The last time Infected Mushroom stormed South Florida, it was at Miami's Karu & Y, where the Israeli psy-trance superstars proved that hair metal is not the only music that can rock folks like a proverbial hurricane. The onslaught wasn't completely unexpected. The group that had started as a duo had recently grown to be a full-blown band, and fans anticipated that the club's roof would be torn from the rafters.
Just five months later, the heavies from Haifa are back, only this time it's just founding members Erez Eisen (AKA I.Zen) and Amit Duvdevani (AKA Duvdev), who slip into Gryphon to deliver one of their notorious DJ sets. But don't think for a second that their roar will be diminished; it'll just be different. And it will most likely include much of the music that makes Infected Mushroom move so mightily in the first place.
New Times recently caught up with Eisen for a few questions about the band's origins and future. Here's what he had to say.
New Times: "Smashing the Opponent" (with Korn's Jonathan Davis) seems almost like an homage to Depeche Mode. Would you consider DM an influence, and if so, how much?
Eisen: Well, yes DM is a huge influence (just saw them at the Hollywood Bowl; it was an amazing show), and I've seen them a ton of times in the past. We definitely respect their electronic rock project; it has paved the way for groups like us and Prodigy. "Smashing" was part of our evolution of sound, and we are happy that people would put us and DM in the same sentence.
"Becoming Insane" has a Middle Eastern influence, yet it's also got Kinky's Gil Cerezo singing some verses in Spanish. Would you say that's an accurate representation of Infected Mushroom's expanding aural globalism?
Yes, what a fun collaboration! It really increased our hype in Mexico. Yes, it is an accurate representation, but we don't think about it in this way. We just think about how we can create good music that makes people move. I think the better representation of our expanding globalism is our tour schedule. As each year passes, we visit new places that we have never seen before. The very nature of our act is that we play 120 to 150 shows per year around the globe. So I think that has just as significant of an impact on our global reach as one track with Spanish lyrics.
Will Hermes, writing for Rolling Stone, said he sees similarities between Infected Mushroom and prog-rock acts such as Rush, Styx, and latter-day Pink Floyd. Would you agree?
Yes, we definitely have been influenced by groups like the ones you mentioned and groups like Primus. We were both in rock bands ourselves, but over time. we have become influenced by the dance floor. We like to make music that makes people go bananas; when we feel the pulse of the audience, there is no better sound.
What about '80s synth-pop? You can hear, perhaps, the Buggles in "Cities of the Future."
All of these influence questions! Yes, we like good music and cool instruments! And yes, if we have heard it and we liked it, then we probably have tried to incorporate it into our sound. Everyone is affected by so many different things in their life — music, war, friends, parents... Most of the time, we aren't conscious of it; we just embody it, and our actions (or songs) are performed with those influences in mind. That's just the way it works — a worldly wonder. We like bass in your face. Our kids also influence our sound.
The last time you came to South Florida, you played with a full band. What can folks expect when you hit Gryphon?
We are doing a DJ set this time around — so a lot of our old-school fans will be very happy. This time, you'll hear some great hits as well as new smashers that we haven't yet performed. The show will be one for the books, and we are really stoked about it!
What's planned for 2010?
Touring, beers, and studio time! Oh, we will see you in Miami at Ultra as well.