UAE's music revival: Meet Triton, one of Dubai's youngest metal bands

The band recently released their first single 'Where the Wolf Lies'


Tamanna Sajeed

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Published: Wed 17 May 2023, 2:21 PM

Rambunctious is the word that comes to mind. Constant giggling, half-serious digs at each other, semi-ironic bicep flexing - the whole shebang. The love between the young members of UAE-based metal band Triton is obvious.

"I can't imagine being in a band where you just hate everyone," says lead singer Nathan Pravin, 19.

"It wouldn't be fun; we're like a family," concurs bassist Hijazi 'Jazzy' Zaiton, 20.

"A very dysfunctional family," adds lead guitarist Dion Greenwood, 20, setting the band off into a fit of laughter.

Together with rhythm guitarist Tomislav Vanevski, 19, and drummer Drona Antony, 25, Triton is arguably one of the youngest bands on the local metal scene. City Times caught up with them hot off the heels of the release of their first single Where the Wolf Lies and gained some exclusive details about what's next for them.

The group was first formed in May 2021, after Zaiton stumbled upon the TikTok page Greenwood posted guitar covers on.

"I just DM'd him, asked if he wanted to jam one day and maybe form a band," says Zaiton. "A couple of months later, we did that."

Greenwood soon brought on lead singer Pravin; Zaiton brought on rhythm guitarist Vanevski after meeting him at a university music night. Their last addition was drummer Antony; they met through mutual contacts and his bandmates say he was "a perfect fit."

"Anything we played, he could always improvise over it," says Vanevski. "He fills in the blanks almost immediately."

According to the band, Triton's roster was completed right before their first major gig. The then-fledgling group supported fellow local metal band Metarust at Season 38 of the Concert Series at The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue.

"It was our biggest venue yet, it was the most adrenaline-inducing," Vanevski says of their first ticketed performance. "There were 150 people there, but it felt like 500 to me."

Creating Where the Wolf Lies

"We don't talk about this enough, but the first time Dion and I hung out, he showed me the riff for Where the Wolf Lies," reveals Pravin, "And that's where it all started."

According to Greenwood, it took the song almost two years to go from riff to a fully-released single.

"We write with riffs, honestly," he says. "That's where it starts with all our songs; Wolf pretty much had the same origin."

The instrumentals were then fleshed out, with Zaiton and Greenwood coming up with Where the Wolf Lies as a working title before any lyrics were even written. The instrumentals were then handed off to Pravin, the song's main writer, who was told to "go wild."

"He blew our minds," laughs Zaiton. "Dion and I were just smiling at each other while Nate was singing."

When asked about the inspiration behind the lyrics, Pravin speaks of the support systems that he has in common with his bandmates.

"Having a music career is very different from having a nine-to-five job. So, I think being yourself and trusting yourself is where the wolf lies," he says. "The end of the lyrics are 'he's hidden inside, that's where the wolf lies'. You can be separated from your pack and still be completely fine."

Production was the next challenge, with the song being recorded at Zaiton and Vanevski's university's studio. Every band member mixed their own version of the song, with Triton eventually going with Greenwood's version.

Speaking to the collaborative and "wholesome" nature of the local metal scene, the song was mastered by Ahmad Haliss - the lead guitarist of local prog metal band Callous Minds.

Internet impact

Triton says that the internet has been one of the biggest tools in helping them grow as a band. As mentioned earlier, TikTok was how the band's founding members met.

"It's one of the biggest ways we can reach our audience because most of our fans are Gen-Z," says Zaiton.

Being active on all major social media platforms remains the main way Triton advertises itself. They note that many of their fans first come across them on social media, share their posts with friends and eventually come to their live shows.

What's next? One word - "Albums."

"Right now, we're still working on a bunch of songs," says Pravin. "Most of them are written and we just need to get into the studio and record them."

Triton also exclusively revealed to us that their next song will be named Black Sand, slated to be released early this summer.

Sharing their music is, according to the band, the best part of what they do.

"Because we're proud of our songs, right?" says Zaiton. "Getting to play that in front of other people and getting that good feedback... it's an incredible feeling."

"I think I know the worst part," interjects Greenwood, laughing. "The sore neck."

Despite adding lower back pain and headaches to the list of side effects, they encourage more listeners to get into the genre. Insisting that there's something for everyone, they cite both local and international metal bands that incorporate several different sounds in their music.

"It doesn't have to be just 'screaming metal music'," explains Zaiton. "There's no limit to playing metal."

The band also urges more local musicians to put themselves out onto the scene.

"Perform more. There's a lot of musicians here that need to be discovered," says Greenwood. "Just put your foot to the pedal - don't be shy."

"Just be cool," quips Zaiton, and the band erupts into laughter once more.

Where the Wolf Lies is streaming now on all platforms.

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