Interview with Alain Ibrahim of Turbulence

Lebanese prog metallers Turbulence released their debut album titled "Disequilibrium" this year. Guitarist Alain Ibrahim talked with Perfect Prog about the album and more.

What’s the story behind forming Turbulence?

Turbulence was an inevitable consequence of the meeting of two prog loving songwriters (Mood and I) after having listened to each other’s musical work on social media. So it began with us two and gradually started growing after we worked with some of the musicians in town on some Dream Theater Tribute concerts and kinda went with the ones that we felt most comfortable and satisfied with.

Turbulence is a very good Dream Theater tribute band. Will you continue playing DT songs live now after the release of your debut album “Disequilibrium”?

The idea is definitely on the table, our Dream Theater Night concerts were a big success here in Lebanon, and it seems that people want more, and we would definitely enjoy throwing a fourth one. But nothing is sure for now, as we want to focus on promoting “Disequilibrium” locally and hopefully get the chance to tour and do so abroad.

Speaking of live performances, how does a Turbulence concert look like? What audiences can expect from your shows?

To tell you the truth, one of the reasons I came up with the DT night concept is that it is HIGHLY unlikely that DT will be coming to Lebanon, so it would be really nice to bring the ultimate DT show to the fans here, and that’s exactly what we did. The stage is set uncannily close to how they do it and people here are loving it because they feel that what they used to watch on DVD is taking life in a concert hall in town. The only time we threw a Turbulence concert was the release of “Disequilibrium”, which was live with an orchestra. It was a very organized show, something interesting is happening at any given second, whether it was the orchestra musicians playing a unison, or the duet vocal parts in some of the songs, or the video playing on the screen behind us in-sync with the music. So that’s what people can expect, visual entertainment complimenting a flawless prog performance.

Fourth song on your album “Everlasting Retribution” is a great emotional song. Is there a certain story behind that inspired the song?

It is not inspired by a real story if that’s what you mean. It’s a fictional story revolving around abandonment, selfishness and aggression, paralleled with a reflection of the love and protectiveness between a mother and her son. The lyrics are written in a way so that anyone can relate to it in their own way, but it is about a father who abandons his son, and many years after tries to regain his position but ends up killing the mother because she wouldn’t let him get close to her son.

Do you have plans to embark on tour promoting “Disequilibrium”?

Definitely! Touring for the promotion of “Disequilibrium” abroad is on the top of our priority list. But it is extremely hard to get the chance to do so when you’re living in a country like Lebanon, whether it was about budget, reputation or getting a Visa. Hopefully, we will get our chance to play our music for international audiences soon in spite of all the obstacles.

In what measure Turbulence’s music is inspired by symphonic metal?

Although we use a lot of symphonic elements and instruments in our music, I wouldn’t say that symphonic metal particularly inspires us. But a lot of times we feel that the only way the message or feeling we are trying to deliver can be optimally delivered is through symphony. That might change with time as we try to expand and explore other territories.

How much is your songwriting process influenced by the music you listen to during the writing sessions?

The songwriting process in itself varies within a specific spectrum from song to song, but the music itself is definitely influenced on an unconscious level by what we would be listening to throughout the period of the music writing. The fun part and challenge, I might add, is interpreting them in our own way to deliver something fresh.

Are there any new materials you guys are working on already?

Yes. Our sophomore album has already started taking shape, new material is surfacing but we are still to decide on the direction of the album before we go deep into composition and pre-production.

Will there be a Turbulence song sang in Arabic, or do you think of adding any oriental motives in your music in the future?

We definitely want to include some oriental flavor into our music, but only when it feels natural or needed, we won’t force it just because we come from an oriental root and background. We have considered including Arabic singing in the next album but it hasn’t been deeply discussed yet, so who knows! But I think it would be really cool. Actually I’d love to know what the readers would think of that, so feel free to tell us your opinion in the comment box guys!

What have you been listening to lately?

I can’t say for the rest of the band members, but I personally have been listening a lot to Haken, Steven Wilson, Opeth, some classical and tribal music and mostly to some of the material we demo-ed for the second album, to help increase the flow of ideas.