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Orphaned Land (2011)

  • Interview by: Adarsh Rajagopal
  • Date: February 4, 2011

Israeli folk/progressive metal band Orphaned Land are doing a 4 city tour of India, they were in Bangalore for a meet and greet with the fans, which is exactly what we did. Here we speak to Matti and Kobi.

HB: Hey guys, welcome, how do you like India?

OL: Oh we love India, absolutely amazing place, great people, great culture. Matti was here about ten years ago, spent about 7 months visiting places and always wanted to come down and perform here.

HB: How was your gig at Vellore? Did you enjoy that?
OL: Oh it was great, we didn’t really expect that much crowd, truly overwhelming. Was a good show.

HB: So, you were first called Resurrection, before changing the name to Orphaned Land, tell me about that.

OL: Intitially when we started off, we were a death metal band, and it was a trend back then for a death metal band’s name to end with -tion, Suffocation, Immolation, etc. But as we grew so did our musical taste and also there was another band from Israel called Resurrection, so we decided to change it. We came across Orphaned Land in an Israeli singer’s song, and decided to stick with that.

HB: Coming to your music then, both Mabool and OrWarrior are concept albums, what are the concepts behind them, and why did you choose to make concept albums?
OL: Well Mabool is based on Noah’s ark, and the flood floowing it. If you know Noah’s ark you would know all about it, the album basically tells the story of the flood. On Neverending Way, the concept is that of a warrior of light, his battle against darkness. It is really upto an individual to interpret that as he/she likes, there is no given meaning, it talks about things we all face in life and there is a warrior of light in all of us. Coming to concept albums, we make it because they’re very interesting to make and it’s a way of telling a story, also helps us stand out.


HB: Tell me something about the artwork on OrWarrior.

OL: The artwork is actually calligraphic, as opposed to the usual photoshopped stuff, we decided to make it different and go with this concept. We found a guy in France who does calligraphy art and we contacted him to do it.

HB: Why was there such a gap between that and the previous album? Also, how was it working with Steven Wilson?

OL: Steven’s a wonderful guy, he’s great fun to work with. We got in touch with him because he spends a lot of time in Israel, he has a band here called Blackfield, which he does stuff with. The album was delayed because we had written a lot of music for it, as you may know the album stretches to 74 minutes, this was because we could not accommodate anymore music on it. We had to sit down and cut down the tracks to make it fit.

HB: Moving on, tell us something about the metal scene back home.
OL: We do have a pretty good scene back home, we have a lot of bands playing a variety of stuff, but the problem is the bands usually don’t last long. This is mainly because in Israel it’s mandatory to serve the army for 3 years, hence to accomplish that bands tend to break up and never form again. The ones that do last aren’t very popular except in Israel, due to the media and stuff.

HB; Tell me about your influences, musical and otherwise.
OL: A lot of metal of the 80’s, like Slayer, Sepultura, Deicide, Morbid Angel, since we started off as a death metal band as previously stated. The other influences are religion, culture and people. We as a band believe in the coming together of religions and though it’s very controversial at times.

HB: Any particular band you wanna share the stage with? And any memorable gig you really cherish?
OL: Well like every other metal fan it’s our dream to share the stage with Iron Maiden, and Slayer of course. One band we really enjoyed sharing the stage with was Metallica, they’re probably the biggest band in the world right now, and a great bunch of guys, the crew, the band guys, everyone.

HB: Finally, what is in store for the gig on Sunday in Bangalore?
OL: Well, we just want to go on stage and have fun and hopefully the crowd will have a great time as well.

HB: There are 3 Indian bands opening for you on Sunday, have you heard of any of them?
OL: Honestly we haven’t listened to any Indian bands but we sure are looking forward to seeing them.

HB: Cool, that’s great, thanks a lot for the interview.
OL: Our pleasure, see you on sunday!