Tarek - Sound In The Signals Interview

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You just released your new EP The New Century. Can you tell me a little about your thought process while recording the EP? Where did you record the EP?

I recorded the EP at Starlight Studios in Casselberry, Florida. I took a very straightforward approach to recording it -- I had a specific way I wanted these songs to sound, so I spent lots of time making sure the songs were as energetic and dynamic as possible. I wanted the message to not only be heard through the lyrics, but actually felt through the music, and fortunately, I was working with producers who knew exactly how to help me find that sound.

You are an unsigned artist but you have utilized the internet to make your new EP available at various digital retailers as well as having it available on your own digital store. As an unsigned artists what is your opinion of the digital market and do you feel it is more essential to have your EP available to people in digital form over a physical CD copy?

I definitely think it’s essential to have music available for download, but I also think physical albums still have a lot of value. There are so many bands using the Internet to market their music, so it really takes a lot to stand out these days. For me, this is even more of an incentive to release physical albums. To me, CDs have an appeal that can’t be matched; they help to establish a band’s presence. Still, though, the Internet is a great tool. Within seconds, you can publish news and upload music and videos, and it can be seen by people all over the world. I don’t think there’s a mode of

You are a solo artist but your EP has a lot of full band tracks. Do you play all the instruments on your EP or do you partner with studio musicians?

I record all of the guitar parts, keyboard/piano parts, and bass parts myself. I’m no drummer, so I’ll usually have a friend record drums in the studio. I had the opportunity to work with a violinist for “The Quiet of Morning,” which was really cool; it definitely added character to that song.

One thing that really sticks out with the music is your vocal ability, which kind of almost has a Stephen Christian (Anberlin) kind of power to it. Who are some of your favorite vocals and have you ever heard the Stephen Christian comparison?

That’s a first, actually! I’ve gotten a few other comparisons, but no one has ever made the same one twice. Personally, I’m a fan of Dallas Green (Alexisonfire) and Forrest Kline (hellogoodbye). Nathan Nicholson (The Boxer Rebellion) and Imogen Heap also come to mind. There’s also a newer band from Australia called Built On Secrets who have an absolutely incredible vocalist. I highly recommend them.

I read that The New Century has an interesting story behind not only the title but the theme of the album. Could you tell me a little about that?

The New Century is essentially a call to arms. I’m greatly concerned with the direction our society is heading in, and I make art that I hope will inspire people to change. Everywhere I go, I see people who seem hopeless and defeated, and I want to show people that there is a reason for that. I think it’s time for everyone to realize that this isn’t how we should be living, and that there’s more to life than TV and fast cars and drugs and sex and money. The title, “The New Century,” refers to our movement into the 21st century, and why I believe it needs to be a time of revolution and growth, rather than the same stagnation and submission that’s been going on. It’s definitely an exciting time to be alive.

Your lyrics have a lot of meaning and it seems like you put a lot of work into them. With so many artists these days lyrics seem to be one of the last things on their mind. Do you think a lot of musicians have gotten lazy with lyrics and what are some of your favorite albums lyrically?

For some bands, lyrics aren’t the main focus, and some can really make that work; good music can compensate for mediocre lyrical content. It really depends on the band. I’ve always been a fan of good lyrics, though, especially ones that critique society and challenge the status quo. Aggression by Verse is probably my favorite in this category. I also like witty, honest lyrics, as well as lyrics that tell stories. Pump Up the Valuum by NOFX, The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, and It’s Not Me, It’s You by Lily Allen are some of my favorites in this respect.

You are located in Florida which is always a good place for music. What local artist are currently listening to that are from you area?

There are quite a few successful artists from Orlando -- There For Tomorrow, Amely, VersaEmerge, etc. Orlando’s local scene has lots of good bands; there are really too many to name. I’m currently enjoying Dreamer, Nightlights, Dang We’re On Fire, and Devoured by Pestilence. Definitely be sure to give them a listen!

I guess that about wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have any closing comments you’d like to make?

No problem; thanks again! I look forward to speaking with you again in the future. Enjoy the new EP and take care!

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