‘When people ask us about our name, I always add, ‘it’s not as tough as it sounds’,” says Ariel Pedatzur, lead vocalist of the post-punk, surf-rock band, Bones Garage. Backed by a motley crew of talented musicians, the Tel Aviv-based band has just finished its second album, Oi Ma Yeah, which they will be previewing at the InDnegev festival this month.
The Jerusalem Post sat down with Pedatzur to cut bonedeep into the band’s “beachykeen” tunes, political views, and zany personalities.
Before you joined the band, the guys originally had a different group called “Grey” that performed primarily in Hebrew. What prompted the group to switch to English when you were added to the mix?
I think that Eden [Atad, guitarist, vocalist, and Bones Garage songwriter] knew that I wouldn’t be down to sing in Hebrew – not because I dislike the Hebrew language, but because we wanted anyone in the world, whether living in our very own backyard or thousands of kilometers away, to hear our music and understand our lyrics. Today, English is extremely common, so the process of translating Eden’s Hebrew texts only seemed natural.
Do all six of you draw from the same musical inspirations?
Not at all. What’s special about Bones Garage is that currently we’re six musicians and each of us listened to totally different music growing up and still do. Of course, we have some common musical interests (like Nick Cave, Elton John, and a bunch of small indie bands), but I, for instance, come from an old school, hip-hop background.
How did you get into hip hop?
It all started a little later on in life. I grew up on Green Day, blink-182, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers like any 10-yearold girl in 2005. When I was a little older, I got into the skateboard world. One day, I was hanging in the skate park and a friend introduced me to Biggie Smalls…the rest was history.
How would you describe Bones Garage’s collective style?
Technically, we’re post-punk or surf rock. At the end of the day, though, we definitely have our own unique sound, since we’re doing something different from the rest of the world that only seems to grow and develop with time. We’ve been through so much as a band and as friends and the longer we’re together, the more our personalities shine.
Even if you’re not aware of it, your personality is transferred into the music you make.And what are your bandmates’ personalities like?
Dor [Harari] is the most hilarious person on the planet.
He’s not just a drummer, he’s actually an actor, too, and it shows in his sense of humor.
Yoni [Deutsch], our bass player, is funny in a different way.
He’s a dreamer, so his head is always in the clouds, which adds a certain lightness to the room. Yaniv [Bin] is a guitar guru, but he’s also a computer genius. Eden is too talented for his own good. And Raz [Copperman], the new keyboardist, is a character as well.
With so many different characteristics and influences contributing to Bones Garage’s dynamically rich sound, why did you choose to focus on the surf genre? Our beach-like, lighter sound is a perfect backdrop for Eden’s heavier, more political lyrics.
It helps us avoid spoon-feeding the listener. While our songs are super light in terms of sound and melody, if you take a moment to really zone in on the lyrics, you’ll immediately grasp that in most songs, the lyrics are rather heavy.
In presenting these ‘heavier’ messages in English, who is your target audience? Are you trying to spread awareness to the international sphere or are you focusing the gaze inwards, speaking to your fellow Israelis?
We can’t deny that by talking about Israel first and foremost, we are relating to our local fans, but at the same time, our songs are super international, because these days, the world is crazy in general, and everyone can relate at least some of the craziness to their own lives, no matter where they live.Let’s talk about “Great Rift Valley,” the single you recently released in anticipation of your new album, due out on vinyl in the upcoming months.
Oh yeah, there is so much going on in that tune. First of all, the title “Great Rift Valley” refers to the geological rift that goes through Israel and its neighboring countries, Syria and Jordan. The song describes living in Israel, torn between violence and radical opinion and that wish to live in peace.
“The Great Rift Valley also has a high chance of an earthquake in the coming years, which symbolizes the risk of a national and personal earthquake.
It’s about looking for a logical pattern (which doesn’t exist), the realization that so much around us is coincidental, and that all that is left for us is to try to have fun.”
Eden loves to reach beyond the strictly political content, using it as metaphorical material to tap into the personal realm – relationships, love, life and death.In the chorus, you repeat: “Oi ma yihyeh,” which is also the name of the new album. What does it mean?
“‘Oi Ma Yihyeh’” is a Hebrew expression roughly translating as ‘Oh, what’s next?’ The saying is usually said in a negative tone, describing a scary present time and an uncertain future.
With technology and insane governments all around the world, the future is – and always was – unknown. Since most of Eden’s texts are politically charged, paired with the fact that he’s always talking about the world in general and death and life and what’s next, it felt like a fitting title for the album.
You’re heading down to the Negev this month for InDnegev. Is the desert an appropriate setting for an end of the world parade?
Indeed. We’ve tried to get down there before, but it never quite worked out. This year, it’s finally happening and we’re super psyched, especially since the crowd is mostly Israelis and many of them might not know us yet, making this a perfect opportunity to gain exposure.”Bones Garage will be playing at the InDnegev festival on October 21 at 1 p.m. For more news regarding their album release and shows: bonesgarageband.com