ROCKFOUR
The Beautiful World
(Anova)

 

You don’t have to be Jewish...I mean you don’t have to necessarily speak Hebrew to enjoy the 2010 Rockfour album, which translates to The Beautiful World in English. After their 2007 English language prog-rock classic Memories Of The Never Happened, the best rock group in the Holy Land is back with a Hebrew language masterpiece, their first in 15 years. Because after all, even sung in another language other than English, it is about the music and the arrangements that make Rockfour such an internationally acclaimed band. If you can absorb the foreign language lyric on this and even dig the Israeli-rock exoticness you will clearly detect the same high quality of progressive art-rock melodies and arrangements so apparent on their earlier English language albums. Core members Marc Lazare (bass) and Baruch Ben Izhak (guitars) are aided by drummer Issar Tennenbaum and keyboardist Yaki on an album of innovative, genre bending century 21 art rock. www.rockfour.com


Goodnight From Tel Aviv...

an interview with Rockfour’s Marc Lazare


mwe3.com: Is the English name of the new Rockfour album The Beautiful World? How did you come up with the title? Can you say something about the making of the album, when, where was it recorded?

ML: The title to our latest album does mean “The Beautiful World” and it is a reminder of a card collecting game from our childhood with the same name.

The songs were recorded in 2010 at Anova studios located in Tel Aviv. The studio belongs to our label, Anova and carries some nice vintage equipment. It was designed also by listening to our dreams and “wish lists" of equipment that we always wanted to have within our reach.

We started off recording demos more than a year before the actual recordings. The demos served as a basis for understanding the structure of the songs and allowed us to rethink tempo changes to move up or down in key and also gave us a chance to polish off the lyrics.

mwe3.com: What's been the reaction in the Israel music world to the album?

ML: This album was our first Hebrew album after 15 years. In 1995 we recorded The Man Who Saw It All that received very warm reviews and eventually became a cult album here in Israel. Actually, we just celebrated 15 years to that album with a few shows where we played all of the songs off it. We were glad to see it stood well after all those years. The shows were a hit and we had lots of fun doing them. So after that album we mainly recorded in English and focused on touring in the US. The Israeli audience and the media were expecting a Hebrew album and once we felt we are ready to do it, it happened. We can say that the reviews and the feedback are great.

mwe3.com: How would you compare this album sound wise to the Memories Of The Never Happened album?

ML: All Rockfour albums although different from each other have a common thread that ties them all together. It's like a fingerprint that shows up in each album. Of course that with every record we experiment and strive to get better in every aspect—may it be the writing, playing, producing etc... As far as sound—Memories Of The Never Happened was recorded in San Diego, at Earthling studios by Mike Kamoo, and completed in Israel. I really love the sound and the atmosphere there. At the time we were finishing the tracks our keyboards player, Yaki Gani had just joined the band. It was only natural for the next album to have a larger focus on keyboards and so Yaki worked really hard on The Wonderful World…

As I stated above, I think that the fact we recorded the demos for that album in the same studio that the final recordings were done in helped us a lot in refining the sound and adjusting it till we were satisfied with the result.

mwe3.com: What does the cover art symbolize and is the artwork upside down? At least the astronaut on the cover is upside down, but then I remember the Hebrew language reads right to left!

{the CD cover art was packed upside down in the case and of course me being half brain dead, I didn't notice! - editor 2011}

ML: I love the cover!

Hebrew is written right to left…but the artwork is not upside down…(laughter)

The cover was designed by a graphic artist and an old friend of mine, Tammy Steier. Since we know each other for so long, it was easy for us to describe to her and easy for her to understand the spirit we were trying to capture. She listened to the music and read the lyrics and voila! She showed us a rough sketch and our jaws dropped—we felt she got it right.

mwe3.com: Any favorite tracks on the Beautiful World album in your opinion?

ML: I enjoy the album as a whole but have a special thing for “Menat Yeter” (Overdose)—the way it builds up from a soft beginning to a disco like groove. This song is an example for the evolution of a song—it was rewritten in the studio as we were recording. It sounded quite different in the early stages. Also, I got the idea for the lyrics reading instructions for use on a medicine box.

mwe3.com: What are the plans for Rockfour in 2011 and will you make another English language album soon?

ML: We never stopped writing in English and actually are always writing or busy working on new projects. I think this is the fuel that keeps us going and keeps us together for so long—the drive to create constantly and share our music. We are thinking of some new things to release during 2011.

Also we will take part in Ninet Tayeb's recordings for her upcoming album.

2011 is going to be busy for us!

mwe3.com: Thanks Marc and let's talk more soon...

ML: With pleasure!

Thanks to Marc Lazare @ www.Rockfour.com



 

 
   
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