Stage Management) which
both are based in Dubai, so we re-signed the album for again in mid-2009,
continued releasing for that year only for the Middle East and North Africa.
Immediately after our European Festival Tour 2009 we received an offer from
Lifeforce Records in Germany to release “Preaching Venom” in Europe, so we re-released
it in Europe with no changes whatsoever and the CD includes a bonus EP CD “Human
Chaos” which we released in 2004 and they included that in the 2009 release.
When you heard a band from United Arab Emirates, as in genre you get
something different in mind and it might cause misunderstandings. Can you
enlighten the people who have never heard about you before?
Barney: Nervecell is a Dubai based metal band, we play a mixture of Death
metal with Thrash metal elements, you can also find a lot of groove and melody
in our music together with some more modern and brutal elements in there as well!
‘Preaching Venom’ got really positive reaction in the press area, It’s a high
pointed album in reviews also it get high point from Extreminal too. It has high
quality production and recording as well as musicality. Can you tell about the
process of agreement with the label?
Rami: Thanks for your thoughts! We worked really hard on the songs and the
production of the album, the idea was to have a release were we can represent
our music to the whole world the way we really wanted it to. Since we funded the
production ourselves, we didn’t really have the budget to travel around the
world and record the album outside of Dubai, so we did all the tracking in Dubai
with Kiran Sequiera, the same producer who worked on our last EP “Human Chaos”.
We decided to work with Dave Haley of Psycroptic for the drums, which did a
fantastic job, so I went back and forth with sessions and pre-production with
him and he finalized the drum tracks in Australia, sent us the drum tracks and
recorded the guitars, bass and vocals in Dubai. Once we were complete we decided
to work with Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy (VADER, DECAPITATED, HATE) from Poland
on the mixing process as we really liked their style of work with Decapitated
and Vader so we started working with them also through sessions. Finally the
renowned Alan Douches (SEPULTURA, UNEARTH, SUFFOCATION) mastered our album in
New York, USA. The album artwork was created by Dennis Sibeijn (ABORTED, ALL
SHALL PERISH, JOB FOR A COWBOY). We were so happy with the results and received
so many positive feedbacks from fans and press.
Last month you had a very busy touring program. How did the European tour go?
Where was the best spots? How was the reaction of the audience?
Rami: The tours were great man, we played three tours in Europe in the last
year and a half. A European Festival tour in 2009 covering Wacken Open Air, With
Full Force, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, Way of Darkness and others. Another
headlining tour in late summer 2009 was entitled “Preaching Venom European Tour
2009” covering mainly Germany, Holland, Austria and Belgium, that was an
independent tour and played our first club/bar shows in Europe which was crazy!
lots and lots of fun! The latest tour we did was a 25 show tour (March/April
2010) in Europe/UK with Suffocation, Annotations Of An Autopsy, Fleshgod
Apocalypse and Burning The Masses, and this tour was simply the best tour for us
to date. We had so much fun on the road and it was an absolute pleasure sharing
the stage with Suffocation every night. We had lots of great shows, we played 6
shows in Germany alone and most of them were great including Munich and Essen as
favorites. My other favorites were in Paris (France), London and Leeds (England,
UK), Holland and Slovenia, all the rest were really exciting too since we never
played there before, like Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and more.
The crowds were pretty brutal, mostly pure death metal crowds which were our
main target. Crazy circle pits and moshpits and that’s what we wanted to see
haha! Suffocation ripped every night and the other bands were great too. We made
really great friends and fans on this tour. Fun times!
You will be here in May 28th. What kind of preparations Nervecell have
against Turkey’s audience? Playlist, etc…
Barney: You know we are just happy to finally get to play in Turkey, it has
been a place we have wanted to go and perform in for a long time. Being aware
that the metal scene there is really strong and growing it’s an absolute
pleasure that we get to finally play there for the first time on May 28th
alongside none other than Deicide! Apart from promoting the songs on our last
album Preaching Venom we don’t really have anything else specially sorted out to
be honest, I guess I can say we are purely as excited as anyone else in the
audience to be there and make it a night to remember for all! So we definitely
look forward to coming out there and tearing the stage apart and of course to
also get to meet all the crazy metal heads of Turkey that we have heard so much
It also seems like you are going to take stage in Dorock Bar in May 29th.
Instead of taking stage in the same city 2 days straight, why didn’t you prefer
other cities like Ýzmir or Ankara?
Barney: I guess we haven’t been invited to play there yet, we would have
loved to play both Izmir or Ankara as well, why not? If there is any serious
promoters out there in those cities who would like to bring Nervecell there,
then get in touch with our management and hopefully we can make it possible! At
least if not this time around then maybe next time ;)
Have you ever been in Turkey before? Or have you ever listened any of the
Rami: I’ve never been there before and always wanted to, but I’ve heard of
Mezarkabul (Pentagram) which is an awesome band.
That’s all I ask, finally is there anything for you to say?
Rami: Thanks for your support and time! We are really looking forward for
both shows in Turkey especially with Deicide and of course at Dorock. I heard
great things about Dorock and looking forward for it to be a great night! Turkey
is a close neighboring country to us and we feel privileged to be there soon and
play some brutal music! To all the fans, hope to see you all at both shows and
see you unleash some craziness in the pits!!