Marwan Hussein discusses debut album Gilgamesh
Five years after the release of its debut EP, Only the Dead See the End of the War, Acrassicauda is set to return with its debut full-length release, Gilgamesh, in February. The band, which overcame tremendous odds in its home country of Iraq migrated to the United States in 2009 after death threats made it clear their lives were in peril were they to stay in Baghdad. Having relocated to New Jersey and New York, the quartet of vocalist Faisal Talal Mustafa, guitarist Tony Aziz Yaqoo, bassist Firas Al-Lateef, and drummer Marwan Hussein Riyadh were finally free of the oppression in their homeland, and free to make metal without fear of bodily harm. The band originally achieved fame through the critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary “Heavy Metal In Baghdad”. Tony left the band in 2011 to focus on family. He was replaced by guitarists Muhammad Al Ansari and Marwan Grada.
On January 24, 2015. Metal Nation Radio chatted with Acrassicauda, about the making of Gilgamesh and its use of a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. The band recorded the album at Spin City in New York where they recorded their EP. The 11-track Gilgamesh is a loose concept album that breaks away from the old adage of politics, exile, war, death and destruction, and brings to the forefront a breath of fresh air into the lives of the band members and allows them to break away from the past traumas and uncertainties of war-torn Iraq.
“We felt we wanted to pay an homage to this, there are not movies made about it, and it is a humble comparison to it,” offered Hussein.
Gilgamesh is the main character of the epic poem, Epic of Gilgamesh, from ancient Mesopotamia. The poem is a legendary work of literature.
“To be able to make a living with this band, to be able be proud to say that I am with this band. This band is my dream. Since I have started playing with this band it has been my first priority. I eat, sleep and breathe this band. To be able to tour, play shows, not have to worry about 9-5 job. Since I got to the States till now we have all been working jobs waiting tables. You only get one chance, and we have been extremely lucky. I want to build a name for this band.”
That name is Acrassicauda, Latin for black scorpion. As the first single from Gilgamesh makes clear, the image of the ominous black scorpion is fitting to the band’s crushing sound.
Check out the full interview with Marwan Hussein below, check out the track “Rise”, and learn more about the band’s Kickstarter campaign here.
Acrassicauda interview with Cynfully Lucious from the Audio Sauna on Metal Nation Radio.