The eight-piece Cut Out Club.
(photo credit: ADI OFER)
Nitsan Horesh may have a mathematical deficiency.
When the 37-year-old Tel Aviv-based guitarist and songwriter disbanded his much-lauded power pop trio Electra last year, it was in order to pursue a solo project. Instead, he’s ended up with a sprawling eight-piece band, the Cut Out Club.
“With the idea of going solo, I ended up with a huge band,” laughed Horesh earlier this week during a break in putting the finishing touches on the debut Cut Out Club album due to be released this summer.
“Originally, I went into the studio to record some demos with my producer Baruch Ben- Yitzhak from Rockfour, who I’ve been working with since Electra.
There were times when I would start to play a song and he’d say, ‘You know what? There should be female voices singing the chorus here.’ Or on another song, he’d say, ‘This should be done on piano, not guitar.’ So we started calling musicians – some friends of ours, others who I had really wanted to play with but had never had the chance because of Electra. And before we knew it, it had evolved into a band, a big one,” he recounted.
The Cut Out Club’s Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense-era polyrhythmic funk via Bowie/Eno dance melodies may seem like a far cry from Electra’s streamlined, punk pop vibe, but Horesh, who grew up listening to American and British rock and pop singles by the likes of The Buzzcocks and The Kinks, sees it as a natural progression for his music and songwriting, which is entirely in English.
“When you’re playing in a trio, it sort of restricts the number of musical ideas that you can try.
Over the last couple of years, I started listening more to music from the late 1970s and early ‘80s – funky songs with strong bass lines and multiinstruments,” said Horesh, who used that foundation to build Cut Out Club’s lineup of two guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, sax and two female singers that features members of other top Israeli acts like Tree, Useless ID and Asaf Avidan’s band. “Now I can let my imagination go and explore the combinations of all these instruments.”
Joining Horesh on the musical adventure are Ben Golan on lead guitar, Roey Bar-Yehuda on sax, Ishay Berger on bass, Daniella Milo and Doron Talmon doing vocals, Shay Roth on keyboards and Haggai Fershtman on drums.
“In some way, it’s still my project – they’re my songs and it’s my vision. But it is a band, and we all share that vision,” said Horesh. “Right now, I find myself feeling more like a conductor of a great big band. At every gig, I keep getting excited about what’s going on around me on stage. I think that all of us are really excited to be playing together,” he said.
“When we started gigging, I was concerned that because our songs are slower and more textured than Electra, people were going to find it depressing.
But it’s turned into a party.
People come up and say there’s so much happening on stage – with the singers, the sax – that they don’t know where to look,” he said.
The Cut Out Club released its debut single, the Arcade Fireevoking “We Are the Ghosts,” nearly a year ago and has been working on the debut album ever since, amid sporadic live performances.
“We’ve deliberately avoided playing a lot of live shows because we’re waiting for the album to come out,” said Horesh.
However, a November performance at the International Music Showcase Festival that the Foreign Ministry organized for international agents and promoters resulted in invitations that will see the band traveling to India and Russia over the next two weeks.
Plans for a major breakout tour and wide exposure in Europe and beyond are well in the works, according to Horesh, who couldn’t reveal more details.
If you want a sneak preview of the Israeli buzz band that everyone will be talking about this summer, then head to the Radio E.P.G.B. club on Shadal Street in Tel Aviv on February 17.
You can say that you saw them in a small club before they became world famous.