Metarust: Rocking The Desert Sand From Dubai To The World

It is a given that music is a universal language. Granted some genres are specific to a region or a country. But in this day and age with every art medium and genre melting into one another, we as music lovers get the most amazing unexpected mixes between culture and genre. One of which is the Rock band Metarust from The UAE. In an exclusive interview over Facebook, we got to know the band and their goals better.

The Band 

The trio consists of singer and guitarist Saif Sami, drummer Samir Sami, and bassist Marwan El Messeery. The band was formed in 2009 and joined YouTube in August 2012. 

When asked about how the band name came to be, frontman Saif recalls that story “Since we started out together, we actually went through years of changing the band name without settling on one until we eventually came up with ‘Metarust’. Some scrapped names that were either given to us or we came up with include ‘Rough around the Edges’ and ‘Psychomore’ among many others we can’t recall. How we came up with ‘Metarust’ dates to when Metallica came to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and blew us away. However, this was on a weekday to which a teacher of ours caught wind that we might be missing class the next day because of the concert and told us there would be a quiz. The next day we came to school still not over the show and decided to take the band seriously and start branding ourselves on Twitter, Facebook, and youtube at the time. The quiz we had was in Chemistry and was on the effects of rust, which inspired us to call ourselves ‘Metarust’, which we found appropriate to our genre, ambiguous metal styles and influences.” 

The small number of band members and instruments might fool us into taking them lightly but let’s not forget one of the greatest rock bands ever Muse with only three members. That and their academic background in sound engineering results in the unique unexpected yet delectable tracks the band releases. 

The Music 

There are only seven releases from the band until now with their debut single called “Killing Me Psycho” released in Dec. 2019 and their latest single released in March 2022 called “Hallow.”

When asked about how “Hallow” came to life Saif says “The main riff of Hollow was in my back pocket since high school. I had it in the ‘riff bank’ for so long waiting until the right ideas and concept emerges. The lyrics however came to me at a troubling and low time in my life in recent years where I woke up one day with the opening vocal melody of the song repeating in my head. At first, I thought it was a song I knew but it didn’t resemble it much, and then wondered if I could come up with an appropriate riff to which a lightbulb went off for the riff I had since high school. I didn’t have my phone with me at the time so I ran to a notebook, wrote lyrics and notes to match the rhythm in my head and the chorus came instinctively “Knock to Ring, I feel so Hollow” bringing the subject of searching for inspiration when you’re not motivated.” 

Their sound is honestly quite unique, fluctuating between heavy rock with some elements of classic rock and even a hint of swag. Their sound and tone are truly one of kind. Sure, they are still in the process of finding their true sound but we’re glad we are on this trip, listening to them, finding and even blending different sounds from various inspirations to find their own. 

When asked about the deliberate choice of the band to mix genre and mash styles together, Marwan says “Each of us is influenced by both different artists and genres, ranging from metal, rock to hip-hop, jazz, blues, and classical music. We use these influences in our music. Since we all take part in writing each song, naturally our influences may guide us to do things a certain, which is the main reason why we have a lot of genre-bending. Additionally, we also want our music to be accessible to everyone. Having tonal variety adds to the complexity of the music but it also allows other people who might not enjoy metal to enjoy listening to our music. I think that moving forward, this will become one of the tonal characteristics of Metarust.”

The Future

The band releases teasers leaving us wanting more, and we’re sure a listen to them will make you feel the same, just wondering how good a full body of work might sound from their elicit approach to music. When asked if their latest release is a single for an upcoming full project Marwan responds “Currently, we are doing all the work by ourselves. That includes writing, recording, mixing, and mastering. And when it comes to writing, we take our time until it really clicks in. So far, we have a few songs lined up for future releases. We would love to work on an album or an EP. However, considering the time frame that may take and the fact that we like to constantly upload songs in 3-4 month intervals, the album/EP will definitely be on the road map later in our career. To add to that, people listen to music differently nowadays.”

And continuing of that on how soon can we expect an album, he says “Although this may not apply to everyone, digital music is listened to differently, and not everyone is willing to sit through an entire album and listen to every song on it. So, we feel that at this stage, it is better for us to release singles. However, as stated earlier, making a full-length album is definitely on the table.” 

And even though it feels like we will wait patiently for a full-bodied work, when asked how it may sound the band kept their secrets, hopefully for us listeners to unsolve them by listening to what’s new they have to offer, Saif says “We like to drop teasers here and there on our Instagram, TikTok and other pages so, keep your eyes peeled and ears open for what’s to come.” 

How about seeing them live though, Dubai has many big music festivals and we definitely want them on stage getting what they deserve from big crowds. To this Saif answers, “We’re open to it and would love the opportunity! When starting out as a band, the intention was to showcase our music and abilities through performances. We have goals set for ourselves and are always looking for the next big opportunities and we tend to adapt our style to the places we perform at. Follow us on all social media platforms to find out where to find us next.”

The Region 

Metarust is getting quite the support locally and internationally, playing small gigs at different small cozy venues in Dubai, and garnering hundreds of thousands of streams on music streaming platforms. The band is a breath of fresh air and a nice, very much welcomed addition to the array of MENA region alternative rock bands. When asked about how helpful the band was and still is putting the UAE in the rock music scene and whether it came out of necessity or somewhere else, Samir says “I feel one of the main goals is to make the UAE music scene known globally. There is an endless amount of talent here yet to be discovered. I want that when people think music, they think of the UAE. But you can’t do that if you’re growing individually. Artists in UAE are very supportive of each other. Especially the younger bands, when someone receives an opportunity, they make sure they share it with other artists. It is more important we grow as a community and an industry rather than individual artists. In the future, people’s goal should be to come here for opportunity rather than go abroad.” 

Saif beautifully adds “It’s mostly out of necessity, we strive to make UAE recognized for music and creativity, especially in this day and age where there are initiatives for creativity and art. And shouting out other artists as they do back and recognizing those that helped is how we hope to get to that goal. I always thought that if you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, go together.”

Even more so, they’re known to collaborate as producers and mixers and even rent their home-based recording studio for young and upcoming Emirati artists. When asked about future collaborations nationally Saif says, “We’re always open to helping other bands when asked and we know we have that open communication with them for any advice, perspectives, or even collaboration. We don’t have anything in the pipeline in collaboration with other artists as Metarust but individually we have a few projects past and present with other artists. Such as Marwan playing bass for the Dubai-based band ‘Red Around’. Samir and I produce for a few rap artists such as ‘Filthi’ and ‘XoSceptic’. We’re always open to working music with anyone regardless of being disciplined as musicians or not”.

Personally, I can’t wait for what the future holds for them, and we’re definitely hoping for a well-put-together debut album. And who knows, soon enough we’ll see them playing major local and international festivals. They seem like the perfect fit for the Wasla festival in Dubai. 

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