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 http://www.IsraelNationalRadio.com

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Yidcore interview


Yidcore interview
By Ben Bresky and Aviva Sieradski
December 7, 2004
recorded at the HaBanana Club, Jerusalem


Bram: I lost my kazoo.

QUESTION: I'm sure you get another kazoo.

Myki: But that was a special kazoo. That's like saying we could get another rubber chicken.

QUESTION: You had a contest about naming the rubber chicken. What's his name now?

Bram: Scrambles. We named it that because we like eggs, because it was kind of funny and because it pretty much describes our show and the state of ourselves by the end of the night so that all fits together pretty nicely.

QUESTION: What's Yidcore about and what brings you guys to Israel?

Bram: Yidcore's about 500 pounds in total, 400 pounds of which are me. Oh, we're about having fun, about being silly, just enjoying the culture, enjoying ourselves. Not in that way, Myki. We came to Israel a couple years ago and it was great. We said, when we get the chance we'll come back. We got the chance. So we're back.

QUESTION: And who are you?

Yoni: I am Yoni Ramone from The Ramones. I am the producer and the drummer.

Bram: It's really great to finally play with one of The Ramones. We've achieved legendary status.

QUESTION: You said you brought them to Israel because you were a fan. How did you get together?

Yoni: I was a fan of the band, and they were a fan of my band, The Ramones.

Myki: Yes, and when Joey died we felt sorry for him because he needed a new band.

Yoni: After Joey died, I needed a new band. I wanted to get with a major band, but then I heard about Yidcore. They were great. They were speaking my language and Joey's language as well.

QUESTION: Hebrew?

Yoni: Yes, Hebrew.

QUESTION: You also work for a band called Arallu. How did you get to be the manager for Yidcore?

Yoni: I knew about them for about six years. We were in contact for a long time actually. I asked them, "do you want to come to Israel?"

QUESTION: What other bands do you work with?

Yoni: I also help promote other bands like Salem.

QUESTION: What are you going to play in Israel that's different? Israeli songs?

Bram: Well it's not overly different from what we do in Australia. We play Israeli songs there too. We basically, depending on which camp you belong to, we take them and totally destroy them, or we kind of have some fun with them and mess them about and just have a good laugh. I'm not into all that serious stuff. I'm into joy and when we come here we enjoy ourselves and hopefully some people will enjoy us as well. As long as people are laughing for some reason, even if it's at us, I don't care. It's all good.

QUESTION: I really think you guys provide a very important service to the Jewish community all over the world...

Bram: You've heard about that one, have you? Whoops, we were trying to keep it a secret.

QUESTION: What you guys to is you take the best of Israeli songs, Jewish songs, traditionals, and you make it accessible to people that otherwise wouldn't really have much to do with being Jewish.

Bram: Oh, I thought you were talking about that other service. No, that's cool. Thank you. The bottom line is these songs are really good songs, you know what I mean? Its not their fault that they're playing in a boring 60's style. So we just kind of take them, these good songs. Basically we're saving Naomi Shemer from herself.

QUESTION: Why do you abuse hummus in such drastic and horrible manners?

Bram: Well, hummus did it first to us. We were abused by hummus's children and now we're coming back around. I think people are really limited in the way that they can use hummus. We just try to show them that there's at least five different ways to have hummus inside your body. Actually hummus is really good for your skin. You just
rub it on yourself.

QUESTION: What is your new album?

Bram: There's three. There's the Australian double album, collection of originals and a couple covers. One of the albums is Fiddler on the Roof -- the entire soundtrack done as a punk album. And then we've done an album just for this tour called Rocket to Rechovoth. It's a play on Rocket to Russia by The Ramones, Yoni Ramone's band. That was going back to what we originally started out doing which is which is just covers of classic Hebrew songs. But now we're at better studios, and the sound is better. We have the Hebrew songs sounding like we actually wanted them to sound. It was a lot of fun.

QUESTION: You are getting a lot of airplay on mainstream Australian radio.

Bram: Yeah. Our cover of Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings went really well. It went to number 3 on the youth radio chart. And then we had another song that went really well as well an original of ours. And the video for Wind Beneath My Wings went really well as well. It was an animated video. It was good.

QUESTION: Where did it get played?

Bram: MTV, and Australian music TV stations. It's been a lot of fun. It's given us a chance to grow a lot and get out there and play bigger shows better shows, be bigger idiots in front of bigger groups of people.

QUESTION: How many places have you played and what is your favorite place to play?

Bram: We played the Congo. That was really fun. We played by the Congo River.

QUESTION: Really? Wow. What did you play?

Myki: "In the Jungle".

Bram: Myki's big joke in the Congo was every time we saw a line he would say "look, it's a Congo line!" That was a really bad joke. The best was we got to blame it on Myki when it failed.

QUESTION: What was your religious upbringing? I read you sing in your synagogue choir. I also heard you were a rabbi.

Bram: I heard that too. It's rubbish. Do I look like a rabbi!? I went to a Jewish day school which is where I learned all these songs in the first place. I'm quite active in my shul which is an orthodox one. I was president. Maybe that's why people thought I was rabbi. And I do actually sing in the shul choir. I'm often told, "Keep it down a bit! Keep it down a bit!"

QUESTION: How did you originally form?

Bram: We originally formed a high school band at yeshiva. We were doing punk covers of really bad 80's songs. Someone asked us if we did any Hebrew songs. So we played Yershalayim Shel Zahav. We never thought we would be a real band. Then we were offered a record contract in America and we thought, shoot, we'd better start being a
real band now. We put together and album of seventeen songs. And we went of to America a few months later touring. It was very strange. It was fun though.

QUESTION: What's up next for Yidcore? More covers? More originals?

Bram: We've been writing some new songs. We have some ideas for more cover concept albums like Fiddler On the Roof. We have more things from the label in America and we're going to continue to tour around. We'll keep on having fun being stupid on stage as long as people think that's a good idea, for some strange reason. And also we have to explore another sort of animation style for our next video because we want to be animated in every possible manner possible.

QUESTION: Why do you like the animation so much?

Bram: Because we're ugly. On TV people will think we're cool.

QUESTION: Thank you very much for coming on and doing the interview. For more information you can visit www.yidcore.com. Would you ever one day think of moving to Israel?

Bram: Nope.

QUESTION: Why not?

Bram: I love it here. Israel is a great place. But I am so Australian. I could never leave my native land. I am a kangaroo.

###

For more information on Yidcore visit www.yidcore.com.