Deep Listenings Interview

When did you conceive Muslimgauze, for the first time? Did you play in other projects before?

Muslimgauze started due to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, this act started my interest in the Middle-East/Palestinian land occupation by, again, Israel. The evidence of Palestine can, to an open mind, abhor, this is the most vile regime, human rights are violated each day. You support Israel and you support a regime which deserves all it will get from this and future youth, via any means it takes to free the Palestinian people. This conflict is the most important in the world, it has, it does and it will bring pain on other parts of the world, which are seen to be pro-Israel and anti-Arab. Muslimgauze are pro-Arab and anti-Israel, due to the abuse of human rights. Every piece of music is based on a political fact.

I feel a sort of "fracture" between records like "Vote Hezbollah" or "Zul'm" and others like "Zealot" or "Infidel", being the latter ones more direct and "rough" sounding and the former ones being more "composed". Do you agree with my opinion?

Yes, each Muslimgauze is different. People who say otherwise are deaf, or are not listening. So much crap is thrown my way, by critics, which I find so funny.

Listen to "Zul'm", then "Betrayal", then "Blue Mosque", totally different sound!!! Muslimgauze make a variety of music, make releases in many ways, at various speeds of composition/forms. I hope Muslimgauze are unique, unlike any other band. Which I think we are.

Could you explain the link you feel with Palestine people? How do you think the situation will develop now, after the ... "Betrayal"?

Muslimgauze have no link with any Palestinian's. They have enough trouble without having a Mancunian's music thrust upon them. It's the vile regime they have to live under that Muslimgauze finds so unacceptable. The situation will slide downwards into a final outcome, in the Palestinian's favour. Any direct action taken in occupied Palestine is justified.

Did you have any trouble, from some kind of extremism linked to the opposite side, since you are so clear in your "anti-Israel" position?

There are constant pressures on record sellers, in many parts of the world, to stop selling Muslimgauze CDs. As in the press/media, they only want one-sides' point of view put forward, and want to silence the opposition. Most media/music is pro-Israel and anti-Arab. Poison letters are sent, but are soon pulp.

Could you tell me your favourite records and musicians?

I don't listen to other music, Muslimgauze are constant on-going maze of ideas, facts, etc.... Many ideas, always thinking of new tracks.

You're a very prolific musician. Aren't you afraid people can be confused by the large quantity of releases? Do you feel an urge to issue anything you record? Try to describe in your own words.

If a CD isn't of interest to somebody, so what, the next person may be. Everything is not released. To date I think there are 6 CDs unreleased due to other CDs being released. Muslimgauze have always been un-commercial and always will be. People have to be told what is good, Muslimgauze don't play the commercial game, there is no vast media companies and crap videos.

So far this year I feel that Muslimgauze have released some good CDs, and I hope the ones yet to appear are even better.

Is there any advice you can give to musicians who want to build a loyal following, like you, while bypassing the usual channels?

Muslimgauze are the last group to take advice from. I can say the group have not moved from beliefs strongly held, not moved with current trends and doing it's own thing, and due to this commercial success has never found it's way to my corner of Manchester. I just do what I do, if it finds an open mind, great, if not so what!

Finally: are you satisfied with your work, and what is your favourite among your records?

Yes, I think the output of Muslimgauze has been high quality, a vast range of different CDs.

interview by Massimo Ricci
Deep Listenings Magazine (1995)

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