We recently spoke to vocalist Kobi Farhi of Orphaned Land, the Israeli metal act, about their latest record, their country's scene, Pearl Jam, and more. Read that interview here.
In addition, we asked him about his dream Orphaned Land tour and setlist alike the previous articles we've done with Baroness, Rosetta, Marty Friedman, Cattle Decapitation, Opeth, Periphery, Clutch, Between the Buried and Me, and Devin Townsend. Check it our below.
What’s a band that you’ve previously toured with that you’d like to again?
I’d say Metallica. We supported them in Israel in 2010. When I met them, it was like a childhood dream. I saw them for the first time in 1993 and I was seventeen years old and then seventeen years later, we supported them. Kirk Hammett literally recommended our album on Metal Hammer, which just blew us to pieces. I’d be happy to tour with them again any time.
Who is a band that’s on your bucket list in terms of touring?
I’d go with Iron Maiden.
If you could only pick one song from each album you’ve released for a setlist, which would you choose?
- Sahara – “The Sahara’s Storm.” That album was back in 1994 and that was a song we wrote about the Gulf War and the conflict in the Middle East. It was one of the first times we started to touch the subject of holy wars and protests against these stupid wars. In a way, we’re still writing about that. Over twenty years later and the subject is still valid and it is still the same situation. The music is great and the text is very strong.
- El Norra Alila – “El Meod Na’Ala,” which is a Jewish traditional song and the first time we did a metal version of a Jewish traditional synagogue song. It’s something that became kind of a trademark for Orphaned Land where we take a cultural song and make a metal version of it.
- Mabool – “Halo Dies (The Wrath of God)” because the growls I do on there are just great. We like to use a lot of different sounds from radio noises, white noise, or TV censorship beeps, so in the song we use those noises to cut my singing, which I find to be a very nice rhythmic progressive thing.
- The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR – “Bereft in the Abyss,” which is a short ballad, but it is also showing a very touchy side of Orphaned Land. It’s very emotional and has great singing and also has Steven Wilson playing keyboards on it.
- All is One – “Let the Truce Be Known,” which is a song we wrote about World War I where it was Christmas night and British and German soldiers got drunk, played football, and became friends just for one night. The night after they returned to bombing each other. I found that story to be mind-blowing. It’s amazing that the human spirit can rise above the bullshit with the help of alcohol, music, and a holiday. I find it very fascinating and I think it’s a great song.
- Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs – “We Do Not Resist” because I think it’s the strongest text on the album and I think it’s very valid to our dark times today.
What countries do you still want to tour?
We’ve played in nearly fifty countries so far, but the irony is that we’ve played Australia, China, the states, South America, Europe, Russia, but never have we played in our countries next door because metal is kinda banned. We cannot go to those places where we have a lot of bands. Israel is like the size of New Jersey and everywhere around us has all these places to see and these fans, but we cannot go there. Hopefully one day though.