Nourallah Brothers : un air de famille
Dans la famille Nourallah, je demande les deux frères, Salim et Faris. Deux songwriters au talent évident et pourtant presque totalement inconnus, comme souvent malheureusement. Vous aurez donc surement loupés leur premier album sorti en 2000 chez Western Vinyl et on ne vous en voudra pas (trop). PurJus vous propose une séance de rattrapage avec cette interview réalisée par email interposé en compagnie des frères Nourallah, en VO comme d'hab.
What are your musical backgrounds?
Faris: I learned to play every instrument I know how to play because my brother wrote songs from an early age (16ish) and we both loved music (Beatles, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Clash, Jam)
Salim: As a kid growing up in El Paso I learned how to play chords on guitar just to take the songs I was hearing in my head & put them into something more tangible...to make "real" songs. I started playing bass guitar later. Now I consider it to be the only musical instrument I actually play well. My brother has always been a natural at picking up almost any instrument. Ever since he was a kid he loved making NOISE -- any noise. When we were growing up he would bang on the drums or play electric guitar for hours & hours & I would sit in my room trying to write songs while the noise from his room came in through the air conditioning vents! He’s a true genius when it comes to playing & arranging music, actually quite intimidating because he’s so brilliant. So, for years, when comparing my musical abilities to his, I really only considered myself to be a musician by "default" - I HAD to become a musician of sorts in order to play my songs.
What did you listen to when you were kids and then teenagers?
Faris: The Beatles came early, along with in particular, solo Paul McCartney, and the '77 stuff came in the teen years. Basically, up until the ages of 19 or so we had the exact same favorite bands only I might champion The Clash one year and he The Jam!
Salim: Johnny Cash dressed head to toe in black singing from the boxcar of a train is my first recollection of seeing a musician on TV -- I was maybe five years old at the time. The Beatles made me want to play music but I remember thinking they were such good singers I could never be as good as them.
You had been playing in (different?) bands for some time,
and you decided to work together. What exactly made you decide
to do that? Explore new genres (I don't know what kind of band(s)
you were in), play some more personal compositions?
Faris: Actually, I'd only been in a band with my brother and have never been in a band with anyone else. I had never felt like I needed anything more than just playing my brother’s music as a means of creative expression up until that time period. I had just gotten married and two weeks after the marriage, things began to go horribly wrong and I HAD to write in order to attempt to deal with some of my emotions.
Salim: Three years ago, out of the blue, Faris suddenly started writing these amazing songs. It was really the first time he’d ever shown any interest in writing -- I think because he was going through some really hard times & needed the emotional outlet. That is what created the "Nourallah Brothers." If that had never happened my brain would never have snapped to attention & noticed that we were suddenly making some sort of "duo" record. ‘Cause you have to understand, as adolescent’s we always dreamt of being in the Clash or the Beatles, not Hall & Oates or Simon & Garfunkel. This is why my brother & I played together for years in bands, even though they were going absolutely nowhere. It was him coming into his own as a writer & singer that made our first record happen.
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