UID: Not much...In the 80's no international bands would go to israel, like, NONE, we would start getting bands like G.B.H and The Exploited coming over for shows in the early 90's, i was a bit too young to go and i guess not THAT excited about going anyway.
The first international band that we were kind of excited to see were Biohazard when they came through in 93', that was kind of cool to see, and the crowd was massive + crazy.
Tell me about the punk scene in Israel when you guys first started out compared to how it is now? Has it followed the same trends as here in North America?
UID: When we first started playing there was already a punk scene in Israel, half of those kids were super political and into american hardcore, and the other kids were into U.K punk and were pretty much mindless punks - as we called them.
We did not fit in with any of these scenes very much because they were both against melodic punk rock and so it took us a pretty long time to get our own scene going, and you know how it goes...on our way there we would play with many of the other bands that were around and there would be some nasty scenes where we would get a lot of people spitting on us and cursing our band...
It actualy took us at least 5 years until we had a solid group of friends and fans that were forming bands that were more like us that we could play and hang out with.
I think it was never as trendy as it was in america, that is for sure.
Are there any young Israeli bands following in your footsteps that you know of?
here are some kick ass bands people may want to check out-
Man Alive, Kill The Drive, Mondo Gecko, Not On Tour, Sweatshop boys, Best, Mad Choice, You're Next...There are a lot of great bands that play in israel right now, it's awesome!
What were you guys doing in the 4 years before you released Symptoms (other than collaborating with rappers!)
UID: We were touring A LOT, we went to europe and japan and the u.s and canada and china and...well, we did took some time to write and rehearse "Symptoms", too...
Speaking of, how did the Muki collaboration come up?
UID: He is quite a big mainstream act here in Israel, and when he saw our show when we played a festival together he really liked the energy and music, so he offered that we would write a song together and see how it goes, and that song we ended up writing together did very well in israel, like got on the radio, which almost never happends with our band here, hehe.
After that song did quite good on radio and t.v here, we started writing some more songs together and pretty quickly we went into the studio and made a full album together.
Who did the album art for Symptoms? What does it represent to you and this album?
UID: Our good friends Nir did it, he also did the cover for the album we put out in 2008 "The Lost Broken Bones", he is a very close friend of the band and we get to talk with him for a while before he starts working on the cover for our album and he reads all the lyrics and stuff...he is a big part of our band life in that way, he wants to know what the songs are about and what do we want to express through our music so that the artwork fits in the best way possible.
Since our album is dealing with a lot of different mental issues, sickness too, sometimes, we took photos in a hospital and gave the artwork a look like a diary of some sort, that was made up by someone who is dealing with some issues, drawing voodoo dolls and shit...i think it came out very strong and works very well with the music and the concept of the album.
What are you most excited about this tour?
UID: Well, i'm excited for every single tour we go out on...
i'm personally happy about meeting friends that we did not get to see since our last time in Canada, i'm very excited about getting to some record stores and finding albums that we cannot get here in Israel, and mostly just playing the shows for the people who like our band and always write us emails like "come over and play for us".
Are falafels still your favourite food?
How do you feel about Poutine?
UID: I'm not a big fan of it, sorry.
Everyone that we get to hang out with in Canada is always into getting us into it, and i'm sure that i will give it a few more rounds to be sure that i tried it again, but for the most part, i stick with falafel...
THANKS SO MUCH TO USELESS ID AND MELANIE!