Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast

The Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast interviews the latest Israeli and Jewish artists and covers a wide range of styles from Carlebach, cantorial, klezmer, Israeli trance, Mizrachi, rock, Sephardic, hasidic and everything in between. Past interviews have included Matisyahu, Avraham Fried, and Miri Ben-Ari. IsraelBeat broadcasts live every Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Israel time on

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Infected Mushroom interview

Infected Mushroom interview
Conducted by Benyamin Bresky and Chana Samuels
Originally aired on on Nov. 14, 2004

QUESTION: Why don't we start by telling us your names and where you're from.

DUVDEV: I'm Amit Duvdevani and I'm from Kiriyat Moshkin in the north of Israel.

EREZ: I am Erez. Erez Eizen. And I am from Kiriyat Yam in the north as well.

QUESTION: What different about this album?

DUVDEV: I think this album goes more toward the original sound of Infected Mushroom. Like more fat beats for the dance floor, a little bit more hard then the last album, Converting Vegetarians, but it's in a new way, produced in a new studio. It's mainly for the dance floor, this album.

QUESTION: Some of your songs on this album and on previous albums, it feels like you get into a great groove to dance to and then suddenly it switches to something completely different.

DUVDEV: We try to make it a little bit interesting, you know? Because not only that you can listen to this track on a dance floor, you can listen in the house. That's why we involve a lot of classical sounds inside.

QUESTION: Is there any story behind the song Stretched?

DUVDEV: It's not so much a story. This is like a continuance to a song we had in the third album at the end which is called Dancing With Kadafi. It was a mellow track. Stretched is in the same idea. To finish a very hard dance floor album. Kind of a chill-out track in the end.

QUESTION: One of the guys in the other room of the radio station was just asking me, "what are all those weird electronic noises?" Maybe you could explain how you think up all these little bleeps and boops and things.

EREZ: We don't think too much. We just love them. Every noise we hear. We're really addicted to it. We're doing it with a lot of fun. Not much meaning behind it. We just like the sound.

QUSTION: But there's real instruments. Like in the track Stretched. That guitar, is that real?

DUVDEV: This one specifically is not real. It's a synthesized guitar.

QUESTION: Do you guys play real instruments on your albums?

EREZ: Yeah, of course. Like pianos, guitars, saxophone, violins. Duvdev sings.

DUVDEV: Sometimes.

QUESTION: On what track do you sing?

DUVDEV: In the Muse Breaks remix for Violet Vision, I sing in the middle. Cities of the Future, I'm the Supervisor.

QUESTION: I don't think on the old albums you really had singing or lyrics.

DUVDEV: This started, I think, in the Converting Vegetarians album when we did the other side of the CD and we did I Wish and the song Converting Vegetarians. I started more singing. We used to do vocals, even in the previous albums. Not as singing, you know. I think this is stuff we started to do in the last couple of years. For us its a new sound in the music. Not too much message in the words. It's just a new sound for us.

QUESTION: Do your fans like it or do they miss the old Infected Mushroom?

DUVDEV: Half of the fans miss the old Infected, half of the fans like it. This is always when you produce a new album, there is some who like, some against, but in the end, they'll all like it.

QUESTION: You music always makes people want to move and dance. Where do you get the energy for your music? How do you keep it going?

EREZ: It usually comes from the parties that we play at. After we come from a very strong party, we have the energy to make a new powerful track. At least this is the idea of how to make it.

QUESTION: So you feed them and they feed you.

DUVDEV: Exactly. I think this is the only way. When you travel so much and perform so much in the world you see the tracks that people like and some of the tracks that they don't like and from that you get the influence to make new ones.

QUESTION: How do you perform on stage? Are you up there with keyboards and computers?

DUVDEV: Exactly. We have the computers and keyboards and now we have a microphone. We had in the last show, Erez Metz which a very special guitarist from Israel. He plays guitars with us. We evolve our show each year and try to make it more of a show then only two guys with computers and keyboards.

QUESTION: Do you think your sound comes from where you're from in Israel? Is there a north sound or a Tel Aviv sound?

DUVDEV: I used to think that before but I don't think so now. I think that the Israeli sound is quite Israeli. There is no difference between north and south. But there is a difference between the Israeli sound and the European sound. I think that the trance music that is produced in Israel is a little bit more melodic and a little bit more fast because we are influenced from the Mediterranean kind of sound. In Europe it's a little bit different. It's more progressive. Less melodic. That I think is the difference between Israeli music and the rest of the world.

QUESTION: Do people in other countries pick that up? Can they listen to a track and identify it as Israeli right away?

DUVDEV: Today, of course. The Israeli full-on is known around the world as fast. They know this is Astrix or Infected of Skazi. They know it's Israeli straight away.

QUESTION: Why is your name Infected Mushroom?

DUVDEV: This is a story that we tell many times. There was a band before us called Infected Mushroom. They used to make punk rock and new wave and they broke up and went to London. Then me and Erez started to do music and we really liked the name and we took it.

QUESTION: Do you know those guys now.

DUVDEV: Yeah. I know one of them.

QUESTION: Are they angry at you?

DUVDEV: They were a little bit angry, but only later on. In the beginning, they said nothing. But when the third album, BP Empire came out, they were a little bit angry. But there was nothing to do. It's all ok.

QUESTION: Is there a story behind the track Yom Huledet, Birthday.

DUVDEV: Well, maybe there is a story behind it, but this is an original song by Berry Sacharof that we only remixed. Maybe there is a story, but the story is his.

QUESTION: What did people think when you came out with that album with Berry Sacharof?

DUVDEV: It was a single that we did with him for a special show in Israel and it was a very big hit and I think most of the people in Israel liked it.

QUESTION: Again, did people not like it because it wasn't the hardcore trance?

DUVDEV: This always happens when we do something like that. There are some fans that don't like it, but generally, most took it very well.

QUESTION: Are you going to team up with any other Israeli singers

DUVDEV: We teamed up again with Berry Sacharoff and Rami Fortis this time to do another version of a track called Ein Ketz LeHaldut, but most of the time we work on new Infected Mushroom material because we don't have time.

QUESTION: Sometimes you perform separately just as Duvdev, or just as Erez.

DUVDEV: This is happening only in Israel because here in Israel to make a live show it's a bit hard for the promoters and stuff so we split up in Israel as DJs. So sometimes you can see DJ Duvdev and sometimes DJ Erez. But outside of Israel when we perform, it's only Infected Mushroom together.

QUESTION: Outside of Israel, where are your favorite places and where are you accepted the best?

DUVDEV: Well today, we are excepted in countries around the world. Canada, we had a really amazing tour there. I think Mexico is our biggest fan base. Japan as well. To be accepted? For us it's to come and see a very big party and to see really good energy. For us, that's the best way to be accepted

QUESTION: Psycho was a huge hit in the clubs at one time.

DUVDEV: This is out biggest hit. It's one of the most known tracks in trance.

QUESTION: I must admit, when I first heard this song, I didn't get it. It's repetitive.

DEUVDEV: For me and Erez, until today, we don't understand why it's such a big hit, but it was.

QUESTION: But it's your song.

DUVDEV: We don't understand what is so "hit" about it, but it was. So I cannot argue with the crowd.

QUESTION: I understand you were classically trained musicians as children. How did you get from classically trained piano to this?

EREZ: It was the computers. We wanted to make music on the computer. We only had a computer, we didn't have any equipment or anything. So you only have electronic sound. and somehow we came to trance music.

QUESTION: Were you into any other kind of music?

EREZ: Yeah. Many kinds. Heavy metal, rock, everything.

QUESTION: I was interested in heavy metal because some other trance musicians I interviewed in Israel said they were all into heavy metal and then they all went over to trance. Was that it for you too?

DUVDEV: Yeah. I think almost everyone came to trance from heavy metal. At least the people I know.

QUESTION: From my perception, heavy metal was never very popular in Israel.

DUVDEV: Well, it was very popular, but trance became much, much more popular. For us it became a change from heavy metal and rock and then we went into trance.

QUESTION: Why is trance so popular in Israel?

DUVDEV: I think that psychedelic trance is very good to take pressure away with. This a country that you live in where you have a lot of pressure. If you want to take it out in the end if the week, I think psychedelic trance is very good for that.

QUESTION: What is the meaning behind the song Dancing With Kadafi? Where did you get that name from?

DUVDEV: It was a funny name that we thought of many years ago that if you can dance with Kadafi, you can dance anywhere in the world.

QUESTION: What did people say about that? Did they get it?

DUVDEV: Well, yeah, I think so. It was a very popular track as well.

QUESTION: What is the song with the little girl's voice? It's so haunting. Do you have your family and friends come on?

EREZ: A long time ago I had my little sister come on making weird, scary voices in the background.

QUESTION: Sometimes in the tracks you have little movie quotes.

DUVDEV: This we stopped a little bit. In the last album, you don't have it. We used to do it in the past. We stopped doing it because then you relate the track to the movie, and that was not the point. We do our own vocals and voices today.

QUESTION: Do you think some of your tracks are like movie soundtracks in a way ?

DUVDEV: We hope to think so, because we really want to do sound tracks for movies in the States and other places. But we didn't do it until today so seriously. We're going to do it more seriously, in the next couple of years.

QUESTION: Any movies in particular?

DUVDEV: We really like science fiction movies so if anyone is out there listening, we are open to this.

QUESTION: What bands influenced you at different stages in your career?

DUVDEV: I think we are influenced a lot from Depeche Mode and from the thrash metal. We listened to Dream Theater, and in the chill out scene, we listened to Simon Possford. In the past couple years, we listen to a lot of music like System of a Down, Linkin Park, we listen to MTV a lot, to take some stuff from the serious production over there.

QUESTION: What would you say to a guy that wants to do this kind of music? All he needs is a computer?

DUVDEV: In the beginning all he needs a good computer, good programs, and too work a lot because in the beginning he will be very bad but afterward, he will grow more and more and more, I think eventually he will do good stuff.

QUESTION: And you would need a keyboard?

DUVDEV: Well you don't need a keyboard today, for the beginning. if you already play it, it will help you. If you have a keyboard and are used to a keyboard, if you have it in your house it will be more easy for you to write the melodies on but you can do it on the computer as well.

QUESTION: When the first album came out, Erez, you were 16? What was that like? Were you famous at age 16?

EREZ: Not in the beginning. Nobody knows you in the beginning. You're really small. But after, I think, the second album, Classical Mushroom, people were starting to know both of us really well.

QUESTION: And you were still in high school?

EREZ: I was but I, well, I wasn't spending so much time in school.

DUVDEV: He was supposed to be in the high school!

EREZ: I spend more time in the studio.

QUESTION: What did you parents say about that?

EREZ: Of course, they didn't support it in the beginning, because they weren't sure if it was going to be serious or not, and I can understand that. But after a while when they start realizing the beginning of success, they started to say, well, what can you do?

QUESTION: What is the track Scorpion Frog about? What's with the violins in the beginning?

EREZ: We are fighting a lot on the melodies and in the end we are compromising on something in the middle.

QUESTION: I like that. It sounds like a movie soundtrack. I can see the Scorpion Frog creeping closer and closer as the music is playing.

DUVDEV: Well, not exactly. I think everybody has a different feeling about the track. When we do it, we don't think about that. We just think about the weird sounds and to make it good for the dance floor.

QUESTION: Any final words about your music or anything?

DUVDEV: Not so many words, I hope people will like and be open minded to what we do because we're going to change from album to album, at least we hope so. So continue with us.

QUESTION: Are you ever going to change completely drastically and come out with like, jazz music or something?

DUVDEV: Well, I don't know about jazz, but maybe electronic psycho jazz.


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