eyal - daathIn the spirit of our infamous Cripple on Cripple and Beard on Beard interviews (with Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman and Killswitch Engage’s Justin Foley, respectively), we here at the MetalSucks School of Rabbinical Studies would like to introduce a new feature we hope will be ongoing but fear won’t, due to the, err… somewhat limited pool of jews in metal. Our first target was Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy, a Long Island jew if ever there was one; dude flat out denied the interview request. Feh. Thankfully Eyal Levi from Daath was there to save the day like Moses parting the Red Sea. Eyal, ever the mensch, was even so kind as to bless us with an mp3 of Daath’s brand new song “Sharpen the Blades” from their new album The Concealers, which should hit stores some time in ’09. After the jump, read my [Jewish] exchange with Eyal and download the new track for the price of a mouse click.

Jews and metal do not so well mix. How did you come to be entranced by the dark side?

What exactly do Jews mix well with?

Did your father, a famous musician in his own right, always tell you to “turn that crap off” and be a mensch?

He left the mensch part out of it but for a good while, when I was a kid, I had to hide my GNR, Metallica, and Megadeth CDs from him. I think I broke him in though eventually. He actually respects metal now. I don’t think he likes it but he can at least respect the skill involved.

Does your mother still try and guilt you into getting a “real” job?

Not anymore. She knows I’m a lost cause in the “real” job department.

What is it like being in a band with a bunch of goyim?

We used to have other jews in the band and that didn’t work out too well. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s only room for one tribe member per band. Working with the goyim is where it’s at.

How difficult is it to find matzah in Topeka, KS when you’re on tour during Passover? Does Kansas kind of remind you of the suffering your people endured while fleeing the slaves in Egypt?

I wouldn’t know cause I’ve never gone Matzah shopping in my life. I think that the last five years I only knew it was Passover because someone told me it was. I know, I know… Bad Jew, bad jew.

I think that riding on a Digger mobile during Ozzfest reminded me of the slaves in Egypt suffering way more than Middle America ever could. We’ve had some killer shows in the Kansas area.

Tell us a funny story from the road involving your heritage.

Here’s a real funny one. My first tour ever I was subbing for a black metal band on their European tour. I’m sure most of you know that a good part of the European Black Metal scene is Nazi-leaning. NS Black Metal is what it’s referred to as. While we were in Germany a bunch of these guys wanted to go visit some of their holy places like concentration camps and stadiums where Hitler used to give his rousing speeches. At one stadium in particular I thought the podium was quite impressive and I had to get a photo of myself standing there. The dudes I was on tour with were very thrown aback by the fact that I got a photo there. Perplexed is probably a better way to put it. But I had to do it for personal reasons and somehow I think that’s funny.

Shikses dig dudes with big noses: true or false?

If you got it between the eyes, you got it between the thighs

What’s the truest Jewish stereotype you live up to?

I have horns on my head

More metal: “12 days of christmas” or “hava nagila?”

NEITHER!!!! This is what happens when you try to make one of those songs metal:

More Metal: Dave Dramain almost becoming a cantor or Gene Simmons’ wig?

Gene Simmons’ wig for sure. Somehow, and don’t ask me how, his look is the progenitor of the black metal look.

More Metal: Scott Ian or Sammy Davis Jr.?

Sammy Davis Jr. A black jew who was a member of the Church of Satan? I mean c’mon. I love Scott Ian, but Sammy wins this one.

Do you consider yourself an American “Hey, let me do your taxes” Jew or more like an Israeli “Can you hold my machine gun while I take a piss” Jew?

Israeli to the core.

What advice would you give aspiring jewish metal musicians?

Forget the Jewish part, focus on the metal musician part. If you really can’t forget the Jewish part then at least be a good jew and run your band’s spreadsheets.


Daath – “Sharpen the Blades”

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