4 young 20-somethings, 4 diverse nationalities, 4 distinctive sounds, one passion- Music. Meet Elias Sabella, Alaa Ineni, Ibad Khalid and Jiten Jeswani. Meet The Flaming Trees.
What started years ago in high school as a fun musical experiment, is now a full-fledged alternative/hard rock band that has been nominated to open for acts such as Nickleback and Coldplay and have played on the same stage as 30 Seconds to Mars! But how did it all start? “Well, when I was in 7th grade, I was always interested in music and wanted to start a band,”says Elias, the founder, rhythm guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. “So I started a school band but that didn’t work out very well. Then 4 years ago, I started this band, although the members have changed so many times! I’m the only one remaining from the original members,”he adds. Although the years saw members come and go, the distinct sound of The Flaming Trees remain the same. While Elias writes lyrics to their songs, all other members contribute to the track. “Whenever I write something, the guys add riffs, drums, etc to it,”says Elias. “But most of our stuff comes during practice breaks. While we are practicing one song, we stop in between to jam. That’s when sometimes we like what comes out of it and it becomes a song!”adds Alaa, the drummer. But what does a regular 20-something write about? “I write mainly about life,”says Elias. “I used to write about love before but the guys started getting on my back saying we aren’t a boy-band,”they all crack up as Elias continues. “So now I write about life in general, how sometimes it’s not so easy. I write about the darker side of love, you know, breakups and stuff,”Elias says seriously. “Whenever he’s heartbroken, he starts to write!”jokes Ibad and Alaa. Ibad, the lead guitarist, is the misfit of the band, or the “black goat”as Alaa teasingly calls him. “I’ve always been into metal and was previously in a death metal band. But since I’ve joined the band I’ve started listening to hard rock so that I can play stuff that matches this sound. Although, my influences would be old school metal like Ozzy Osborne and Black Sabbath,”Ibad continues defending himself. But that is what makes the band unique. “Since we all have different sounds, we all bring something different to the table,”Alaa agrees. “Me and Elias are into stuff like Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Guns n Roses,”he adds. But besides having distinctive tastes in music, these 4 lads also come from 4 very diverse parts of the world. Elias is Jordanian and met Alaa, who hails from Syria, in church. Ibad comes from Pakistan and joined the band 7 months ago, while Jiten, the oldest member of the band is from India. In spite of this, it is easy to see the chemistry between them as they constantly engage in silly banter.
3 of the 4 members are still in university and this does take up a lot of their time making it hard to practice on a daily basis. “Now we have to balance a lot of things and organize our time,”says Ibad. “Sometimes our gigs clash with our studies and that’s when it gets tricky. But our biggest disadvantage is the 21+ rule in most places. We have to wait a year to overcome that,”Elias explains.
Currently the guys are keeping it low since their bass player, Jiten is out of the country for a few weeks but they do have big plans ahead. “We are in talks with the CHILLOUT Festival to play there for this year’s event,”Alaa says. “And hopefully even an album in April! It’s about time we make an album, but we keep procrastinating that,”he laughs.