I had the pleasure of interviewing Kobe Farhi from Orphaned Land today, to talk about the new record Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs and the band’s history and music style.
- What inspired the name of the band and what influenced the band’s sound?
“We formed the band when we were sixteen, so about 26 years ago now, and we wanted it to really reflect the region we’re from. To reflect the elements that make up the Middle East. The region we’re from is seen as the Holy Land, but with so much conflict present in the land, what exactly is left of it that is holy? So, that’s where the name Orphaned Land came from. As for the influences, well the region we come from is incredibly diverse. Jewish people came from all over the world to settle in Israel, from I think about 80 different countries. They brought the influences, both cultural and social from the countries they had come from, and so that really mixed in with what was already present, especially the Middle Eastern influences. This is especially true of my home town Jaffna, which is a mix of Muslims, Jews and Christians.”
- Could you talk us through the inspiration for the band’s music and lyrics?
“My surroundings are what inspire me to write. Initially that was what I saw happening around me in the Middle East, and the conflicts here. But now it’s expanded to include global events. Essentially anything that pisses me off, I write about. Not just if someone stands me up on a date, but other events. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of things out there now, that are pissing me and others off. so, there’s a lot of inspiration.”
- What was the process behind writing the new album?
“It was a long process. We recorded in three different countries. Our producer is based in Sweden, so we recorded vocals, drums and mixed and mastered the record in Sweden. Everything else we recorded in our own studio in Israel, and the strings we recorded in Turkey. That was because the string players in Turkey are some of the best in the world. There was a lot of work that went into this record, mainly involving the files, transferring them, missing files, all that sort of thing. But the record got done, and I am very proud of it. As regards my favourite song from the record, I would have to say Take My Hand because it has a very personal meaning to me and because of the amount of effort I pushed into the song.”
- What hopes do you have for the record and for the future?
“I hope this record will take us to the next level, professionally. Already it’s received some good comments. There was the first single Like Orpheus which got 300,000 plays on YouTube in a month which is very good for us. So, hopefully people will listen and like what they hear, and get the message, or find something here to enjoy. And as always we hope to gain new fans.”
Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs is released via Century Media on January 26th.