Features One Question Interviews Ali Muhareb

One Question Interviews: Ali Muhareb

Ali Muhareb

SPB: It seems like there's been renewed interest in psychedelic music in recent years.  Have you noticed any differences between the psychedelic scene in the United States and that which you've encountered while touring overseas? 

Muhareb: I find the question you asked me very interesting! It's got me thinkin' all sorts of thoughts. Nostalgic memories of my travels aside, this question has got me trying to figure out what exactly “psychedelic music” is. It's more than delay and reverb drenched vocals/instrumentation, it's forward thinking yet heavily indebted to tropes and stylistic choices of the past. I'm trying to find out what things cannot qualify as psychedelic(is there such a thing as psychedelic noise? psychedelic new-age?)...

One thing's for certain: it is a movement and it is growing. With psych fests popping up all over from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, from Austin, Texas to Liverpool, England...it's a huge movement.

One of the better shows I had the pleasure of seeing was in Milan, Italy. I had played a show at this venue called Cox 18 (a wonderful venue inside an anarchist squat) and had such a blast that I decided to stay a few extra days and explore the city. Luckily, La Societa Psychedelica were throwing a second show that month and I got to catch Black Bombaim and The Cosmic Dead a couple nights later. They fucking rocked. What struck me was that, even though these bands were from Portugal and Scotland, they would absolutely destroy on stage in my hometown and many others in the US. Same experience I had when I played with Mary and The Hookers (split, some members now go by Dead Vibrations) that their understanding of psychedelic music was very similar to ours. I guess this shouldn't have been a shock - psychedelic music first emerged in the US, so it makes sense that it's all got a unified sound...

That is a terribly long answer to the question, here's a TL;DR

I did not really notice a big difference between the psychedelic scene I've encountered in the US and those that I encountered overseas. It's a cool, inclusive, international movement and it's bringing people together from all sorts of backgrounds and I can only hope that it becomes more inclusive.

But then again, what is “psychedelic” music? I'm not sure I know, but psych fests always have the coolest show flyers.

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Words by Andy on Jan. 27, 2016, 6:53 p.m.

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Ali Muhareb

Posted by Andy on Jan. 27, 2016, 6:53 p.m.

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