Orphaned Land

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

An interesting concert will take place in Romania at Samfest in Satu - Mare, on July 22th. It is all about a band that's very dear to me, coming right from Israel and about which I've been writing for several times in Kogaionon. As my first contact with Orphaned Land's vocalist was somewhere in 1994, I took the liberty of asking him, at the beginning of this month, about his expectations towards their arrival to Romania, for over an hour concert...

1. What do you expect from the Romanian fans and from the Fest?

This will be our debut show in Romania and the 24th country OL will play in, I hope the fans will show us a bit of the quality of the metal heads in there, we are looking forward to meet everyone there! and we hope they know to make a good time as our music is some kind of a party!

2. Do you see any other connection (musical and/or not) between OL and Romania?

We are all connected to a one, who is the all mighty and we are all brothers; the Jewish nation was spread all over the world for decades, I have lots of friends whose grandparents or parents were born in Romania and came to Israel in the 50's.

3. I understood that the new album will be finished this year. Could you be so kind to offer Kogaionon's readers more details about it, please?

It'll be a concept album about the Warrior of Light (who is actually every one of us), it'll be produced by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) who also produced Opeth and I hope people will like it as much they liked our latest album Mabool!

Whether Kobi is the same one as ten years ago or not, it's a wonder I had the chance to experience live at Satu - Mare. After the concert, I decided to ask my friend for some of his impressions (let's say on the cold wave) about his halt on Romanian lands. Kobi answered me after sustaining another concert in Israel during past days, among applauses, fans and lots of bombs flying all around the war proclaimed to Lebanon... Therefore, a brief and non digressive talk:

1. So, after more than 12 years since our first contact, we had the opportunity to meet at Satu - Mare. You've been on the Internet answering your fans via e-mail, just within few minutes before entering the scene. Is the contact with the fans so important to you, to Orphaned Land?

The fans are everything for us, they are the reason why we are here; to see that something you've written can be shared, and by that you can give someone a few moments of freedom, is the biggest gift we can give.

2. Even if the number of the fans was very limited at the gig (250, I guess), the reaction was OK and some of them knew your lyrics very well. It was a great pleasure for me to see that. Which is your feedback about that evening?

It was a great evening, debut show in Romania - first of all, the venue was GREAT! Open air...in front of a church...great view. We were afraid that the rain will destroy the show, but everything went fine and the crowd was very good; it's not the quantity but the quality that counts :)

3. Before the show, the clouds were angry and the rain started... but only for a few minutes. Did you speak with god in the meantime and request him a short delay, maybe?

Actually - I did!! I told god - "we wrote a whole album about the flood story, we don't need the rain now, ok?" He listened :)

4. How did the meeting with the fans go on the merchandising stand? Do you have more contacts in Romania now?

It was fun to meet everybody, very nice and great people, some of them are also writing in our Myspace.

5. It was a great surprise the bis (the return on the stage): "The Beloved's Cry" and "The Storm ..." I recorded it on my phone memory and in this very moment I am listening to it. It seems that the music sounds different from the one on the album, still very nice. Do you have more tracks that sound different on the stage?

Sometimes we change a few things so that they could fit better the show or our personal feelings; we like to combine "The Beloved's Cry" with "The Storm Still Rages Inside..."

6. El Nora Alila was a track with more "jump" through the fans. Is it the best and, maybe, the most popular track from this album? You also have a video for it.

You mean "Norra El Norra" (El Norra Alila it's the name of our second album - it's OK - EVERYBODY does this confusion :))) It is a very cultural song, so I guess that in many terms it's maybe the most commercial song on the album, the big hit :) still it's only one song out of 12.

7. Did you spare some time to visit Romania? I know that the next day you went by car to the airport in Cluj (I was behind you in my own car)... Have you seen something interesting in Satu - Mare?

The views were amazing!! a lot of nature, mountains, green and such peaceful places with village people, it was a great journey and I even envy a bit the people that live there, great places.

8. You told me that the next album will be out next year. Could you be so kind to tell me which direction will it take, more Metal, aggressive, with Oriental influences, female voices... or with calm voices, as Porcupine Tree? Please, offer me lots of details, if you have now...

It's too early to know at this stage, but as all our previous albums, different from one another but still having the "Orphaned Spirit", the same will happen with the next OL album.

9. Lots of fans made some references regarding your music and Opeth's. Do you agree with this? Do you like this comparison? In the past, Paradise Lost was the reference band.

Opeth brought some new vibes to the metal scene that like everything else of this world, are suffering from tons of recycling; I can see why people made this references, though, at the end of the day we do not really sound alike - but I guess if Opeth's members were born in Israel, they would have been Orphaned Land :)

10. So Kobi, how is your life now? Have you got married? I know you had a girlfriend in Poland...

I am not married yet, unfortunately this relationship came to an end a month and a half ago; we had a big, true and amazing love but she had some difficulties to adjust the country, it's very hard to leave your home and friends and to follow someone to a different country, still - it was finished with big love.

August 2006.