Interview with Eatliz | Israeli Art Rock coming to China

Israeli visual art band Eatliz is coming to China! Reason enough for Rock in China to have a closer look at the band and interview them. Eatliz for the band and Azchael for Rock in China. In between a couple of songs from their bandcamp and other places.

Azchael: Can you please introduce yourself and the band?
Eatliz: We are Eatliz, Art Rock band based in Tel Aviv, Israel, formed in 2001. We have with 3 guitars (and lots of pedals) – Or bahir, Guy Ben Shetrit and Omer Hershman, Lee Triffon on lead vocals, Omry Hanegby on drums and Hadar Green on Bass.

Azchael: What instruments are you playing in the band? Which brand?
Eatliz: Or has Fender Telecaster 78 with 58&69 pick up and Gibson les Paul standart 82, Guy has Jazzmaster fender 72, Omer has Jazzmaster fender 65, Hadar Bass Fender Precision 72, Omry Tama starclassic and Sabian evolution Cymbals.

Azchael: Eatliz is coming to China in March, amongst others for the JUE Festival. How did you get the idea for coming to China?
Eatliz: During SXSW, the biggest showcase festival in the US we met Ray and Victor from Panda artists management who came with their great artists. They checked out our showcase, liked what they saw and thought it will fit to bring Eatliz to Asia, especially China. After we finished our North America tour we started working with Panda until realizing this extensive tour.

Azchael: When you come to China do you try to represent Israel in terms of music or do you rather try to present yourself as art rock band?
Eatliz: We are presenting Art rock from Israel, so it’s a combination. Israel is a melting pot of cultures and it reflects our music that is like a melting pot of music genres; from metal to Middle Eastern music, from Indie rock to Goth and surf.

Azchael: What is the rock scene in Israel like? Is music very political over there?
Eatliz: The vibrant rock scene is alive and kickin’. It is focused in Tel Aviv, which we see it as a smaller version of New York, Berlin or London with tons of great music from all genres, with lots of rock groups, played in venues, pubs, clubs and small cafes every night. Endless amount of music talent. Seems like the more rehearsal rooms are opened the more bands pop up. Most of the artist doesn’t mix their art with politics, but there are some hip hop groups that deal with political issues.

Azchael: What made you guys play rock music? Confronting some of my Chinese friends with Israel, they replied me that “Israel is not a place known for rock, it’s a place known for war”, what do you say about it?
Eatliz: We all grew on stuff like Pixies, Lush and Jeff Buckley so it was very natural to play rock music.
We are aware of this twisted “war zone” stereotype of Israel, and of course it’s related to the mass media tendency to highlight conflicts and avoiding everything else. Israel and specially Tel Aviv is a very western place with a strong connection to the western world’s streams of music, film, fashion and art. When we tour abroad and tell we are from Israel, the reaction is always a surprise. Some people still think we live in the desert and ride camels so it’s very funny. When they get to hang with us they understand they shouldn’t be fed by media stereotypes and that they have to come and check Tel Aviv for its special energy and vibe.

Azchael: As you are making your debut tour to China, what is your expectation of the music scene of China? What have you heard so far and what are you excited about to experience here?
Eatliz: We know the music scene is really growing in China. We know Turtle Giant, Battle Cattle and Yourboyfriendsucks! That are going to play with us during the tour, and we expect to meet new sounds, people and bands.
Everything is China fascinates us. Landing in China, get responses to our music from the crowd and see this unique Region. Every person that we meet and tell him we are about to tour China have one word to say to us and that’s Woooow! Seems like Israelis that traveled China can’t deliver the whole experience from China in words and they remain speechless and narrow it down to Wooow. So we are definitely expecting this Wooow.

Azchael: Your poster was designed by Wei Yan, how did you get in contact with her for the poster?
Eatliz: We came across neocha.com, which is an inspiring Chinese art portal and saw Wei Yan’s great art work. Immediately we went to her personal website and really like her singular style. We contacted her by e-mail and were happy to get her bless and design for Eatliz tour e-flyers. Posting her work on our social media websites got cool responses asking about her so it’s very cool. We are looking forward to meet her in our JUE performance in Beijing.

Azchael: Chinese art in general has experienced a high time in the past several years with the name of a very famous Chinese artists being present on the Tate Museum in London during his difficult time. How present is Chinese contemporary art in Israel?
Eatliz: We are not great contemporary art consumers so it’s hard for us to answer this. Recently we are discovering great Chinese music and designers so we’ll definably spread it to our friends and fans. Rumors say the art scene in Beijing is wild so we are happy we get the chance to check it out soon.

Azchael: What is underground for you? Are you an underground band?
Eatliz: Underground is what expands the boundaries of the mainstream in order to make it more interesting and meaning full. It’s like a city with two floors, where the lower floor is a parallel universe that has an important role in influencing the culture. In this sense, Eatliz is an underground band.

Azchael: Thanks for the interview!
Eatliz: Thank you for having us. Looking forward to meet you in our tour!

Check out their tour 2012 dates:

  • 17.3 Guangzhou @ 191space, with: Turtle Giant (Macau)
  • 18.3 Hong Kong @ Hidden Agenda, with: Turtle Giant (Macau)
  • 19.3 Changsha @ Freedom House
  • 20.3 Wuhan @ Vox
  • 21.3 Nanjing @ 61House
  • 22.3 Hangzhou @ 9-Club
  • 23.3 Shanghai @ JUE | Music + Art Festival, Yuyintang, with: Yourboyfriendsucks! (Guangzhou), Battle Cattle (Shanghai)
  • 24.3 Beijing Music Video and Animation Screening and Q&A @ The Hutong
  • 25.3 Beijing @ JUE | Music + Art Festival, Tango, with: Devil Music Ensemble (USA)

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