Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Interview: Stella Goshtein

orig. image by Yonatan Birenbaum, assisted by Adam Cohn

Radio EPGB (a venue which hosts local musicians) plays a role in establishing indie music in the coastal city of Tel-Aviv. Becoming a local hub for non-commercialized alternative sounds. One common bond the city's diverse gathering of genres seems to share are electronic musical elements. But Bill and Murray quickly grew out of the local scene to tour other countries, and opened for artists like Gary Numan, according to Indie Rock Cafe.

Could you share some details about how the band evolved? Which might include influences of the Tel-Aviv indie music scene, as well as changes that marked the bands evolution. How does the bands current style reflect local musical influences?

I first met David when he was playing with his band LeChuck. After some digging i found out that he has a long past of forming in different bands and solo projects and that he is actually a well known figure in the Tel-Aviv underground music scene (ED, the Good band and more..).

I felt like there's a good chance for an interesting musical collaboration and contacted him. We started bringing songs for home rehearsals and very fast started playing small shows and recording our stuff. We decided we want to approach our music in a different way then we used to and brought a drum machine and a keyboard. We both come from Rock music and Rock bands so it was very refreshing to work with very specific sounding machines. After a year or so we decided to add a drummer to the band, to give our shows some power and enrich our sound. Ran Jacobovitz was the perfect match. He is a big 80's fan, big snares and shiny hooks. Living and performing in Tel Aviv, we did not yet come across a band that plays the kind of music we play but there are many good band that might have inspired us in subtle ways.

Indie Rock Cafe Best New DIY Music of 2015 Vol VII Rabbit Hole (MP3)
Indie Rock Cafe Best New DIY Music of 2015 Vol VII The Silence Grows (MP3)

Rabbit Hole, the title of your latest EP, is an excellent indie track which I found featured at Indie Rock Cafe. Another is The Silence Grows, which also resonates. What is the meaning behind each of these two songs? For example, are there any particular ideas or events which inspired them? How have underground music fans responded to your new songs during live performances?

Thanks, Rabbit Hole's lyrics are about a feeling of extreme confusion as a result of trying to make sense of things and eventually realizing that the only way to stay sane and functional is accepting the paradox that reality is surreal and you might as well just step in to the rabbit hole and see what happens.

The Silence Grows tells the story of an irresistible force between two elements, a force that is indifferent to pain, anger and heartbreak, the kind that, over time, mutes everything and leaves nothing but a deafening silence.

Since we perform quite a lot in Tel Aviv we think our audience is probably happy to hear some new songs evey once in a while.

Bill and Murray: Rabbit Hole

Stella Goshtein's whispery vocal on Bill and Murray's latest expresses a woman testing her footing in a tunnel to the unknown; cavernous reverb captures the metaphor. Life reaches valleys of decision; surreal at times, as hearts and minds adjust to new challenges—even trials. The album cover seems to trace a circling path superimposed over a grainy Middle-Eastern sky.

Stepped into the rabbit hole
Just to see where the tunnel goes

The Radio EPGB located in Tel Aviv started as a hidden place with very limited PR. The idea was to create the perfect venue that would become a hub for underground and indie electronic music and a place for an eclectic mix of listeners in search of great sounds.—Ariel Klachkin (co-owns Radio EPGB)

Indie synth music is well-represented by Bill and Murray's previous track, Something to Fear. The band emerged out of Tel-Aviv's indie rock underground, at venues like —literally situated underground and nestled with an old synagogue. Facilitating Independent Music's disownment of formulaic generic commercial pop to remain a leading venue for the local indie scene. And like CBGB, EPGB features many up and coming local bands—who share the basement stage with popular local DJs. Frequently indulged by a modern manifestation of beatniks who don't wear French berets, but continue to defy convention like their bongo beating brothers of the early 60s.

For young people, American popular culture offered a medium through which to distance themselves from the parent generation and the norms of the establishment. One can speak of rebellion in a series of phases: the rock'n'roll rebellion of the 1950s, followed by the beatnik rebellion of the 1960s, culminating in the flower power revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Likewise, the interest that dates from the 1980s in urban underground cultural media such as rap, hip-hop, and graffiti can also be seen as an example of youth rebellion.1

  1. The Americanization of Europe: Culture, Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism After 1945. . New York, NY: Berghahn. Print. p.132

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