Slave to sirens is the first and only female death metal band in Lebanon. When SVT Nyheter gets hold of guitarist Lilas Mayassi, she has a five-minute break – she has studied a bachelor's degree to become a music teacher but is still forced to work in a luxury restaurant to get by.
"We have an enormously difficult economic crisis in Lebanon after the revolution," she says.
Lilas Mayassi describes how Lebanon's entire young generation is looking for opportunities beyond the country's borders, especially after the mass protests in the autumn of 2019 against corruption and tax increases in the country. She herself is seeking scholarships to continue her education in the United States.
Records albums remotely
The band released their first EP in 2018 and are now working on an album. However, since several of the original members have been replaced, the recordings take place remotely.
"Our new singer is from Hungary and the new drummer from the Netherlands. And then we have an Italian sound engineer, so we record virtually, you could say," says Lilas Mayassi.
The comments: "What an abomination!"
In the documentary "K Special: Sirens – hard rock stars from Lebanon", Lilas Mayassi describes how they met resistance because they are women. In the comments section of various videos and articles, they are called sluts, whores and Satanists.
"We were featured in a report in the Arab media channel Al Arabiya. The comments section there was sick fun, people called us all sorts of things. But I don't give it any attention," she says and continues:
"We do our thing and have felt a lot of support from the metal scene, both in Lebanon and internationally," says Lilas Mayassi.
Watch K Special: Sirens – hard rock stars from Lebanon on SVT Play.