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Orphaned Land - Uniting Cultures

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by Perkele, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Perkele

    Perkele Myself

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    [IMGLEFT]http://www.russell.ultimatemetal.com/Interview/OLfront.jpg [/IMGLEFT]By Ádám Tóth

    Israel's metal scene is not well known to foreign ears, although there are many bands that are really worth looking out for. One of the most popular acts there is Orphaned Land, who celebrated their tenth anniversary with an extraordinary conceptual album called Mabool. Anyone who likes oriental themes, or just metal in general (these guys don't mind changing styles in every song), should check them out soon. As a first step, we asked guitarist Matti Svatizky share his ideas about the band and Mabool.


    As this is the first time we're interviewing you, please give a short picture of Orphaned Land's past & present. How did you meet, what are your main motivating elements, and why do you stay orphaned in these days?

    Orphaned Land was formed in 1991. You can say that the band has transformed many times before it got to its formal 1994 debut album Sahara's line up. We all met in different locations and situations. Yossi (Guitars) and I, Matti (Guitars) met in high school, Uri (Bass) and Kobi (Vocals) are from the same town. Yossi answered anadd they published about a guitarist wanted. You can say we all got to know each other through the Israeli Metal scene all in all. Eden (Keyboards) and Avi (Drums) joined the band a few years later, from about our latest album Mabool times. To cut the story short, we play a style we call "Oriental Metal", and by that name we mean that side by side with classical metal, like let's say, Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Death, Pantera etc., we combine elements of ethnical Arab music, using many kinds of ethnical elements. Why stay orphaned these days? Because that is what you are.

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    After El Norra Alila you waited almost 8 years to release Mabool. Why made you have such a long pause? After ENA many waited for your next step. In those times did you end the band or did it just sleep for some years?

    The band never really ended during those years, it was only sleeping, since each one of the members decided to walk in a different direction. The pause was very healthy, and with no doubt it gave us all a healthier perspective regarding the place that the band takes in our everyday lives. The pause also gave us time to travel and to explore other territories, musically and professionally.


    How much time did Mabool take to compose, from the birth of the concept to releasing the CD?

    The concept of Mabool, and so as the music that stands behind the concept, were starting to grow inside us very shortly after the release of El Norra Alila. Naturally, after a release of an album, and even during the recordings, new material always comes up as ideas for a next release, and this was the case here also. Unfortunately, these ideas were recorded only 8 years afterwards and not a lot lesser than this.


    How would you describe your style before and after Mabool? We've found some older fans who do not like your present stuff, yet we think it is marvellous. Have you met any negative responses for Mabool? What are your comments on changing musical styles?

    I think that this "change" in styles came from a point of maturity regarding to how we see music today and how we saw music when we were 18 and recorded El Norra Alila. We got a lot of responses regarding Mabool, most of them were positive, and some, naturally, were less positive, as with everything in life. There are people who say that they like our former albums better, and it is totally acceptable, but the change that the band went through was absolutely necessary and totally unavoidable. We had to go with how we felt rather than how our audience expects us to sound, because otherwise it would have been hypocrisy towards our inner feelings and musical tastes, and the album would have been recorded just to please others, rather than recording an album like we really feel it must sound.


    Where does the Mabool story come from? Of course we know of the Bible's giant flood and Noah's Ark, Mabool contains non-Biblic elements too. Where do they come from?

    As imaginary as it might sound, Mabool's non biblical elements come from real life! 3 friends of ours used to believe that a great flood is about to cover the earth, and they used to see themselves as the Eagle, Lion and Snake, like the ones in Mabool's story. We thought that their story is very spiritually intriguing and that a lot is to be learned from it, so we decided to take it one step further into the world of imagination, and to expand its horizon onto a different time and place.

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    Let's look at the symbols used in Mabool. Is it possible to guess exact meanings of the Three, the Seven? Is it possible to translate the whole story to personal/psychological level?

    The three, as you might have guessed, symbolize the 3 major monotheistic religions. The figure 7 symbolizes the "heavenly father", the god, the spirit who creates and destroys at will. The flood is also a symbol, a symbol of a catastrophe, of a disaster that might strike mankind as a result of immoral paths that man chooses to walk through. I think that anybody can learn from Mabool. It makes perfect sense: you make a mistake and you have to deal with the consequence of your mistake. Immorality is mankind's mistake, as is told in Mabool, and a consequence will follow, and mankind will have to deal with it.


    What are the relations between Orphaned Land and religion? What are your comments on religions? Is there anybody in the band living religious life?

    Personally, I have a kind of a love-hate relationship with religion. On the one hand, I think it holds many keys that may lead you to lead a healthy and good life. I think that it is good for some people, and I even believe that this way of life may save some people from their selves. If I believed in the stories of the bible I would have turned religious myself, but there are just some things that I just don't believe in, and therefore this way is not good for me. It just doesn't give me the answers I'm looking for. I believe that most of the band feels the same as I, except maybe for Kobi, who shows more interest in religious and spiritual Matters. Regardless to what I may or may not believe in as a person, I think that Kobi has a perfect way to express his feelings, and I also think that this kind of lyrical content is good for people and makes them treat themselves and the planet they live on better, and this means the world to me.


    Back to meanings of symbols: are the Three the three monotheistic religions of the world (Judaism, Islam, Christianity)? What are your opinions about those three?

    Yes, I think that it is a fact that those 3 religions are the major monotheistic ones. These three religions, according to Orphaned Land's philosophy, choose to fight each other and are preoccupied with hate, instead of cooperate and work side by side. I respect each religion as the next and think that even though there are clashes at some philosophical points of view, these clashes should never turn into violence. Differences and disagreements may come in all different colors and shapes, but there is no reason to let our anger and frustration reflect through them.


    How is it possible to live in a land with three different religions? Do you see any chance to end the war on the Orphaned Land?

    I really try to see the world beyond the lines that religion draws. Of course I would like to see the Middle East flourish in a new dawn of friendship and peace between nations. Maybe the sides have to get to know each other better and only then friendship will come. I'd like to believe in it. I think it is possible and I think that the day is not long from our doorstep.

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    You have many fans in Arabian countries and in Turkey (your webpage even translated to Turkish). How did you get those fans? Are there more fanatic then your European fans?

    I think that those fans are all in all regular metalists who came across our music, only that they have a bigger attraction to our Arabian folklore side.. The fact that we come from countries that are considered to be political enemies makes our relationship with them a lot more interesting and important, because we symbolize to many people, and so as to ourselves, that positive friendships may grow even in these hard times. To say that they are more fanatic than our European listeners I cannot really say. We have a very strong fan base in Europe and in it there are some very fanatic orphaned heads. Orphaned Land listeners are like a family everywhere, and I think that all in all our music and ideas touches people the same, no matter where they come from.


    What are your main plans with Mabool? Are there any tours/gigs in Europe in the near future?

    Right now we are getting ready for some gigs we have in January/February in Greece, Turkey, and Israel. Other parts of Europe are also on our list, and I hope that soon enough we'll have good news for the rest of our European audience.


    We saw that you gave a gig in an ancient fortress this summer. In August you made a show for the 10th anniversary of your first album, Sahara by playing it from the start to the end. What kind of special shows do you plan for your audience?

    We like to give our audience interesting experiences. We don't want to tire people up with the same show and same routine every time we perform, so we try and have a different atmosphere every show we make. The old fortress was amazing and I hope to have another show there soon! Sahara from start to end was also a very refreshing experience. We marked 10 years to the release of Sahara with that show, and it was the best way to pay a tribute to the album that means so much to us and to all of our fans.


    How hard is for you to select which songs to play? You also play acoustic shows - how many guest musicians do you need? Congratulations for the bonus acoustic CD of Mabool - well done!

    Thanks! On our shows we also try to combine acoustic elements, and our audience totally cooperates. As I said, we try to make our shows as rich as we can and with as many musical colors as possible. The track lists also change from one show to the other, and we always try to stay as dynamic as we can, and to give our audience a different set list every time, including many songs from our previous albums that we know that people will be happy to hear, like "Above you all" occasionally, "Blessed Be thy hate", and others. But the list changes constantly really.

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    Have you written any new song since Mabool? What is/are the main direction(s) of the new material?

    There are no finished songs, only vague ideas we have started to come up with. There is no substantial direction the material is taking, and even if there was, it would probably change 10 times at least before it will be ready for recording, so try again in a few months from now.


    Have you got any message for Hungarian/European fans? Is there anything you'd like to say?

    Just to say thank you for all the love and support to the band. Keep being patient about seeing us live, and I promise that we will soon arrive and play for all you headbanging crazy Orphaned metalists. Keep the spirit going and make the most you can with the given time on this crazy planet. Help each other whenever you can, and stay Orphaned forever...


    Thanks for the interview and for your answers. Keep on writing music, an Orphaned CD is a must on the ark.

    Many thanks to you my friend, it has been a pleasure. PEACE.


    Orphaned Land Official Website
    Century Media Official Website
     
  2. Folklore

    Folklore Orphaned Avi (not drumer)

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  3. Zengetsu

    Zengetsu New Metal Member

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    This Is My Favorite band
    For me this band represents the Melodic metal
    ive been in the mabool decade in haifa
    great performence
    The Best music band ever to come from israel
    תמשיכו עם העבודה הטובה
     
  4. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    excellent interview with an excellent band.
     
  5. Masterzeus

    Masterzeus New Metal Member

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    its the best band in the world !! ...inspiring and pro ....
     
  6. The Metal Pigeon

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    man i'm hoping their new album arrives in less than another 8 years! heh
     
  7. Morticia NL.

    Morticia NL. Orphaned sister

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    For those interested in the band- their official fanclub has just started out!:hotjump: :hotjump:

    Check us& join at>> www.orphaned-disciples.com


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  8. Metal Israel

    Metal Israel New Metal Member

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  9. Messiakh

    Messiakh I smell like cheese

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    Orphaned are just great music!
     
  10. sadistic_intent

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  11. modernsappho

    modernsappho New Metal Member

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    \m/Neverending Way of Orwarrior\m/.
     
  12. BJintheschoolBathroom

    BJintheschoolBathroom New Metal Member

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    They're a great band. Unfortunately I missed my chance to see them live, and it'll probably never happen again.
     

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