After easily beating out the competition of the first round of Hard Rock Cafe's Battle of the Bands, The Banana Cognacs cruised into a well-deserved victory during Thursday's finals.

Composed of bassist Johnny Seikaly, guitarists Ghassan Khayyat and Ramzi Bashour, drummer Moustafa Khaled, and singers Hussein Sharafeddine (aka Double A), and Angie Nassar, The Banana Cognacs are now headed to an international scene--albeit via Facebook. An online voting competition will peg them (the only Lebanese band) against 95 other teams, with the winning team flying to London.

Beirut.com had the chance to interview Double A and Johnny Seikaly via phone, both of whom commented on Thursday's performance, the competition ahead, and their dynamics as a band.

Seikaly enthused about the Battle of the Bands' finals, commenting "The place was kicking last night; there were lots of people and our fans were louder than everyone else's, so a big shout out to them."

"I was anxious," remarked Double A, "but we have fun anyways."

"It's weird because I never think of music as a competitive event," explained Seikaly, "but I think there was fair judging all around, and it was nice being exposed to other bands."

At present, The Banana Cognacs hope to garner votes by exploring their "international tentacles" (as Seikaly puts it), using their social media outlets, including their facebook page and twitter handle @bcognacs. As a band that fluidly transcends genres--from Funk to Blues to Reggae--The Banana Cognacs have the effectual ability to appeal to people from all music scenes, all while performing their own songs.

"Anyone can do a cover," commented Double A. "We can be 100% original and still captivate."

Above all, The Banana Cognacs aim to stay true to their passion for music, regardless if they win the international competition.

Explained Seikaly, "We like playing music and we like playing music for people. We're not really into the popularity contest--we're just taking this with both of our feet on the ground."

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