progressive rock/metal band EPHRAT will release its debut album,
"No One's Words", on August 25 via Inside Out Music.
Mastermind, guitarist, flutist,
keyboardist and sole composer of the quartet is Omer Ephrat.
Alongside Omer, the band consists of Gili Rosenberg,
vocalist Lior Seker and drummer Tomer Z, whom experts of
the genre know from his collaboration with Blackfield. Then there
are two high-carat guests who add additional specks of colour to this
diverse album. The most renowned of them is Daniel Gildenlöw,
boss and chief visionary of Swedish elite prog rock act Pain Of
Salvation, who recorded the lead vocals of the almost 10-minute
"The Sum Of Damage Done".
By no means less impressive is Petronella Nettermalm's melancholy
voice on "Haze", which lends an interesting Björk/Portishead-esque
flair to the track. The cherry on this cake consisting of haunting
tracks is the warm, transparent mix courtesy of Steven Wilson,
whom Omer Ephrat contacted for the first time by e-mail two years
So let’s welcome a new and extremely promising progressive rock act from
Israel whose songs stand for a successful balancing act between
traditional elements and the future of the genre. Ephrat delivers a
colourful mix of European influences and the atmospheric tone sequences
of the Middle East - the benchmark data of a new group could hardly be
So there is
much to talk about, here you can read what mastermind
Omer Ephrat has to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com
First of all, I’m not familiar with your band so could
you tell me something about
How did this band get together and could you tell me something about
your musical background?
That's easy, the band got together when an angel sent
Steven Wilson to rescue me ha ha. Seriously – since forever I've been
occupied with creating music in my studio without planning anything
ahead actually. It took one e-mail to Steven (about 2 years ago) and the
next thing you know I got a contract at Insideout when Steven offered
himself as the one to do the mixing and mastering. I really can't think
of a better starting point for any artist. Then the writing, recording
and recruiting started when Gili Rosenberg (bass) Tomer Z (Drums) and
Lior Seker (Vocals) joined in and I had the honor of playing host to the
Swedish guest vocalists – Daniel and Petronella.
As for my musical background I can say that it's very
diverse. I began with classical music as my first instruments were
piano, flute and clarinet. only later on I discovered the magic of the
guitar metal and since then everything got shifted and I got interested
In rock, metal and Prog later on.
How did you launch into writing the material for
One’s Words’ and how
much time did you spend on composing the songs?
Most of the writing occurred during 4 months. I really
can't explain or define how I write the music, things just come to me
and things flow from a specific point and onwards. There's no method or
a systematic way that I write and I'm glad that it's like that.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
‘No One’s Words’,
any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
Ephrat is nothing but the music. I wanted the music to be
real and authentic without any strategic thoughts behind it. I think
that if an artist starts writing music or changing it as a result of
reasons that have nothing to do with art, like, what people/record
labels think, or if they try to understand what's cool today and then
change their music accordingly, these are steps that will slowly bury
you. You have to be loyal to yourself first of all otherwise you’ve got
nothing to sell. Of course as a producer it’s my responsibility to make
the album cohesive, professional sounding and etc. but I always balance
those two things.
In song writing, what is the utmost important ingredient
for a song according to
is there any typical way that your songs come into being?
A hard question, mainly because there's no specific way I
write them, it starts from a idea and flows to the next and the next
thing you know there's a song.
What would you say are the main themes in your lyrics and
where do you get your inspiration from?
The idea was that each vocalist would write the lyrics
for the songs he would sing, that way each vocalist is involved deeper
in the song than he would have been if he or she just executed
ready-written material. You can most certainly feel that in the album,
in each one of the songs.
Is the music written independently of the lyrics or do
you try to reflect lyrical ideas through the music?
Like I mentioned, the music was written before the
lyrics, but the lyrics were written carefully and in accordance with the
About the song writing, how can we imagine you work on
Songs come to me from nowhere actually, there's an idea
that comes to me, I enter the studio and one idea follows the next until
there's something I can call a song but who knows, maybe with the next
album things will change.
What comes first, lyrics or melodies? Is it like you sit
down and write a new song because you need more material now or do you
wait until you get an idea?
Like I mentioned, my procedure of creation is all about
the music, the lyrics come much later to serve the music.
Could you please describe the implications of the title
‘No One’s Words’,
what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?
Well that's interesting because there are several lyric
writers for the songs and common sense suggests that chances are that
the songs will be different from one another. But that was not the case
here, everything fell into place and you can say that every song is
about (one way or another) people in extreme situations who
(metaphorically) write a letter about their situation, a letter that
reaches no one.
Do you have any favorites on
Words’, songs that you
think are somehow above the others?
I really can't say, it's like choosing your favorite son.
But I can say that "Blocked", for some reason, is the most fun to play
(go ahead and try!).
How did the recording process proceed and how much time
did you spend in the studio?
Lots of time, it was very important that everything would
fall into place. It took approximately 2 years to finish the album, when
every once in a while we entered the studio and completed a new layer to
How did you get in touch with Daniel Gildenlöw and how
difficult was it to get him to write the lyrics and to sing on “The Sum
of Damage Done“?
It wasn't hard at all actually, I contacted him through
Insideout. The request included singing and writing the lyrics and he
agreed and that was basically it.
It was a thrill working with him and I think he added a
whole new face to the album with "The Sum of Damage Done"
The album was mixed by Steven Wilson, how did you get in
touch with him and how did you get him to mix your album?
It turned out that one e-mail with samples of my demos
was enough for Steven to mix and master my album. Though you would never
expect that from a busy man like him, he really invests in listening to
everything that people send him.
What made Steven Wilson the perfect man for Ephrat?
Well, I think that what I like best in Porcupine Tree is
the production and the mix. Many good metal and prog bands with really
good music don’t invest in the production, mixing and mastering like
they invest in the music itself (the actual playing and arranging) and I
think that PT really set a new level in terms of production and mixing.
It was surreal to hear him suggesting mixing my future album and it was
even more surreal to hear the album after he was done.
In which things/songs on the album can one clearly hear
his vision and ideas?
Well, he wasn't involved in the writing, only in mixing,
but the sound of the album stands out so much today that I must salute
Have you received any feedback on your album yet?
Actually, not so much until now. A lot of people have
heard about the album and the names it holds and automatically people
are intrigued by it without hearing the music at all and I guess that’s
Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your
music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that
That's a very important issue for me. Of course the
success of the album and people’s opinions are important, that's the
whole purpose of music. But I really think that if you're trying too
hard to please everyone then the final outcome will suck, you can't make
something that you don't like because you want others to like it. I
guess that you must maintain a liberal mind and try both approaches.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of
the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in
I think I'm a little subjective, but I think the final
outcome is outstanding, with the emphasis on the guest performances. One
thing I would have changed is the editing phase. I edited many of the
tracks and I think that as an artist you should not edit your own album.
It's a tyring job and you keep hearing your own songs over and over
again. You mustn't do anything that might cause you to get tired of your
What do you think is the difference between Ephrat and
other bands in the progressive rock scene?
Pocupine Tree meets Dream Theatre with an electronic and
ethnic scent? I've never heard about a band like that until now, have
What is your opinion on the progressive rock scene these
days, is there anything missing in the scene and what is the scene like
I think that what describes these times best is that it
is a time when the borders are getting more and more blurry. For
example, if someone had given me the new Opeth album like 10 years ago I
would most certainly have classified it as progressive metal, much
variety, changing motifs, switching from growls to normal singing. But
now things have changed and you don't have specific rules to each style.
And because of that (I think) the prog scene has been pushed out of the
way a little.
In Israel, well, there was an awakening in the last few years and
exportation started to bloom and I'm glad. There are a lot of talented
musicians here and this country is too small for them, the crowd for
these types of music is relatively small and their only chance for
success is Europe and the US.
How would you describe your own music and what are your
musical influences, are there any particular bands that have been a big
influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise?
I think that the perfect answer is: Prog is in my mind
and Metal is in my veins.
That simply covers everything. Be clever & sophisticated
but keep the spirit of metal alive. about a specific band, I'm afraid
I'm a classic guy, the biggest metal and prog groups are all inspiring
for me, some more and some less so. I don't want to mention any names as
I will always forget the most important ones.
Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one
that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
A little corny but it's the plain truth: Metallica. When
I heard ‘Master Of Puppets’ for the first time I really felt something
changing in me. Suddenly what I identified as "noise" as a kid, became
the most amazing thing I had ever heard.
How do you see the future for
what can we expect in the near future, any live shows in Europe?
We definitely want to tour and there have been a few
suggestions, but only when things will become official we'll publish it.
Any last statement?
Nope, I think we covered everything.
Thanks for your time!
- Guitar, Keyboards, Flute
Rosenberg - Bass
Tomer Z –
No One’s Words (2008)