Interview with Century Media Recording artists:



CRITICALTOM:  I can think of several possible meanings of the name Orphaned Land.  Would you mind explaining what you mean by it? 


KOBI:  It's a paradox to the Holy/Promised Land.  We always deal with finding a common channel to conflict aspects.  If it is by the use of ancient instruments with distorted guitars, or by the combinations of religions and cultures in Metal music and so on...we believe that if a Holy Land has felt the taste of bloodshed, it has turned into an Orphaned Land.  As in our own lives, once we have something that is dirty, we wash it.  The same goes for nature.  If the land, especially such a holy land, is raped with dirt and corruption, it must be purify by the flood.  This is a brief explanation for both Orphaned Land and Mabool as well.


CRITICALTOM:  Did you conceive of the “Three Sons of Seven” theme, or does it come from somewhere else?    


KOBI:  Before we sat down to write the album we knew that we wanted to speak about a flood that will turn the orphaned land into an ocean land.  I did some research and discovered that there are more than 50 similar flood stories in ancient cultures.  According to that, and as a reflection of today’s reality, we decided to make the flood story “according to Orphaned Land.”  We took all the elements from the biblical story and created new heroes - The Three Sons Of Seven.  Their story is inspired from a true story that happened to 3 friends of mine during their childhood.  They used to deal with mysticism and they had connected with some spirit that gave them all the definitions that appear on the "Triangle of the Three and Seven" on the album booklet.  It became a cult story in my home town and after a few sessions into the night with them, we decided that they will be the three heroes of the "Orphaned flood story".


CRITICALTOM:  Are all of you Jewish?  Religious or secular?   


KOBI:  We are all Jewish, not religious according societal definitions.  Some of us will claim to be atheists.  This is the beauty: as it is in our music, so it is in our mental differences or beliefs, Personally, I’m a believer, but I do accept all ways as the same at the end of the day.  I believe that if you are confident about your own way you can accept the others as yeah, I’m Jewish, but I don’t have a problem to pray in a Mosque or a Church.  And after that, I don’t have a problem to go to a concert of black metal and to headbang to songs praising Satan.  All is one.


CRITICALTOM:  How does your mixed fan base affect your music?  What is it like to play a show with Jews, Arabs, Palestinians and such? 


KOBI:  Well, it doesn’t happen that often, but it is definitely a reflection of our vision.  We are a combination of all and so should be our audience.  It was very exciting for us to see that our music has actually reached places like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and more because we know that people there don’t have free access to our music, or to metal in general.  And despite the fact that we're Israelis, they understand us in a way, and they see us as ambassadors to the worldwide metal scene.  That’s exciting for us and it proves to us once again that music is a universal language that breaks all the boundaries.


CRITICALTOM:  What kinds of misconceptions the West has about the Middle East and/or your band would you like to clear up?


KOBI:  It's very hard to understand what the fuck is going on in this region, even to the people that live here.  Confusion and desperation, sadness and anger is doing a masterwork in this region.  You can be sure from the media that all the world sees, it's even harder to understand.  This place is the heart of the world—and it's burning!   We don’t take any sides, we just call people to rouse themselves.  At the end of the day no one wants to send his children die.  The filthiest beast takes cares of her children.  If you were to ask them one by one, everyone would tell you that he wants a peaceful life.  No doubt that confusion is here between people.  I say to them "Pray together, learn about each other, you will just become richer with more harmony in your life.  Check out our music, how rich it is.  How many colors.  And why?  Because we use all in harmony.  It's a rich product, do it with your life."  I guess the source of the problem is not finding the solution to the problem. The solution exists...the problem is that people won’t listen...


CRITICALTOM:  In the first stanza of “Ocean Land” you have the phrase, “Into mass graves is what we’re shown.”  Is this a reference to the Shoah (Holocaust for you who don’t know any better, ed.)?   


KOBI:  Could be.  In the revelation of the story, the 3 heroes see a flood that will wipe all away, kind of a second Shoah, only made by nature/God in order to purify. (Man cannot make such a decisions, only God).


CRITICALTOM:  Is “A’salk” from a Yemeni text?   Do any of you have a Yemeni background?  I assumed so since some of your material derives from Rabbi Shalom Shabazi.


KOBI:  Our female vocalist, Shlomit, comes from a Yemeni background.  The Yemenis are one of the only cultures who kept the dictionary of the language complete.  They are a beautiful community and we gave Shlomit a free hand to bring her home roots into the album.  Actually, the part that she sang was so beautiful that we decided not to add instruments, but to leave it pure and naked (at the end of song 3).


CRITICALTOM:  Tell me a little about Rabbi Shalom Shabazi please. 


KOBI:  He lived between the years of 1619-1720 in Yemen, wrote a lot of poems and had a high knowledge about Kaballah and Torah.  The songs that we used are taken from a book with his handwriting.  A scan of it appears in the album's booklet (with a translation in English).


CRITICALTOM:  In my promo sheet with lyrics there is reference to a text named “Ahavat” which is not there.  Is this from Shir Hashirim Rabba (Song of Songs commentary), or some other source?


KOBI:  This is also a Rabi Shalom Shabazi song called Ahavat Hadasa (The love to the holy land).  It appears at the end of song 3 (The Kiss Of babylon) before A'salk begins.


CRITICALTOM:  How do you think your story will be received in the larger world of metal?  I think there is a lot of room for it, myself. 


KOBI:  I guess that people who live in the metal scene will be happy to hear some metal group from this region.  It is a kind of a refreshing breeze to a lot of people.  So far the reactions are even more than we expected by both fans and media.


CRITICALTOM:  Who are your biggest musical influences?


KOBI:  Simply all, I cannot name a few.


CRITICALTOM:  How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?


KOBI:  I would say that it's a journey around the world. Metal, but far away from the typical.  It's a no boundaries, universal, cultural metal, I guess...


CRITICALTOM:  How would you compare Mabool to your previous albums? 


KOBI:  Same spirit, but upgraded when it comes to our attitude, playing, concept, and production.  But some will have difficulties understanding that there has been a seven-year break.  Some had the fear that after 7 years maybe we'd become industrial, acoustic, or electronic.  But now it's obvious we are just the way we were in the 90's.


CRITICALTOM:  What is a question you have always wanted to be asked in an interview? 


KOBI:  What the hell is going on here???


CRITICALTOM:  Is there a chance you will be touring Europe or the States? 


KOBI:  If it's up to us, definitely.  We are highly motivated and waiting to get some offers.