Did you know that there is a metal scene on Madagascar? Rado, Sasamaso’s bassistis was kind enough to enlighten me about his band and the scene in general. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Madagascar doesn?t seem to be the place you start a metal band in. What was it that attracted you to metal and how did you come in contact with it?
-I heared rock music since childhood (I was 8~9 years old), my father listened often pop, ballad, FM in the begin of 90 (The Police, Scorpions, Toto…), and I also appreciate that. About 1997, some friends who already listened metal suggests metal bands known in our country : Metallica, Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Slayer, Cradle of Filth… and the ambition of create a metal band began to obsess me.

From the little bit of Sasamaso I’ve heard I can tell that you have a rather unique sound. What influences you?
-We listen all type of metal, but also all type of music : jazz, tropical, traditional music of Madagascar.

Searching the net I only came up with five other names of Madagascar metal bands (some disbanded). What is the scene like on Madagascar?
-In Madagascar, there are actually about twenty metal bands. You can visit on Facebook: Mozika mavesatra malagasy, looking for details.

You don’t seem to be too active releasing music on CD/tape. How hard is it to get your music down onto CD/tape in a place like yours?
-We did our previous recs like this: vocal and drum recording at studio, and the rest at home (with a simple PC). But we judge that they’re not saleable: to have sound’s quality better, it’s better
to finish all at studio, but it costs expensive.

Do you think you limit yourself when you sing in your native tongue than had you sung in English, or are we the World so enlightened today that we see beyond language barriers?
-It was just our choice to do lyrics in Malagasy. But it doesn’t prevent that we’ll sing in English later.

What does the general public think of heavy metal? It is now 2012 but at times it still feels like we live in the dark ages as regards to people’s reactions to certain things i.e. metal.
-Metal is not appreciated in Madagascar. For slow rock, pop rock, it’s not bad. But for really metal, it’s still pity: in Antananarivo, I estimate in 5 percent maximum, but in other cities that’s worst. Some
remarks: The media in Madagascar is actually disappointing : the tube doesn’t show without paying something. Some radio and TV broadcast program music metal but it’s very limited : 1 hour per week maximum. Consequently, it’s very difficult even impossible to find metal producers. Because of poverty, the most of people have a taste, a tendency of music easy to listen: music is one of leisure, metal is one of kind of music; some kind of music needs more time of listening for be appreciated. However, there are 2 or 3 organizer who dare to arrange live “very underground” during that new bands can expose their music. There is also the site facebook who attracts the young, more bands
especially new bands possess facebook’s page.

Africa as a whole is often thought of as one place by us on the outside. But not everything is poverty and famine. Why do you think so few heavy metal bands make it out of their respective
countries (South Africa excluded) to a broader international audience?
-Maybe because of metal’s fan number are still poor. Also, many country in Africa are Muslim, we know that this religion restricts some strange culture.

I know of a metal scene in Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa but from what other countries in Africa have you come upon metal bands?

In a perfect world where would you like to see Sasamaso go?
-Firstly; succeed to persuade Madagascar that there is an another music that is called metal; that is among the best types of music in the world. Afterward, get an opportunity to show our music in other countries.

I hope that I give you satisfactory response (except 9). Or else, don’t hesitate to contact us. Maybe I cannot reply you immediately (we have not connection permanent), but it’s sure that I will answer your mail.
See you later

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