Recently in Israel, I was able to go and check out the Summer Carnage Festival at Barby in Tel Aviv, Israel. Headlined by Aborted, Whorecore and System Divide, the festival was a full day event with over a thousand people squeezed into a tiny club. While there, I got the opportunity to interview Missing In Action, the band that represented Israel at the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle. Check out the interview after the jump!
Missing In Action live at the Summer Carnage Festival
Missing In Action is:
Vocals – Ido Uzan
Lead Guitar – Oren Yaacoby
Rhythm Guitars – Ariel Papa
Bass – Sarel Keren
Drums – Priel Horesh
1) How did the band come together?
Ariel: Oren and I had a band before Missing in Action and we disbanded it before we went into the army. During that time, we talked about doing a new thing. We added Priel because we needed a drummer. Later on in time, we added another member who is not here anymore, he was a guitarist who decided he wanted to play bass for a while until we find a bass player. Along the way we found Ido. Well, he was with Oren in boot camp and with Sarel also and when we needed a bass player, we got Sarel.
Ido: To add on what Ariel said, we basically formed the band during our military service and that might be something that’s important to mention. So, basically, some of us knew each other just from the military and just from boot camp and me, Oren and Sarel, we were in the same company together. And that’s it! That’s how the band was formed.
2) Can you describe your sound or some influences of the band?
Sarel: Killswitch Engage, All That Remains. We grew up on bands like Metallica, Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold. We like Foo Fighters, rock ‘n roll. We come from lots of different music[al styles], like punk rock and stuff like this.
Ido: I think our influences vary from genres like punk rock, rock ‘n roll to the heaviest of metal. I think that even hardcore bands, like Snot, that we used to listen to when we were kids. Even alternative and nu-metal like Korn or anything like that. Basically anything that got us going, you know? Anything that we liked the sound of it. We never really limited ourselves by the definition of a genre, to what we listen to, or what we play.
3) And so all of these bands and their sounds came together and helped create the Missing in Action sound?
Oren: And now that I think about it, these are all American bands, no? So we like more the American sound.
Ariel: You can also say that some of us are more inspired by the European sounds. I know that I’m a big fan of In Flames, Gojira.
Sarel: I love Opeth. They’ve been in Israel for two shows and I was in a band that played a very similar style to Opeth.
4) You guys recently had an album release for ‘The Cost of Sacrifice’ in Israel. How was the recording process and how has the reception been for the album?
Ariel: Well, first of all, the reception has been very warm. A lot of people have given a lot of compliments. It sold very well even on the release date at the show. I keep getting a lot of positive feedback, even if it’s not people who bought the album, but people who listen to it on the web or download a torrent or something like that.
The recording was actually a very long procedure [laughs]. We really wanted to make sure that everything comes out right, that it’s to our taste and that it has our own unique sound to it. Every section was given a lot of attention. We took our time because we wanted to give out a good product. We didn’t just want to release an album and say, “Hey guys, we released a metal album. Go out and buy it.” We wanted people to actually evaluate it and like it and feel like they actually got their moneys worth, you know what I mean?
Ido: We definitely invested a lot of energy and a lot of money in the process and I think at the end, for our debut album, we are more than satisfied. Also, all of our fans, our supporters and our audience, they all love the album and we love the album, it’s all good!
Priel: It was all self-produced except for the mastering process, which was done in L.A., California by Steven Slate.
5) Let’s talk a bit about the Israeli metal scene. Several other concertgoers told me that the scene is very tight knit and that everyone has each other’s backs, because it’s not the biggest of scenes. What else can you tell me about it?
Ido: The Israeli metal scene is a very complicated scene, I would say for many reasons, because first of all, it’s very, very small. Not only is the music scene in Israel small, the metal scene is even smaller and it’s so hard to do anything. But we do have a very supporting crowd that come to every show and buy CD’s and get crazy during shows. So, even though it’s so small, we’re able to do incredible things, like this festival, the Summer Carnage Festival. We had a different festival, all Israeli bands, a couple of months ago, where we were able to do so much. Israel has the best crowd in the world, no doubt about that. We heard a couple of international bands say that.
Ariel: Where the fuck would you go where on the first song of the show, you see half the crowd bleeding? I mean, come on! [laughs] It’s not everyday that you see that kind of thing and for a country that is this small in relation to the amount of people that actually listen to metal, there is a pretty good scene going on here. It’s pretty tight, that’s true. It’s not the biggest, but it’s pretty good. They’re very supportive but they’re very criticizing. They know what they want. They know what they listen to. All in all, the bands are great, they support each other all the time. They help each other with gear, they help each other with shows. I have not yet met a band in Israel that I have wanted to say, “Fuck you. You know what? You’re out, assholes.” Everyone is really trying to help each other, because all in all, it’s a scene and you’ve got to help each other in order to succeed.
All the bands are really friendly and friends with each other and we are all supportive at the shows. Because we (Israel) are so small, we all know each other and help each other. If someone needs a lead guitarist, we get a lead guitarist from another band. It’s a very, very friendly environment.
6) Let’s talk about Wacken Open Air. You guys are representing Israel in front of a huge amount of people. Tell me, how did Missing in Action get into that?
Oren: A few months ago, there was a contest named Metal Battle in Israel. A lot of bands signed into it, around 60, and in the semi-finals there were 7 bands competing to win it and in the finals there was 5 bands and we took it. Now we’re going to participate in the Wacken contest.
Sarel: We are competing against 25 metal bands from all over the world: Europe, Brazil, Lithuania, Greece, Germany, all over the world. What’s sure is that we’re going there with lots of energies, lots of good vibes, lots of good music which is original and kicks ass. We’re gonna show them some Israeli true metal at a 300% energy show.
7) And now we come to the last question: What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Ido: There are so many scary, horror films that I like. I would have to say that my favorite one is I Remember What You Did Last Summer Carnage.
Ariel: That’s a gay movie, man!
Ido: I made it up because of the festival! It’s a joke!
Ariel: Aliens. Is Riddick a horror movie? It’s kinda horrible but I like it!
Oren: I think the scariest movie I ever saw was The Ring.
The original or the remake?
Oren: No, the remake! I didn’t watch the original because I was too scared! It was so scary that I saw an episode of Family Guy last week where they did a parody of it and I was terrified of the Family Guy episode! [laughs]
Ido: But seriously, there is not one specific scary movie but I really like the really cheap horror films where you can see it’s all fake and you can see the boom. Those are my favorite where you can watch it and just laugh!
Sarel: I love Alfred Hitchcock very much. The Birds, it’s great!
Ariel: The last, most scary movie I watched was my own bris (Jewish circumcision ritual) movie. It’s bloody and disgusting! And that’s it.