Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Interview mit Langtunes (Iran) und Ramzailech (Israel) im Zuge der Secret Handshake Tour

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Das anhaltende politischen Krisengemenge im Nahen Osten ist 2015 präsenter als je zuvor. Kriege, Krisen, Terror, Jahrhunderte andauernde Fehden und Feindschaften, zerschossene Kultur, wohin das Auge reicht. Positive Meldungen sind kaum zu vermelden oder werden von den allgegenwärtigen Hiobsbotschaften einfach verschluckt. Doch mitten in diesem scheinbar undurchdringbaren Strudel der Gewalt und Unterdrückung, haben sich zwei Bands aus zwei Welten zusammengefunden, um gemeinsam gegen den Strom zu schwimmen, sich die Hände zu reichen und gemeinsam zu „Devil Horns“ zu formieren – als Zeichen des Friedens, aber auch der Rebellion. Ramzeilech aus Israel und Langtunes aus dem Irans gehen im November gemeinsam unter der Fahne „The Secret Handshake“ auf Europatournee und spielem 24.11. auch im Konstaner Kulturladen und präsentieren auch abseits des natürlich präsenten politischen Diskurs, einen außergewöhnlichen, vielschichtigen Konzertabend. Denn während die Langtunes eine eingängigen, konzentrierten Indierock spielen, sind Raumzelech echte Pioniere im Feld des „Electric Hardcore Klezmer“.Im Gespräch mit RisseImAsphalt sprachen Behrooz, Frontmann der Langtunes und Ramzailech Gitarrist Amit über ihre Heimat, kulturelle Unterdrückung und eine einzigartige, musikalische Freundschaft. (Das nachfolgende Interview habe ich in englisch veröffentlicht. Allerdings ist das Gespräch gekürzt und übersetzt im Südkurier erschienen (KLICK!))


How does rock music function in your home countries? Is there a real alternative scene?

Langtunes: „There’s no function in which you can describe the way rock music is working Iran. Meaning, there’s no official platform, opportunity or ways, for the musicians to work. But of course, you can’t stop the people from doing what they wanna do! So people go to the underground and start doing what they wanna do under the radar of the government! If there’s not a chance to publish some kind of a music, they do it online. If there’s not a concert allowed, they do it in their basements and private parties. If there’s not a chance to make ssome kind of a movie, you do it illegally and screen it outside of Iran, if there’s not a chance to have a fashion show, you build up your own stage and you invite people around you and do it in private, and it goes on and on…So there is a function sort of , for the alternative scene to say, but it’s all working in the underground.“

Ramzailech: „Rock and heavy music is a big part of our musical language. We, Gal and Amit, grew up together but listened to a lot of different music. So between the two of us there’s anything from traditional Klezmer music like Dave Tarras and Giora Feidman to heavy industrial influences like Das Ich, Ministry and Oomph. That diversity between our influences is a key factor to the sound of Ramzailech. There are some amazing bands here in Israel that play all genres from straight-ahead rock to doom and noise. Some get a chance to go overseas and have some sort of recognition while others stay under the radar. You should check them out!“


Especially in Iran it is forbidden to spread Western music – did you often come into conflict with the law? How could the establish the Langtunes under these circumstances? In germany a lot of people recognized the succes of „Taxi Tehran“ – are there many artists who set against the current politcal situation Iran?

Langtunes: „As long as you stay under the radar, you’ll be fine! You need to be smart, and know your way around! Of course, there were some trouble for us with the officials over the years, but nothing that big that could stop us from working. And it all depends on how big you get with your audience inside Iran. If you would catch some big attention inside or outside of Iran, then you might get into trouble, as did the guy who made this “Taxi Tehran” movie, who ended up in jail. So of course there’s trouble on your way, but you never know what the consequences would be!“


And what about Israel? What to the people think, when you tell them that you are on tour with a band from Iran?

Ramzailech: „We weren’t sure how people would react to the idea, but the more people we’ve talked to, we we’re happy to learn that people are interested and supportive: We we’re playing a festival in Israel and during the show we told the audience about the tour and we got a round of applause. That was an amazing feeling.“


How did the meeting between your two bands go? Did you understand each other immediately? Was there sympathy between your groups from the beginning?

Langtunes: „From our perspective, it was as much unimportant where the guys from Ramzailech are, as it could be! We had the communication, as humans, musicians, with the same goal and same spirits. We were easy together, and later came the thoughts of being from these two “forbidden to meet” nations. So that brought us to the thought of “hey, does it really matter where you come from?” and enjoying this concept of a humanistic relation between two groups of people who are not “supposed” to be friends together, but ended up being so, we thought of working with it, showing it to the other people as well, and promoting this way of thinking. No matter how open minded we are, or whether or not we are super intellectuals, we often see people having these borders in their head. “where are you coming from?” is a question people ask each other everyday, and so follows the tags, the prejudices and thoughts towards each other, depending where we are coming from. That’s what we didn’t feel! That’s what we are trying for the people to realize!“

Ramzailech: „We’re all people, we met each other, got along from the very first moment, had a great concert together and that was that. That’s how easy it was. Maybe we owe some credit to the turkish restaurant we ate at after the show. Food always helps. But that’s all you need, people who want to do something cool and just decide to go for it.“

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Who had the idea to do a tour together and what about the idea to start this whole project over Crowdfounding?

Langtunes: „The idea of a common tour actually came from our manager Elnaz Amiraslani who´s also an Iranian and music-promoter in Germany who connectet us 2014. With all of us talking after the one show last year, over the points I mentions above we were positive with that idea right away. And of course, we had two ways to make it happen. Ask for sponsoring and official helps, or go with it on our own. Asking the officials, would mean that we had to take political sides or to send out political messages to the one side or the other, and we wanted to stay away from all these. So the other option was to involve people with it, and ask for them to take part in this peace promoting project.“

Ramzailech: „The tour felt right for everyone. When we met Elnaz, who manages Langtunes, it felt like there’s a team that could make it happen. Booking a tour is a lot of work anyways so why not do it with two bands from Israel and Iran? We keep politics away from the music, so it made more sense to have more support from crowdfunding rather then involving the government.“


Two bands from two worlds – with completely different cultural background and who play totallay different musical genres: What can I as a visitor expect from the Secret Handshake Tour? Is it all about music? Or will you also do discussions or lectures?

Ramzailech: „Langtunes is one of the coolest bands in Europe right now. It doesn’t matter if they’re from Iran, Australia of from Mars. They’re a good band. When we play a Ramzailech concert, we do everything we can to play the best show we’ve ever played. That’s what it’s all about for us. We’re more interesting on stage playing our fucking asses off than in a room with a powerpoint slide talking about falafel.“

Langtunes: „Mostly this is about two bands, following up their dreams, no matter where they come from, who they are, and what their cultural backgrounds are. You should expect to see two bands putting all their efforts to rock the shit out of the stage! Of course, after that, you can think about, this rocking off, came from two bands, who are not supposed to be on the same stage, who are not supposed to be friends, who are not supposed to meet each other at their homelands, and who are not supposed to share the same dream, but music, is one thing that could connect people globally to share the same experience and talk the same language!“

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How important is such a symbolic handshake especially in the current political reality?

Langtunes: „People are the ones responsible for making any sort of differences in this world. And of course, if people start moving out of the borders from their heads, removing tags and names and nations from their way of thinking, and connecting with one another, more peacefully and more humane, we would be living in a more beautiful world. And if this tour can make even one person think like this, we can say that we already made some changes.“

Ramzailech: „That’s a very deep question but the answer is very simple: Music. Music is why we do this. Musicians do things that politicians couldn’t dream of: they connect people, they don’t even need words to do so. As long as people can come together and do that, we’re optimistic.“


Do you expect restrictions and problems in your home country after the tour?

Langtunes: „Of course the two governments need this conflict to use it for their benefits, politically. And of course if this really begins to make some changes, they will be pissed off, and of course we are thinking of all the risks. Could be lethal for us, or could be nothing in the end. We’ve always been risk takers in what we’ve been doing. Risk, stress, and rebellion has always been a part of rock n’ roll. We’re young, wild, and full of rock n’ roll!“

Ramzailech: „I’m a big fan of ‘club-mate’, so whenever I’m in Germany, I’m hooked. it’s almost impossible to find it Israel so that’s a very possible case of problems and restrictions.“


What have you planned for the future?

Langtunes: „A more peaceful world. A more successful career for both of our bands. A great audience who are thinking free and enjoying our shows and spreading our music and sharing our hopes and dreams and passion!“

Ramzailech: „We’re releasing our album “Tsuzamen” in a few weeks, that’s a dream coming true. We’re already in the studio working on more new music. Also, somewhere in the near future, we hope to take a day off and rest, but not yet.“

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