Prey For Nothing - Seeing through the lies and deceitSo, there’s this new Israeli band releasing a great album filled with progressive death metal. I got the opportunity to ask them some questions and vocalist Yotam Avni is kind enough to answer my questions with very well thought-through answers. The result is the conversation below. Check it out!
Hi there, how’s life?
‘Life’s good, can’t complain. Every man who can allow himself to get up at 6PM in the evening after a long night of partying is not allowed to complain about life, and I just woke up after that kind of a night, so there you go!’
Please introduce yourself and your band.
‘Well, my name is Yotam ‘Defiler’ Avni, and I’m the vocalist for the Israeli melodic-death metal band Prey For Nothing. I share the space with some of the most talented fellows I came to know, known as Yaniv Aboudy (lead guitar), Eyal Glottman (guitar), Iftah Levy (drums) and Amir Salomon (Bass).’
How did you guys come up with this band name?
‘The name Prey For Nothing is a combinations of two ideas. First, Yaniv though about a name for a band which will be as much controversial as it would be simple and easy to remember. After a thought or two, our friend Yuval Kramer (guitar player for the epic prog metal act called Amaseffer) suggested that we twist the concept a bit – replacing the “A” in ‘Pray’ with an “E” – giving a new meaning for the concept, while still keeping the old one.’
If you had to compare your musical style to any other band, what would it be?
‘It can be easily noticed that we were inspired by some metal bands, first and foremost – the legendary Death. We took Death to a new approach, adding to their technical and complex style of extreme metal a bit more melody, bringing it closer to the melodic death metal bands as Arch Enemy and early In Flames. If you ask me – we put some elegancy in the brute musical force which is death metal nowadays, keeping it both complex and progressive but not giving in the melody. I rather call it ‘elegant death metal’ – but that name will never be acknowledged, hahaha!’
What instrument do you play (brand & type)?
‘Well, as the vocalist I just scream my ways in and out. I don’t own any specific type of microphone, though I started saving for a wireless Shure Beta58A. It ain’t that expensive, but life’s harsh when you waste all your money on an B.A. in psychology.’
Tell us about writing and recording Violence Divine, did it turn out the way you wanted?
‘It surely turned out the way I wanted it to. We flew over to Denmark, met the incredible producer Jacob Hansen and the sound engineer Michael Hansen (no relation). We came, prepared and finished the recordings themselves in 8 days, took some time off and mixed it. I loved the final result, and it came out the way I wanted it to be. Iftah, our drummer, who loves old-school analogical productions, you know, good old Sepultura’s Arise and stuff like that – but in the end – we all saw eye to eye that our sound is as its best form the way Jacob helped us forge it. Maybe it is not the most original sound, and other bands might go and record their releases at Jacob’s studio, coming with similar results, but as far as our music goes – it is the best sound we could imagine for Prey For Nothing.’
How did you come up with the title for the album?
‘When we recorded our demos as band in the 2006, among 4 songs we reached an agreement that this soon to be our title song is a majestic and overwhelming metal song. After adding the instrumental intro ‘Blend Into The Darkness’ – the song came out quite epic, so we felt it could easily be our title track. The name of the album was drifted from that – dealing with the horror which Israeli and Palestine people have to go through every day – fighting for reasons no down to earth man will understand and agree with. Israel is a very intense place, especially religious wise. As far as religion goes – I think it is a horrid institution, and was always horrid. While religion as a concept isn’t numb and primitive to me – the institution running it, from Christianity, through Judaism to Islam, every religion who forced their laws upon society is obsolete to me.’
And how about the cover artwork. It shows some strong contradictions, what is exactly that you wanna show with this?
‘Holy Marry holding a bomb instead of a baby Jesus, you mean? That was an idea I came up while recording our album in Denmark. That symbolizes that religion breeds violence, even if it is not intended to do so. While religion was an understandable system of dos and don’ts in the beginning of history – nowadays mankind can, and should, take care of itself without being afraid of what’s going on in the afterlife. Instead of being a light in the dark as it was in the past, most religious institutions became oppressors and only resulted in conflicts and struggle in humanity for the past millennia. That’s the real meaning behind the artwork, the fact that we all know that religion became an outdated formula of keeping people in their seats, instead of leading them towards enlightenment, and in conclusion only cause violence.’
What steps in your career are you most proud of?
‘The first is that we didn’t let fear prevent us from investing in our album, and that we flew over to Denmark to make our dream come true. That will be step number one. Since then – we released our album through Rusty Cage Records – and the contract with them will be the 2nd step. They promote us and they’re being very helpful, it is a real joy to work with those guys. We are looking forward to our next career step, start touring in Europe, as soon as possible.’
What goals would you still like to achieve?
‘Touring, of course, will be our first goal. We know well that as a young band, our only chance to get into a European tour is as a supporting act of some sort, and it will take time to grow into the size of bands like Dark Tranquillity or Heaven Shall Burn, but I think we’re up to it. Give us the stage and we will tear it apart. One of our main goals is to perform at a large metal festival. Graspop or Wacken are a true dream, but it will be great to perform at Metal Camp or Arnhem Metal Meeting too. Things like that are far from trivial for Israeli metal bands.’
What’s the most precious thing you would give up for landing a great record deal and/or lots of publicity?
‘The most precious thing you say… hmmm, I would say that our lives and each of us got something else to lose. Let’s talk business, if we’ll get the chance to go on tour, with full funding and as a start of a marketing campaign for Prey For Nothing from one of the leading metal labels – I’ll drop the studying for my degree in the middle of the academic semester, and go burn the world with metal music. It’s not as far fetched as it seems, because opportunities can come and go, but a real deal is something special. You know what? Giving the right amount of feedback on the right booking agency, I’m sure I’ll drop from the university even for a none-sponsored tour as a support act. Education will always be there, and it can wait for next year. I think it’s a fair trade to have some kind of vast and full experience as a European tour for an academic semester. I know I can put through this, and I guess my fellow band mates feel the same.’
Please share your touring/future plans with us.
‘We plan to go to Europe in the summer, perform at some places, maybe alone, maybe with friends as a supporting band. I know it’s kind of far – but as an Israeli band, we need to have the economic safe-net before we jump to the deep water. We think about maybe record one of our local Israeli shows for some bonus live-tracks, maybe in two or three months. It’s all pretty dynamic for us. As it should be, I think.’
Anything left to say to our readers? Here’s your chance!
‘Keep an open mind and don’t let prejudice think for you. Many Israeli bands, as other middle-eastern bands, share nothing with their country’s political view and actions. To be a metal band, or to be a metal-head actually, is to see through the lies and deceit of the government, any government for that matter. Don’t let politics interfere with music. Support metal and… Iron up, I guess ? Yep, Iron Up!’
Thank you very much for your time and good luck in the future!
‘Thank you! Was a pleasure.’
Yotam ‘Defiler’ Avni
Prey For Nothing