I also read that many heavy metal fans are accused of being Satanists by the Syrian intelligence. I often feel that when I want to change someone’s perception of something for the better arguing my viewpoint doesn’t help a lot – it only creates more contempt. What is your approach?

In the Arab world in general, heavy metal music is somewhat ‘feared’, because it expresses deep, sometimes repressed emotions, in a loud way. We take no notice of negative perceptions which some may have of us. Our aim is to keep making the music we love, and we shall continue to do so, no matter what. Perseverance is key!

During apartheid in South Africa music was a very important part of the struggle. Freedom songs by, for example, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela or Vusi Mahlasela gave confidence to the oppressed and the South African/Zimbabwean toyi-toyi dance performed by anti-apartheid protesters played a significant role in intimidating the South African troops. To what extent can music influence certain circumstances?

Music has the power to break walls and transcend boundaries, overcoming language, background, opinion, and any other form of barrier. What we speak about, the core messages of our songs, seek to unite opposing sides that somehow feel and hope for the same things. At the end of the day, we don’t seek to intimidate anyone, rather shed the light on our pressures as the youth of today, and give a voice to those unable to speak up.

Che Guevara laid down his medical supplies to pick up a box of ammunition and soon was promoted by Fidel Castro to the commander of a second army column. What do you think about this decision? What would have to happen for you to exchange a musical instrument for a weapon?

Che Guevara made a calculated decision based on the circumstances he was living in. Our times are different. The mindset is different. We play music, and hold up our guitars, bases or drum sticks, to fill our hands with peaceful tools, leaving no room for ‘the want to exchange a musical instrument for a weapon’. And we hope to never find ourselves in a situation that urges us to do so. We want to bring the world together with our music. We dream of co-existence and those who use weapons as a primary tool of communication do not.

What plans do you have for the future?

We plan to tour, lots of touring and performances are in our horizon as musicians. We plan to promote our first album, 180 Degrees, across the globe and reach out to audiences willing to listen. We’re also working on our next album as we speak. As musicians, we understand that we’re a work in progress, and we hope to keep working with the best to develop ourselves as much as possible.

For updates stay posted to Tanjaret Daghet’s Facebook page or listen to their music here.

To return to the article in one small seed magazine issue #3, click here.