'Classic rock n roll n heavy metal is as real as it gets' - Interview with Shaddy Elsaghir of Stinger

'Canadian metal, just obey...' - long before Fenriz' salute to the country's infamous metal legacy, Canada has already had its reputation sorted as fertile soil for producing some of the most awesome metal on the planet. Andrew Oliver believes that Calgary-based STINGER may be the next contenders to the throne and had a pleasant chat with band's founder, Shaddy Elsaghir.

First off, tell us about the history of the band. I’m aware that there have been various line-up changes as well as the release of your debut album. Tell us about it!

STINGER had its first few jams at a place I had in late 2010, one thing led to another and it became a lean mean metal machine. 'Manic Depressor' came out June 2011, we worked our ass off to get that album out there, and it was pretty successful.

In a time where generic Death core and various Nu Metal and Screamo bands are becoming more and more prevalent and popular in the metal scene, what keeps you steadfast in playing this great, classic metal music? Why was it that you decided to play this music in the first place?

Y'know I always wondered why its seemed like rock music has taken a downturn since the early 90s, I didn't know what the fuck radcore prog math metal or whatever the fuck that shit is called till I was 17 y'know, when I first heard it I was just like whaaa? I can't relate, at all and by then I was already caught up in discovering classic shit. Our music itself isn't necessarily simple, but some people over complicate shit, my band should always be associated with having a good time and hearing tunes that make you feel like a badass, not shit that is gonna connect with your World of Warcraft account. Its just the best kinda music out there, I love it all, but classic rock n roll n heavy metal is as real as it gets.

Speaking of your musical style, let’s talk about the direction behind your debut album, 'Manic Depressor'. How did it come to be written and recorded, and could talk about the recording process?

Kirill Telichev, a Calgary local did it, he's a good friend of mine and in all honesty I have no need to search for another producer, he is easily the best in the city and the best quality I've heard from any touring bands from USA or Canada. The album was more or less split up from the early STINGER recordings, songs written with the first line-up, and then songs written with the 2nd line up, between about 4 months apart, we were gonna record an EP and it snowballed into a full on album, the new songs when Mike came in the band elevated our game, we started getting bigger gigs with better bands and it upped the bar for all of us. 'Manic Depressor', '12 Years', 'Dream Revolver', 'Lucid Screams', you can hear a definite evolution in those songs and a more complex mature songwriting.

Shaddy Elsaghir of STINGER
What really made me fall in love with 'Manic Depressor' was the attention to composition. Even more so than the stunning technicality and musicality, you guys really showcased your stunning ability as songwriters, something that is starting to become less and less important to many bands today. How does Stinger’s songwriting process work? Who writes the music and how?

Thanks dude, I just wanna be the jackass who claims to write everything now just to piss some people off!! hahaha. Honestly 'Manic Depressor' was so fuckin organic, the writing was mainly between Mike and I, some songs I'd write 90% of them, some songs he would write 90%, some songs it'd be a collaboration down to the fuckin core, I'd bring in a riff, he'd bring in the pre-chorus, I'd bring in the chorus etc, and we split up a lot of lyrics as well. I am most proud of the collaborations, although the title track is my favorite and that one was not.

How has the general reception of 'Manic Depressor' been? Are you satisfied with how it turned out?

Y'know man so far so good so what? Haha just kidding, its been great, thanks to people like you and other badasses I've never physically met responding with such enthusiasm thrills me, I wanna do it again and again. The fans have been great, across Canada the crowds were pretty enthusiastic for 4 grease bags playing IRON MAIDEN licks.

What has STINGER been up to currently as far as live shows, possible tours, and writing new material?

The 2nd album is being written right now, possibly a song or 2 to be released around February! Release the album, tour, come home and do it again,haha.

Musical influence is very important in helping to define a band’s sound. What are some albums that have been particularly influential on you and your style?

For 'Manic...' it would have to be GUNS N' ROSES meets MAIDEN, 2 bands who probably should not meet in the middle haha, throw in some Portnoy-esque drums and you'd get STINGER.

What has the band’s strategy been as far as the distribution and marketing of your debut album?
Y'know were up on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, we haven't been entirely lazy nor entirely proactive in that front. We've got digital download available on CD Baby as well, were pretty much there if you look for us(search STINGER 'Manic Depressor'). We're still gonna continue pushing the first album but line-up changes really put a kind of bad taste in my mouth, I still love the tunes on that record, we'll still play 'em and it still can be pushed further, but I would rather record something twice as good now with the current line-up. We'll see how much further it can go, it is overall a cool record, I'm sure anyone can enjoy at least a song or 2.

I realize that STINGER is no stranger to the live stage, but are there any plans of going outside the Canadian border anytime soon?

Y'know man if I could tour the US and Europe I'd be happy, we're working on it, we'd love to play to THAT kind of audience cause it’s like man-up or gtfo, thats where it’s at. Canada is our training grounds and we're thankful we have a country where we could express ourselves and get a good response, but the US and Europe, definitely the next stop.

Despite various trials and tribulations, struggles, and line-up changes, STINGER seems to be still going strong. What are your plans for the future?

Domination!! Kill all the Katy Perry Kesha Friday night motherfuckers, I really would not mind just scaring the shit outta those kind of people and melting their faces off mid shred!!

Any last words?

You can read Andrew's review of 'Manic Depressor' here.


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