Eatliz, a Tel Aviv-based rock band, is making their North American debut this month, following a handful of shows in Canada with a showcase performance at South By Southwest. The band, known for the stunning visual effects of their live shows, is part of a group of “cultural delegates” whose goal is to demonstrate the wide variety of Israeli innovation in design, music, film and technology. The project, called i: Made in Israel, will feature the creative efforts of artists from across Israel.
Among the i: Made in Israel events will be screenings of Andante, a film by Assaf Tager, live performances by four bands, participation in the Technology Summit and a digital exhibition of Israeli design curated by Flatstock 29. Visit http://schedule.sxsw.com for a full listing of i: Made in Israel events.
For Eatliz, SXSW is an exciting venue for both playing their music and enjoying the music of acts they admire. The six-piece band has toured across Europe, and enjoys heavy radio airplay in both Israel and Germany. Their first North American tour offers an opportunity to share their unique style with an entirely new audience.
PMT:What interests you about SXSW?
Eatliz: It’s going to be our first time in a large scale showcase festival such as SXSW and we are highly excited to take part in it! We just performed at Canadian Music week, which is also a showcase festival , but much smaller, so it was a kind of a work up
There are lots of amazing artists we wanna see live for the first time at SXSW such as Menomena, Queens of the Stone Age, Owen Pallett and many more. We wanna get to know new bands, see the city, go to the parties, make lots of new friends and colleagues, get the Eatliz word out there and just have fun!
PMT: What are you hoping will come from this experience? Any specific aims for your time in Austin (or your North American tour)?
Eatliz: We’re interested in getting inspired by the music and and vibes, in getting our own music and performance across and reach new audiences with kick-ass shows. After performing so many shows in Israel and Europe, this long tour gives us the feeling that something bigger and very good is on our way.
PMT: How did you get involved with the I: Made In Israel delegation?
Eatliz: We submitted to SXSW a while ago and was very happy to be accepted! A bit after our acceptance we found out that some more great acts from Tel Aviv are coming too; Electra, Hadag Nahash and Onili. Every act has a different style of music, so we are happy people will be able to see the eclectic and diverse side of Israeli music; Hip Hop & soul, Electro, Garage-rock and Art rock, which is what we do. We have 3 internationally warded animation music videos that were screened all over the world and got our name out there, but we were never present at all these screening cause it’s far from Israel. The I:Made in Israel music videos showcase will finally allow us to perform with these animation music videos with a new surprising extra animation.
PMT: How valuable is it for Israeli culture to have the kind of exposure a festival like this provides?
Eatliz: We see ourselves as ambassadors. it’s important for us to show to the world that Israel is not just wars and politics, the music is not only “kleyzmer”, and we don’t ride camels in the streets. We have a very unique and vibrant musical scene, crossing different genres, from alternative to metal to hip hop and hardcore and ska, many bands sing in English, and we’re not even mentioning other art forms such as visual arts, dance, film and theater… Participating in SXSW is a way for us to bring that message out.
Everytime we get abroad we find ourselves talking with people and rising above the media stereotypes people tend to see about Israel in the news. For us, Tel Aviv is really like New York, Berlin or Toronto. Every night you can see hundreds of live shows, theatre, dance, galleries and museums. The rock scene in Tel Aviv is diverse and performed in high quality standards, way more than you would dream to expect from a tiny Middle Eastern country.
PMT: What will American audiences find surprising about Eatliz and about the rock scene in Tel Aviv?
Eatliz: Eatliz has a very distinctive visual art concept, especially animation music videos that we combine in our live shows. We got 3 guitars and none of them is “lead”, we use regular instruments in an irregular way. We cross genres and we play complex parts without neglecting the energies of rocking out onstage. We call it Art Rock, cause we can’t really define it to one specific genre. People that discover us often say they never heard songs like our, cause they are a bit weird and grow on you.