Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
Questions by: Nick Parastatidis
Answers by: Murad Jaymz (Guitars)
1. Hello. How are things in DARK PHANTOM at the moment?
Hello things are going well for DARK PHANTOM. We currently recorded our album called “Nation of Dogs” which will be released soon.
2. Since this is our first interview I would like to know when and how you decided to form the band. How easy or difficult was it to find the members to form the band?
After the Iraqi war in 2003 metal music was available in Iraq in cassette and CD forms and we were young with energy, listening to metal music with friends so we decided to create a metal band in Kirkuk, Iraq because there are eastern bands in our city.
And sure that was difficult when you are looking for members and musicians especially since there are no more metalhead in Kirkuk and it was difficult too with the musical instruments and finding a place for rehearsals cause we were students but we didn't give up.
And it is still difficult to play music live cause you know we live in an Islamic country, they think we worship Satan but DARK PHANTOM is still fighting.
We travel between cities to practice and meet each other cause our vocalist is from Sully and the band from Kirkuk and 3 members are married and they have kids. Really it’s too hard.
3. How did you come up with the name DARK PHANTOM? What does it mean to you?
DARK PHANTOM comes from the dark society that we live in and our fantasy in the dark is that maybe one day the sun will shine and we will play and share our music and messages without fear.
4. I think that the band moves musically somewhere between thrash and death metal. Do you agree on that? How would you describe your sound and which are your influences?
Yes. When we started we were playing hard rock with some easy riffs cause we were learning music by ourselves like with some music methods and with YouTube videos cause there is no music center here or someone interested in teaching metal music and we were looking for someone who sing and growl to change our music genre before our lead singer joiner us (Mir Shamal) and then after Mir Shamal joined us we decided to play thrash-death metal with some oriental scales and mix in modern metal with old school. We believe in the music and lyrics that we wrote and still write.
5. How important are lyrics for the band? Who writes them? What kinds of themes inspire you to write about?
Our lyrics are inspired from the bands that we love and listen to since when we were young like METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH.
Especially DARK PHANTOM talk about politics and religions and the war that we still live in. Mir always writes the lyrics and the band sure we give ideas and we help him with the lyrics.
6. I think that you already have material for a full length album. When do you plan to release it?
Yes, we have a small home studio in Murad’s room. He is the guitarist of the band. We meet each other in his room one or two days a week for rehearsal and to write music and lyrics and make plans for the band.
The album will be released soon cause everything is ready for the release but we were looking for a record label. We didn’t get one till know.
7. You are a metal band from Iraq. So which are the difficulties that a metal band from Iraq has to confront?
Yes, DARK PHANTOM is from Kirkuk north of Iraq. The difficulties that metal bands and metal audience in Iraq confront are that they just need a place to play live and the space to show the people what metal is. There were some metal bands too in Iraq but now some of them disbanded because of the Iraqi situation and some changed their genre to pop or folk for more fame or money. Now there is only DARK PHANTOM that playa metal and sure we want to become famous but do not want to change into another genre. We want to do all this in metal cause metal is our goal, our message.
8. By the way being a musician and of course a metal fan, does this affect the way you listen to metal music?
Sure the effect that comes from the war and innocent people being killed every day by terror and ISIS, metal gives us the energy to write music and lyrics. By the way a couple of years ago DARK PHANTOM got some online messages from someone we don't know and he wrote stop playing metal it’s Satan’s work but we still play, not because we are a brave but it’s a shame from humans to die in fear.
9. Let’s change a bit our roles. What question would you like to be asked by an interviewer? Please answer it as well.
Although we're different in nationality and religion, music is what unites us all as brothers equally.
10. Thanks for your time answering my questions. I wish you the best of luck! Please close the interview in any way you like…
You're welcome! It’s our pleasure and we are glad for the interview. Finally I have to say DARK PHANTOM will never stop, we will always try to do our best. Music is not a crime \m/