EMQ’s with HANNA BARAKAT
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Austin, Texas based Rock/Alternative band Hanna Barakat. Huge thanks to Hanna for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Hanna Barakat and I am the front woman, songwriter, producer, arranger, manager, and cat herder of my self-titled act, HANNA BARAKAT.
How did you come up with your band name?
You’d have to ask my parents to elaborate on that one! My mother is American, and my father is Lebanese. My music has been heavily influenced by my heritage, and I find it suiting to use my birth name to truly represent myself as an artist and a band.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I was born in Texas, though I only ever ended up living here as an adult. I currently call Austin, TX my home and the scene here is interesting to say the least. Rock, alt. rock, and metal, in particular, are not so prevalent, so it’s tricky to build a foundation in the city limits. Rock is, however, extremely popular in the surrounding cities and we find ourselves venturing out of town more than playing here, which I am ok with! I will say, we have a few phenomenal venues in ATX that truly cater to our style of music and they are champions! Those venues are like coming home, each and every time we play at them!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
My debut record, “Siren”, was released just last year, and I am currently producing a new single with my producer, John Moyer of Disturbed.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Chester Bennington, Serj Tankian, Amy Lee, Whitney Houston, Sia, Maria Brink, to name a few!
What first got you into music?
I am a very emotional person, and music has always soothed me. Whether I am listening, singing along, or performing on stage, my therapy is derived from music.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I would love to work with Sia, Amy Lee, Serj Tankian, or Benjamin Burley. I have so many in mind, but these are the top ones off hand!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I would be absolutely honoured to and have every intention of playing ANY/ALL Danny Wimmer Presents Festivals in North America at some point, as well as at least Download Festival and/or Wacken Open Air.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
This is tricky…I will say the most offensive thing I’ve received so far is inappropriate pictures in my dm’s…
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We are all human beings, and we need to find commonground, educate ourselves, never stop seeking newinformation, and find a way to care and respect one another.Like my dad has always said, “Treat others as you wouldwant to be treated” – the golden rule – it truly is key!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
If I were being truly selfish, I would bring the sweet soul of Chester Bennington back…It has been one of my biggest dreams to collaborate with him. He was a beautiful person and an incredible artist, and I would have loved to work with him.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love performing more than almost anything else in the world. It’s nearly impossible to describe. That is why I do what I do. The thing I hate the most about being a musician is the monster of an “industry” I try to operate in and around as an independent artist.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Practically everything…In short, I wish fitting in to a musical box was not so necessary that someone with a unique sound gets the “don’t know where you fit” commentary dozens of times and cannot move past it. I also wish it were so commonplace that it didn’t need to be pointed out that my band is 3/4 female and we play alternative and hard rock.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Live – “The Distance To Here”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I truly miss CD’s and jewel cases, as annoying and ridiculous as they were, I cherished every single record I ever bought, or was given as a gift. I read every lyric, liner note, and word on every CD I ever purchased. That just doesn’t happen these days, and it’s a level of appreciation for the labour of love encompassed in each record, that has been lost…
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
To date, one of my most memorable gigs would probably be our performance at Batfest last year. The crowds were wonderful, we were opening for one of my favourite bands, Tantric. It was hotter then hell itself, but we all managed NOT to faint… it was just a really rewarding gig, in many ways, and I was grateful to be a part of it. It was also the lead up to the “Siren” CD Release concert which was also extremely amazing. My entire family came in, friends, my producer was there. It was one of the most overwhelming, exhausting, cathartic, and moving experiences of my life.
This record was years in the making, and to finally release it out into the world… that took so much out of me, emotionally. I’ll never forget it.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
If I weren’t a musician, I would likely be working outdoors in some capacity, probably around horses.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I really don’t know how to answer this one. It would probably be all the musicians I listed above that I want to collaborate with!
What’s next for the band?
This pandemic has hit all of us very hard and has forced adiversion in our 2020 plans. With that being said, I have anew single that I’m producing with my dear friend andbadass producer, John Moyer of Disturbed. I’m very excitedto share that with you all, digitally, and hopefully soon wecan get back on the stage and debut the new song and see allyour wonderful faces in person!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Hell if I know! LMAO.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for the fun chat! During these quarantine days, you can find my drummer, Lisa, and I doing a weekly livestream on the band Facebook page on Wednesday’s at 5pm CST! Drop in and say hi! And in the meantime, stay healthy and well, and we will see you all soon.
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