I hooked up with the bass player Elad Manor of the Israeli melodic death/thrash act The Fading to have a chat with him about the band, the past and the future. The band have recently released their amazing debut IN SIN WE’LL FIND SALVATION. It is not everyday we have a chance to hear or read about music from Israel so take a closer look on both the band and their music.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Bjorn at CMM Gmbh for setting up this interview.
Thanks to CMM Gmbh for providing promo pictures of the band.
Hi, I’d really like to thank you guys for delivering an amazing debut album that has taken over my stereo. Are you ready to kick off the interview?
Taking over your stereo is our pleasure!
I thought we could start off talking about your brilliant debut album titled IN SIN WE’LL FIND SALVATION, how long did it take to write the material to the album?
Most of the material was finalized in a few months before the recordings, but the album also has a couple of songs that were written a few years ago.
Who in the band writes the music and lyrics and what are your lyrics about?
Arie and Paul (guitars) usually come up with the riffs, and then we all work on them together in our rehearsal room, as everyone throws in an idea every now and then. Ilia (vocals) is in charge of the lyrics. He mainly writes about the issues a man deals with in his life – the struggle to cope with society, the environment and himself, and the will to survive on our insane planet.
Were there many songs that didn’t make it on to the final cut of the final album?
There are a few songs we decided to leave out of the album. It is possible that we would rework them for our next release.
Colin Marks have done the cover art-work of the album, what do you think of his work?
Colin’s art is absolutely amazing, he is a very talented artist and he always uses his own photography. Personally I really like his realistic style, and when I saw album covers he made for band like Aborted and Whitechapel I decided to contact him immediately.
Does the album title IN SIN WE’LL FIND SALVATION anything special to The Fading?
With the title "In Sin We’ll Find Salvation" we tried to capture the essence of today’s modern life, which strongly symbols the death of innocence and purity.
You have recorded the disc in my country Sweden, why?
We are highly influenced by the Swedish metal scene, and for years we already knew we are going to record our debut album in Sweden. We are also fans of bands that recorded in Studio Underground, like Carnal Forge and Ebony Tears, so recording there was very symbolic for us.
What do you think of the Swedish metal/hard rock scene? Do you have any favourite acts from Sweden?
Of course! Our biggest influences come from the Swedish metal scene – bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork – to name a few.
How was it to work with the producer Pelle Saether?
Pelle is an experienced producer, and a very easy-going person. It was a pleasure working with such a skilled sound engineer, and his recording facility was comfortable to work in as well.
Do you see a future co-operation with Saether?
Sure! Our second album recordings are still very far away, but when the time comes – going back to Studio Underground would definitely be an option.
What did you think of Sweden? I know you were here during the winter and then Sweden might not be the most funniest country to be in ha ha..
Sweden was absolutely great! The winter in Israel is not so cold and definitely not snowy, so it was a very cool experience to be in Sweden in January. The Swedish girls are also really amazing! And besides that I got the chance to see The Black Dahlia Murder play in Stockholm, so I have no complaints he he he
Another well known and skilled producer/musician, Jonas Kjellgren, did mixed and master the album in the infamous Abyss Studio, did you spend any time in the studio with him when he worked?
We all came to Studio Abyss for a few hours and had lunch with Jonas, he is a really cool guy with a very notable sense of humour. Arie and Paul stayed for a couple of days and they were impressed with Jonas’ professionalism.
Are you happy with the outcome of the album or are there any elements that your not so happy with?
We are very pleased with the album, in all aspects – musical, production-wise and visual.
You have a few guest appearances by Jonas Kjellgren on lead guitar on the track “Confront Myself” and Alex Karlinsky from Aeropolis on keyboard on “Beyond Perfection” how come they ended up on the album and was it hard to convince them to make guest appearances?
We really like Jonas’ guitar-work in Scar Symmetry, so when we asked him to mix our album we also suggested he would do a guest guitar solo, and he agreed immediately. Alex is a good friend of ours for many years – Shaked plays with him in Acropolis, and he also cooperated with Ilia in Arafel a couple of years ago – so it felt very natural to put the piano interlude in his hands.
Do you think that you are gonna add more guest appearances on future records?
Sure, why not? I think that guest musicians on an album can bring much interest and variance to the songs, and it would be great if we get the chance to have influential musicians on our albums.
Have you read any reviews of the album yet? What does media think of IN SIN WE’LL FIND SALVATION?
We have read a lot of reviews by now, and we are please to say that so far most of them are very glorifying. We also get a lot of airtime on European radio stations.
Did you throw any release party for the album?
We’re going to have a big release show in Tel-Aviv in a couple of months, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Of course you are invited
Are there any plans on shooting videos to any of the songs?
We would like to shoot a video for one of the songs sometime soon, we still don’t know what it’s going to be like, but it won’t be too long until that happens, I hope.
How would you like to describe what kind of music The Fading plays?
It’s pretty clear that our main genre is melodic death metal, but you can hear many different influences in our album. Songs like "One Step to Drama" and "Confront Myself" for instance, were written in an earlier period of the band and they show a much thrashier side of The Fading. We all listen to American metal-core bands so you can hear that in our music as well. Basically we tried to keep the songs diverse, for the album to be more interesting.
You have dedicated album to “The Soldiers Of The IDF” what is that?
IDF is the Israeli Defence Force. During the recordings of the album the IDF was in war with Hamas in the Gaza strip, and many Israeli soldiers sacrificed their lives in order to protect the Israeli civilians. We found it mandatory to show our appreciation for these soldiers.
Last year you entered the contest Metal Battle at the German metal festival Wacken Open Air, how come you entered the contest in the first place?
It all started when the contest was publicized in an Israeli online news magazine, and of course it was stated that Israel will participate in the competition for the first time. Performing at Wacken sounded like a really cool prize, so we decided to sign up.
Could you describe what the contest is for those who don’t know much about it?
The Wacken Metal Battle is a contest which involves metal bands from about 20 countries (as for 2009). The bands are performing at Wacken Open Air as a part of the competition, and the winner is selected by a jury. The winning band signs a record contract with Wacken Records, and gets endorsement deals as well.
You were also the first Israeli act that ever entered the competition, how did that feel?
It felt great to represent Israel in the competition for the first time, and we were very proud when we were announced as the winners.
15 nations were represented in the competition and you guys won it, could you ever believe that you would win it?
Winning the Metal Battle was very important for us. Metal bands from Israel don’t get the chance to promote themselves like European and American bands because the Israeli scene is very limited. So when we realized we have a great opportunity to sign with Wacken Records, we decided we’re not coming home without victory.
The first price was to record an album, what went through your heads when The Fading’s name was announced as the winner?
We realized we would finally get the chance to spread our music worldwide, like we’ve dreamed for years. It was a great to see how our hard work has paid off.
What are your emotions towards Metal Battle today?
We are very thankful for the opportunity that was given to us.
Would you recommend other unsigned acts to enter the contest?
Of course! The young dudes from Ferium represented Israel in the competition this year, and did a great job. Even if you don’t win, performing in Wacken is a great experience.
Was it the first time you attended Wacken Open Air?
It was the first time in Wacken for all five of us. Wacken Open Air is the best metal festival in the world, and I believe every true metalhead has to go there at least once in his life.
This year you performed at the festival, how did that feel? What did you think of the audience?
We were very proud to go back to Wacken for the second time, and this time not having the pressure of the competition on us. Many bands don’t get the chance to play this festival in their whole careers, so we feel very accomplished after playing there twice. It is really a wonderful experience. The crowd was very supportive, especially all our friends and fans from Israel – to whom we owe everything we’ve done as a band.
The band comes from Israel, what’s the climate for harder music over there?
Comparing to countries like Sweden and Finland, heavy metal is not that popular in Israel. The Israeli metal scene is very limited, and extreme bands rarely get any press coverage.
Have you any famous metal/hardrock bands over there or in your region?
The biggest metal bands to come out of Israel so far are Salem, Orphaned Land and Betzefer.
The Fading was founded in 2003 under the name Excessum but you changed name in 2006 to The Fading, why the name change?
We went through many changes since the band was formed, and we felt the previous name doesn’t represent us anymore. We wanted to make a fresh new start so we thought it would be best to get a new name for the band.
Have you had a solid line-up since the beginning? Or have you had any drop-outs?
The only original member of the band is Ilia. The Fading have seen a lot of line-up changes, especially in the drummer position. The last member to join the band is Paul in the middle of 2007.
How well did the members know each other when you started the band, are you all childhood friends?
Ilia started the band with Arie’s older brother Boris, they met each other in high school. Naturally, Arie joined the band sometime afterwards. Shaked and I met Arie in metal shows and events before we joined the band. We didn’t know Paul before we asked him to join The Fading, we just saw him perform with his former band Deface.
Have the members been parts of any other bands besides The Fading?
Shaked and I played together in the power metal band Acropolis (which Shaked is still a member of). Ilia and Paul were in Arafel together for a while, and Paul’s predecessor in Arafel was Daniel from Acropolis… We are actually a big happy family
Do the members have any common artist or idol that you look up to or are inspired by music wise?
Definitely, like I mentioned earlier, we are all fans of the Swedish metal scene and the new American metal bands.
What kind of music did you play when you went under the name Excessum?
Back then our sound was more thrashy, still influenced by Swedish bands but more in the vein of The Crown, The Haunted, etc.
Have you done any touring so far?
We haven’t got the chance to go on a tour yet, and right now we are looking for touring options in Europe in order to promote the album.
In your biography that I got provided with the disc it says that “The Fading delivers a violent and furious metal attack, sure to leave the crowd beaten and bruised” what do you think of that statement, is it true?
I think I’m responsible for that statement he he he… I believe that when you will attend a The Fading show you would see for yourself
You have previous released two independent EP’s, what did the media think of those? And when did you release them?
Our first EP "Instruction for Self-Destruction" came out in 2006 still under the name Excessum, and the "Chaos in Flesh" EP was released in 2007. Both were well reviewed in Israeli metal journalism.
Do you see any problems in being an Israeli band when it comes to booking shows and so on?
Being an Israeli metal band is definitely a problem. We can’t just get on a bus and play shows in neighbour countries, and in order to perform in Europe we have to fly so everything becomes much more expensive for us comparing to a European band. Recordings are a problem as well, as we have to record in a European studio to get a professional-sounding metal album. Although this situation is starting to change in the last couple of years, as more and more sound engineers and producers are getting more professional in recording and producing extreme music.
Where does the name The Fading come from?
When we were looking for a new name it just came up, it has a lot of meanings to us but it didn’t come up from a specific meaning.
Why don’t you have a proper website and only a MySpace site?
Our official website is actually under construction, and in the meantime you can get all the information about the band in our MySpace page. I believe that MySpace is a great asset to music and musicians in particular.
Are you guys big in Israel and the nearby countries?
We have absolutely no business with nearby countries he he he. As for Israel, we are very popular in the metal scene.
Are there any plans on going out on a European tour now that the amazing album is out?
Absolutely! Like I said we are looking through a few options and we hope to have some news very soon. Make sure to check our MySpace page for updates.
When can we expect to find the next album by The Fading out in stores?
We still have no idea when that’s going to happen, but I can say we’ve already started to write the next album, and it’s going to be awesome.
What are the plans for the band during the rest of 2009?
Touring as much as possible, hopefully some summer festivals as well. And of course continue writing our second album.
For those who haven’t discovered the band yet what have you to say to them?
We recommend to anyone who cares for some high-quality metal to pick up a copy of "In Sin We’ll Find Salvation"!
Give the readers three reasons why they should buy IN SIN WE’LL FIND SALVATION
1.Support the revival of melodic death metal, and good music in general!
2.Show you appreciation for a hard-working band.
3.We want your money!!!
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom to the readers and fans out there?
Stay in drugs, don’t do milk, and drink a lot of school!
And with that this interview had reached its end, I’d really like to thank you for taking the time to answer all of my questions. I really hope you’re coming over to visit Scandinavia really soon because I’d really want to hear the amazing music of The Fading live.
We hope to play in Scandinavia soon too! Thank you very much for this interview, and take care.
More info about the band