Alain Ibrahim is undoubtedly one of the best musicians in Lebanon nowadays. He is a skillful multi-instrumentalist who has showcased his talent ever since he was 15. After building up a strong name for himself in the local scene and after a very productive and healthy musical life, starting with Monarchy, passing through Ostura, and excelling with Turbulence, today, Alain is working on his first solo album. As soon as we heard about the album, we jumped to the opportunity to have a small chat with guitar virtuoso Alain Ibrahim about his solo and band careers.
Q: You had quite a productive career so far with four albums in your discography (1 Monarchy, 2 Ostura, 1 Turbulence). Why did you decide to do a solo album, while we expected a follow-up to Turbulence’s “Disequilibrium”?
A: I’m so glad you asked this question because this is a point I want to stress. This solo album, or project if you will, is a way for me to vent some of the different musical ideas that I have. Turbulence is just one way of doing that, and all the members of the band have a clear vision about where we’re heading with the sound and we are very happy about it. But I do have my own musical identity to find and express, and since it cannot always define Turbulence’s identity, I had to go solo. This to say that you will be hearing something different from “Disequilibrium” with my album, but I do promise you a follow-up to our debut album by the beginning of 2018 if everything goes to plan!
Q: Will it be a concept album? Or will each song have its own story? And what is/are the theme/themes that the album will discuss?
A: I have been obsessed with the truth since I can remember. I do not mean the ultimate truth, just the truth in general. I do not allow myself to live any illusions, I try my best to break free out of them and live true to myself and others. Two years ago, I started questioning the truth about my relationship with music and whether it truly was “my calling”. Every nerve in my body was screaming that I have been living a lie for as long as I’ve been a musician (which is 10 years) and that led me to some ugly places like depression, identity crisis, suicidal tendencies to name a few… So this concept album is a result of that illusion being shattered, regardless of whether it really was an illusion or not, because my mind believed that it was at one point, and that’s exactly what the album and songs talk about.
Q: You have released a solo song under the name of “Nostalgia” 2 years ago, will that be part of the new album?
A: It will be included as a bonus track as it is not part of the main story/concept.
Q: Will you have any international guest artists to perform on this album? And who are the musicians that will record with you on the album?
A: For the time being, I have the amazing Jimmy Keegan (Spock’s Beard, Santana, Kenny Loggins…) on board handling drums, with my brothers Sebastien Melki and Mood Yassin from Turbulence. The progress is going slow as I’m moving bit by bit and choosing the optimal cast for each song and its respective feel.
Q; Where is the album being recorded and who will do the mixing and mastering?
A: It’s being recorded across a span of studios in Lebanon and abroad. A big chunk of it was tracked at Viron Studios, some of it at RMG studios. Bassem Daouk is the guy behind the mix and master and I chose him because together we create beautiful results.
Q: Any surprises we should expect from this album?
A: I think some of my followers are expecting metal music out of me for this album, as it is all I’ve showcased of myself so far. So first surprise will be them seeing this softer side of me and my music which has been there all along. Another small one is that I’m handling the vocals for one of the main characters!
Q; We heard that you are no longer part of Ostura, what happened?
A: During the recording process of Ostura’s second album, we started falling out and lots of personal problems arose and we decided it was best for the project that I step off. This decision was better for me because Ostura has become more of a project than a band.
Q: What is the next step for Turbulence?
A: We are currently in the process of writing and recording demos for our sophomore album, so we’re pretty focused on that for the time being. We do plan on touring early 2018 or sooner if an opportunity presents itself.
Q; Name 3 of your favorite 2016 releases (local or international).
Haken – Affinity
Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
Opeth – Sorceress
Below is a small gallery containing the art work for “Visions Of A Dream” created by visual artist Charbel Hajj.