The band: Ambrotype
Country: Syria (currently moving to UK)
The Man: Adel Saflou, all instruments
Interview by Vpower
Hello Adel, you have just released your debut album, “The Revelations”. Ambrotype is a one-man-band project, but you have counted with the cooperation of some other musicians, right? How did they contribute to your music?
I got three of my friends (Rudi Messiah, Rafi Fakes, Jawdat Attasi) who are very talented musicians, to do some guest solos on the album. Rafi Fakes, one of the three contributing guitarists also mapped the drums for the album. However none of them contributed to the music writing process itself.
What is Ambrotype all about, musically and lyrically?
It’s all about portraying my feelings through the music and lyrics. Music writing for me is the best kind of therapy.
Yes, good music is always a good therapy for everyone, after a terrible day in the office you play good Metal at the world seems no so bad any more. By the way, how much time have you dedicated to create “The Revelations”?
About three or four years, I don’t really remember. I took a lot of time because I had to learn how to write a proper song, find my genre and sound, and go through the exodus that every Syrian Has to go through. I don’t remember how many, but I threw away five songs before I got the final 9 I ended up with.
Wow, it was really a bif effort. What I most like of your music is the mix of different styles and approaches, the combination of raw riffs with acoustic sounds and exotic tunes and atmospheres. How did you get these influences and ideas?
Well, I’ve been listening to bands like Opeth, Enslaved, and Anathema since I was 13 or 14, and I’ve always been in love with such a mixture of styles.
There is a nice presence of the oriental touch in your compositions, it enriches your songs…
Thank you! It actually comes spontaneously.
Great. Would you like to recruit some guys for a complete band effort or you feel more comfortable working alone?
I already am, but I will still be writing everything for the band. One of the three guest guitarists on the album, Jawdat Atasi, is actually joining the band now, and I am still looking for players whom I see fit best.
Good, the project is moving forward. You live in Syria, has your country’s situation conditioned your work?
I used to live in Syria, but I moved to Lebanon, then turkey. The situation in Syria did cripple my work a little but I got to record a demo album there, and then I recorded the real thing in Lebanon.
Metal is a weird kind of music in Syria, how is the process to create a Metal album in such unfriendly environment?
Well, I think metal is a weird kind of music to most of the non-metalhead population around the world. When you’re creating a Metal album you will most likely be playing in your room, in a basement or a small studio behind a closed door. So you will either be around Metalheads or alone. In both cases you will be disconnected from the unfriendly environment.
Hahaha you are right, for the rest of the world the metalheads are like beings from other stars. Where can people listen to Metal in your country? Are there Metal pubs or clubs?
There aren’t any unfortunately, but there is still a strong Metal movement in the safe areas on the cost. The Metal scene was strongest where I was in Aleppo. Unfortunately, Aleppo is now overrun, and the studio that I worked in closed and opened in Latakia.
Do you have the intention to move abroad and start a brand new life?
Yes! It is my top priority right now. I will be moving to England very soon to settle there, and will start a new life from there.
Congratulations. Have you had the support of family and friends in your project?
Yes I am thankful that I have a lot of friends who support me and believe in me. Since I am working independently, my father was the one who supported me financially and nothing would have been done if it wasn’t for him.
How to get your cd?
It is available on iTunes, Amazon, and many other online stores.
What are your favorite bands?
I have so many, I forget sometimes haha… Opeth has always been on the top of my list. King Crimson, Steven Wilson, Porcupine tree, Haken, Alter Bridge, and Storm Corrosion are amongst my top favorites.
What now? What are your plans?
I will be recording a new album, and hopefully getting signed with a decent record label.
Some wish for the future…?
That would be a getting more recognition and touring in Europe…
Thank you very much for your time and kindness, Adel.