Once again Orphaned Land will be spreading their music and words of peace and wisdom on while promoting new album "All is one". After so many years do you really think that "all" can be as "one"?
Chen: We always believe that it's possible as long as we will fight for it to be. 'All Is One' is dealing exactly with the fact that we all FAIL to see that all we are is one. With our new album we hope to enlighten more people to follow and support this wonderful message, I think this is the most important message we can provide to the people of the world with the power of music.
Cover art of the album represents three big religions and I think it's a beautiful homage to your endeavor to bring people together. What was your reaction upon seeing it for the first time?
Chen: When we first saw it I believe that we just all thought that we have it, no better visual way to show that "All Is One". All the three religion symbols combined together as one - simple and straightforward, People can understand the message clearly. We all fell in love with the cover and some of us even got it tattooed before we even released the cover for the world to see it.
"All is one" brought some new people on it, new guitarist Chen Balbus, female vocals by Mira Awad and a lot of orchestrations. What is their impact on the new album?
Kobi: Chen brought with him lots of new blood to the new album and to Orphaned Land in general, being the youngest member full with motivation. He was a big integral part of the composing and producing of "All Is One". Me, Chen & Uri built this album in Chen's studio from zero to a full home-made pre-produced album. the fact that "All Is One" came much faster than previous albums, the credit goes to Chen for being fully dedicated to the band. Also Mira Awad joined us for a few songs and contributed her amazing angel voice. We had an 8 string players orchestra that really made this album a true epic oriental metal album.
In few words can you "walk" us through the ten new songs?
Chen: We start of with the grand epic "All Is One" - a true oriental metal song, stating the title of the song and the album in a big greek party. Followed by "The Simple Man" that tells us all that we are nothing but plain simple men, not above anyone. "Brother" the soft ballad of the album that tells the story of both Isaac and Ishmael, it doesn't matter who was taken to the mountain. we are brothers. "Let The Truce Be Known" - the enemies now turned to brothers and put on a truce in the battlefield. "Through Fire & Water" we all go together as we "Fail" to see that all we are is one, missing our "Freedom". "Shama'im" & "Ya Benaye" gathering us all together for a Greek and Yemen party leading us to "Our Own Messiah" telling us that we are the Messiah. and finally "Children" for all those who suffer the reality of wars while we all fail to see that all we are is one.
New tour will take you through the counties of former Yugoslavia, performing in Belgrade (Serbia), Sarajevo (Bosna and Herzegovina) and Maribor (Slovenia) a region similar to your own, how much do you know about us? About people to whom you'll be playing?
Chen: I personally don't know anything on what will be there waiting for us, for me it's a first time visiting there. I believe it's going to be a wonderful experience. it's always good to play for your fans anywhere in the world.
Who will be supporting you on this tour?
Chen: On this tour we will be joined by the band Khalas, who are our friends and already supported us two times in Israel. believing in the 'All Is One' message and sharing the oriental metal music. Also we will be joined by Bilocate who support us in Turkey, The Mars Chronicles and Klone.
We did an interview in Zagreb when you supported Paradise Lost on tour in 2005. We discussed of your intention to help open European market to the metal bands and scene from Middle-East, how much success you had in such intent?
Chen: I think it's working for us so far, I believe that we brought the Oriental metal to be a more known genre in Europe and around the world. there are more Oriental metal bands forming nowadays such as Myrath, Arkan and many more. I believe it's only growing bigger and bigger.
During that interview you also told us that you and Uri are big collectors of Orphaned Land work, posters, passes, all possible album editions. did your passion of collecting remained the same through all this years? If so, what is your most precious item or items in it?
Kobi: I have started to be more easy going...I dont collect everything like in the past but Uri still stayed the freak. for Example - he had to buy the OL LP from EMP cause they had an exclusive yellow and he wants at least 2 copies of each edition. One in which he will keep open and one - shrinked forever!
There was talk of some side projects in the future? Can we have a small insight in what might happen?
Kobi: Orphaned Land is my main priority, I;m a musician though, if I'll have the time, everything is possible, but nothing to declare at the moment.
You were editor of "Oriental Metal Compilation", which brought to our attention more music and bands from Middle-East area. In meanwhile did some new band emerged that we need to know of?
Kobi: Of course - but wait for my vol 2 compilation! Hopfully we'll have that sometime soon.
There's a lot of unrest in Middle-East, with fighting in Syria, troubles in Egypt, how does all of it affect you personally?
Chen: It's sad to see all these events that have to occur full of violence while many of the people who are just living there and just wants to live in peace without the fear of some dictator or a rocket that will fall over their house, they have to suffer from those events while no one is seeking solutions of peace that won't hurt anyone.
Metal music is still a taboo in some of your neighboring countries, in some by listening to it can get you in jail. All this time you promote it as something that will bring people of all religions together. Do you see any progress?
Chen: Definitely there's a huge progress and metal music is becoming more popular around countries that it's forbidden to listen to metal music. I believe in our message, it's the strongest message there is and we have many followers that also believe and support our idea of "All Is One". Time will tell how this message will effect our world. I think it's going to a good place.
In the end do you have any "words of wisdom" for our readers and your fans in Croatia which unfortunately you won't be visiting on this tour?
Chen: We hope to see you all as soon as possible and party with you guys, share together the best religion that is music and show that all we are is one.
All Is One!
Thank you for the interview and see you on tour!
Also you can support Orphaned Land and their work toward peace by signing the petition for nomination for this year's Nobel peace prize. Please click on the following link: