Industrial Nation Interview
IN: What is the principal influence or motivation behind Muslimgauze?
Bryn: The principal influence behind Muslimgauze is the political facts of the Middle East, though support for PLO/Hamas is the main backbone - direct action of all form is justified.
There are no musical influences - only political facts and figureheads (e.g. Arafat, Gadhafi, Bhutto, Khaled, Sadaam, etc.). Such things are the starting point from which Muslimgauze's music is taken. The future of world politics depends on helping free the people of Palestine or to continue the Israeli oppression. Any so-called "peace talks" will fail unless occupied territories are relinquished to start a process of total Israeli retreat and defeat. This regime is guilty of every breach of human rights there is. To date, it has been able to subjugate the people of Palestine with American money and military help. 1994 will, I hope, bring a new situation; a new outlook from America... seeing the damage it has caused in the region by using its economic muscle over Israel like it used its military muscle over Iraq.
There is a lot more to Muslimgauze than just a few pieces of music on a CD. The hope to continue producing music which is original, doesn't have a lot of money spent on it via advertising pushes, cannot be pigeon holed. People seem to buy what they are told is good. They hear what other people have decided is good. Go out and discover for yourself. Use your brain.
IN: Certainly living in England - particularly Manchester - has influenced your sympathies since the prejudices there are perhaps more pronounced, than here in the States. From where does your interest and involvement stem?
Bryn: My interest in the Middle East started when Israel invaded Lebanon, only then the world did nothing - not like China invading Tibet; Russia invading. Afghanistan; Iraq taking back land called Kuwait. All those conflicts were handled in the same manner!! If only...
IN:. How do you go about creating the music? What is your inspiration? Do you ever involve others (than yourself)? What equipment or instruments are utilized?
Bryn: The starting point for a piece can be a picture of an event, sounds, voices, reports of events, it can be anything Arab, Indian, etc... An image in my mind leads to a rhythm, which flows down Into my hands and with Western instruments mainly I create a piece.
Muslimgauze are a Manchester creation, not West Bank or other regions, so it's a Manchester sound not a Middle Eastern outfit - Western music which has its influence taken from Arab politics.
IN: If any complaint could be made of Muslimgauze it would be the lack of variance within the rhythm tracks. While its he subtleties and nuances that bring about the powerful sense of hypnotic seduction, surely there is some more substantial reason for the similarities which run through-out, particularly voiced in the drum patterns.
Bryn: There are more than just one complaint aimed at Muslimgauze, but I feel that breaking up the rhythm tracks would start to bring Muslimgauze closer to other crap music. Also, a feel, a strongness is broken when you interrupt the flow.
IN: Why the absence of vocals?
Bryn: There are no vocals for two reasons: One is a lot of the music is ruined by bad lyrics badly sung... Most people in today's music cannot sing. Also, it can lead to preaching. Muslimgauze have very strong political beliefs, but you can listen to a track without having opinions pushed down your throat. Second is that I like to do everything and I can't sing, so I don't.
All the electric equipment I use is Western. The acoustic instruments are mainly Arabic drums, tams and cyms, but I also
use Chinese and Indian, when the moods suits.
IN: If you could offer one blanket statement, one, comment, to enlighten those of us. who are undoubtedly mislead by media services, what would that be?
Bryn: The PLO and Hamas are not terrorists. They are fighting for land, taken from them. Even the small minded Zionist zealots know they are on borrowed land and time.
Interview by Rena
This interview originally appeared in Industrial Nation Issue 9 (Summer, 1994)