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Distorted Harmony

Nadat ik ‘Chain Reaction’ ontdekte van de band Distorted Harmony was ik direct fan, de plaat is dan ook uitgegroeid tot een van mijn favoriete albums. Je kan dus wel zeggen dat ik erg heb uitgekeken naar de opvolger en die kwam dan eindelijk dit jaar uit in de vorm van ‘A Way Out’. Gelukkig bleek ook dit album weer ijzersterk te zijn en kreeg van mij dan ook een zeer verdiende score van 95/100. Een goed moment dus om de band eens te benaderen om zodoende wat meer over het album te weten te komen. Bandleider en pianist Yoav Efron nam de tijd om hierop te reageren.

Door: Leon | Archiveer onder prog / sympho metal

Before kicking off I would like to congratulate you with the release of ‘A Way Out’, what a great album it has become! I fell in love with ‘Chain Reaction’ about a year ago and was looking forward to the new release, I can tell you that you have certainly not disappointed. I did notice that all thee releases sound a bit different, is this something you do consciously or is this just the way the music has naturally evolved?
Hey Leon, thank you and every reader of your lovely e-zine! No, it wasn’t a conscious decision. I believe it’s the “distance” and time between each release; What we listen to, our taste in music and of course what inspires us, both musical and not when composing and writing. It’s indeed how our music has naturally evolved :)

You don’t really consider yourselves to be a progressive metal band, I read in somewhere in an interview, and I did notice that ‘A Way Out’ has much more of a djent feel to it than ‘Chain Reaction’. Can you elaborate on why you don’t necessarily like to be seen as a Progressive metal group?
Well, “djent” is part of the modern progressive metal family! haha. Even though I wouldn’t consider us djent at all. We like to think we bring a modern twist to the “good ‘ol” classic progressive metal and even though ‘A Way Out’ is far from being categorized as such and like you said way more “djentish”, we are still a progressive metal band influenced by many different styles and genres; modern progressive metal but not stopping there. Karnivool, which I consider modern prog were a huge influence. Bands like Architects, Periphery, TesseracT and even Decapitated just to name a few had helped shape ‘A Way Out’, and the list goes on. I think that’s the beauty of prog and especially the modern movement in recent years - where we can take and incorporate aspects and ideas from many different sources.

I read in an interview, after the release of ‘Chain Reaction’ that you were hoping to get signed by a record label, since ‘A Way Out’ is self-released once again it seems that this hasn’t happened. Is it hard to get signed or was there something else preventing you from signing?
I think it’s a little of both. We were pretty much dormant for three years, we hardly toured and performed, we weren’t doing much to promote and get ‘Chain Reaction’ out into the world, so obviously we weren’t doing anything at all when it came to finding a label. With that said, when it came time to get going with ‘A Way Out’, we were in contact with a couple of labels and due to time constraints and other boring factors, we made the decision to self-release it.

I absolutely love ‘Awaken’, it builds up beautifully to the climax. The lyrics are great too, I would just like to know what they’re about as it’s hard to interpret. What was the influence behind the lyrics?
‘Awaken’ talks about rape (“A soul was lost, reborn”). Nothing personal or close to home, but for a time last year (2017), I had the misfortune (and privilege) of hearing a few sad stories which lead me to compose and write ‘Awaken’. It’s one of the few songs I’ve ever written where the lyrics came before the music and it still stirs up lots of emotions listening and remembering what stands behind those lyrics.

One of the things that I personally love about your music is how melodic it is, even in the hardest, most aggressive, parts of the album I find it easy to sing along. From what I understand you find it important that the music remains melodic, how do you make sure that a song keeps being melodic even if the music is aggressive?
Not an easy task at times, for example, “Anima” was a pain in the ass to get the melody right. I guess it’s a lot of trial and error. As I’ve matured and gotten older, I started giving more weight to the emotional impact and feeling I’m getting when working and later on listening. Rather than thinking what works, I’m leaning more towards feeling if something is working or not. So I guess it (like with all things) was a matter of balance between the two aspects and how do they make me feel.

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We know that there's a scene for progressive rock and metal in Europe, but what's the scene like in Israel? Are you able to play live often?
Well, Israel is a small country, very small… You can imagine how small the scene is, but what they lack in size, they make up for with passion and love for all things progressive. Though we can’t perform as much as we would like to, it’s always an amazing experience going up and playing before such an amazing and loving crowd.

In an interview you gave four years ago you mentioned that as a band you don’t have a political standpoint, however in the press release you mentioned that ‘it may even get political’, suggesting that you are taking a standpoint. Israel is in the news quite often, especially a few months ago during protests at the Gaza border where many people were wounded and killed. How do you deal with this as a band and personally?
Oh, haha we do, you can’t live here and don’t :) We just try and keep it to ourselves. I for example, I am a left-wing liberal who believes in peace, freedom and equality for all. If you read the news coming from Israel, you probably know where I stand. But no, I think we all want to keep the band as apolitical as possible and let the music speak and do the work for us. “Severed” for example was written after reading and seeing the infamous photo of a dead Syrian child. I can go on and on, but then it will get political, so I’ll stop here.

Speaking for myself and many others, I would love it if you guys would come back to Europe, specifically the Netherlands, and play some gigs. Do you have any plans in the near future to do so?
We are currently working on a tour in Poland, can’t say when or with whom yet, but it’s coming a long awesomely! hehe and there are plans and ideas for a 2019 European tour so hopefully we’ll see each other next year!

There is something I ask to everyone I interview. The music industry has drastically changed in the last years. More and more people switch to streaming services, such as Spotify or Deezer, but because most of those people aren't buying albums anymore it means that artists are financially impacted. On the other hand it makes the artist's music more accessible to people worldwide, which can lead to more fans. What is your take on all of this?
Any platform that will make our music available to ears worldwide and is paying the artist royalties (even if it’s a small amount per stream), is a place we want to be at. People have their own preferences on how they consume their music and we accept and embrace it. As long as they support us and listen through official channels or download for free but then go and buy the digital/physical cd, a t-shirt or any other thing available, we appreciate it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you all so much for being our followers and supporters. Without you, such wonderful opportunities wouldn’t have been possible. Music can’t exist if people out there are not listening and enjoying it.

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