Monday, May 31, 2004
Moshav Band interview
Interview with The Moshav Band
by Benyamin Bresky
As broadcast on The Beat
May 27, 2004
Meir Solomon: Hello, hello. This is Yehuda and Meir from the Moshav Band broadcasting live from Moshav Mevo Modi'in.
The Beat: Why don't you just tell us a little about what the Moshav Band is and what you're doing here in Israel.
Yehuda Solomon: The Moshav Band is a band of three brothers and one neighbor that grew up together on a little Israeli moshav with American parents. We've been playing together since a very young age and decided to form a band and eventually ended up out there in the States traveling around playing our music together. Just recently we put out an album that's got mostly Hebrew songs. Meaning Hebrew and somewhat religious and we've been doing well in Israel so we've been coming back every now and then to play and we're back now for a couple of shows.
The Beat: Now your new album is mostly in Hebrew and your other albums had a lot of English songs on them. Why?
Yehuda Solomon: Why? I guess growing up on the moshav we were speaking English at home and a lot and Hebrew when we left the moshav. So we had a lot of influences from differently American and international artists so naturally we started writing a lot of songs in English and then we had the others idea of us who our roots are in Israel, growing up as orthodox Jews on a religious hippy moshav so we have that others idea of us and so we sort of blend the two and sometimes we do more of one or more of the other. That's how we've been who we've been.
The Beat: And the new album you're going to come out with is a livealbum?
Yehuda Solomon: Oh yeah. The last trip that we did to Israel was over Pesach and we recorded a live show at the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem. It's mostly Hebrew but there's definitely a bunch of new tracks that we've written recently in English too. So it's a nice blend and gives you a good feel of who we are.
The Beat: Now some of your tracks in English like the song Stop, talks about terrorism and social issue. You feel that's important? Do you have more of that kind of stuff?
Yehuda Solomon: Yeah. At the time when we wrote it we felt that it was an important thing to voice yourself. You know, you have to make your stand. At a time when the Jews are dealing with a lot of terrorism
and in general there's terrorism in the world. One of our best friends was murdered around that time too. We wanted to voice it and pray for it all to stop and take a stand.
The Beat: How do Israeli audiences react to songs like that? Do they know what the lyrics mean in English?
Meir Solomon: Israelis? It's quietly put I feel. It's a hope that all violence of all sorts and of all types should stop. Kind of lighter then what it can be, I guess.
The Beat: Now how about the Return Again album. Is there a concept there? What are you returning to?
Yehuda Solomon: Obviously you can deep with it and you can get simple. On a simple level it's just that everybody should try to tap in to roots and try to learn a little bit more about what our background is
what it means to us. There's sort of a misconception that everything is moving on into the future and everything is becoming digital and everybody's doing all these new things and everybody's forgetting that the truth is that wisdom lies in people that were before us. People now are becoming more and more lazy and everybody wants things easier but sometimes, the real, you know, the wisdom of the world are what's in the past. It's important to return to those wisdoms and dig those up.
The Beat: How would you describe your music? What instruments do you all play?
Meir Solomon: We have a nice blend. You we said, we grew up in a very musical home. Our father was a part of the Diaspora Yeshiva Band. We had a lot of music playing in the home. A lot of Celtic music, a lot of folk music from the 60's, 70's, and a lot of good Jewish music, so its sort of like world music at times and then its
rock and roll at other times. We have a mandolin in the band and we have some middle-eastern percussion, a violin every now and then.
The Beat: Do you have any good stories from your shows around Israel and America?
Yehuda Solomon: (laughing) Yeah, there's all kinds of funny stories, yeah. You know as a band you get to see a lot. I guess the funniest thing was that we showed up at Stanford University for Yom Ha'aztmaut, Israel Independence Day, a few weeks ago. It was done through Hillel House. We were very excited to come and celebrate Israel independence with Jews. And they happened to set it up at a frat house.
Meir Solomon: It was a very, very liberal, a very liberal environment.
Yehuda Solomon: It was a very liberal environment. The first thing we see when we pull up and start unloading out equipment and we see this guy comes walking out buck naked. I mean, completely naked out of the frat house. He was very excited, you know, to have some middle- eastern Jewish music. The show ended up being great and everyone was dancing, a lot of people without shirts on. It was pretty funny for us to be celebrating Israel Independence Day with a bunch of wild, crazy hippies up near San Francisco. But I think that it was a very positive evening. They ended up staying after the show and interviewing us and asking us a lot of questions about Israel and it was very positive. But it was just hilarious.
The Beat: That's Jewish students?
Yehuda Solomon: Some were.
Meir Solomon: I don't know if the naked guy was.
Yehuda Solomon: The thing with liberalism is that its open to a lot of things, not that that's bad, but sometimes borders are good for certain things. You gotta have some kind of border.
Meir Solomon: I mean the guy was definitely circumcised, but I don't know if he was Jewish.!
The Beat: So what about this moshav? It was founded by Shlomo Carlebach? You kind of grew up with Shlomo Carlebach then?
Yehuda Solomon: Yep. It all comes down to that. He was like the founder and spiritual leader. He had a lot to do with our parents ending up in Israel and on the moshav. He was just an incredible human being, you now? His music, his teachings, he was really one of the most real human beings we've ever met in our life and we had the privilege of performing with him and being his next door neighbor most of our childhood. That defiantly had a big effect and influence on our music too.
The Beat: What do you think of all the musicians now that are coming out, Carlebach inspired? I mean their everywhere now.
Yehuda Solomon: I know! It's become like a phenomenon. It's become huge. Which is great but...
Meir Solomon: As long as it's done with taste and goodness. There's a lot of phony stuff going on also where people are trying to imitate something or trying to be something that their not. The truth is the best music is music that comes from the heart and is for real. So if people are doing it for that, if people are influenced by him, it's all good, as long as their keeping it real.
Yehuda Solomon: Hopefully they're playing good music. And there's lots of minyanim that like to daven in his music and songs and dance all over the world, which is great. You're hearing of new minyans that are doing his style of davening which is very lively and brings life into the shul. So that's a positive thing.
The Beat: Any final words.?
Yehuda Solomon: Final words. I hope that through our music, you know, G- d gave us a gift of being able to play music and, thank G-d, people are listening. We should always stay true to who we are, to our roots. We're Jews. And that we should inspire people and make people want to connect to their roots. And hopefully we'll put out real good music.
# # #
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Infected Mushroom interview
Infected Mushroom interview
Conducted by Benyamin Bresky and Chana Samuels
Originally aired on www.IsraelNationalRadio.com 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.
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.
For more info visit www.infected-mushroom.com
Saturday, May 22, 2004
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.
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?
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.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Salamone Rossi interview
Interview with Anna Levenstein and Jeanette Sorrell of Apollo’s Fire
conducted by Benyamin Bresky
February 13, 2004
The Song of Solomon
Shaarey Tikvah Synagogue
Question: Why don’t you talk about your group and what you’re going to perform.
Jeanette Sorrell: Apollo’s Fire is a period instrument baroque orchestra, so were always interested in investigating baroque music that isn’t performed so music. There was a wonderful Jewish composer named Salamone Rossi who lived in the early 17th century who wrote a very special selection of Jewish sacred music in baroque style but with Hebrew text . So were having fun learning about this and were going to be performing it this coming weekend
Question: Anna why don’t you tell us what you do with Apollo’s Fire.
Anna Levenstein: I sing soprano in the chorus of Apollo’s Fire and I’ll also be giving a couple of pre concert lectures
Question: You’re a college student?
Anna Levenstein: I’m a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve and I specialize in early music performance practice, early music history.
Question: How many people are going to sing in the performance?
Anna Levenstein: I think it’s about fourteen or fifteen singers.
Question: And it’s mixed men and women?
Anna Levenstein: Yes. And we also have some instrumentalists.
Question: Is that the way it was in the 1600s?
Jeanette Sorrell: We really don’t know how this would have been performed. Probably male trebles singing the higher parts
Question: What’s a treble?
Anna Levenstein: Male sopranos. So boys, or men falsettists
Question: Just for those of us that don’t know, what is Baroque?
Anna Levenstein: The baroque period of music usually we say is from 1600 to 1750. This composer, Salamone Rossi is from the very beginning of the baroque period, so from around 1600. He lived and wrote n the city of Mantua in Italy which was one of the centers for the birth of baroque music and experimenting with new style there.
Question: He has the choral works and he also has the instrumental works. Are you going to perform both?
Anna Levenstein: Yes we’ll be alternating, some pieces from the sacred choral collection and then pieces that are instrumental only.
Question: And he did material that would be called Jewish themed and then also just general material?
Jeanette Sorrell: That’s right, because he worked for the Duke of Mantua and so his job during the day was to write basically secular instrumental music. Things like dances and trio sonatas. But then in his personal time at home he wrote this sacred Jewish music.
Question: When we say sacred Jewish music, what’s that mean? It was performed in the synagogue?
Jeanette Sorrell: It was intended to be performed in the synagogue we don’t actually know whether it was. That’s one of the mysteries. But that was the intention, certainly.
Question: And that was controversial?
Anna Levenstein: Yes, that’s right. This is a time in Italian Jewry where the Jewish community was really involved in Italian cultural life. The Jewish theater had been a part of the Dukal festivities part of Italian cultural life since the early 15th century really so they were really swimming in Italian music, Italian theater, Italian literature and I think they wanted to meld these worlds and create some music for their services that would express both these worlds. It s also a time when Jews, especially Sephardic Jews were coming back to their Jewish heritage , so they had been Christianized where they had been in the south and immigrated north to Italy and this music is part of the trend to reeducate the Christianized Jews who were coming back to Judaism in Italian culture.
Question: Salamone Rossi was Sephardic?
Jeanette Sorrell: No. He was coming from the Italian Jewish community but the rabbi who was the editor and publisher of this was very instrumental in this education movement. He also published education texts. Translations of Hebrew texts. And transliterations of Hebrew texts. For this community that was wanting to learn more about Jewish culture.
Question: But some of the rabbis said 'oh no, you can’t bring that Goyishe stuff in the synagogue.'
Jeanette Sorrell: That’s right. The music that you would have normally heard in the synagogue was chants. It only had one line. Like cantillations you’re used to hearing in synagogue today. The traditional cantiliations. So there was a controversy over whether to make the polyphonic music, this complicated art music, was glorifying G-d or against the tradition.
Question: But this whole thing is also kind of returning to the tradition too, you’re saying.
Jeanette Sorrell: I think it’s an attempt in a way to bring these two worlds together and in a way to attract the Christanized Jews and encourage them in their cultural; exploration. Because I think the problem was that Jewish that had become secularize who wanted to hear art music, sophisticated music, then it had to be Christian music because there wasn’t really any Jewish music like that and so this was a way of saying, okay in the Jewish culture we can have elaborate art music this serious great compositions, we can have in the synagogue also for our own people and it is for the glory of G-d.
Question: Now this brings us up to today and some of the Jewish music I get is like rap or reggae and some of these guys, that just the music they happen to do, but other Jewish musicians say, “yeah, we need to make it hip and modern to attracts the kids.
Anna Levenstein: I think its the same issues that were happening in the 17th century. It very similar to our conditions today. The Italian Jews in the 17th century were very comfortable in Italian culture just as we are in American comfortable in American culture and if and if we want to encourage the young people to learn Hebrew and to be involved in the Jewish community one way to attract them is with music. If you keep the text and if you keep the message and change the music, that’s in keeping with a long tradition of Jewish, I don’t want to say assimilation, but acculturation to the county and society their living in.
Question: What do you call the work The Song of Solomon in Hebrew?
Anna Levenstein: It’s called Shir HaShirim HaShel L’Shlomo.
Jeanette Sorrell: That’s a play on words on Shir HaShirim from the Bible, the Song of Songs. So instead of the Song of Songs, it the Song of Solomon, after the composer’s own name.
Question: The music and the lyrics, does it basically follow the Shabbat service?
Anna Levenstein: Yes. They’re written for services.
Question: Does it basically go through the entire synagogue service?
Anna Levenstein: Some of the pieces are for Sabbath. Some of the pieces are for particular holidays. There’s a wedding ode, kaddish. They’re all different.
Question: What is a trio sonata?
Jeanette Sorrell: A trio sonata is for two treble type instruments, which could be two violins, or flutes or recorders, plus a bass line. The bass line is played by either cello or viola de gamba. It could even be a bassoon. Usually with some kind of chord playing instrument alongside, which could be harpsichord or lute. So its flexible as to what instruments can play it.
Question: Rossi was one of the guys that invented this?
Anna Levenstein: Yes. He was one of the important composers that developed this form of music. I wouldn’t really say he invented it alone but he was one of the three or four composers who kind of developed it early on.
Question: OK, now getting back to Jewish life in Italy. He lived in the ghetto? What does that mean and what was the yellow badge?
Jeanette Sorrell: Well it was typical in Italian society at that time that Jews were forced to live in a certain part of the city that was often barricaded off and they were also forced to were a yellow badge. A star of David . This is the same kind of tradition that was resurrected later by Hitler. But Rossi was exempted of this because he worked for the Duke in the palace. And the Duke very much appreciated his music. And so he did not have to wear the star but he did live in the ghetto and walked every day to the palace.
Question: We just talked about Jewish people being acultured into Italian society. Is this during the same time period?
Anna Levenstein: The ghetto wasn’t established until about 1610. So this is quite a late development. Since they had been living there since the 14th or 15trh century.
Question: A new guy came along?
Anna Levenstein: There had been very strict anti Jewish laws made in Rome and there was resistance to them in the north of Italy but eventually they had to give in and they started adopting these anti Jewish laws, creating ghettos and enforcing this badge that had been a law but hadn’t been enforced for many years. But here were always Jews that served at court as doctors as philosophers and as musicians and they were aloud to were whatever they wanted, and they also didn’t have to were the badge.
Question: Okay now let’s talk about you two. How did you get into this? What attracts you to this?
Jeanette Sorrell: We in Apollo’s Fire are always interested in bringing to the public baroque music that is great music but maybe has been neglected and I think that’s the case with Salamone Rossi. He’s really one of the important early baroque composers from Italy but his music hasn’t been played very much in this century because his music doesn’t work very well with modern instruments. It needs to be played by period instruments. Specialists. Which is what our group does. So that’s one thing. But I think Anna has been immersed in Rossi for many years.
Anna Levenstein: For a couple of years I’ve been looking into music of this time in Italy for my doctoral project at Case and so I’ve been interested in what the musical; life around Rossi was and how it could be that a great composer could be Jewish and could work for the duke and I’ve discovered that the Jewish community ad been involved in musical life in Italy since the early 15th century. And had presented theatrical productions with music for many years. So that’s how it came about that they had those genius composer who could come out of this culture.
Question: Again this is Jeanette Sorrel, the conductor and Anna Levenstein, one of the singers from Apollo’s fire. Thank you for being with us, do you have any final words?
Anna Levenstein: Just to mentioned that recordings that we’ve been playing today are by a different group and that group performs this music a capella with no instruments but in fact we’ll be performing it with instruments accompanying the singers and so it’s quite a bit more colorful that way.
For more info see the Zamir Chorale article on Rossi.
Ein Od Milvado interview
Injured Musician Sings of Faith, Redempion
By Benyamin Bresky
December 19, 2004
Interview with Shivi Keller, lead singer of Ein Od Milvado.
QUESTION: The reason I wanted to interview you is because I got your first album. It’s called Ein Od Milvado. The cover is very colorful and on the inside, the CD just has a blank white label with the words Ein Od Milvado. The last song is fifteen minutes long and it’s called Ein Od Mulvado and just about the only words in it are “ein od milvado.” So I decided I have to interview this guy and figure out what he’s about.
SHIVI KELLER: [Laughing] OK, well, the issue is ein od milvado, you know? It’s just that Hashem is creating everything beautiful. As simple as everything is, Hashem is creating it all the time. So on the outside you can see the colorful painting of Baruch Nachshon from Hebron. On the inside, I just want you to listen to the music and feel the closeness to Hashem.
QUESTION: A lot of these songs are slow and moody. Why is that? What does this express?
SHIVI KELLER: Sometimes slow is faster. If you give enough space in silence to listen, you get inside and really feel what you really feel. When you're all the time rushing, you can't. There's all kinds of beautiful fast music and all kinds of styles, but this CD is where we're trying to really pray and ask Hashem to open up our prayers. Everyone that listened to the music told me they enjoyed it and it opened up something in their soul.
QUESTION: Who are the guys in the band and what do they play?
SHIVI KELLER: We have some friends from Kiriyat Arba and Jerusalem, Eliahu Bigi on faz…
QUESTION: What kind of instrument is that?
SHIVI KELLER: It’s like Turkish guitar. It’s like an oud but smaller. It has a round stomach. We have percussion from Kiryat Arba, Moshe Levy on electric guitar, and I play the simple guitars and sing.
QUESTION: What is the song Behastcha about?
SHIVI KELLER: We say at the opening of the song, King David is praying to Hashem: “You know I have so much trust in you. I have so much trust in your goodness that you will reveal. I believe that you will bring the redemption and redeem me. So right now I am happy even though right now I am stuck. I know that for sure He is not going to let me stay stuck. Because I know that He is going to redeem me and redeem the whole world, so I have to be happy. So we sing to Hashem.” Those are the words of the song.
QUESTION: Are most of the lyrics about this subject? G-d, redemption, that kind of thing?
SHIVI KELLER: It’s all prayers to Hashem, but it has an atmosphere of people together. You can hear all kinds of voices coming together in the album and we're just waiting together for the redemption. And what are we going to do while we're waiting? So we’re waiting and we’re singing and we’re crying out for the geula and here we are sitting here in Eretz Yisrael or wherever we're sitting, and we're waiting to bring the redemption and were bringing more light by singing, bringing more love and beautiful songs to the world.
QUESTION: Maybe you could talk about your town where you live.
SHIVI KELLER: I live in Kiriyat Arba. It’s a neighborhood of Hebron. I've lived there for ten years now. Before, I lived in Jerusalem.
QUESTION: Why did you move there? Why is it special to you?
SHIVI KELLER: Well for me, Kiriyat Arba is part of Hebron. And Hebron is the light of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are buried there. It’s a very high and spiritual experience to come there and pray there. A lot of people that come, even for just one Shabbat, they feel very high connection, that something is opening up in their prayers. Baruch Hashem, we have a studio there, and we do our music right there. A lot of our songs are coming just by sitting there at the Cave of Machpelach, and we thank G-d for that. We invite all of Israel and the whole world to come and to see beyond all the wars and all the balagan that people usually talk about happening in Hebron to come and see how beautiful and how holy it is and to connect to their roots.
QUESTION: Now you had an incident driving home one day, I understand.
SHIVI KELLER: Yeah, yeah. Twice. I got injured twice in this war of the intifada. Once I came from the Tomb of Joseph in Shchem and lost my eye. That’s about 15 years ago. And once about three years ago I got shot near Hebron by terrorists. But I know that ein od milvado. So it's all from Hashem and it’s all for the best. We believe that the more we give Hashem the credit to take care of things and to know that he's the boss of everything, so everything is going to be beautiful and the redemption and moshiach is going to come. and we're waiting for that.
QUESTION: You only have one eye? [surprised]
SHIVI KELLER: Right. Well, only one good eye. [laughing]
QUESTION: All your songs are about love and G-d and redemption. Don’t you write songs about pain or anger?
SHIVI KELLER: Well, I'd probably do that if I was angry, but I'm not angry. I'm not angry. I love Hashem and I know that whatever is happening is for the best. There is nothing that can happen that is not His will. I know that sometimes it is like a difficult test for people to understand. We need a lot of help from the tzadikim to be connected to the tzadikim, to the Baal Shem Tov, to the Avot, to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The whole meaning of being a Jew for me is to believe that Hashem is doing the best for all of us and to live a good life. So even if something happens, we're not going to stop and be angry all our lives. We're going to be happy that we're still alive and that we can still do whatever we can do. I hope all of Israel can get inspired by the music and get connected to a deeper belief in Hashem.
QUESTION: The covers of both of your albums are done by Baruch Nachshon. He’s kind of famous.
SHIVI KELLER: Yes, he’s very famous. And he’s a very big artist.
QUESTION: Do you know him personally How did you get him to do the artwork for the CD covers?
SHIVI KELLER: Well, he didn’t do them just for the CDs. They are large paintings that he made at home. He gave us the permission to use them for our covers. He lives in Kiriyat Arba and has been painting there for about thirty years. All his painting are special. I know that Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, when he came to Kiriyat Arba, we went together to Baruch Nachshon’s house, and he wrote down in his journal that the paintings belong in the days after the redemption. Everything is really clean, with no evil. So we try to connect to that.
QUESTION: How did you get into this whole music thing? Did Shlomo Carlebach inspire you?
SHIVI KELLER: Yeah. I was connected to Shlomo since I was about thirteen years old. I used to go to his concerts in Jerusalem. Later on, we got pretty close. I would love to call myself his student. I don’t know, I think that’s too big for me. It’s like he was so big and so much about love and music and connecting everybody to Hashem. So we try to go in his path.
QUESTION: Your music sounds little like Shlomo Carlebach, but no really. You’re kind of doing your own thing.
SHIVI KELLER: So I’m an Israeli. I live here and grew up here. Reb Shlomo didn’t want anyone to do anything else but their own thing. So that’s what were doing.
QUESTION: When if your next concert?
SHIVI KELLER: There’s going to be a concert in Tel Aviv on Rosh Hodesh Adar. Something big. We’re looking forward to it. It’s only getting arranged right now, so we’ll see.
QUESTION: And you also perform with other musicians?
SHIVI KELLER: We have a group of friends that are all musicians. Sinai Tor is very big now. Benny and Moshe Levy -- all kinds of friends are in this studio of ours. We’re going to make more discs for everyone. Each one has his own music, but we’re all doing it together.
QUESTION: Is there a web site or email address?
SHIVI KELLER: Right now, not yet, but whoever wants to come to Kiriyat Arba is invited and we’ll meet you there.
QUESTION: Can you talk about the song Ein Od Milvado? It’s fifteen minutes long and just about the only words are “ein od milvado”.
SHIVI KELLER: When you do meditation, you have a mantra. They call it a mantra but it’s in the kabbalah, too. You can just take a few words and do it. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov talks about it a lot. Even if you don’t have what to say to Hashem, if you have only a few words, so just say these few words, again and again and again. It can be higher then just talking without any feeling or inspiration. So we just took these words that mean “nothing but G-d”, ein od milvado, and I guess we really get into it. (laughing).
QUESTION: Any final words?
SHIVI KELLER: What can I say? I love you all and I hope that we can all sing together in Jerusalem. We hope the whole world will come together and sing one song in Jerusalem. This song won’t have so many words. Just praise to Hashem. That’s what were waiting for.
To purchase CDs by En Od Milvado, visit Gal Paz music.
For more information on artist Baruch Nachshon, visit www.NachshonArt.com
Benyamin Bresky is host of The Beat on Israel National Radio and a frequent contributor to Jewish newspapers.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Shotei HaNevuah interview
Interview with Shotei HaNevuah
by Benyamin Bresky,
as broadcast on http://www.IsraelNationalRadio.com
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: OK, this is Roi Levi. You are the lead singer of Shotei HaNevuah.
ANSWER: I wouldn't say the lead singer. I would say one of three singers.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: What else do you do in the band?
ANSWER: Mostly I write, sing, play guitar and dance.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: What is Shotei HaNevuah? What kind of music do you do?
ANSWER: We are six old friends that know each other for years and years. We started to perform under this name in 1998.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Where did you all grow up?
ANSWER: The band consists of me, Gilad, Amit, Shimon, we grew up in Metulla up north and started playing together when we were eleven years old. Gilad's mother and Amit's mother were high school friends and they gave birth on the same day in the same hospital to Gilad and
Amit. So the families were friends. We met for an unforgettable evening in 1988. Amit came to Metulla and we played together and it was magical. We lost touch for a few years when we went traveling. We met again in 1994 with Amit. Basically Amit, the bass player and musical producer and Idan the drummer, are brothers. Avraham is also a very old friend from up north. Assaf the guitarist is also an old friend that Amit met in the USA actually when they studied music
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: When you first started playing at eleven years old did it sound like it does now?
ANSWER: I think we always were attracted to grooves of all kinds. We have some ballads. But mostly we like the beat that you can dance to. But we go along many styles, many styles of music that you can move to. We weave elements into it.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: What does your name mean and why are you called that.
ANSWER: Shotei HaNevuah is The Fools of Prophecy. The name came into my head a few years ago. It's a play on words. It is written somewhere in the Tanach that after the Second Temple was destroyed, that the prophecy was given only to children and fools. It's kind of
written in a negative way but we thought we can pour light on it in a positive way. We were also very engaged in, like, loosing conscious. Like, once you don't think about what you're doing, you might be doing the right thing. You know what I mean.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: I heard some musicians say they kind of loose themselves in the music when they play.
ANSWER: Exactly. Yeah.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: I notice a lot of your songs are long. You get into a long groove there.
ANSWER: Yes. That's what we're talking about.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: And what's with the donkey.
ANSWER: The donkey?
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Yes.
ANSWER: The donkey, she is a friend of ours. She joined us about four years ago. We met her. She is also our spiritual teacher. She teached us things that cannot be verbally pronounced. About generations. Generations of life apart from generations of human beings and Jews and Arabs and the regular history that you are taught. She taught us the element of generations of life. Usually when we think about two thousand years of exile, we think about our history. And other people think about their history. But there is the history of G-d which is the history of nature. Along a period of 2 thousand years other things happen that are generations of flowers, generations of different kinds of life forms. And donkeys is also an example of generations. Like for example here, there are many generations of donkeys that are in the holy land that nobody speaks of and they are very important. They she was teaching us a bit about that. If we listen to the silence of a donkey, we might learn something.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: I thought maybe the donkey represented being a fool. I mean, I thought, the donkey was like an example of a foolish animal…
ANSWER: Yeah but it's not true. If it represents something, it represents prejudiced thinking. Like the donkey is a fool. The donkey is not at all a fool. You can ask zoologists and they will tell you that a donkey is more intelligent then a horse. And we are also very interested in whipping the dust of all the fixations in ways of speaking. Like, the donkey s a fool, the Jew is a cheater…
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: So there's an actual real donkey?
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Do you...
ANSWER: She's here with me at the moment.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Do you take it to the concerts with you?
ANSWER: Not yet. She is humble. There is a chance that she will come
to Tel Aviv and give some autographs.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: You have a concert coming up in Tel Aviv soon.
ANSWER: We actually perform every night.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Where do you perform?
ANSWER: Tonight we have a gig in Tel Aviv. Basically we have a gig
every night lately.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Is it just you or is there an opening band too?
ANSWER: There are a few artists that are guest artists on our gig. At the moment we have guest rappers and guest player. We also have a very talented saxophonist.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: What are the different instruments that you use in the band? It's not just guitars, drums and bass, right?
ANSWER: Yes. We have what you call, ethnic instrument. Like jumbush which is a Turkish string instrument. You can hear it on our second album. Also other traditional ethnic instruments alongside modern instruments like synthesizers and programmed beats and bass and drums and everything.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Is your new album different then the first one? Did you try and make it different.
ANSWER: I don't think we tried to make it different but we were different. People change.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: How does it feel to hear you music on the radio? You're getting a lot of radio play now.
ANSWER: Yes. More then before. How does it feel? Sometimes it's strange. Sometimes you're doing something else and you suddenly hear your own voice on the radio. Basically it feels good because the radio is a stage and we do what we do to be heard.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: What does the symbol mean on the cover of the album? It's like a Magen David?
ANSWER: Yeah. With pomegranates. This old symbol of Judaism is not passe. And it will always produce fruit and bloom. Every year like the pomegranate does.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Where do you want to go now with your music? New tours? A new album?
ANSWER: We've organized a tour as we speak in the US. And of course we'll do a third album
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Do you know where you're going to play in the US?
ANSWER: We were invited to play in San Francisco. We will check out where to play else where like New York or LA.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: Anything else that you want to say about you or your music?
ANSWER: I want to thank the audience for coming to the concerts and for responding to our grooves and to our message. We would have been nothing without them.
ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO: It says on your website that you're on a mission.
ANSWER: Every living person to some extent believes that there something for him or her to do here. And we know it. That what we do is what we were born to do.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Links to Israeli and Jewish music resources
* Mostly Music
* E Shop Israel
* Gal Paz
* Ideas Creative Gifts
* Israeli Scent
* Tara Publications
* Judaica Web Store
* Arutz Sheva Mall
* Noam Productions
* Steimatzky Books
* Hatikva Music
* Jewish Store.com
Concert Clubs and Venues
Blogs, journals, reviews, etc.
* ACUM - Israeli licensing & royalties
* Cantors World - cantorial music center
* Corner Prophets - Open mic hip-hop in Israel
* Chazzanut Online - Jewish Liturgical Music
* Bat Amanoot - Daughter of the Arts
* Israeli Music TV
* Metal Israel
* Top 20 singles - Haaretz Newspaper
* Harrari Harps - Biblical harps made in Israel
* Hebrew Songs - lyrics, translations
* Israeli Dances
* Blog in DMinor - Hasidic and Jewish music
* Country Yossi Magazine
* Israeli Music TV - free videos
* Hebrew Songs - translated lyrics
* Hora - Israeli dance site
* Israeli Dances - classes, teachers, steps, song listings
* Israeli Drum and Bass forum - DJs and electronic music
* Israeli Studies in Musicology
* IsraTrance - Israeli Psychedelic Trance Exprience
* Jewish Music & Misc. Audio
* Jewish Music Blog by Keyboard Guy - Chasidic and hareidi
* Jewish Music Reviews - chasidic and hareidi
* Klezmer Shack - 10 years of Klezmer music past & present
* Jewish Music WebCenter
* Metal Jew - Jewish heavy metal blog
* Radio Hazak - Israeli music blog
* YADA - Yiddish Ameican Digital Archive
* Israeli Reggae Rasta site
Radio Shows & Radio Stations
* Israel National Radio
* AMFM - Israel Radio portal - In Hebrew
* B'nai Brith Jewish Music Radio
* DeProgram Program with Shai Ben-Tekoa
* Five Towns Radio - Jewish Music
* Israel Beat - Jewish/Israeli music, interview, live performances
* Israel Hour
* Jewish Community Radio - with CD reviews, interviews & more
* Jewish Radio
* Kol Cambridge with Samuel "Antithesis" Green
* JM in the AM with Nachum Segal
* OURadio - Orthodox Union
* Rejuvenating Heritage
* Zion B'Ayin - Israeli rock
Arutz 7 family
* Arutz 7 Radio Hebrew
* Arutz 7 Radio French
* Arutz 7 Radio Russian - Sedmoy Kanal
* Arutz 7 Radio English - Israel National Radio
* Israel National News
* Israel National TV
* B'Sheva - weekly print newspaper in Hebrew
* History of Arutz 7 Radio
* Kumah - Aliyah to Israel
* Rabbi Tovia Singer Show
* A Light Unto the Nations
* Temple Talk
* Walter's World with Walter Bingham
* Tamar Yonah Show
* Woman of Valor - Eyshet Chayil Show
* Aliyah Revolution Show
* Aliyah Revolution - The Movie
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Megadeth Plays Israel
by Benyamin Bresky
The third annual Metalist Festival took place on June 22, 2005 on Palmachim Beach near Tel Aviv and featured internationally known heavy metal bands Megadeth and Destruction. The other seven bands on the bill were from Israel and played a variety of metal genres from 80's style glam pop to growling death metal, to gothic tinged doom metal with female vocalists.
The biggest act of the evening was the multi-platinum, multi-Grammy Award nominated Megadeth. The American group started in the 1980's and released their latest album in 2004. Israel National Radio's Ben Bresky host of The Beat music program had the opportunity to go back stage and interview lead singer Dave Mustaine.
Israel National Radio: My first question is how did this all get set up? How did you end up coming on the Metalist festival in Israel?
Dave Mustaine: Well, the way things happen is we have an international agent and he was contacted by Yuri the promoter here. Yuri contacted him and asked if we wanted to do this festival. I really wanted to play Israel for numerous reasons. My Mom was Jewish and I had been here a couple times, once working, once for personal reasons. I find the country to be fantastic, the people to be amazing. The turmoil that's going on in some of the hot spots in some of the country don't scare me. Although it is frightening to think that life and safety are at risk, I know that what America sees on TV about Israel is not reality. The rest of the country here is so fantastic and beautiful and the people are so loving and passionate.
Israel National Radio: You have a song on the new album called Truth Be Told in which you talk about Cain and Abel and Osama bin Laden. That could be considered Israel oriented.
Dave Mustaine: Well I've mentioned Israel in songs before, in Holy Wars. Holy wars don't necessarily have to start in Israel. It can be anywhere. There are so many holy wars taking place in the world right now anyway. People are dying for a cause. It's so unbelievable. It's hard enough to live as it is right now with people dying from just aging and disease and everything that people would randomly kill innocent people for a cause. You know I read something in the Turkish newspaper today that they had sentenced some guy that was planning on blowing a plane up into the national monument of the person who had founded the Republic of Turkey. There was supposed to have been literality tens of thousands of people celebrating there and this guy was going to crash a plane there. I'm thinking, what makes people think like this? I mean, people, they'll live and die for their causes. But to me, my life is much more easier. I love playing music. I love entertaining people. My whole thing is about bringing joy to people's life. I've been an angry man for a long time and I still get angry, but that's not one of the things that brings me happiness. I'm not happy being angry. I know that's a dichotomy, but you know what I'm saying.
Israel National Radio: I was talking to some of the other groups here. All Israelis have to go to the army at age eighteen. And they were saying, before the army when they're in high school, they're into metal. They need that kind of music in the army. Then after they get out of the army they stop being metal.
Dave Mustaine: Well one thing that I will say, I'm a very proud American, I love my country, and I believe that our nation in America could learn a lesson from your country here with mandatory military service. I think it instills character into the youth and although a lot of young people here probably don't really like having to serve, I think that the integrity and the character of the Israeli people is much more consistent then a lot of other countries because of that mandatory military service. I think that it's good for people. Now as far as getting out of the army and metal not being important anymore, I think that has to do with the fact that people change. But if your a metal fan - and really, that's the first syllable of fanatic, that's what the word means -- you'll be a fan whether your in the army, whether your out of the army, whether your a scuba diver or whether you pick up dog poop for a living.
Israel National Radio: Did you have any kind of Jewish upbringing?
Dave Mustaine: No. No I didn't. Although my Mom was Jewish, I didn't have any Jewish upbringing. I know a little bit about it. I'm a Christian. I've learned a lot about the history of the country. When I came here for my vacation, I got to see a lot of the country that, you know, goys just don't see. I mean, for me to come through here and be able to go in and see some of the private stuff that you can only see with a military pass, was fantastic for me.
Israel National Radio: Are you familiar with any of the Christian-Jewish groups here in Israel?
Dave Mustaine: No, and that's not really what I want to talk about. That's not for me. I don't want what my personal beliefs are to tell other people how to live their life or what to do. I try and set a really good example as a guitar player and a musician and as a songwriter and lyricist. I've had a really checkered past in my life. I enjoy being married and being a father now and my life has changed considerably. But as far as getting involved and being an activist for religion, no. I'm not interested in that.
Israel National Radio: What are you going to play tonight? Are you going to play Holy Wars?
Dave Mustaine: Well we've got two hours worth of songs to play, so if I listed them all off it would give away everything. But we're going to play stuff off just about every album. There's a couple of albums that we're skipping. The very first record, the songs are too fast and they just don't come across live very well. Risk doesn't have any songs that are being played off it. There are a couple records that have a lot of songs that are being played off it because they just sound good live and their fan favorites. So yeah, we'll be playing Holy Wars, Peace Sells But Who's Buyin', Sweating Bullets, Symphony of Destruction, and the rest is just going to have to be secret.
Israel National Radio: Do you have a feel for metal in Israel?
Dave Mustaine: No. I haven't spent a lot of time here. The last time I came here was as a full-on tourist so I didn't get a chance to make any kind of cultural discoveries other then sitting on the beach and sucking in the surrounding atmosphere. As far as knowing anything about Israeli bands, I'm sure there's some fantastic Israeli bands, as there are bands from any country. Right now the music industry is really driven and it has very little to do with music anymore. It's about business. So if a band's going to make it nowadays in the music business, they need to be very thoughtful about what they do they need to concentrate on songwriting. Some of the bands we've played with get up on stage and it's just about outrageous behavior and not about musicianship. That stuff doesn't fly. That will maybe be cool for a couple of shows but it gets boring.
Israel National Radio: So what's up next for Megadeth? New album? Where else are you touring?
Dave Mustaine: I haven't made up my mind yet what I'm going to do. We have made a definitive end date for Megadeth at the end of October and I was going to make a decision as to whether I was going to continue with this band or not. I am going to continue playing with my band mates because we get along fantastically. But the legacy of Megadeth and the name -- it's been used for so many years -- and there's been so many other people involved in it. Partially I wants a clean break to start over again and to continue to go forward on the accomplishments with the men that I'm playing with right now. Partially also I feel, things are going great right now so why stop it? So as far as what were going to do, I can tell you right now, I don't know. It was supposed to be the last record, the last tour, over. Done. Now I'm kind of wondering what I should do.
Monday, May 10, 2004
August 27, 2006 - Aliza Hava
PART 1: Singer/Songwriter Aliza Hava discusses her new album Rise, inspiration from her Holocaust survivor grandmother, her performance at the cALL Women's festival and more.
PART 2: Classic Mordechai Zeira music back-to-back with the jazz versions by Red Sea Jazz Festival performer Daniel Zamir. Plus minimalist techno with Third Temple, blistering Jewish world-beat with Aharit HaYamim and catchy Israeli rock with Dudu Tasa.
August 20, 2006 - Avraham Rosenblum
Avraham Rosenblum of Diaspora performs live in the studio, chats about his current Israel tour, his days with the Diaspora Yeshiva Band and debuts brand new, never-before-heard material.
August 13, 2006 - Brand new music and classics
* Barak Cohen - new Mizrachi hasidic singer * Shotei HaNevuah - their hit Mi * Beit HaBubot - hot new rock group * Dov Shurin - in Yiddish * Ofra Haza - an all time haunting classic * Isaac Botbol - listener submission song from a new immigrant * Shlomi Shabat featuring Ma Kashur - from his new duet album * Shabak Samech - Nobody guessed this classic rap metal track from the '90s!* Maarava Mikan - this is the popular Tovia Singer theme song * Nomi Teplow & the Shir-El Choir - their much requested Madonna cover * the Yallah ya Nasralla song
August 6, 2006 - Requests, Submissions and New Releases
Mix show featuring * Aharit Hayamim * Paul Shapiro * Ancient Hebrew Lore * Atira & Yossela Ote * Avraham Fried * Evelyn Haies * Sandman & Sagol 56 * Third Temple * Haim Oliel * Kabbalah Dream Orchestra * Nafkar
July 30, 2006 - Paul Shapiro; Jeff Horvitch
What Does Jewish Music Sound Like?
PART 1: What is the halil? Can Gentiles play Jewish music? Find out as klezmer/jazz musician Paul Shapiro discusses the sound and the history of Jewish music.
PART 2: Jeff Horvitch of Creative Audio studios in Jerusalem gives an inside look of music from the producer's perspective.
July 23, 2006 - Music, Kabbalah and the Yellow Submarine
PART 1: Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, author of Music and Kabbalah discusses the gematria of the Hebrew letters as compared to the notes of the scale and how music effects the human soul.
PART 2: Hadas Vanunu, program director of the Yellow Submarine concert club discusses their quest for musical diversity and outreach to young, new Jerusalem artists through their record label, high school program, religious women's concerts and Incubator series.
July 16, 2006 - Israeli music from the perspective of the record shop
Lior Shamgar, manager of HaTav HaShimini - The 8th Note in downtown Jerusalem discusses what's hot, what's selling, mp3 downloading, his distribution company and more. Plus accapella music from SHI 360, Gavriel Butler, Beat'achon, David Dor, The Klezmatics, the Boyan Hasidim, Voices for Israel, Yiddishe Cup and Yosef Karduner.
July 11, 2006 - Live from Tzvat Klezmer Music Festival
Join hosts Ben Bresky and Walter Bingham from the old city of Tzvat for the annual klezmer music festival. Broadcast live from the "Magic Garden" stage with music from local performers Danny Hadad, Avi Avital, Kabbalah Dream Orchestra and Ita & Dov Zilberman. Plus interviews with Mayor Yishai Maimon, participants of the Livnot program, passers-by and more.
Interview with Dinah Spritzer of the JTA on the annual Krakow Jewish Culture Festival in Poland. (Festiwal Kultury Żydowskiej w Krakowie) With music from Kroke, the Klezmatics, Simply Tsfat, Andy Statman, Yiddishe Cup, Brave Old World and more.
July 3, 2006 - Ohad Moskowitz (repeat)
June 25, 2006 - Shlomo Katz
Shlomo Katz performs live in the studio and discusses his brand new solo album and his hit Niggun Neshama.
June 18, 2006 - Moshav
Interview with Yehuda Solomon of Moshav recorded at the Dead Sea Jewish Rock & Soul Festival. Yehuda discusses the band's new albums, name change and future plans.
June 11, 2006 - Coolooloosh
Interview with Yuval Gershtein and Rebel Sun recorded at the Student Day concert in Jerusalem on hip-hop, jazz and everything in between.
June 4, 2006 - request show
Featuring music by Aaron Razel, Mordechai Ben-David, Matisyahu, Rita & Aviva, Shlomi Shabbat, Gad Elbaz, HaIkavot, Klezmer Rebs, TACT All-Stars, Honorable Mentchen, Yosef Karduner, Adi Ran and more.
May 28, 2006 - Elisete
Brazilian born Elisete Ritter talks about her new Hebrew Portugese album and her bright, upbat music style.
May 21, 2006 - Adi Ran
Adi Ran talks about his new acoustic album, Breslov philosophy, his sticker-covered guitar, his contribution to the movie Ushpizin and humor in music.
May 14, 2006 - Teapacks
Kobi Oz talks about the band's new album combinding hip-hop, accordians and Mizrachi music with a sarcastic yet upbeat satire on Israeli society.
May 7, 2006 - AMI: Artists and Musicans for Israel
Yehudah Katz of Reva L'Sheva talks about his new project that teaches Americans about Israel through music and art.
April 30, 2006 - Udi Davidi
Lead singer/drummer/shepherd/rocker Udi Davidi talks about his new single which is a tribute to an Israeli soldier killed in action. He also admits he's never heard of MTV before and only just discovered U2 and REM.
April 23, 2006 - Boombamela festival
Music and interviews recorded live at the annual Boombamela Festival on Nitzanim beach. This huge festival attracts a world of Israeli hippies, both religious and secular for spirituality and fun on the sand.
April 9, 2006 - Miri Ben-Ari
The Grammy-award winning violinist discusses her love for hip-hop music and performances with Kanye West, Jay-Z and more, her past as a jazz musicians and her upbringing as a classical violinist taught by Isaac Stern. Plus debuting her new hit with Subliminal.
April 2, 2006 - Udi Ullmann
What happenedd when the son of a well-known cantor gets into eletronic dance music? You get great sounding hasidic pop. Udi Ullmann discuses his new album and the state of Jewish music today.
March 26, 2006 - mix show
March 19, 2006 - mix show
March 12, 2006 - Battle of the Yeshiva Bands 2006
Interviews and live performances from the annual competition which brings young North-merican yeshiva students together.
March 05, 2006 - Moshav Band; Shuly Nathan (repeat)
Februray 26, 2006 - Kele 6 (repeat)
February 19, 2006 - Max Stern; Shotei HaNevuah (repeat)
February 13, 2006 - Tu B'Shvat special
The Israel National Radio team goes live to Hebron for planting, eating and a visit with world renouned artist Baruch Nachshon.
February 5, 2006 - Remedy
This four member band from Jerusalem and Efrat gives a 2 hour live performance in the studio.
January 29, 2006 - mix show with Pinchas Yaamim
Pinchas from the Hebrew department helps out with a little Israeli music.
January 22, 2006 - Pablo Rosenberg
Pablo talks about his new album that features great soulful ballads and his past with the Israeli heavy metal band Stella Maris and his upbringing in Argentina.
January 15, 2006 - mix show
January 8, 2006 - mix show
January 1, 2006 - Neshama Carlebach
Neshama talks about her tour in Israel, her new piano laden album and her feelings on the power of Jewish music.
December 4, 2005 - Moshe "Mona" Rosenblum
One of the most prolific Jewish song writers takes over the show with endless stories about his hits, rolling through Hebron with Mordechai Ben-David, almost getting arrested and more.
December 25, 2005 - Hanukah special
A plethora of obscure and unique Hanukah songs from your favorite pop artists.
December 18, 2005 - mix show
December 11, 2005 - Geoff & Akiva Gersh
Akiva Gersh is a religious folk perfomer in Israel. His brother Geoff is an avante-garde guitarist with Blue Man Group in New York. They perfom together live in the studio.
November 27, 2005 - Reva L'Sheva
Yehudah Katz talks about the band's 10th anniversary and new album.
November 20, 2005 - Lecha Dodi
An entire show of different version of the song Lecha Dodi from ancient to modern in every style imaginable.
November 13, 2005 - Orphaned Land
Kobi Farhi talks about the band's combination of the progessive thrash metal they love and the Sephardic Jewish background the come from. With guest co-host Aviva Sieradski of www.MetalIsrael.com
November 6, 2005 - Rinat Gutman
This young singer/songwriter prforms live in the studio and discusses her tribute song to her cousin murdered by terrorists.
October 30, 2005 - Naftali Abramson
The singer talks about his new album and his religious and musical inspirations.
October 23, 2005 - Carlebach festival
A 3 hour live special from Moshav Mevo Modiin with performances and interviews with Moshav, Soulfarm, RevaL'Sheva, Aharit Hayamim, Mat Tonti and more.
October 16, 2005 - David Kilimnick
The comedian talks about turning his aliyah experiences into comedy and his feelings on comedy in Israel and the Jewish community.
October 9, 2005 - Aaron Razel
The singer talks about his new live album, his Jerusalem neighborhood fo Nachlaot and getting dragged away by police in Gush Katif.
October 2, 2005 - Im Nin Alu
Different versions of the classic song by Rabbi Shalom Shabazi
September 25, 2005 - Anna Immanual, Dr. Judea Pearl
The father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl talks about his youth in Israel and Daniel Pearl World Music days. Plus jazz singer Anna Immanuel talks about her contribution and performances to the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
September 18, 2005 - Dov Shurin
Dov Shurin talks about his new DVD and his hit anthem Zochreini Na.
September 11, 2005 - Mimaamakim poetry
Poetry readings from the Mima'amakim poetry night in Jerusalem.
September 4, 2005 - mix show
August 28, 2005 - Steven Saxonberg, klezmer festival
Dr. Stven Saxonberg talks about his upcoming book on klezmer msuic and identity and his expriences at the Tzvat Klezmer Festival.
August 21, 2005 - HaAkevot (The Footsteps)
The duo takes time off from their army service to talk about their new album.
August 14, 2005 - Story of the Seven Beggars
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's The Story of the Seven Beggars read in its entirety.
August 7, 2005 - HaOman 17; Club Tzora; Gal Paz (repeat)
July 31, 2005 - Jerusalem Post music journalists
Ben Jacobson and Viva Sarah Press of the Jerusalem Post talk about their CD reviews and feelings about the dirction of music in Israel.
July 24, 2005 - poetry and acapella music
July 17, 2005 - Eyal Yankovich of Hom-Mega Records
The veteran trance DJ and producer talks about the history of Israeli electronic music and the new directiosn it is taking.
July 10, 2005 - Aharit Hayamim music festival
Yehuda Leuchter talks about the anual Aharit HaYamim festival in Gush Etzion honor of his father and the scene he wants to create to give a chance to new musicians.
July 3, 2005 - Channel 24 Music TV; Salamone Rossi
Ron Levy and Tziki Levine talk about their 24 hour Israeli music video channel and different trends in Israeli music. Plus the crazy antics of Tziki Levine including the secret of why he always wears a motorcycle helmet.
June 26, 2005 - Megadeth; Distorted
Recorded at the Metalist Festival, Dave Mustaine talks about his performance in Israel. Plus, Miri Millman of Distorted talks about her band.
June 19, 2005 - Gili Houpt
Gili Houpt, long time Jewish music promoter performs live in the studio.
June 12, 2005 - mix show
June 5, 2005 - Nikmat HaTractor
Aviv Barak talks about his bands combination of hard rock with dance performances including their infamous Hebrew metal version of Shakespheres's Othello.
May 29, 2005 - Gad Elbaz
The singer talks about his upbringing as a child singer and his new album which seeks unity between religious and secular Israeli.
May 22, 2005 - street musicians; mix show
Recordings of various street performers in Jerusalem.
May 15, 2005 - mix show
May 8, 2005 - Gaya
Gili Liber talks about his bands music, their hit Shir L'Ahava (Yahad lev a lev...) and their performances for Taglit birthright.
May 1, 2005 - The Klezmatics
Frank London gets deep about Israeli klezmer versus Ameruican klezmer and discusses their tour of Israel with Ehud Banai. Recorded live in Tel Aviv.
March 23, 2005 - Purim special
The craziest, strangest and most bizarre Jewish music.
March 20, 2005 - Battle of the Yeshiva Bands 2005
March 13, 2005 - Ariel Zilber
The Israeli singer talks about his decades of hits and his new fervor for Gush Katif and Zionism.
March 6, 2005 - Ohad Moskowitz
Belgium born singer talks about his aliyah to Israel and his new career in hasidic music.
February 27, 2005 - Ladino
Interviews with performers of the Bnai Brith Night of Ladino in Ashdod including classic traditional Ladino songs and their history.
February 20, 2005 - mix show
February 13, 2005 - Buzzy Levine
Owner of popular guitar store talks about his years supplying instruments to Jewish musicians, a story about ZZ Top and a live prformance. Plus residents of the Beit Canada Immigrant Absorption Center join us in the studio for some good old fashion arguing about what music is cool.
January 30, 2005 - Arnie Lawrence - live
An live 2 hour performance with the much loved jazz saxaphonist including a room full of his students. With numerous stories about his days with Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Carson, and his music school.
January 23, 2005 - Mendi Jerufi
The singer talks about his new album and his musical inspiration from Chabad, and more>
January 16, 2005 - Moshe "Moussa" Berlin
The veteran klezmer clarinetist talks about his style and the documentary about his music. Recorded in Gush Eztion.
January 9, 2005 - Moed Bet
The Bar Ilan University rock group talks about their music and more.
January 2, 2005 - Yocheved Golani
Israeli journalist talks about her favorite groups and her philosophy on as a music critic.
December 26, 2004 - Ein Od Milvado
Shivi Keller talks about his Kiriyat Arba based band's melodic, haunting folk-rock, his injuries in terrorist attacks and his philosophy on music, haling and religion.
December 12, 2004 - mix show
December 5, 2004 - mix show
November 28, 2004 - SHI 360
The rapper talks about his aliyah from Canada, and his lyrics which mix Hebrew, English and French.
November 21, 2004 - Udi Davidi
This shepherd from Hebron talks about his new folk-rock album and his lifestyle.
November 14, 2004 - Infected Mushroom
Erez Eizen and Amit Duvdevani talk about their new album which pushes the envelope of trance even further.
November 7, 2004 - Akiva Gersh
Live acoustic performance in the studio.
October 31, 2004 - Soulfarm
Interview with the band recorded backstage at the Yelow Submarine on their roots at Moshav Mevo Modiin, their new album and their current tour in Israel.
October 24, 2004 - Binyamin Nakonechny
Local musicians from Beit El performs live in the studio.
October 3, 2004 - Yakov Richland; Hadasa Bau
Acoustic guitar recorded live at Yakov's small farm near Kohav HaShahar. Plus a meeting with artist Hadasa Bau at the Tzvat Klezmer Festival.
September 26, 2004 - Kele 6
The rap goup talks about their debut album, their popular shows, and politics in music.
September 19, 2004 - Dan Bern
Singer/songwriter talks about his Jewish roots and his songs about his family's Holocaust experiences and his bright, happy and sarcastic outlook.
September 12, 2004 - Tevet Sela; Rokodesh Band
Jazz saxophonist Tevet Sela talks about hsi new album and his performance at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat. Plus the Rokodesh Band, yeshiva students from Tzvat talk about their love for heavy noise rock with religious lyrics.
September 5, 2004 - Simply Tsfat; Nomi Teplow
Breslov klezmer with Simply Tsfat. New music from Nomi Teplow and the all-girls Shir-El choir.
August 29, 2004 - Neshot Hava; Pey Dalid
All-female klezmer band Neshot Hava talks about their music. Pey Dalid live from the Kumah concert in Jerusalem.
August 22, 2004 - Yahel; King Django
DJ Yahel talks about Israeli trance. King Django discusses his Yiddish ska music.
August 15, 2004 - Chaim Dovid; Edwin Seroussi
Chaim David talks about hsi extensive career, new projects and how his music once saved somone's life. Prof. Edwin Seroussi of the Jewish Music Research Center of Hebrew University talks about their world Jewish music reseach series.
August 8, 2004 - Shotei HaNevuah; Max Stern
Roi Levy talks about the band's new album, grooves, donkeys and more. Dr. Max Stern talks about his classical compositions based on the Torah and Kabbalah and his college courses in Jewish music.
August 1, 2004 - Shuly Nathan; Kach Oti Lemalah
The famous Israeli singre talks about Jerusalem of Gold, Naomi Shemer and more. A new young band rips it up with shofar jams and more live from Gush Etzion.
July 25, 2004 - Gal Paz Music; Club Tzora
Interview with one of the largest Jewish CD retail stores. Also, Jonty Zweber talks about Club Tzora.
July 18, 2004 - Ezra HaLevi; Club HaOman 17
News correspondant Ezra HaLevi and host Ben Bresky wax poetic about Jewish music and their loves and hates. Interview with the largest dance club in Israel.
July 11, 2004 - Adam Wexler; Binyomin File; Yehuda Ledgley
Reva L'Sheva bassist downplays his perfomances with Prince to discuss his days with the Diaspoira Yeshiva Band and others. High school student Binyomin File talks about his contst winning song. And we catch up with Yehuda Ledgley and his entourage live on Ben Yehuda Street.
July 4, 2004 - Harpo and The Neshamot; Eden MiQedem
Folk rock with Harpo Abramson and members of Remedy, plus music from Inkblot Hurricane Abramson. Sephardic, Yemenit and Mizrachi music with Eden MiQedem.
June 20, 2004 - Shin Shin Mem and Three Cornered Shoe; Cafe Carlebach
Breslov metal. Plus interview with Zivi Ritchie on his coffee shop.
June 12, 2004 - The Moshav Band; Yishai Yisraeli and Siata
The Moshav Band talks new music, their tour, terrorism and more. Plus religious metal with Yishai Yisraeli.
All shows are available upon request.