Some time ago, I made the review from the first album of this Algerian band. The recording is called "Al Insane... The (Re) Birth of Abderrahmane" and is the first full album of the band (had previously recorded an EP). What most struck me, in addition to the ferocity of his music, is the fact that they come from a country to which I was unaware of in the field of extreme music. Thanks to Lelahell and Devast, I could get close to that particular scene. Recently, I interviewed Idir, the leader of Devast (band established in Argentina). Now it is the turn to another very representative Extreme Metal band made in Algeria: Lelahell.
Puro Ruido: Hello, Redouane. Greetings from Cordoba, Argentina. How is everything there?
Redouane: Hi first of all thanks for your support! everything is well here!
PR: Well, let´s go to the main reason why we agreed to do this interview. You have made a documentary called "Highway To Lelahell: An Algerian Documentary". Whose was the idea of making this documentary? What we will find when we see it?
R: In the beginning I got the idea to make a documentary about all the Algerian Metal history, but I realized that is need a lot of time and a lot of work, so I decided to start first talking about my 23 years of career as a metal musician which was much easier and it took only 4months to do it!
PR: Beyond Lelahell, the documentary allows us, to those who know little or nothing about the metal scene in Algeria, learn more about the history of the movement in that country. But in what context was born the Heavy Metal scene in Algeria?
R: The first generations of metal bands were formed in the late 90’s (before the black decade) like Rascass and Neanderthalia . We started as young teenagers who wanted to play music and have fun! We were big fans of Metallica, slayer and such bands; we wanted to live from music like them!
PR: Redouane, you lived an infamous era in the history of your country: the so-called Black Decade. How difficult it was to start a band, organizing concerts and go out and play in the middle of this chaos where people die every day? The violence amid which you lived, which fed back to create increasingly violent and extreme music?
R: As I said before we started playing metal before the black decade in the early 90’s, but some years after it wasn’t as difficult as you imagine we were young and unconscious but we were passionate by the metal music so nothing was able to stop us!
PR: You played on some of the most important bands in the history of heavy music in your country: Litham, Carnavage, Neanderthalia. Even you played on Devast band that today is based in Argentina. Do you evaluate your career over all these years, having played in all these bands? How much you think that you have given to the Metal scene in Algeria and how much you gave this scene to you?
R: I think that those experiences were very helpful for me as person and as musician, and it helped me a lot for my band Lelahell. I wasn’t realizing what I have done during those years until I made this documentary, and I I made it for all the metal scene in general and especially for the Algerian Metal scene to show people how it was hard to play metal during those years!
PR: Let's go to the present. In 2014 released the first full album Lelahell "Al Insane ... The (Re) Birth of Abderrahmane". How good was the response of the public and the press?
R: The album got very good responses worldwide, we got very nice reviews in one of the biggest metal magazines and webzines: Metallian (FR) 5,5/6, Tubera (Cz) 9/10, Extreminal (TR) 8,9/10, Metal Revolution (DK) 8/10, Truemetal.it (IT) 80/100, and more … and when we played in Malta in the death fest and in our previous tour, the people loved our music and gave us a strong positive reaction!
PR: There are already plans for the future of Lelahell? New songs? Tours? Enter the studio to record a new album?
R: We are going in a mini tour in Austria and Switzerland next week (03/03 to 05/03). And after that we’ll concentrate on our second full length and for that we are launching a crowdfunding campaign in few weeks! We need your support! So stay in touch here for more news: http://www.facebook.com/lelahell
PR: I wonder how was your turning point, the moment when you decided you were going to play Metal. There was a disco or band made you make the decision to do so?
R: I just started to listen to Hard Rock stuffs of my brother when I was young, with bands like AC/DC, Scorpions and Motorhead. After that I started to listen to some let say more metal stuffs like Metallica and Slayer, and after that I started to take some classical guitar courses in order to learn playing and later found a band.
PR: Most Death Metal bands speak of death, in all its forms, in their lyrics, something that is quite logical. However, as I've read, Lelahell write and sing about other issues. That leads me to the question: what topics speak the lyrics of Lelahell?
R: In general we write about everything, most on time about society, our personal experiences and philosophical concepts. But sometimes we can deal with serial killers like the song “Voices Revealed” which is inspired by the Philip Garrido, we can also talk about the nature like the song ‘Hillal’ which means the moon in Arabic.
PR: Ok, brother, let's nearing the end. What would you say to someone who never approached to the Algerian Metal? How you convince that person to listen to Lelahell and all the good bands there were and are in your country?
R: If you like the melody and the brutality at the same time you should listen to Lelahell!
About Algerian metal there are some good promising new bands that deserve your attention! Support Lelahell, support the Algerian metal scene!
PR: Well, that's all. It was a pleasure to interview you, Redouane. You want to add anything else?
R: Thanks a lot for your great interview! And stay brutal