ACRASSICAUDA: Sounds from Iraq

By Dave Paco

I came across a website one night while surfing around on the Internet that boasted Iraq’s only heavy metal band! I wanted to know more about the band and their background so I got a hold of them we did this little interview via email.

You call yourselves Iraq’s only heavy metal band. Is that a true statement and, if so, why? Is there much guitar rock in general happening in Iraq?

Yes, we are for now. There are a lot of guitar players but they have not got the chance to make a band because of the what the war left in Iraq.

What is your musical background and influence? What got you into metal?

We got into metal because we want to tell the world that there are people in Iraq and we still have a life and not all of us have the wrong idea about the world. Our background and influence is life and what we see every day and for sure the bands we like... All the band members have their own best, but I will say Slayer, Death, Slipknot, Metallica, Megadeth, etc.

What kind of venues do you usually play? Do you play outside Iraq?

No, we haven’t played outside of Iraq yet and the shows we make in Iraq are on our own. No one helps us do it and we do it because it’s the only way to express our anger.

Does Iraq have a strong local music scene or is most popular music foreign?

Iraq has that strong local music and that’s what really makes it harder for the rock scene.

Can you give me a description of your lyrics or tell me what some of your songs are about?

Our songs are all about the daily life in Iraq and all what we suffer from the war.

Many Americans are disgusted by the war in Iraq and don’t trust our president’s intentions. Do you feel Iraq is on the way to democracy and freedom or do you think America will retain some control of the government to protect its oil interests there?

In some ways Iraq is better now, but before we were afraid of one guy and now we are afraid of everyone. Before if you say any thing bad about Sadaam you will be dead, but now say anything bad about anybody, you will be dead...and it’s kind of funny.

Are you religious as a band or as individuals?

We are not extremely religious as individuals and one of the members is Christian. Also as a band the music we play deals nothing with the religion.

Do you feel that the current tensions between world religions could result in another world war?

No, not really.

Do you ever encounter discrimination because of the type of music you play?

People think what we do is devil worship but we don’t think that the people understand what it is really.

The World Wide Web has made many changes in communication and media. For instance, that’s how I became familiar with your band. Do you think these changes will greatly affect the music industry? How do you feel about people downloading music illegally?

For sure [the Internet changes the music industry], and people download music illegally. I am one of them because as you know not everybody in the world can buy a $25 CD just for listening. No, they shouldn’t [download illegally] but in cases like we have here in Iraq we don’t have a credit card or any way to pay off the internet so I guess the people who own these music stores or web sites, they SHOULD come and open music stores here in Iraq so we can pay them!

Do you trust the media in Iraq? Is there much connection between the local media and powerful companies or politicians?

No, I don’t think so but we don’t trust them because there may be some connection between the local media and terrorists.

Heavy music has long been controversial because of the sound and content. Do you consider heavy music as a positive or negative force in the world today? What has it done for you?

We consider heavy music as a positive force in the world. And it does give us that kind of space to express our mind.

Is Acrassicauda a full time project or do the band members also have day jobs? If so what do you each do for work?

It’s not a full time project because we have to work to support our families. We have every day a different job. I do work in a computer store and some of us don’t even have a job except playing music.

Is there anything you'd like to tell the readers?

We love rock and we think that it is that music that can change the world in many ways, so keep rock and be safe.

The band members:
1. Firas . bass player
2. Fisel . vocal
3. Tony . lead guitar
4. Ahmead . lead guitar & rhythm
5. Marwan . drum player

Our we site is:
and the band email is:
My Space:

(Originally published in the summer of 2006)