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Not often we have the chance to write about a band whose founder has been around for almost a quarter of a century. Even harder is to find such band and such musician coming from Algeria. Meet Redouane Aouameur, straightforward veteran and frontman of Lelahell…
Let's start from the beginning: how did you become involved in the whole extreme metal thing?
Redouane: There are two albums that got me into extreme metal, the first one is "Human" (Death) and the second one is "Legion" (Deicide). It was around 1993 and I was totally fascinated! The addiction had begun! During this period it was really hard to get such music because there were really few people listening to Death Metal!
Algeria is not famous for its musical contribution in extreme fields, and Metal-Archive itself lists only 23 bands coming from your Country: how is metal perceived down there?
The scene isn't so big, but it has been there for more than 20 years and there are some good, promising bands. Metal is considered as part of western culture and unknown by mass-media. So people generally don't care about it!
Would you tell our readers about your previous bands? As I say in my review, I'm quite convinced that your work with Lelahell is better understood knowing where you come from and your long history. What do you recall of your past experiences?
I played bass in Neanderthalia from 1993 to 1996, after that I founded Litham (bass and vocals) with 2 band members of the previous band. After that I got a goregrind project called Carnavage (from 2004 to 2007), and I joined Devast (vox) in 2008, and finally founded Lelahell in 2010. Playing in all those band has been a learning experience for me: In Neanderthalia it was the beginning of the metal scene in Algeria, we were all innocent and thought that one day we would be as famous as Metallica! In Litham there were different periods, we were one of the most renowned bands in Algeria, played many shows in our Country and made some shows outside, it is there where I learnt how to play music with three talented musicians: Lamine,Sabri and Yacine. Carnavage was a goregrind project, and I learnt how to make music without any stress and just for fun! With Devast we played some local shows, it was good! And Lelahell is the sum of all the experiences I got from those bands!
Have you ever had any problems with the law of your country, playing in death metal bands? I am asking this because I know that Al-Namrood members must remain anonymous or they could risk imprisonment or worse. They come from Saudi Arabia, play black metal and openly despise religion, but unluckily censorships still happen in many Countries, so…
I have been playing metal for more than two decades and never got any such problems, in the 90's the videoclip of my band Litham, for the song "El Djamra" was aired on the national television in prime time!
Now let's talk about Lelahell and your album: what is it about? Many lyrics are written in arab and it looks like you talk about many things: Phillip Garrido and its crime, the mizmar… what were you inspired by while writing the verses?
Regarding the lyrics, we get inspiration from our daily life, and past experiences. The first song of this album, "Al Intissar", is a hymn to victory and totally against those fuckin’ losers who complain all day long without doing anything for their lives. Move your ass fucking assholes! "Voices Revealed" is inspired from the memories of Phillip Garrido, a serial killer [actually, the internet says he was a rapist and torturer — Bosj], "Hypnose" is a message to all our governors in the planet! "Am I In Hell?" is a question that every one asked at least once in his life, "Kalimet Essir" is a tribute to our Martyrs. "Black Hands" is about the difference between rich and poors. "Hillal" has a more philosophical concept and it is about the interaction between human and nature and "Mizmar" talks about human pleasures!
And what about music? I'd say your main influences are Carcass "Heartwork era" and maybe Death of the early '90s, but I can hear much more…
To be honest I can't really tell your which are our influences, but we are inspired by anything related to death metal (old school, brutal, technical…) adding some local music melodies for the flavour!
From your Facebook page I can see that you travelled a lot lately, mainly in Europe: is live a big part of Lelahell or just a period?
Yes we actually played in 7 European Countries: France, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia and Malta. Playing live is important for Lelahell, and nowadays a band that doesn't play shows is just an internet page if you understand what I mean!
And what about live performances in Algeria? Is there a good audience?
The main problem in Algeria is that there are no suitable venues to play metal, most of them are movie theatres with chairs, and clubs don't exist. So we play only one or two shows per year in our Country. There is good audience but there would be more if there were more shows!
What are your plans for the future? Do you think there will ever be a reissue of Litham and Neanderthalia albums?
Our future plan is the writing process of the second album and preparing a tour and playing in some festivals! For Litham a reissue is possible, while about Neanderthalia I can't tell you because I left the band!
Now a silly question: would you list the ten albums you couldn't live without?
- Slayer – "Seasons In The Abyss"
- Morbid Angel – "Blessed Are The Sick"
- Death – "Human"
- Entombed – "Left Hand Path"
- Hate – "Erebos"
- Carcass – "Heartwork"
- Cannibal Corpse – "The Bleeding"
- Demilich – "Nespithe"
- Gorguts – "Obscura"
- Cryptopsy – "None So Vile"
Ok, that's it, thank you for your time and all the very best to you and the band, if you want to say something more this is the time, whatever you want!
Thanks for this interview! Support Lelahell or die!