Who Killed Bruce Lee
We're gonna go ahead and assume that Who Killed Bruce Lee (WKBL) needs no introduction.
However, to the lesser few who live on another musical planet, who have never seen them perform, and who think they might have heard their music before but aren't quite sure, WKBL is one of the (if not the) biggest electro-rock bands in Lebanon.
Better said in their own words: "WKBL’s unique sound has evolved with the music scene in Beirut since 2010. What started out as spiced up cover tracks for bands like The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem quickly snowballed into a Who Killed Bruce Lee EP with originals that has Beirut’s indie music fans wanting more."
Apparently the lesser few have been missing out.
Having said that, WKBL is opening for Alt-J at the upcoming Byblos Festival on August 18. The combination of these two bands is pretty massive, and you'll probably be there yourself to hear the boys bring it on stage. Even if you don't make it, you'll definitely get your fill with all the live/post-coverage (i.e. on your whatsapp groups and Facebook newsfeeds).
But here's what you won't see anywhere else.A rare sit-down with Wassim Bou Malham - the front-man and lead vocalist of WKBL - discussing amongst a few things: his personal style, his favorite Lebanese designer, and his biggest fashion regret.
11 Questions with Wassim of WKBL
Wassim came over to the office for a salad-from-Crepaway-lunch rendez-vous last week, clad in a pair of jeans with a grey shirt, laced up brown boots, a blue (backwards) cap and his infamous shades (that he doesn't necessarily take off indoors because they actually double as prescription glasses - who would have guessed).
We proceeded to fire away the following fashion-related questions at him, which he emerged from rather unscathed we must say.
The whole thing took about an hour, and before we knew it, another rendez-vous had whisked him away.
The rockstar had left the building.
Expect to read general words of the English language, scattered 'derej' Arabic, and a multitude of curse words in this beautifully unfiltered interview.
1. How long does it take you to get dressed in the morning?
“What is morning? 4 minutes, 3 maybe. I think that everything that I have in my closet is something that I have picked out, so whatever I put my hands on should work well together - except if it’s something that my mother bought because she used to shop for me 10 years ago, inno fee oussas bil khzeni ma bte2ta3.”
2. Do you follow fashion trends, or do you feel out whatever you're in the mood to wear?
“Uhm, I think that I have had a certain look that hasn’t really changed for the past 10 years. I'm trying to think if I follow trends..but the answer is not really. The problem is most places are already following trends, and you shop at most places, so you're imposed with a certain selection by default. I think it's about how you chose your clothes, even in places that are super commercial."
3. How would you describe your own style?
“That’s tough, really broad question, are there words that people use to describe that? Describing my style means I have one to begin with. That's a statement. In my head it’s very simple: I always go for casual or chic and I like basic shit.”
4. Name particular things that you can't leave the house without.
“I can’t go out of the house without three things: my rings, my beard and my boots. Yes, boots even in summer. I’m not comfortable in anything else. As for the beard, I’ve basically had it ever since I was born. I’ve never ever shaved except for back when I was in Afghanistan when somebody shaved it for me (*gangster alert*, #thuglife). I have no fucking clue how my face looks without a beard.”
5. When you guys perform, do you coordinate what you’re wearing or does everyone just freestyle?
“Have you seen us perform before? The band has no style in terms of clothing. We are each a character on stage in the way we perform and behave, but no, we don’t have a signature style at all and we don’t discuss it."
6. What's your favorite local store in Beirut? And local designer?
“I like this t-shirt place, its an Australian brand called Cotton On, except they brought it to the worst fucking mall ever which is City Center. Their fabric is super. I like Topman too." [Serene: "Uhum, Wassim we asked about your favorite local..."] "Right, I have a couple of suits from Lara Khoury, I love Lara! I also liked 6:05 when it first opened. Now I can’t find anything there, before they used to have manly shit: denim shirts, really cool pants, now its just too colorful, too eccentric. Like a pocket is supposed to be on the top left of a shirt, why would someone go and put it in the middle of a shirt?! It’s not for me. I buy a lot of stuff from Rosa Maria, I have one amazing leather jacket and couple of shoes.”
7. What city other than Beirut do you enjoy shopping/discovering local fashion in the most?
“It would probably be Paris . What really got me on hook there were stores in Pigalle from what I can remember. There's this one place on a Jewish street that sells sex toys but the guy also had at the back of his shop an amazing wide range of black clothing.”
8. Do you have a style icon?
9. If you had to pick a shirt to live in for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
“I have this red Hawaiian-style shirt. But uhh wait a second, now that I think about it some more, I’d probably go with a denim one. Denim always works.”
10. What is something that you would never, ever wear?
“Never ever wear? Shorts. I fuckin' HATE shorts. No man should ever wear shorts, EVER, mish masmou7.”
11. What’s your biggest fashion regret?
“I don’t really have big fashion regrets, 'cause I’m not eccentric, I don’t take risks, I don’t get out of my comfort zone. Like once, I bought a pair of Superga sneakers, and I just looked like a dork in it because visually I always picture myself in boots. The Supergas were half the size of my boots and I felt that everyone was talking to me but looking down at my feet.”
There you have it folks.