I got to know Jadal Band through a friend, by the song Sa’latny, and I found a new combination of music harmonies and lyrics.
I checked their online pages and found all their tracks, which is a good step; allowing their fans to know more about their work. I was curious and decided to interview Mahmoud Radaideh, the band guitarist.
Mahmoud, let me start off by asking you what “Jadal” means. Why have you chosen this name for your band?
Mahmoud: It started in the beginning of 2003. Back then we were starting something that no other artist had started in the region. We wanted to play rock music, but we wanted to leave a reflection on our community and its beliefs. An Arabic name like Jadal (controversy), which we believe implies our style.
Would you tell us about the band formation and the current line-up?
Mahmoud: Jadal was formed by Mahmoud Radaideh (Guitarist), Rami Delshad (vocalist), Kamel Mani (Bass Guitarist) and Laith Nimri (Drummer). The four were anxious to create something that people don’t hear every day to which they can also relate. Jadal didn’t abandon their love of the Indie Rock, Alternative or Grunge bands they grew up listening to, but preferred to go with their own identity. Music is a language everybody can understand and relate to, so playing Rock/Indie Rock/Alternative or Grunge music doesn’t make us non-Arab artists, but if we weren’t singing in Arabic then it would make us seem that way.
What is the genre of your band? Are you into sub-categories of Rock?
Mahmoud: We’re mostly influenced by bands like Radiohead, Muse, ColdPlay, Deftones, Tool, and many more. Most of them are Indie Rock and some are Grunge. Let us not forget the Arabic and some oriental influences. Legendary Arabic singers like Abd Al haleem Hafez is a major influence for us too! We basically like good music such as Rock, Pop, Dance, and Metal. Good music is good music even if you’ve never heard anything like it before, but we happen to play rock music because we grew up listening to it, and were lately inspired by major bands from all rock genres.
Is the band composing and writing its own lyrics, or do you get any external help?
Mahmoud: The band composes and writes all of their lyrics and music.
What lyrical themes does the band use mostly? Is there a variety among themes?
Mahmoud: Mostly issues that matter to us, the band and the community we live in, as well as personal issues! (We try to stay away from romantic themes since the Arabic listener is full of it already). Whatever comes from the heart is something that matters, so we write about that.
How many concerts has the band performed till now? What was the audience’s feedback?
Mahmoud: We had several concerts in the country; I have to say we felt the success in every concert. In each concert, we had more audience and started to have “Die hard fans” who know our songs although they were not released yet. So it feels great on stage.
What is the reason behind covering the songs of Abdel Haleem Hafiz? Are there others?
Mahmoud: When we were just starting this genre that we called “Arabic Rock” which I believe we were the first to announce back in 2003, we had to play a song that everybody loved, but with our own style that will prepare people to whatever we’re going to release, which I personally believe was a smart move, so it all turned out well! I hear many bands now have taken Arabic Rock as their genre and it makes us proud that we have made it easier for other fellow musicians.
Are you planning on making more covers? What is it that you are aiming at by covering these songs instead of writing originals?
Mahmoud: We’re not planning on covering other songs at the moment. As I said, the main reason that we covered Abd El Haleem’s song was to make people ready for our new style by playing something they’re already familiar with and love, but in our own style.
Is the Rock scene in Jordan based on the English or Arabic language?
Mahmoud: We were the first to come up with Arabic Rock. Some fellow bands in and around Jordan are starting to follow that genre, which goes to show the success of that whole idea, not only in Jordan but everywhere else.
Was there any cancellation of any Rock or Metal concerts in Jordan from the authorities because of a misunderstanding of such scenes?
Mahmoud: Maybe something like has happened, but if I’ll be blaming anyone, I’ll blame the musicians themselves. Everything has its limits; you can play whatever music you want if you’re reflecting your own community and beliefs.
Have you reached what you were aiming for in music?
Mahmoud: We’ll hopefully have a recorded album distributed soon, as well as a tour in the region and a video clip. I also try to keep writing good music and lyrics, along with performing, since it’s what I love most; receiving the direct energy from the audience.
Was it difficult for Rami (Jadal’s vocalist), at the outset, to sing rock music in Arabic, or were you used to it from the beginning?
Mahmoud: Rami’s job wasn’t easy, especially at the beginning, whether in live shows or recorded songs; singing the lyrics and the songs that any of us wrote or composed was a great challenge. But he has done a good job, and it was convincing.
Is the band devoting their time for music only or does each member have another career?
Mahmoud: No, unfortunately since it’s hard to be a full-time musician in a country like Jordan, each has his career, and with music it gets harder as we grow older (members’ average age is 25 years or older). This was much easier when we were younger.