The huge boom of melodic European progressive rock music took over
big time back in the mid to late 70s thanks to sonic pioneers
like Pekka Pohjola, Zamla, Focus and many other greats. One relatively
recent group, from Israel, keeping that melodic jazz-rock aura alive
in the 21st century is Marbin, and specifically the groups
excellent 2013 CD, Last Chapter Of Dreaming. Commenting
on Last Chapter, Marbin guitarist Dani Rabin adds, 'Last
Chapter was a HUGE production and we learned a lot and are extremely
proud of the record. Its the best thing weve ever done
up to date.' In addition to the progressive Euro instrumental jazz-rock
side, on some tracks you can also hear a definite Middle Eastern /
Eastern European collage of musical genres. Dani Rabin invents
a new guitar language in the finest spirits of guitar pioneers such
as Jukka Tolonen and Jan Akkerman, while the driving melody-centric
sax from Danny Markovitch sounds a bit influenced by the old
Romania sounds of Klezmer swing icon Dave Tarras and in fact, some
of this outstanding Marbin album reminds one of the mid 70s
sound of Finnish World Beat exponents Piirpauke with Sakari Kukko.
The third Marbin album, and second for Moonjune, Last Chapter Of
Dreaming is strongly recommended to fans of the classic Eurock
sound of the 1970's
while World Music fans with an open ear to instrumental jazz-rock
wont go wrong with this album either. Long live the modern day
mwe3.com presents an interview with
Dani Rabin of MARBIN
mwe3: The new CD, Last Chapter Of Dreaming is great.
Where does the CD find Marbin in their history now?
Rabin: First of all Im very glad you like it. In regards
to where Last Chapter finds us, right now we are working on
the road making a live album on tour so we are on to the next thing.
We took Caleb Willitz, who recorded and mixed our debut album and
was involved in the other two and even sang some choir parts on Last
Chapter, on the road with us to record an entire tour and its
very refreshing to record live and make non produced music for a change.
Its really a departure from what we have done in the past but
the way the band evolved we developed a very strong live sound so
its the right move. Last Chapter was a HUGE production
and we learned a lot and are extremely proud of the record. Its
the best thing weve ever done up to date.
mwe3: How would you compare Last Chapter Of Dreaming
with your earlier releases?
Dani Rabin: Compared to the other records I would say that
the main difference is BALLS! It has more balls. I embraced the fact
that I am not a jazz guitarist and that we are not a jazz band and
we let the music come out the way it wanted to come out. There is
much more rock in Marbins future! I love our other records too,
but they evoke a different set of emotions.
mwe3: Whats the chemistry like between the members of
Dani Rabin: The chemistry is great. We play together so much
that we developed a group language and aesthetics. What I mean by
that, is that we play so much and try things so much that weve
developed real instincts in regards to what are good and bad musical
choices and since so much of what we do is improvised, each members
choices are crucial.
mwe3: How do each of the musicians compliment each other musically?
Dani Rabin: I cant say enough good things about Justyn
and Jaes playing...they just groove and understand how to build
dynamically. I really love playing with them! Also, the arrangements
for a lot of the music on Last Chapter developed from playing
live every night and just trying things spontaneously. Some shows
you crash and burn and some shows you come up with something that
just sticks and all of us try new things every night.
mwe3: As far as writing music in Marbin, how do you work compositionally
with Danny Markovitch?
Dani Rabin: Compositionally, we wrote most of the stuff together.
One person would come up with a melody and wed work on it until
it would become a song. The most important tool for composing is a
pencil and manuscript paper! We put everything down on paper and it
transforms ideas to a physical things. I really think that people
should not let their melodies float in the air and put them down on
paper. It makes you confront what you wrote and helps you edit and
What does the title of Last Chapter Of Dreaming mean to you?
Dani Rabin: My favorite record growing up was Secret Story
by the Pat Metheny Group. I fell in love with that huge worldly production.
I feel like it really planted something in me that led to the type
of production and sound that I was going for in our 3 albums... that
dreamy type of sound. I do feel like this record is the a completion
of this vision (a last chapter) and now Marbin will be chasing a new
aesthetic that is truer to the live sound we developed.
mwe3: Can you say something about that cool Last Chapter
Of Dreaming CD cover art?
Dani Rabin: Brin Levinson made the artwork for every one of
our records and the man is a genius! I really love his work and people
should check out his web site for more of his art.
mwe3: What guitars are you featuring on the Last Chapter
Of Dreams album and how about the other gear, amps, effects, favorite
mics, that youre featuring on the new album? How has your choice
of guitars changed over the years and what do you look for in a guitar?
Dani Rabin: STRAT! This record is 95 percent Strat, the only
guitar I play.
I also used a nylon string and a 60 dollar steel string acoustic that
I bought myself as a 21st birthday gift. Nice guitars are nice but
For an amp I used my CAE OD-100 with a suhrx12 and a Kerry Wright
4x12 miced with an SM 57 real close and a Cole ribbon a bit
I use a variety of pedals but mainly the Maxon sd9 and OD9 the Xotic
RC booster and the Xotic Robotalk on Redline. I also used
the Eventide pitch factor for the solo in On The Square
(octaver) and in The Way To Riches (analog synth). I decided
to be a big boy and record dry on this one and put delays and verb
later when we mix...and it was a painful experience, I hate playing
I look for a sound that makes sense in the context of the song. Unless
its an acoustic thing a Strat ALWAYS makes perfect sense to
Do you also play acoustic guitars and/or other fretboard instruments?
Dani Rabin: I do play acoustic guitars but no other fretted
mwe3: And as far as practice goes, what do you usually practice
on guitar to keep your hands and mind in shape?
Dani Rabin: I love practicing. I guess the most important thing
is being honest with yourself about what you know and what you dont
know and what you can do and cannot do. If you can stand to be honest
with yourself youll always know what the next step is in terms
I work out things I dont know. What I found out is that if youre
having fun practicing you are probably working on something that you
either know or kind of know. Practicing shit you dont know how
to do requires confronting inability and fixing bad habits. This is
some ego shattering unpleasant shit and is NOT fun. So whenever Im
suffering and feeling frustrated while practicing I plow through it
because I know that Im expanding and that my feelings are growing
The truth is that people that are willing to change as people are
the only ones that practice can make better. The way I see it, the
ability to change is talent.
You practice and practice until music makes a demand. In the beginning
its small like use this finger instead of that one. Then it
gets bigger like use this system instead of that one (harmony, scales,
) and then it asks you to listen to yourself and
others differently or party less to have more time to practice and
then its quit your job so you could go on the road. Then its
be gone months at a time. The ones that love it enough and keep saying
yes to everything music demands from them get better and better because
they are willing to change as people.
People always compare getting better at music to climbing a mountain
then reaching a plateau, walking through it and then climbing again
etc... thats bullshit!
You have to constantly come back to the start in music. Its
all a big circle and every time that you get back to the start you
learn something deep. The reason is that by the time you did the lap
youve changed as a person and you are (hopefully) ready to see
new things. Like walking into a room youve been to a thousand
times and focusing your eyes on some detail youve never seen
mwe3: Whats the song writing process like in Marbin?
Dani Rabin: Song writing always happens in the same way. We
start from scratch because an empty slate is where it all happens.
We come up with a melody and a harmony. We usually write songs in
one sitting and then they arrange themselves over time through live
If you close your eyes and just try to write good music right now
you will be confronted with what good music means to you at this moment
and that you need to have.
mwe3: Can you tell the readers about your early interest in
music and what was it like growing up in Israel? And how about your
big musical influences, favorite albums, guitarists and musical genres?
It seems Israel is such a rich country for musical experiences with
so many diverse cultures and people living there from various countries
around the world. Also I can sense the Israeli / old world Europe
sound is alive and well in Marbin.
Rabin: I got into metal when I was 13 and started playing guitar
around 15 I really was into Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera initially
and slowly got into people like Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Greg Howe etc...
I was very moved by their music. In particular I can remember a Tony
Macalpine record called Maximum Security that blew me away.
Then I found out out about Victor Wooten somehow and bought the first
Vital Tech Tones record which had Scott Henderson on guitar. I really
didnt care for the guitar playing at that point but I decided
to get some Tribal Tech records from Amazon, there were none in Israel
at the time, and I was blown away by Face First and Illicit.
I played those records all the time.
Then one day, my mom came home with Secret Story by Pat Metheny
and Astor Piazolla Tango Zero Hour. Those two records changed
my life. I just loved that music very deeply and had a very profound
Growing up in Israel was great! I love it there and a lot of the Israeli
folk music is a part of me. We really have great singers and songwriters
there. Another HUGE influence, probably the biggest, is Leonard Cohen.
I am a mega fan and he is my absolute favorite musician!
mwe3: Whats it like recording for Moonjune? It seems
theyre keeping the progressive music spirit alive and best thing
is theyre also keeping interest in the historical aspects of
some of the greats from the past.
Dani Rabin Moonjune is great and Leonardo is great! I do like
a lot of that stuff particularly Allan Holdsworth.
mwe3: How is the current Marbin tour going?
Dani Rabin: Touring is getting better and better and more people
coming out and buying CDs. There is a real music hunger in the US
now and Im happy to play for people that come for the ride.
Obviously its still a struggle but we are young and are paying
are dues I suppose.
mwe3: I was reading Marbin is the hardest working band in progressive
music these days. What do you like best and least about the U.S.?
Dani Rabin: I like how almost everywhere we go we seem to find
people that connect with our music and I like that you can drive everywhere
without borders, obviously thats not the case in Israel. I dislike
the fact that there are almost no channels left to get to people that
I know would like our music and inform them about us.
mwe3: What are your plans and plans for Marbin for the coming
year and what would you like to accomplish both as a guitarist and
a recording and performing / recording band in the coming years?
Dani Rabin: Like I said before we are making a live record
now and Im excited about that! After that we will learn some
new songs and start playing them live. We have a lot of music written
that we didnt have a chance to learn yet. But in terms of hopes
and goals we all feel very ready to become famous so thats what
were working on. Getting the word out there, getting people
to shows and more music on the radio. We also hope to get to Israel
and Europe this year.
Thanks to Dani Rabin @ www.marbinmusic.com
and to Moonjune Records @ www.moonjune.com