Heavy Metal is a global phenomenon, truly global. Alas, the majority of bands most metalheads know about are from Europe and North America, with Sepultura from Brazil and the odd Japanese act thrown in for flavour. It does not end there, not by far. I guess a few of you will be surprized that there are Metal bands in the Muslim world, and excellent ones, really exellent ones. Metal is prevalent enough that Algeria recently hosted a Heavy Metal Festival, and after reading the article in the Guardian, I got in touch with one of the bands which played at the festival, TRAXXX. They are a native Algerian Death Metal band with a lot of talent on their side and they agreed to give me an interview. I hope this interview gives them some exposure, so please share it liberally on the web.
Please introduce yourselves, tell us something about yourselves
Hi we’re TRAXXX a death melodic metal band based in Algeria, the band founded the bass/vocal and the drum players (Omar and Mustafa).
Lead guitar (Yanis)
Second guitar & Darbouka percussions (Sherif)
Where can we find you on the web?
We have a facebook page : TRAXXX on Facebbook
Myspace: TRAXXX on Myspace
When did Traxxx get started?
We started in 2005
Have you played in other bands before?
Yes of courses everyone in the current lineup was in band before they joined Traxxx
How big is the heavy metal scene in Algeria?
Metal appeared in the 90’s in the black decade of Algeria bands are receiving more exposure now, as a result of their proximity to Europe. Rock and metal peaked in the 90s, it seems. This came at a time when Algerians were searching for a distraction from the burdens that came with their lives during that tumultuous decade.
“In the early days, we were only few metal heads and it was really difficult to get music but now with Internet everything is much easier.
You recently played at Fest 213, how big of an event was that?
We can say it was the real professional Metal Fest they did in Algeria. Not because we participated, because the organizer was very professional, even with few means they had.
They had brought two excellent bands (ARKAN, ACYL) from France and they did a great show. We didn’t have a metal fest since the last concert of Myrath in 2012.
The conservatives in Algeria do not like Heavy Metal very much (just like in Europe) have you personally encountered any hostility?
I don’t think so, TRAXXX has not encountered any hatred or something like that, we just don’t have, but it is still hard, since we do not have many organizers for events or labels who promote our kind of music.
It is so hard because we do not have the base for Metal here in Algeria we have to buy our instrument from abroad, mastering and mixing our materials from the outside. That is why the movement is going forward only slowly.
What inspires your music, what are the lyrics about?
Our lyrics are about a lot of topics: Psychology, politics, emotions, but mainly about the history of our country, Algeria.
What musicians inspire you?
Our music is inspired by many bands and everyone of us has their own inspiration, too: Metallica, Dio, Iron maiden, Opeth, and many Algerian and middle eastern traditional music. We are trying to mix metal with our traditional instruments.
When did you discover Heavy Metal?
Mostly when we was a teenagers between 12-14 years of age.
Have you already released an EP or album?
Yes did, and we’re working for An album which called Legacy of Chaos.
Can we purchase your music somewhere?
Thank you, Mustafa, for taking the time to answer a few questions, it has been an honour and a pleasure.
And now, to finish this off, here are two tracks for you to enjoy, Death Metal with Algerian folk influences!