Interview: Eatliz

I had to chance to sit down with Tel Aviv band Eatliz just before Canadian Music Week started. They had just gotten in to the city and we anxious to start their touring stint in North America. Eatliz is a female-fronted pop rock band comprised of Lee Triffon (vocals), Guy Ben Shitrit (guitar), Or Bahir (guitar), Amit Erez (guitar), Hadar Green (bass) and Omry Hanegby (drums).

Their name, Eatliz, sounds exactly the way it would be read. Lee says, “In Hebrew it means butchery shop, but in English it means… you know what it means. It’s like there is a double-meaning to it for us, because it kind of reflects the way we treat our music choices, like chopping up from different genres and putting it together.”

Hadar says, “I think everybody is influenced by different genres and it’s kind of all mixed up together when we play. Everybody brings his own shit into the business.”

Amit follows, “You can say it’s guitar-oriented. Three guitars – that’s a lot of guitars. Most of our influences are Western influences – lots of rock groups. But then again, we live in Israel. We’re influenced by Middle Eastern sounds too, ethnic genres. I think you can hear that it’s kind of mixed up with our Western influences too.”

The band has existed for quite some time, having formed in 2002, but the band as you see it now has existed since about 2005. They attribute the creation of this band to Guy.

Amit says, “He writes the music, most of the music, the core of the songs. He found musicians to play with. Omry and Or were the only ones there since the beginning.”

In their time as a band, they’ve been to Europe a few times, with two stints in Germany and one in Spain at Primavera Sound Festival. This was their first trip across the Atlantic. They were excited for Canadian Music Week, but seemed especially excited for SXSW. The band had plans to continue their tour up the East Coast and back to Toronto before returning home to Israel. A busy schedule, but they were making the most of their time overseas.

Lee describes their live show. “You will never know what to expect in our live show. The music itself is very complex and very fascinating in itself. You wouldn’t know what to expect next unless you know the song. But the live show is very exciting for us, as well, because every show is different and the vibe is very intense always. And we always feel like the crowd is performing. There’s always a sort of reaction and action going on with the crowd.”

She best describes their sound when she says, “An exciting ride every time.”

Amit continues, “The energy is very, very important to us. Even if the songs are very complex and hard to play, we’ll focus most of our attention on getting energy out, instead of making sure the notes right. We’re more focused on just being very energetic and being in touch with the audience.”

Lee goes further. “And I feel like we look for extremes. Just like in the music, there are a lot of extremes inside the music itself. There’s a lot of violence and delicacy and it translates into what we’re looking for in terms of live shows.”

Amit jokes, “And also, she has really cool outfits – something to look at.”

Thematically, Lee alluded to violence and delicacy. Their songs carry lots of emotion without a specific narrative lyrically.

Hadar says, “I think the psycho that is sitting next to you is actually so fed up with music in this world and he’s heard everything and got bored so quick. I think he’s just trying to always come up with something that hasn’t been done before. It’s not the sense that we’re the first in the world to do that and that and that – because we’re not. We’re just trying to take the songs to a place that is a little bit unexpected, a little bit surprising, even to us.”

Amit continues, “The audience as well, they can hear the song for over a year and can still feel cool stuff inside the song they didn’t notice before.”

As the band seems to speak for him, Guy then jokes, “It’s nice, I feel like I’m dead already.”

But it’s a good thing that different interpretations are formed within the band because that translates to the listener as well.

Amit describes his interpretation of how the band has evolved. “It started as very scattered. But I think all of us always wanted to play pop songs. We love complicated stuff and we challenge ourselves through playing these complicated materials. It’s hard to keep it inside the pop area, but then again we really wanted to be pop. As the years go buy, we’re doing a better job of that, I think. It becomes poppier, more dense and less scattered.”

Lee counters, “I don’t know that’s how I’d describe it. I don’t know if we wanted to be pop. We wanted to find something a bit simpler.”

Hadar then says, “Pop is a problematic word, but we wanted to more unified.”

Lee continues, “We tried to stabilize our grooves, for instance. With the new album, you can hear a track from beginning to end and it has the same tempo or the same groove or the same vibe to it. And we kind of tried looking for that for years.”

Hadar admits, “Half of this band doesn’t really drink.”

He then jokes, “I’m not going to drive this tour, so I’m gonna drink a lot. Talk to me later. I’ll have one for you.”

Even though they don’t drink much, Lee is quick to say red wine and Campari are here drinks of choice. The rest of the band seems to vote for beer and whiskey.

Eatliz was a pleasure to chat with, all eager about their first tour of North America. They’ve got one show left in Toronto on April 6th at The Rivoli. They’ve also got a great stop motion animation video for “Lose This Child,” which made an appearance at the CMW film festival. Check it out here. And see them in Toronto before they head back home to Israel!


Categories: Interviews


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