EYE, Empty Yard Experiment was formed in 2007 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The band’s music is essentially a unique combination of sub-genres which includes the alternative and progressive varieties of rock, as well as experimental and instrumental/post-rock. Since their inception, EYE has built an impressive live portfolio, including high-profile opening spots forMetallica, Evanescence, and Anathema. The band has gotten used to non-conformity and live to create an artistic, multi-sensory approach to live shows. Our team had the chance to speak to EYE and get to know them better.
Where does the band as a collective unit draw inspiration from for lyrics, sounds, and live production?
We’ve been called everything from post-rock and prog metal to post-prog. Musically speaking, everyone brings their influences along with them. Mehdi is a big King Crimson, Porcupine Tree and Queens of the Stone Age fan. Gorgin is majorly influenced by Nine Inch Nails. Josh and Bojan is inspired by Meshuggah, Karnivool, TesseracT, Periphery. Kaveh, meanwhile, is an avid admirer of legendary acts such as Bob Dylan and The Beatles. “Kallisti” is very much a product of all of these influences.
How different was the latest album, Kallisti from other previous projects that the band undertook?
Our EP comprised a collection of some four years worth of material that, true to the band’s songwriting and performance dynamic, had extensively evolved over the years to appear in its final form on the record. ‘Kallisti’, however, is the product of a much more collaborative musical relationship between the five of us, and everyone really put all of their influences and ideas on the table this time around. Right around the beginning of summer 2013, after we had just opened for Metallica and come back from headlining a festival in Lebanon, we locked ourselves up at Kaveh’s house for about two-and-a-half months and just wrote and tracked demos before getting into the studio with our longtime producer and collaborator Joshua Williams. He really helped shape the thinking and the sound behind that album, and we took up on his ideas wholeheartedly, so much so that it all ended up making the record much more memorable as an auditory experience.
Coming up to the night that EYE opened for Metallica, was there any difference in preparation for that live show compared to how the EYE would prepare for other live shows?
We’ve been asked this question before, and the answer is “not really.” We treat each show in the same way as far as preparation is concerned, no matter what the size of the audience is. We’re always fully rehearsed and prepared in the same way. That being said, the way you interact with an audience of 25,000 is obviously different than, say, a crowd of 250 people, but essentially, you still have to find a way to keep everyone engaged and connected in a deep and meaningful way. For us, that is the core thrill to performing and bringing our music into a live setting. The visual material that we project while playing is definitely one powerful way of creating that connection and has always been an important tool in making the overall experience more unforgettable for the audience.