Ed. Note: Being of Lebanese descent, I’ve always been frustrated that Lebanon, one of, if not the most, liberal-minded countries in the Middle East, hasn’t produced music that I can appreciate and relate to. Recently, more Western bands like Gorillaz and Red Hot Chili Peppers have made Beirut a stop on their tours, making the local crowds go wild at their shows. But the local music scene itself still doesn’t seem to have a foothold in the culture.
So, I was proud to invite the Beirut based indie-rock band Mashrou’ Leila on the Rock it Out! Blog to discuss not only their music but the message behind it. Lead singer Hamed Sinno, an openly gay man, addresses topics like homosexuality and other social issues in the band’s songs. Sinno, along with drummer Carl Gerges and guitarist Firas Abu-Fakher, talk about why they choose to tackle such subjects, how bands in the Middle East are starting to adapt their sound to incorporate other genres of music, the importance of having their latest album, Raasuk, be crowd-funded, and what they have planned for the rest of 2014.
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