Lazywall interview 23/10/23
MM: Can you tell us about Lazywall and your biggest influences
Lazywall is an Oriental Rock/Metal Hybrid band from Morocco. Formed by three brothers in Reading, UK, as a power trio with a UK/US sound, we moved back to Morocco in 2008. Since then, we have been experimenting with oriental rhythms and instruments. We use custom-made guitars, like a double neck, part guitar, part Oud (Arabic luth), our bass player uses 2 bass strings and 3 Guembri strings (African bass) and our drummer has installed Arabic percussions in his drum kit. Our influences come from 70s classic rock/metal bands and post grunge era but with our Arabic touch.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
The idea to mix our Moroccan identity into rock music comes from Led Zeppelin 1994 live album “No Quarter”. That was the first time we saw a mix of occident and oriental orchestra into a rock song. Robert Plant also did this in his 2005 tour with producer Justin Adams playing Bendir, Darbukas and Daf. In 2008, during the recording of our first album Apoptosia, we invited some friends that play Arabic instruments to the studio and we found out that it was surprisingly easy to merge the Drop D tunings of our guitar riffs into the Oud tones.
MM: What would you say is Lazywall's favourite song?
Lazywall’s more personal song that each of the members enjoy playing live the most is “Dem 3la Dem”. It’s the song that best defines our sound. And it’s also the opening song in our live shows. The 8 minutes structure varies from slow parts played with oriental instruments to powerful choruses with heavy guitars. The Battle comes in mid-song with the alternating same riff from Ouds to distorted Ouds.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2024
Since our performance at Brighton’s Great Escape festival, we have been in touch with British management The Animal Farm Music, to work together for 2024 dates across Europe and the UK but also the Middle East. The rock scene in places like Jordan, Lebanon, Dubai or Egypt is growing fast and there are more and more festivals dedicated to this genre of music.
MM: What can we expect from you live
Although we are a 3-piece band, we have been working hard to get a powerful sound live. But we also bring originality, something that hasen’t been done much before. Our oriental based instruments have a unique way to make Metal riffs stand out in the mix. And for each gig we try to prove that singing Rock in Arabic is as emotional as the English native Rock language. Vocal melodies are probably the part of the songs we work the most. Not only by adding backing vocals all the way, also the main melodies are our top priority while writing songs. Because we know this is what can lift a crowd during a show.
MM: What do you like best and worst abt touring
One of the things we like most about touring is travelling. Discovering new countries and new cultures. Touring gave us the chance to visit Cape Verde, for a Rock festival. Or even playing behind the dunes of the Sahara Desert for a Nomad festival. Also, getting to meet new fans, sharing the stage with other bands, most of them become friends. Any excuse is good for not staying home watching TV.
The bad part of touring is the post-tour depression. That emptiness that surrounds us while we are waiting for the next.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
Breed 77, for their amazing mix of flamenco and metal plus they are very nice people. We had the chance to support them once and we had a really great time with them listening to Camaron de la Isla in their Tour bus.
Snowdogs, if they were still going. So, we get to know each other more.
And last but not least, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, these 5000 years old rock band from the mountains of Morocco that played with the Rolling Stones. Easier for the backline, as they only use flutes.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
AC/DC Live in Madrid in 1999. We were in the front row with 20000 people pushing behind and not knowing if we were going out alive from there. At that time, it was probably one of the bands we were listening to the most and we knew all the songs they played. The energy and the fun they had on stage was something we always envied since that day. We have learned so much from that night, for example, you can keep music simple and still be one of the best bands of all time.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with
We are very proud to be the first Rock/Metal band from Morocco to play live on our national TV. The local rock scene is very young. And still today it’s very underground. Most bands split up because they don’t have enough opportunities to play live or to be aired on radio or TV. It’s hard to keep going. Plus, there was a big incident here in 2003 where some young metalheads were taken to prison accused of Satanism just because they played Metal music. Luckily thousands of people marched in a street protest and they got them freed. At that point, it was unthinkable that a Rock band could appear on a mainstream channel. So, when we got invited in 2010 for the live TV show, we knew this would help people understand that this genre of music is as respectable as any others.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
It's really hard to choose, but if we have to, we’ll choose some that influenced our music. The first one has to be Toxicity by System of A Down, an album full of amazing songs that have become classics today. An album with amazing musical skills, harmonies and vocal modulations. The second album that affected our sound in the same era was 10000 days by Tool. Any song on that album was a learning process for us, musically, and rhythmically. There are so many things happening in any Tool song.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
(Monz) My first time was after writing my first song. Some friends had a band and offered me to open for them with my song. The venue was packed and I was so stressed that I sang out of key the whole song. I couldn’t even take a moment to feel the reaction of the crowd. I still have the VHS tape of that show but I have never watched it again. What I know is that it was one of the most beautiful days of my life. The next day, I quit Uni to dedicate myself fully to music.
MM: Growing up which Bands' posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
None. Unfortunately, there was no way to get a band poster growing up in the 80s. The only posters that were available were sports athletes or Samantha Fox. As we said earlier, the local music scene for anything that wasn’t pop or Arabic music started much later. We were already too old to put a poster on our walls. Although we did manage to get Iron Maiden T-shirts from families coming from abroad.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
Every generation had someone who marked the path to follow. The Rolling Stones influenced Rock for 60 years. Metallica opened up Metal to a wider audience. The Big 3 of Grunge revived Rock when it was in Coma in the early 90s. But if we have to pick one, we would probably have to choose a guitarist, because guitars are the main identity of Rock and Metal. James Patrick Page. AKA Jimmy Page. Not only he recorded thousands of records as session musicians during the 60s, but mostly his research on guitar riffs since the Yardbirds and of course Led Zeppelin had opened up so many sub genres. This was the beginning of Hard Rock and what would become later Classic Rock. But also, the base for heavy metal bands.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
Proving to our fans that we have made the right decision. After releasing 5 albums in English, we are now releasing some of these songs in Arabic. In 2022 we have decided to sing in Darija (Arabic dialect from Morocco) so it feels like starting from scratch because most of our fans have never heard these songs in a different language. We ask them to keep an open-minded ear because we know it can be hard to listen to a genre of music that is usually always sung in English.
MM: If you could do a cover of any song, which one would it be and why?
We are actually considering a cover of a famous Metal song in Arabic with our oriental touch. We have a few options in mind but haven’t decided which one yet. We have only done one cover in the past, a metal version of “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley, that we recorded at Steve Albini Studios in Chicago. We have always been focusing more on our original songs but this could be a good way to show that Arabic Rock “rocks”.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to Lazywall
Have you ever heard a powerful metal riff played with a distorted Oud? Or a powerful series of Rock chords sung in Arabic? Or a drum solo combining toms and Darbukas? If that doesn’t lighten your curiosity, then don’t listen to Lazywall. We know we sound different to anything you have heard before. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. But something we guarantee is that we don’t try to be someone else. We are not a copy/paste band trying to imitate the bands that we love. The best tribute we, artists, can give back to Music is bringing something new. And we love every song we play live.
MM: Four words to describe Lazywall
Oriental. Rock. Metal. Hybrid
Final Words for your fans and our readers
First, thank you for giving us a voice. We would also like to thank our fans for the support we have been receiving from them for more than 20 years. And for anyone reading this, if you are interested in knowing more about this oriental rock/metal hybrid band from Morocco, please find us on our social networks and come see us live.