About Me

Interview with Subterranean Masquerade

Ah, Israel! Where everything is mystical, even the music. The “Mountain Fever”, Subterranean Masquerade’s latest album, released on the 14th of May, via Sensory Records is amazing and progressive Metal. It’s even more spectacular, because they’ve created an unique sound, combining very astonishing instruments.
We’ve talked with Davidavi Dolev (singer) and Shai Yallin (Keyboards) about how they’ve joined the band, lyrics, its challenges, the importance of Israeli music and more.
If you were at one of their concerts, especially with Orphaned Land and System House33, you know how great a show it was and they have a surprise for you! So read this interview!

M.I. -  Hi there, guys. Thanks for accepting the interview for Metal Imperium and the fans. Portugal salutes you and the Israeli community.

Davi: Hi, guys! Thank you so much for supporting us! Thank you! 

M.I. -  First of all, I would like for you to talk a little bit about your story, your musical background. I’d also like ask when did you realize that you wanted to be a musician and how the band met.

Shai: I’ll start on how the band met, because it’s going to be easy (laughs). The band started in 1997. Tomer started it. Tomer Pink was the main songwriter and the guitar player! I initially was a fan of the band. In 2004-2005, I bought the first EP and the first album: “Suspended Animation Dreams”! I really liked it! I would listen to it all the time. Tomer went under the radar and the band was gone! I kept looking to see if there were any news about the band. Then Facebook came along! I saw Tomer Pink, on Facebook, added him as a friend. Somewhere along 2013, he found out that I was a keyboard player and asked if I wanted to join the band. I said: “FUCK YEAH!”. And here I am! Davi can tell you a bit about his story with the band, which is also very interesting. Do you want me to talk about my history first or do you want Davi to talk how he joined the band first? 

M.I. -  As you like, Shai! As you like!

Davi: I want to hear how you got into music, Shai! I don’t know this (laughs)!
Shai: You don’t know this (laughs)? You don’t know the story, really?
Davi: No!
Shai: I was born in 1981, which is 40 years ago. My parents were both music lovers, as teens. They would listen to Progressive Rock (Pink Floyd, King Crimson). But they never played any of that to me, as a kid. They only played Classical music. My dad used to play a cassette, a cassette tape of Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Oxygène”. It is pioneer, electronical music from the 1970’s, mid 70’s. He would play to me in the car, and I would ask: “Dad! What is this? What are we listening to?” and he said: “It’s a synthesizer!”. I told him: “Dad! I want a synthesizer!”. So, then he went and bought me one, like a small toy, costumed keyboard and he told me it was a synthesizer: “I bought this for you!”. And I told him: “Ok! I want to learn how to play the synthesizer!”. They gave me an old toy gun costume, then I spent the next few years learning how to play the old toy gun and then, at some point, I had a crush on a girl, who was a singer and a piano player, and wanted to impress her. So, I switched to a gun. It didn’t work, but I stayed with the piano! I started taking the piano and also, I started listening to Progressive Rock and to Metal! The first CD that I ever bought was the album by Pet Shop Boys. The one with “Go West”! Then the second album I ever bought, was Metallica’s “Black Album”! The third album I ever bought, was something by Van Halen. From there, I just exploded into all Progressive Rock, new Progressive Rock, Metal. In my teens, I bought my first synthesizer! It made it all the way from the UK! It was in 1997 and people wouldn’t make all this from the Internet, back then, because the Internet was very, very young. So, it was an extremely real thing to do back then. But I got a synthesizer off the Internet, from the UK, when I was 16! And like that, that got me into all kinds of keyboard playing shenanigans. I would try to play synthesizers parts, like famous synthesizers parts, famous Hammond organ parts! I would try to play stuff, basically! Then I got draft into the military! Here in Israel, we have a long compulsory military service. I spent 4 years in the military! Three years of that were mandatory and one year was “I’ll just take my work home”, I guess. And then, I got out of the military, and I hadn’t played the keyboards at that point, for like four years! My girlfriend broke up with me, I had nothing to do and went on to making music. I joined a band, until 2015. And in 2015, I joined Subterranean Masquerade. And here I am! 
Davi: I will do as Shai! I will start about how I got into Subterranean Masquerade! At the end of 2017, I came back to Israel. I was living for quite a while abroad. I was studying and doing my art, in Scandinavia, in Copenhagen, mostly! At the end of my studying, I reached a point, where I felt that was a good time to come back home. I got back to Israel, and I got a phone call from Tomer. I really have to ask him, because I don’t know how he learned about me. But when he gave me the call, it was similar to Shai, in a way I knew Subterranean Masquerade! I knew “The Great Bazaar” album! I was a big fan, I thought it was great! I said: “Yeah! Let’s meet!”. And we met! At that time, I was supposed to only substitute for live shows, because Kjetil Nordhus was the performer singer of the band, could not tour, because he has a lot on his hands. He has Green Carnation, Tristania, things like that from Norway! So, travelling from Norway wasn’t the easiest task all the time! This was the reason I got the phone call; I think! After we played together a show and after we played the European tour together, I think that we just became good friends, we wanted to keep on working with each other and I was very lucky to be accepted to the gang, by Tomer, Shai and the rest of the guys! Since then, we’re together. This is the first album that we are doing together! So, we had three years of touring and now I’m very excited for this album, because I don’t know how the old fans are going to accept the change, but at the same time, we met so many people on tour, that know the band as it is right now, that I am hopeful that people will enjoy it.
My story with music, I don’t when exactly it started. I was always singing. I was singing all kind of vocal choir, when I was a kid. I really wanted a guitar! My initial dream was to be a guitar player! I got one when I was 12 years old. I was listening to a lot of Hip Hop by then, but then, when I got the guitar, I went into Metallica’s “Black Album”. The thing was that I was awful in math. I was really bad at that! So, my parents said: “As long as you are not getting good grades, we’re taking the guitar away, because you have to sit down and study!”. I am still awful in math, right (laughs)? I’m still horrible at that, because I didn’t have the guitar anymore and I wanted to play in bands. When I was 13 I was doing all kind of Thrash Metal and Punk, playing in cellars and some kids’ houses and no one sang. Everybody wanted to be the guitar player and I didn’t have a guitar, anymore! So, I just started shouting and I did it for a few years, when I was just improvising with my voice. When I was 19 years old, I actually started singing, learning how to sing! My teacher was, lucky for me, an avantgarde teacher and I didn’t know that! I thought I was just going to learn how to sing. But she was into avantgarde. So, my education started to be everything that is weird. From that point on, that was it for me! Since then, I think I’m just writing music and playing! This is why I left Israel as well, because I was looking for a place to make this kind of music, because I didn’t feel that there is enough of it here! And when I got home, 3/4 years ago, I met the guys!

M.I. -  Until now, you were considered a cult studio project, that has transformed amazing live acts and combined diverse music genres and mixing music from all over the world. How diverse is the music in your country and how did it influence your music?

Davi: I think it’s a mashup! I think Israel is a mashup! It’s a country built by immigrants, decades under decades, and I think everyone of us, if we’re looking at our roots, our family’s roots, the parents are never from the same place! My mother is from Romania and my father is from Poland! I was raised here in Israel! There’s a lot of middle eastern culture here at the same time. There is this immigrant mashup! People from Europe coming here, living in the Middle East! So, everything is mixed! The kitchen is also very much mixed! We have everything from everything! Shai is a big foody! He can say more! But I think that it’s only natural for Progressive Rock, from Israel, to sound like what we are doing, because we are from everywhere and from nowhere! So, the music sounds like that as well! It’s a big mashup! I think it influences us immediately, culturally where we’re from! You’re never only one thing! You’re always all of the things!
Shai: I think that the music is a melting pot of all of the cultures that everyone of us has assimilated, as we grew up as children, young adults and our parents assimilated as they came from Israel or from Europe! And their parents as they came from Europe or wherever they came from! So, Israel comes from North Africa, some come from Europe, Asia, India and Ethiopia! So, it brings everything together in a fusion of musical genres, in a cuisine and melting pot! I think to me, it took me a long time, because I’m a snob! I’m a musical snob! The Pop music in Israel is like fake Arabic music. Like Pop music with fake Arabic singing and I hate it! And for many, many years, I associated everything Arabic sounding with that trash Pop that I hate! And I didn’t even consider that music like Arabic sounding music to be music! But then, when I joined the band, I started to be exposed to oriental music that does not suck and that threw me back to my childhood, where my parents would listen to Israeli singers, who came from Greece. There’s a famous Israeli guitarist/singer, bouzouki player, who came originally from Greece. Then all clicked, because “I know this music! I grew up listening to this music!”. Then I shouted aside, tagged it as inferior, but now, being in a band that plays oriental music, is forcing me to get back in touch with the music I grew up listening to. I think the same is happening now with 80’s music, because I grew up listening to 80’s music. Then I became a snob and I started to hate it, but we have released an album, that is like heavily influenced by the 80’s retro music. And again, it confounds me with my musical upbringings, from the 80’s! Which is interesting to me!

M.I. -  Over the last two years, you’ve transformed exciting, colorful live acts and mixed the traditions of heavy metal together with the aesthetics of world music performance, spiritual punk and pure rock 'n' roll. How did you plan the live shows to make them so unique and unforgettable, so that at the end of the show, the audience will say: “One More Song!”?

Davi: First of all, thank you! I think that we never know! We’re experimenting with a setlist! It took us time, until we got there to Portugal, we were trying different things and several tours! I think we’re going for the songs that we feel that we can physically engage with the most on stage! That we can really feel it, move it and feel it in our bodies, so we can project it to the audience! I believe that if we’re able to have fun ourselves, then if the audience is coming to be happy, to escape from their daily routine, then it can work! But we never know! We always try something that doesn’t work. Luckily for us, the last tour was amazing! The audience really accepted us, and I think we did something correct with the setlist and now, we need to figure it out what was it, because it’s just a certain magic!
Shai: I think I know what it was! Firstly, it was that you have a short set! We’ve played 45 to 50 minutes! So, we have enough songs that motivate any boring parts! So, that we can just throw all of these songs together into a set and just make sure that there’s flow of energy in the set. It's like that! So, we start the show like we hit the grand running! We explode onto the stage! Then we place like one, two or three songs, back-to-back. Then we stop! We interact with the audience for just a little bit. But then, we bombard you with two or three more songs! Like before you even had time to realize what’s going on, most of the show is already behind us. Then we have two more songs and the last, usually we end with “Hymn of the Vagabond”. I think it’s our best melody. It’s a very catchy hook! We bring the audience upstage; everyone is happy and then, no one wants to go home. We leave you wanting more! I think it’s by desire! I don’t think it’s by accident! I think we did play with the moving songs, that did not work so well live, as we expected them. So, we even sometimes short the set and play less than we are allowed, just so that we can play those songs, who fit the most the energy, that we want to deliver to the audience!

M.I. -  “Mountain Fever” was released in May, more precisely on the 14th, via Sensory Records.   It’s a balance between the experimentation and your own vision of the expression of modern Pop culture in the Middle East. How would you describe this vision? And the pop culture? How did you combine Pop with your own universe?

Davi: I think first of all, it was melodies! I think we lived for hooks! I think we lived for singalongs! For stuff that people can come to the show and sing with us. We used much more electronic music on this record than usually. Shai is expressing so much with his synthesizers over there. The Pop culture in Israel again, it’s a mashup. The Middle Eastern sound and the party kind of thing that it’s going on. We want people to listen to the music and be happy, even though it’s Metal! Even though it can be rough or heavy! We want people to be happy and we want them to congregate! I think that’s what we meant by doing this album and keeping it colorful, as if when you’re pressing play, you can see the place we are from! 
Shai: Yeah! I think that if you listen to the popular radio stations, you could hear a song by Depeche Mode, followed by a song by Metallica, followed by החלונות הגבוהים. It’s our culture again! It’s a cultural feeling and I think we distinct this essence of fusion, into the songwriting, as Davi said. I think it’s all the coercion, around very solid songwriting, with great hooks. I think one thing that we did this time around that we didn’t do, is that I think we were very, very picky about which songs were going to get into the album and we did some major “surgery” on some of the songs, to remove parts, that weren’t interesting enough. Even after we started recording, we just threw junks of the recordings away, because they weren’t interesting enough and I think that’s why the album is not too long, no song is too long, in my opinion. There’s a very clear line that goes between our musical roots, our musical vision and bringing people up on stage, to jump with us. As Davi said: It’s the party culture! It’s: “Be together, as an unite”! 

M.I. -  With this fourth LP, you are heading towards a new ground and this one is, indeed, your more diverse work yet. How long have you been planning this material and working on the lyrics?

Davi: Shai will know better than me. They started in 2017, I think, with the first sketches. The album was ready in 2019. The lyrics’ process took about a month, to write them, to get the main melodies order and then we started playing with it, like correcting it, adding more layers, more harmonies. But the album was ready pretty fast! We worked on it one year. This is almost everything we did, in this year. Then it was done, we kept on touring, and we planned on putting it on out last year, in 2020, the beginning of 2020… but as we all know what happened to the World, we wanted to postpone it, so we get the chance to actually tour with the music! So, this is why it’s coming out only now. It took almost one hard year of a lot of work, right, Shai?
Shai: Yeah! I can add that! Recently, Tomer reminded me that he wrote the first demo, the first sketches for most of the album, while we were mixing the “Vagabond”! The “Vagabond” wasn’t mixed and was stuck on the mountain, in his home. He lives on the top of the mountain, he’s going to hide, it was cold and had nothing to do. Then he wrote the next album! This is Tomer! Like right now, he’s writing the next album! He’s always writing the next album! I think we have two next albums waiting for us, to work with, at this way (laughs).

M.I. -  Speaking of lyrics, you are well-known by distinctly complex songwriting. How complex would you describe your songwriting, and did you do the same for this LP?

Davi: The main difference here, is that so far Tomer wrote all the lyrics and the melodies. This is the first time, that someone else is in charge on the lyrics, which on this album, it was me! I don’t know how complex it is, I don’t know, but I can say that the lyrics are very personal, and it talks, mostly about identity, exile and the connection between the two. It talks as well, about two main feelings: two themes, which are love and guilt. Which are both emotions that bind a person to a place, a memory or to another person. So, it’s a very conflicted kind of album. In the lyrics, there’s a lot of self-reflections, from a perspective point of a person that is not able to travel! And so far, the albums were about a person, who’s actually travelling! So, now the travelling was more psychological and spiritual. It has a lot of references within the lyrics, and I think that if you read it from the beginning until the end, it makes a lot of sense. But like the inside of only one song, will probably look weird in the beginning! Although, I try to keep it catchy. So, I don’t know. People, write us! Tell us if it’s catchy enough, even without complex!

M.I. -  Even more impressive are the lyrics in other languages, specially “Mångata”. What made you want to add a new language in your record, and do you think that its message will break barriers, such as hate?

Davi: We did one song in Hebrew. It’s called “נומאד” (Nomad). It’s a prayer, for Yom Kippur, in the Jewish culture, is the day of atonement. The day where you look within yourself and see what you did right, what you did wrong. We have more songs about this day, in the back catalogue and also in every album, by Subterranean Masquerade, there is a Jewish melody, that is being arranged into a Metal melody! A little bit of keeping our traditions and showing our culture. I don’t know how people will receive it. So far people are very curious about this song, and I think it is mixed very well within the context of the album. That’s a prayer that we took, and we made it our own!

M.I. -  Was it a challenging album in every aspect? What was the difficult part?

Shai: Oh, yes! I think everything was difficult! We initially aimed to start recording in January 2019 and to be done with it by the end of March 2019, so that we could go on tour, after finishing the album, so that we could mix the album while on tour. That plan, it broke down pretty soon and by the end of March, we weren’t nearly done, nothing was done! It was very expensive! It’s the most expensive thing we’ve ever done, I think. We really did not save on costs! We recorded the drums, in Sweden, in Fascination Street. Tomer, Davi and Matan flew to Sweden for the week, to record drums. We could have done it much cheaper, in Israel. But we wouldn’t have gotten the Fascination Street sound and we wanted that sound! There are a lot of guest musicians in the album so, in cooperating all of the guest musicians together, it’s a mess! Lots of layers. You add one layer then add another, but it’s another layer, that conflicts with one of the layers, that you’ve already added. So, you need to change the layers! The album, it took almost a year for the material to settle enough, so that it wouldn’t move too much, when we pushed it. In the beginning, it was very much like soft clay, you put your hand and it glued, if you’re not careful enough. 
For me, it was the first time I wrote arrangements for brass instruments. I remember we have a French horn on two songs, on “Inwards” and “For The Leader, With Strings Music”, tracks number 4 and 9. I got it here, in my home studio, to record the French horn parts and what I didn’t take in count, is that a French horn delivers a lot of air! It has a very big significant air pressure, and this room is not so big! So, the entire room started to shake and then, my next-door neighbors came crying and begged me to stop, because their kids were trying to go to sleep, and they couldn’t (laughs). Yeah, it was fun! It was very, very difficult and there were many guests in the album and when there are many guests, sometimes people step on each other’s toes and you have to deal with interpersonal communication consent, but in the end, it’s the best thing that I ever did! I’m very happy! 

M.I. -  Which makes this album even more interesting, are the instruments in it, especially the Arabic violins. What more instruments, from the African and the Balkans brass sections did you use, that made this sound so majestic? Besides the music, what fascinated you from Africa and the Balkans to create this sound? Could you tell us what kind of instrument a bouzouki is and how difficult is it to play, to give its beautiful sound?

Shai: We used the brass section. So, that’s a saxophone and a trumpet, mostly. I wouldn’t call it African brass section, as such. It’s just the person, who plays these instruments, is very much into African music. So, he’s playing his influence by African music, but the brass section is European: Swiss brass section. There are no African instruments, per se! So, we used brass: saxophones, trumpets. We used a French horn in two songs, because a French horn is a very majestic instrument. It just flows! It gives you the sense of an orchestra, even if just one single French horn is playing! We have violins. We have a very, very talented violin player called Oren Tsor. He’s been recording with us since “The Great Bazaar”. So, since 2013, 8 years now! We always bring him in, and we always know that Oren is going to take my rolling parts and blow spirit into it. He’s a very spiritual guy! Oren also plays the viola and I really like the viola, because it adds something very interesting to the string section, that you don’t get, if you only have violins and a cello. Then we have a cello. I have a glockenspiel and I like to play the violin’s melody with the glockenspiel on top of everything. So, you don’t hear it, but feels as it glees. It just glees everything. And that combines with our percussion player, who plays post Arabic Percussions and Indian Tablas. So, you have Indian “spices” going into the mix. Am I forgetting anything else, Davi? Oh, yeah! We have ouds, bouzoukis, middle eastern stringed instruments, like an oud, lout or a bouzouki. They all have colors, on top of the mix. Everything together, it sounds like an orchestra, but it’s an orchestra that is multinational. It has members playing instruments, from all around middle east, like if you take instruments from all of this region, playing at the album, together! I think this is something that gives us a color, that you don’t find in many other bands, because no one does this specific mix, like we do! 
A bouzouki is a Greek plucked, string instrument! I wouldn’t know how difficult it is to play, because I don’t play a bouzouki! I think that’s for the talented bouzouki player to know! We have very talented players. We have Matan Shmuely, from Ophaned Land, guesting on bouzouki, on the last track: “Mångata”. He plays the bouzouki and lead guitars on that track as well and it’s just beautiful! For me, the bouzouki adds so much sparkle to the sound and I really love it! It’s the first time that I’m involved in recording bouzouki parts! In the other albums, Tomer just did it on his own, without involving me and this time, I was much more involved in the arrangements. It really caught me! I really love the bouzouki now! 
Davi: About the Balkans part, I know that Shai and Tomer, they did most of the work, but I grew up, as I said, in a family as partly Romanian. The spirit of the music really resonated with me. Jewish music was part of what we were trying to also achieve, I think. Certain spirit of a certain culture! So, it always flirts between a gipsy kind of magic to weird Jewish cabalistic thing that it’s going on. For me, at least!
Shai: I completely agree with you!
Davi: And the idea that the African part is mostly the rhythms and the spirit of what a tribe can experience together, so not only one performer and the audience, but everybody together. And that’s what we’re trying to bring from the North African part to the table!

M.I. -  You have some surprises for the fans: several notable guest contributions. Drums from Matan Shmuely (Ophaned Land), bouzouki and lead guitars on “Mångata”, by Idan Amsalem (Ophaned Land), vocals on “Somewhere I Sadly Belong” by Jackie Hole (The Super Things). What criterion were important for their choice? 

Davi: On the song: “Somewhere I Sadly Belong”, it’s not only Jackie Hole, from The Super Things, but also Melechesh Ashmedai, from the band Melechesh, that sings with us, that screams with me, on the second part of the song. I think we’re trying to bring in the artists that we feel the most they can bring themselves into our music and make some sort of musical sense to it and especially spiritual sense to it! I think that Matan Shmuely is an amazing drummer! I don’t think there are a lot of drummers out there that have his spirit and his audacity to how he plays! He’s just very strong and if you meet him in person, you will feel his charisma! As well with Idan! The way that Idan is playing the guitar, the bouzouki and where these two come from! And you can hear in Ophaned Land! You can hear how much identity there is there! Jackie, we were looking for the best R‘n’B Gospel singer, that we could find and Jackie studied with me in Denmark and I never heard someone like her! She is awaking the spirits, when she starts singing! And she never sleeps, by the way!!! That’s part of her personality. She can party. I would not say how old she is, because she would kill me, but she never sleeps! So, we wanted that sound of a person that is always awake. Always on! Last, but not least, Melechesh Ashmedai, from Melechesh, besides the fact that when I listened to Black Metal as a teenager, immediately I’m going to listen to Melechesh! Besides that, the lyrics and his personal story, I really wanted to find a guest singer. It wasn’t just because he was known! It was because he could really relate to the lyrics and it could really make sense, that this person (Ashmedai), would sing it and it was immediate! We went to the studio, he read the lyrics, he said: “Yeah! I get it!”. He did it! That’s it. We love to work with people that bring themselves and their own autobiography into the sound!

M.I. -  While you recorded the LP at Golan Heights, Israel, with David Castillo, the record was sent to Fascination Street in Örebro, Sweden (Leprous, Katatonia, Opeth) where it was mixed by Jens Bogren and mastered by Tony Lindgren. You’ve added heavy riffs and polychromatic arrangements. What more arrangements did you make regarding the sound?  

Davi: First of all, David wasn’t with us in Golan Heights. David went to Stockholm with us. He’s amazing! He did the last Leprous’ CD, he’s been working with Sepultura, Carcass and Opeth! We really wanted his identity!
Shai: We went from Sweden to Israel and then back to Sweden! In every step along the way, we had again to mold the next layer into what’s been recorded. So, we got this Swedish drum sound, then we went to Israel and then, Tomer recorded his guitars, the bass guitars in Golan Heights. Then we recorded all the lead guitar playing in Jerusalem. Davi recorded with David Castillo in Jerusalem! I recorded, in my home studio, my keyboards, the cello, some of the wind instruments, the brass instruments and the French horn, which blew the room. And then, it was sent to Berlin, where you see our percussion player and his percussion players and then, it came back to Israel again. So, it’s an album about immigrants, that migrated from studio to studio and, in each studio, another layer was added to the arrangement! Some of these layers have been planned in advance, for instance! When I wrote the string parts, that Tomer has recorded in Golan Heights, I wasn’t present in the session! So, I had some ideas and then his ideas were translated into music by Tomer and Bogren. So, in the end it all went well! 

M.I. -  The cover is so Subterranean Masquerade. Tells us, please, the story behind it and the meaning.

Davi: We worked with Costin Chioreanu from Romania. He is an incredible artist and animateur! All we did was to send him the music and the lyrics, tell him that the name of the album is not “Fever” and the only reference that we gave him, was the story of the prophet Elijah and The Chariot Of Fire. We wanted to give him freedom! He just nailed it! He listened to the music and knew exactly what to do! He sent it back and we had no comments. It was perfect!
The only thing I want to say, because I want to give people the freedom to see whatever they want, is that the “fever” that we’re speaking about, is a spiritual fever. This is why we wanted the story of The Chariot Of Fire, as a reference! And we really love psychedelic bands, from the 70’s and I think Costin understood that and did what he did! I think this is the best artwork by this band so far! I really love it! 

M.I. -  The first concert in Covid era will be at Jerusalem’s Metal Festival on the 3rd June 2021. How crazy would it be? Tell us more.

Davi: The festival is an annual festival. In Hebrew, is called “FestiKasach”, which means “Smashing Festival” or “Breaking Everything Festival”! This is the annual Jerusalem Metal Fest, there aren’t a lot of Festivals in Israel. There is one dude in Jerusalem, his name is Yehi Zaken and he has the only Rock’n’roll bar in all of Jerusalem! So, it has a strong community of people coming there, every time and Yehi just brought together a very cool lineup to party. The fact that we can, here in Israel, play music again, because the vaccine is, thank God, working, it’s actually neat! How crazy it’s going to be? We don’t know! I think I’m going to stand there, with tears, that we can actually play, because we haven’t played for a year and a half, almost two years! In Israel, we haven’t played since November 19th! So, I’m very excited! There’s going to be a lot of hummus. We are the ones that headline the festival, together with an Industrial Death Metal band, the guys that actually started the Israeli scene. Their name is Lehavoth, it means “Flames”! Besides that, there’s going to be a lot of bands from Jerusalem!

M.I. -  Even crazier was when “Nomad” was being played at Counter Corona Festival, in Japan and was recorded and filmed on the roof of Sound Coop Haifa. Japanese tend to like this kind of things. Tells us about the experience, such as the recording, please.

Shai: I like that Japanese like this sort of things, because people think that Japanese like every crazy thing! I think some Japanese people, at least, are very tired of people blaming Japanese of liking crazy things! Like “I want to be a boring Japanese!”. “I want to like boring things!”. “I want to sing to Mozart!”. “I want to listen to Pop music!”. “I don’t want to listen to crazy eclectic Metal, from Israel!”. Just kidding. So, I think Vidi came up with the idea, like the festival approached Vidi to record on the roof of the Haifa. He knows the Coop guys, the venue, the rooftop. The company, it’s a coop, they amplify and do roof services to shows. They have this warehouse, and they invite people to play on the rooftop. So, like we always do, we contacted our in-house photographer, Yalon, who is also our former drummer and we asked him to direct the videoclip. We just went to the rooftop, and we played two songs, not one song! One song was “Nomad”, and it was for the Counter Corona Festival and, then, the second song, is going to be a surprise, that is going to be revealed sometime in the future, I guess, Vidi?
Davi: Yes! It was above a train station, in the port of Haifa, the entire show! So, you can see the entire video, that we actually have trains coming underneath us! And that was fun! It was fun to do! Hopefully we’re going to do more things like that in the future! At least, until we come to Europe! 

M.I. -  And what about the tour with Orphaned Land and System House33… what do you remember about that?

Davi: What I remember is having the best tour that I’ve ever had that far! I used to travel Europe, with a private car, sleeping in the car and sleeping on the floors, in order to get to people and play for them. I think this was the second time we did it, with a full liner and actual place to sleep and to eat. So, for me that was wonderful! The people were wonderful! System House33 are very nice people! Orphaned Land are basically our brothers on the road, so far and we are very grateful that they brought us along, because this is not an obvious choice to take the same band twice to the road! So, we’re very grateful about that! The food was great, specifically in Portugal and France! We really enjoyed it! I’ll tell you this: instead of me telling everything, we will tell you now, that we have a documentary about this tour, that is about to come out in the next couple of months, it’s 35 minutes long and it tells the entire story from taking the plane from Tel Aviv, doing the entire European tour! So, this is going to come out very soon and I think that over there, you’re going to see how much fun we had and you’re going to see if you’re in the show, you’re going to see a lot of familiar faces! So, it’s going to be fun!

M.I. -  Name a few albums that you are listening to, that you think are great and fans should listen to.

Shai: Right now, in the last few days, I’ve been Vola, the album “Witness”. It’s a very good album! I’ve been listening to the last Gojira album: “Fortitude”! So very nice! I was checking out the last Motorcycle album, it’s called” Kingdom of Oblivion”. It’s very interesting, like old fashioned Scandinavian Hard Rock, Prog, Psychedelic stuff! It’s very interesting! I’ve been listening to other “fever” quite a lot, actually! And yeah! I think that fans should listen to it and should go buy it!
Davi: This week, I was listening to, on one hand, a new record by an Israeli band called Prye For Nothing. It’s Prye with an “e”! They have their fourth album coming out now! It’s called “Kivshan”! This is excellent technical Melodic Death Metal and Defiler can do anything with his voice, when it comes to screams. The songwriting is great, and the concept is great! So, check this out! Prye For Nothing! I’m listening a lot to the new record by a rapper, she’s also from Israel! I think it’s great! She just had a show in Jimmy Kimmel and she’s doing the Kelly Clarkson shows soon! She’s very unique for the Israeli sound! I think people should check it out! Besides that, I’ll always say this album, just in general: “California”, by Mr. Bungle, it’s a fucking Bible and everyone should listen to it! Always! These are the three that I want to shout out to right now!

M.I. -  Greetings once again to Israel. Any final words to the fans?

Davi: Be kind to each other and let’s meet at the show! Go on the stage and jump higher than me, please!
Shai: Always turn the light off when you leave the room (laughs)! Yeah! Be kind to each other and be kind to the environment! Be kind to the air! You only have one!  

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda