1980s power balladeer and one-time punk Belinda Carlisle said it best; heaven is a place …
The Mojo Burning Festival which kicks off in Brisbane throughout the weekend will see a 30-band line-up, including the likes of home-grown rock band, Wolf Mother. However, this year, Israeli hard-rock band, Elephant Hive will also take the stage before touring the rest of Australia.
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Having formed in 2015, the two-piece band, consisting of Rafael Cohen and Tom Bollig, have performed and toured at high profile alternative music festivals throughout their home country as well as Russia and various parts of Europe.
The fact that an Israeli rock band plays under 2-minute African-inspired and typical alternative punk and rock beats is quite extraordinary, considering there aren’t many prog-rock bands from those countries around.
Discussing Israel’s music scene, Elephant Hive believe it has to do with the language barrier:
“There’s only a handful of Israeli Hebrew-singing acts that tour outside the country on a normal basis. On the other hand, down here the scene is quite vibrant with its deeply-rooted punk-rock division, metal kids and stoner rock community that had only started to bloom recently, led by local label, ‘Reality Rehab Records’”
Speaking of their unique sound, Elephant Hive says it came from random jam-sessions.
“We’ve been playing for about 4 years now. We just started jamming in my garage and didn’t really plan on taking it too seriously, but being not-serious doesn’t come natural to us. It’s more about obtaining a certain vibe rather than being obligated to a genre. We make music for ourselves, something we’d wanna hear, then take it to the stage. We’re are total Zeppelin buffs” they say.
Having just toured through Russia, Elephant Hive found it vastly different to their expectations, finding it difficult to connect with their audience.
“Russia is relatively different than what we know in a lot of senses. Verbal communication was poor due to the fact most people don’t speak any English at all. We didn’t catch any bands we really liked on this run, but a really cool thing was the way people showed their appreciation. When Russians dig you—they go full tilt. Also they reach the deepest levels of intoxication”, they say.
However, they are really looking forward to all new experiences Down Under in the coming week.
“It looks like there’s a lot going on. Tons of bands. We got the impression you guys are big on dirty rough blues stuff. That’s a good thing. We are excited about the fact we’re going to see weird bugs, travel across the land, and interact with Aussie audience for the first time. We really like Kind Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.”
Not only are they looking forward to snorting a line of Vegemite (jokingly) while Down Under, Elephant Hive are undoubtedly enthusiastic to perform at the Mojo Burning Festival before taking their own tour on the road.
“We’re keen indeed! We’re gonna catch Hobo Magic, Henry Wagons, The Cherry Dolls, Money for Rope and LeSuits.”
Touring can be strenuous at times, but Elephant Hive have three top tips when it comes to staying on the straight and narrow: “Don’t suck, don’t bitch, and take something along with you”.
Elephant Hive’s full length album is set for release in September.
The Mojo Burning Festival kicks off in Brisbane this Saturday 14th April, before Elephant Hive take their tour around Australia.