Benevolent is a band metal fans in the UAE haven't heard of...if they live under a rock. Starting out in Kuwait, the band relocated to Dubai a few years ago and have since then put out The Convenant, their debut album which has received some intense accolades. Kareem C caught up with Benevolent singer and guitarist, Hadi Sarieddine, who has been busy gearing up for Dubai's Metal East Fest by JoScene and Metal East Records, headlined by Vader.

Kareem C: How’s it going, Hadi? Things have been hectic, almost a year after releasing The Covenant. What’s been up?

Hadi: Hey Kareem, how it’s going man? Things are going absolutely great. I can’t believe it’s been a year since ’The Covenant’ has been out, it’s been absolutely incredible.

Stoked to open up for Vader at Metal East Fest?

Vader is a legendary band and it’s an honour to be sharing the stage with them. In our perspective every show that we play carries a lot of importance because it’s about the fans just as much as it is about us the musicians. This happens to be a very special one because we get to share the stage with a bunch of our friends from the scene in Dubai in addition to an iconic band.

What’s Benevolent’s set going to look like?

We’re going to be playing material from ’The Covenant’ on March 6th. The new material has a different flavour for us and is definitely more challenging to pull off live, so it’s a lot more fun!

Monuments drummer Mike Malyan is joining you guys for this show. Well, holy shit. Tell us about how you guys met and worked all this out.

This is the epitome of epic. Mike is one of my personal favourite drummers and the whole thing came about in a really cool way. When we were booked to play EUROBLAST X last October, our session drummer at the time (Rahul Hariharan) couldn’t make it due to other bookings so we reached out to Mike and he hopped on board to play the show with us. Unfortunately we could not make it to EUROBLAST due to visa issues but we kept in touch and it has funnelled down to this show on March 6th. There’s absolutely nothing better than playing music that means a whole lot to you with people who make you want to play the fuck out of your instrument and leave it all out there on stage. This is going to be fun!

Your studio, Haven Studio, isn’t getting any downtime either. Tell us about some of the projects you’re working on at the moment.

It’s been amazing, man. I launched Haven Studio just over a year ago and I’ve been truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing bands and musicians. I am currently nesting it out with AKB, Svengali, Rod Paris, and a couple of other projects. I get to put on a whole different cap with each of these bands and it’s fucking fun digging deep into the stories and backgrounds of all the musicians that I get to meet and work with.

Do you have a favorite Benevolent song that you like to perform live? Why?

There’s something special for me in every track, I’d say that I have favourite moments within tracks so it always changes amongst songs. I think that my personal favourites to play right this moment are ‘Heathen’ and ’The Collector’.

Are you guys going to bring in a bassist anytime soon? What’s kept you guys from bringing one in all this time?

We’re definitely looking for a full-time bassist. I think what’s kept us from this is the fact that we just didn’t meet the right person to get in on the fold just yet. We want a member bassist, not a sessionist. So if you’re a bassist and you dig our material and you’re not in 15 other bands, hit us up!


This is something we can both relate to, having both started our musical journeys in Kuwait. But I could never have imagined myself playing alongside bands like Vader, after starting out in Kuwait where you can only play in your bedrooms and cover Bon Jovi songs at a cafe from time to time.

Yea, man. It’s actually a bit crazy because when you’re living somewhere and you’re LIVING there in spirit and body you don’t really see where you’ll be a few chapters down the road. It’s also one thing to have that tunnel vision and visualise things happening and a completely different thing when they happen. It’s very humbling. Kuwait was good to us, we learnt a lot and just the fact that we made our very first album there is something special to hold on to. I feel like if we were to play a show in Kuwait it’ll be like a full-circle homecoming of sorts!
I think that one of the most important ingredients and elements of being a successful musician is the ability to imagine, visualise, and believe. Those things can really get you places because they activate your inner genius and get you to do what you need to do to achieve those goals and dreams. And when they do actually happen and you’re in that moment it’s a little overwhelming and hard to rationalise. It’s a very humbling and inspiring road. I fucking love every bit of it.

Tell us about Benevolent’s pre-show rituals.

My personal ritual is that I like to walk around the venue as much as I can before the doors open just to soak up the energy and vibe of the place. I don’t like to mingle much the closer the time is to getting on stage just so I can get in the zone. The bands’ ritual is that we huddle up and say a few words about what the show on that particular night means to us. And then we proceed to yelling ‘BENEVOLENT’ on three as a unit. That’s actually one of my favourite things to do as part of the Benevolent journey.

Any final words for Metality’s readers?

I always say this, Benevolent has feelings for Metality. I’m talking legit emotions. You guys have been there from day one and continue to support us, so thank you so much and let’s have ourselves some fun on Friday in Dubai. Huge thanks to all the Benevolent fans for following our journey and being a part of it all. We love you all.

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