Interview with Kobi Farhi - Orphaned Land
Band: Orphaned Land
By: JorZine.com - 2012-12-01
Interviewing a band like ORPHANED LAND is always a challenge for a Middle Eastern website. Despite the band having a huge fan base in our region, many people still disapprove of them due to different non-musical reasons. JorZine Team had a nice chat with Kobi Farhi, the band's vocalist and co-founder, to let him and his band introduce themselves to their fans from this region. We talked
about their latest releases, about their collaboration with different Middle Eastern bands and of course, about the region's convulse political situation.
JZ: Hello Mr. Farhi, thank you for granting us here at JorZine some of your time.
Kobi: Alekum a salam my friends from Jorzine and greetings to all the readers.
JZ: First of all, you released your first DVD The Road to OR-Shalem a few months ago. What drove you into making this?
Kobi: Well, I wanted people from all over the world to see what the metal scene looks like in the Middle East and what it’s like when we are with our home crowd. Another reason was that we are still unable to play in so many Arab countries and we wanted to share our live performance with our fans there, until the day when we will be able to come to them.
JZ: We have heard many times of touching reactions coming from your fans. What was the most touching one you've heard regarding your new DVD?
Kobi: People told me they cried while watching it, had their body shivering and realized how music is a cure to the soul.
JZ: What was it like to perform live on stage with Steven Wilson mainly on the song M.I. as well as letting him sing (and correct!) the first song your band ever wrote, The Beloved's Cry?
Kobi: It's an amazing dream come true. We are good friends with Steve but no matter what we will do, we are also his huge fans, and knowing that he appreciates our music and that because of that he has mixed our album and preformed with us live, it’s just a great feeling! I remember when he played his version of "The Beloved's Cry" me & my band mates were standing together, hugged in the back stage and that was one hell of a moment!
JZ: Now let's talk about something more recent. You recently toured Turkey. What drove you to do that? Do you consider performing in a country such as Turkey a progress in the concept you've been reaching towards?
Kobi: Well, we have been playing very often in Turkey in the past 11 years. I think all in all we have played there about 20 times. Our story with Turkey is simply a love story. It is our second home. And this story is a proof of how Muslims and Jews are family at the end of the day; many of our fans come from Arab countries to see our shows in Turkey and because of that, I always look forward to playing in Turkey once again.
The last tour was amazing as we also joined hands with Bilocate, a great band and our friends from Jordan and we had a great time playing together. We were proud to set an example for politicians of how peace is easy, and how friendship and music are above anything else.
JZ: What reaction did you expect from the Turkish crowd? Did they reach your expectations?
Kobi: The Turkish crowd is always great! They make us feel like we are home, and Turkey is a home actually! They know all the lyrics, they sing, clap, dance, and jump. Our shows in Turkey are just one big celebration!
JZ: Furthermore, you chose the Jordanian band Bilocate as a supporting act for your Turkish shows. This is not the first time you share the stage with an Arab band, as you chose Arkan and Myrath as your supporters of your last European Tour. Did these bands reach your standards as expected? When you started the band, did you ever imagine you’d be touring with Arab bands and with a Lebanese dancer 20 years later?
Kobi: Let’s not forget also the Palestinian/Israeli band "Khalas" who played with us in Tel-Aviv. All this bands are just amazing! Such great music, just the way I like my metal. We are planning to keep on doing it again and again in the future; this is something I have always dreamed of. At the end of the day we play Oriental Metal and if I want to share the stage with bands, then it'll be bands from my region and culture first. I always knew that music has the power to unite and I feel that we are the sane voice in our bloody war zone region. I grew up in Jaffa which turned out to be a mixed city when I was a child, so I grew up with Muslims, Christians and Jews. I know the simple truth that we are all brothers and I know it from my personal experience, not from fairytales. By the way – recently I have also edited the first ever ORIENTAL METAL compilation including many bands from the genre, and I intend to also make volume 2 in the future to keep on supporting the scene so I call all Oriental Metal bands to send me their studio material.
JZ: Your latest album "The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR" was a huge step forward for the band. Two years after its release... what's your opinion about it and its importance in the band's history?
Kobi: Every album is an important stone on your path. ORwarriOR is a great album with which we achieved many things that were the best in terms of sound, complexity, and even success. It was well received by everyone and I love this album as if it was my own child.