Could you give us a short introduction to your band?
Yonatan: Arallu started in 1997 as a one men band, run by Butchered and released one demo tape (still available). I knew back then that this band was here to stay. People got in and out of the band and during this time Arallu recorded a second demo and a debut full length CD on The End Records from London ('The War On The Wailing Wall'). After playing some shows Arallu released the MCD 'At War Against God', which is no longer available. Next up Arallu recorded their second full album, entitled 'Satanic War In Jerusalem' and a year after that the current line up took form (with me). We released our first DVD 'Visual Chaos Invasion', and the last thing we recorded was our third full-length album 'The Demon From The Ancient World', which was put out recently.
About that new album, could you tell us a bit about how it came into existence and what the general idea behind the title is?
Butchered: The new album is somehow different from the first two albums. Back then we wrote about the upcoming war, the terror we have been promised, we declared the massacre of the religions and we took you to the future. This time however we take you all to the past, to 'The Demon From The Ancient World' and show what happened before, how it got to be the situation it is, why it is and how it will stop. The music is still as aggressive and barbaric as it always was, but the lyrics are way more calm, because we don't need to tell everyone what's going to happen, we told you, and you all know. Now, let's give you a lesson about the past.
This CD contains song titles like 'War Spirit', 'Kill Kill Kill' and 'Battle Ground', and your lyrics are quite violent. Is this a reflection of the society you live in or are you guys just that violent?
Butchered: I am glad you said that, because you got it right, and I notice that you see things clearly. This world we are living in is fucked up. People kill people all the time, because of the most stupid reasons, like religions. Girls get raped, old people get robbed, young kids die, and even younger kids do drugs. All these balls of fire come together and create this huge anger, which translates in our songs and lyrics. We believe that this world of hatred is the world of God, but there will be a time that Satan rules the world, and this will be the perfect world! Our music is a reflection of the anger and the violent around us today. And yes, we are violent people, but we're not cunts who beat people up without any reason. It is hard to get us angry but once you do, your basically wasted.
'The Demon From The Ancient World' contains some wonderful music. I especially like the way you integrated middle-eastern melody lines into your metal. How much effort goes into writing and playing this music or is this the music you make without thinking about it?
Butchered: Of course! We live music, “no music - no life” is our way of living. Even when I'm working I have a beat in my head that doesn't stop, I kick everything and hit everything to make a sound. The rhythm is something very important to us. Most of us come from Morocan, Turkish, Egyptian and Iraqian families, so the oriental style is something we grew up with.. So yes, it usually comes naturally, I mean, we can write lots of other stuff, but the music of ARALLU has to be oriental, thrashy, barbaric and oriental, all at once. From the first album of ARALLU until the last one the music is very extreme, yet within the boundaries with special ideas and Arabian parts.
This is your third full-length CD and you already have a DVD out. On your website I read that the concert of 12/03/06 will be taped and released on DVD. What is so special about your concerts that you have to release a DVD? How will you capture that live feeling on this emotionless little silver disk?
Yonatan: Have you seen our DVD? I think the DVD does capture the energie, that is fast and furious, and gets right into your face. Our show isa live massacre, but of course it is not the real thing. We don't perform that much, so after every concert people say that this was the best show they've ever seen, and how we rocked and slaughtered. So every six months that we play we here all the enthusiasm breaks loose once again and it feels good. About the new one, we have filmed it, but we have a European tour coming up this October and we thought it would be the best to add more shows and more songs from that touron the DVD. We are actually not sure what's going to happen in the future, but we hope it will be good enough to be on Arallu's second DVD
Everybody who is in a band at some point in time got influenced by some other bands or artists, usually at a young age. I suspect it is the same in your case, so I really would like to know what was the first album you ever bought? How old where you back then, and what impact did it make on you?
Yonatan: This is a very good question, I'll tell you something that people don't know, Butchered is 27 years old, I am 20 years old. He started to listen to metal music long before I did. So probably his first albums were more old school then mine, but after some arguing we came to the conclusion that we both started from Metallica. He had 'Kill em All', and I had '…And Justice For All' but the next stuff is quite different. I started to listen to bands such as Salem, Motörhead, Rhapsody, The Ramones, and he always listened to Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost, and Sepultura. But we all, kind of, have the same taste, no matter if it is black metal such as Dark Funeral, Mayhem and Marduk, or if it is Venom, Bathory, The Misfits, The Ramones, Danzig in, Manowar, Motörhead... old school baby!
I am not familiar with the Israelian music scene as a whole and the black metal scene in particular, so could you tell us a bit about them? What is it like to play in a metal band in Israel?
Butchered: Music is something very important in Israel, it makes people feel so good, and it doesn't give bad influences. Don't forget that Israel is a very small place, only 6 million people all over, with most of them located in the center, what means that everybody knows everybody everywhere. People are always close to each other, and usually speak about each other. The metal scene has always been a pit, with snakes crawling through the people, so it is hard to be friends with other people in the metal scene, for they always want to be the best themselves. I used to mention about 95 % of the Israeli metal bands in every single interview (and I do many of them), but since the last couple of months there aren't that much people anymore of who I honestly can say with that they are great, but we always were and always will be friends with Batholomius Night, Salem and Shwortzechaye.
The state of Israel was founded in 1948. Before that moment in time there has been quite some heavy aggression against Jews, and not only during the Second World War. What are your personal views on this? Are you a Jewish band?
Butchered: My friend, your questions are smart, it seems like you did your homework pretty well before writing down the questions. First of all, ARALLU is not a Jewish band. We don't believe in any religions. Religions = war! In fact, today is the international Holocaust memorial day, and we do identify with them. Not only because were Jewish, but also because we see people gut hunted in this "perfect" world because of their religion, color and background. We are tired to see things that happen between countries because of racial issues. Don't forget that were all from the same human race, and we all fuck the same pussy, take a shit from the same ass and jerk-off in front of the same Asian porn stars (hehehe).
Arallu claims to play “barbarian Mesopotamian black metal”. Now Mesopotamia contained the territory of Iraq, but also parts of nowadays Syria and Iran. Around 3500 BC the first civilization in our world came into being here. During the reign of the Babylonians Mesopotamia enjoyed an unprecedented blooming period. It also lies at the basis of the Persian Empire, after which Alexander the Great took over the rule. In short, to proclaim as an Israeli band that one plays barbarian Mesopotamian black metal is somewhat ignorant and shows a lack in your knowledge of history. How do you feel about this?
Butchered: Mesopotamia is Iraq and Babylon, and that's where our roots are. This is the first place in which the devil has been noticed, and here lies the gate straight to hell and to the death empire. Our lyrics, just like our music, have a lot to do with the ancient world and with the gates between the empires of the living and the empires of death. The whole concept of ARALLU, from the first album to the last, is to come to the unknown world and find all the answers that everybody is looking for, like the meaning of life and who controls us.
Last question of today, what will the future of Arallu look like? Will you ever play live in Europe?
Yonatan: YEEEEESSS!!! In October we will embark on our first European tour, And I am sure it is going to be a blast. After that we will shoot a new video or two, release the second DVD and start working on a new album.