Exclusive interview: Guys UnderGround

Guys Underground’s “We will not surrender, we win or we die..”,  was the song echoing every corner of Libya during the revolution, and created an endless vibe.

The Rock band “Guys Underground” from Benghazi, is a well known band that raised to the surface after the revolution. The trio includes, Marrwan Gargoum, a bass guitarist-vocalist. Yahya Al-Mograbe, the lead guitar-vocalist and Hussein Kablan, a rhythm guitar-vocalist.

The trio plays a lot of genres, and have different choices. Yahya is the fan of Blues, Marrwan loves Country & Hussain likes Alternative Rock.

In 2012 they’ve released 4 songs so far:

A Shocking Moment, 7 Words, We Need Freedom and Sabria.

Q: So, tell us when and how the band was formed?
Yahya: The band was formed on January 15th 2008; those who started the band were me and Abdulla Majdi.  We were looking for a bass player and we found Marwan. Later, in March 2011 Abdulla left and Hussein Kablan joined us.”

Q:  We came to know about the tragic loss of your friend Rami El Kale. Tell us more about him and how his death affected your lives and the band ?
Hussein: I spent a lot of time with him. He was a very good person and a good guitarist. His death has affected us all very much. The first English track on revolution was written and composed by him. Whenever we sing or listen to it, it reminds us of Ramy and all the other martyrs.

Q: What was the mob’s reaction right after your first live performance?  Tell us about your feeling in that very moment.
Our first live performance was in April 2009. The first time we got on stage was at a big carnival; “A chance to show your talent”. We performed there and everyone LOVED IT! Their remarks were very encouraging. It was a great experience.

Q:  What was your first success?
After facing many obstacles, we finally recorded 5 tracks in October 2010. It was a big achievement for us.

Q:  What were the initial problems you faced?
Lack of facilities was the biggest problem. From 2008 to 2011, we had 40 tracks, but it was very hard to record them as there are not many studios in Libya, where the required equipments are available.

Q: What’s the change you’ve felt in music industry after the revolution so far?
Revolution changed the mindsets of the people. Now there are a lot of people who show up at concerts. They are more broad minded now. Youth and elders, all appreciate us. In the Industry, there is like an explosion of talent, we see amazing artists, rappers and singers. It’s like everything was hidden and came out all of a sudden.

Q: What will be the theme of your next album? And when is it going to be released?
Our next album has variety of themes. We have National, as well as love songs. Some names for the new tracks that will be included in the next CD are,

“A Lonely Cinderella”, “Life Goes On” and “Let Me Go”.

Q: We assume composing something worth listening is a lengthy & creative process. Tell us how the band comes together and works on new ideas?
Mostly we work on it together. But sometimes when anyone of us gets a new idea we immediately meet up and start working on it. “Like for a song,  I was working in the pharmacy and I told them I’ve got a tune,  they came and we performed it in the storage of that pharmacy” added Marwan.

Q: Tell us anything else that you would like people to know about your band.

We were born in Benghazi and we learnt English from here. We’re simple people. Music is not our profession, it’s a passion. We share a message in our music.

Q: What do you guys do in your leisure time when you’re not jamming?
“Well, we do a lot of stuff, but being very precise, lets say, Yahya loves photography, I love football, and Hussein loves working out.” said Marwan.

Q: What would you like to advise the youngsters who are striving to have a career in music?
All we want to say is, whoever thinks he has the talent, should just go for it! You’re breathing the air of freedom make the right use of it.

Interview of GUG-Band by Amna Naseem
Photo credit: Ahmad butalik,
Photo editing/retouching by Faris Al-ftasy

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