What is Muslimgauze's cultural background and what attracted you to the music/culture of the middle-east? Have you been there?
Muslimgauze started at the time of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, sounds familiar doesn't it, only then the USA, Europe, Russia etc. didn't send armed forces to 'protect' Lebanon, I wonder why not, why send armed forces when Kuwait is 'invaded and not when Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan etc. are invaded?
Every country in the world supported Iraq when it invaded Iran, only to be beaten by Iran, and only Iran, standing alone against Iraq. Before 1950 Kuwait belonged to Iraq, so it's taking back land which is theirs, the world would do better to help kick the Zionists out of occupied Palestine, only then will the world not be on the brink of war every year. This part of the world is the most important, it would only take OPEC to increase the cost of oil and the West would grind to a halt, the constant interference of the West in the Middle East is not welcome, the USA is the source of the trouble, giving billions of pounds/dollars to Israel every year, helping to prolong the situation, but soon a solution will start to appear, when the Palestinian's increase the Intifadah from stones to other forms of protest, then the world might take notice, Yasser Arafat has tried peace, now it's time for a more direct form of action.
Muslimgauze have not/ and will not impose themselves on any country in the Middle East. A short visit as a tourist does not improve things. Viva PLO.
How do you compose/ make your music, is it from samples, or are the tunes you play traditional middle-eastern melodies? What motivates you, why do you do it?
Every piece of music Muslimgauze releases is motivated by a political fact, mostly Palestinian, also Iran and Afghanistan are of great interest. Muslimgauze usually take a word or action etc. and from that evolves a basic idea, which is then altered etc. until the finished pieces come to life. I view samples as theft, blatant theft of Kraftwerk and James Brown is common by people with no ideas of their own, these people should be taken to court and erased from view.
Muslimgauze try to construct their own sound, using their own ideas, a basic backbone of Middle Eastern influences, sounds not falling into the 'Arabian Nights' trap all other Western bands fall into.
Motivation is the injustice of the Palestinian's, the Zionist aggression against innocent people who have had all they owned taken from them by Zionists using American money and arms. .
The time is coming when everybody and every country will have to take sides, pro-PLO or pro-Zionist, the war to resolve this is not far away.
What are your views on the Manchester scene, I heard a rumour a couple of years ago that you were going to record with 808 State, what happened? Views on the Gulf crisis?
Muslimgauze are not a part of the so called 'Manchester scene', being put into a hole by other people is of no interest, Muslimgauze produce music which is like no other Manchester band, if you own records/CDs by Manchester bands, and they are not by Muslimgauze, throw them away, you've been conned, Muslimgauze are unknown in Manchester, people are sheep, they only like whet they've been told to like, be an individual, seek out Muslimgauze.
The proposed Muslimgauze/808 State record fell through because the German guy who planned it, didn't supply the one vital ingredient needed- yes, that word again, money; I turned up at the studio only to find 808 State hadn't paid for it because the German guy hadn't sent the money, so we will never know what it would have sounded like, good or a load of crap!!
The gulf crisis, so called, is laughable, a farce. Kuwait belonged to Iraq, why didn't armed forces speed into the area when Russia invaded Afghanistan, is it because there's no oil in Afghanistan?
U.S.A., Europe and Russia just piss off back to your own corner of the world. One corrupt Arab state shouldn't be made a special case, you didn't protect Iranians, Afghans, Kurds etc., then don't choose who to protect, go back.
How does your music function to you, what is coming next from Muslimgauze?
To me, music is an outlet for an anger inside , the shit I see, hear from Israeli bias is anathema to me. I could inflict damage on Elal airways offices or go further, for this I would be put away and then my anger could only be inflicted on four walls. From Muslimgauze music I hope people will use it as a starting point, and from this find out more. The figures of Arafat, Khomeini, Gadhafi, Hussein etc. continue to be a source of interest and inspiration to Muslimgauze.
The next Muslimgauze release is to be the follow-up CD to 'Intifaxa' work on the CD is under way now, Muslimgauze have no support in this country, be it from record companies or the record buying public. The last 3 releases and the next one, have been released by Dutch, German and Australian labels. If you're out there, stop being told what to like and buy, investigate the bands/people working outside the parameters set up by the music press.
interview by Nigel Ayers
This interview originally appeared in Network News (September, 1990)