Banlieue Rouge was formed in 1989 in Longueuil. Heavily influenced by French punk rock bands such as Bérurier Noir, they started with a drum machine, which was eventually replaced by Jeff on drums. Their lyrics being written in French, worldwide success was unlikely to ever be reached. However, they did manage to gain considerable popularity in France and Quebec along with the release of their third studio album "Engrenages", in 1993.
In 1999, after four full-length albums (plus one live and one best-of) and ten years of touring in America and Europe, the band finally broke up. Xavier went on to form Corrigan Fest, later joined by Sylvain. They play traditional Celtic music mixed with punk. Safwan went on to form Akuma, an angrier, louder hardcore punk band with bilingual (French/English) lyrics.
"Banlieue Rouge" translates as "Red Suburb". On their debut album, En Attendant Demain (Intro, "Psaume Rouge"), it is explained that this refers to their status as "a suburb of the megacity of pop music, unknown to the masses." As for the "red" part of the name, "Red is shock, anger, revolt, free youth is red-painted, of disobedience and militant alternative red." «Bienvenue en Banlieue Rouge!»
On May 25, 2003, Banlieue Rouge made its entire catalogue available for free downloading at banlieuerouge.propagande.org.
- En attendant demain (Waiting for tomorrow) (1990)
- Que tombent les masques (May the masks fall) (1992)
- Engrenages (Gears) (1993)
- Au cœur de la tempête (In the heart of the storm) (1994) — live album
- Best of Banlieue Rouge (1995) — collection of greatest hits
- Sous un ciel écarlate (Under a scarlet sky) (1996)
- Safwan (vocals and eventually rhythm guitar)
- Sylvain (guitar)
- Xavier (bass)
- Jeff (drums)
- Banlieue Rouge - Audio/Vidéo (French) — Features MP3 downloads (with the band's blessing)
- Corrigan Fest Xavier and Sylvain's new combo
- Akuma (French) Safwan's new band
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