When we started Metal Jacket Magazine, we wanted to somehow bring our readers closer to bands that might have a harder time breaking through to listeners in the sea of bands and music.
Band members: YH – Yael Horwitz, SF – Shani Friedman, OF – Ofer Friedman, PK – Pavel Kleiman, RS – Rotem Sadia, YP – Yuval Partush
To begin with, it would be best if you introduced your band.
PK: We’re StormbounD from Tel Aviv, Israel, Formed in 2017.
SF: We’re mostly referred to as a Symphonic Metal band, but some people see us as a Prog band, others say Power Metal… We call it Melodic Metal.
OF: With Classical and Industrial influences I guess.
Is it hard to keep all the members together since this music has no income?
RS: Not at all. We love playing music and since every member of the band has a regular income outside of music we can just play.
OF & YP (Turn faces to Rotem): Some of us work solely as musicians:).
How do you finance yourself and can you cover the costs of recording, equipment, and concerts with music?
YH: Thankfully, we became a little music production company of our own. We can record and even partially mix our stuff on our own. All the rest isn’t very expensive and right now we even make a little money from selling our album.
What made you start playing metal music? Who were your role models in the beginning and has that changed over time?
PK: We all started liking rock and metal music at an early age, Ofer was born into music to the point of opening a music school thus affecting the music taste of people like Yael, who was his student and now our lead singer.
RS: Pavel, before moving to Israel from the Soviet Union, used to trade with friends eight-track cassettes of whatever metal they could get their hands on.
SF: Yuval was a drummer born and raised, playing metal and joining our band was just a natural part of his life.
YH: Our musical role models stayed as they are. We all listened to amazing bands such as Queen (We cover their song “the show must go on” in concerts).
YP: Shani and I like heavier stuff such as Meshuggah, Jinjer, Arch Enemy, Revocation and some Technical Death.
SF: I’m also a Nightwish fan.
OF: My favorite metal acts (besides In Flames and classics like Maiden and Metallica) are the more esoteric-folky ones like In Extremo and Mago de Oz. Other than that I’m into Classical music. I also dig what Rammstein does.
YH: I listen to After Forever, Everything that has Floor Jansen in it, Queen which is my absolute favorite, Halsotm, Evanescence and so on.
RS: I listen to all kinds of metal.
PK: My favorites are normally Maiden, Metallica and such. I also love classic Symphonic bands like Nightwish and Epica. BTW, did we mention WE OPENED FOR EPICA when they played in Tel Aviv three months ago?
Is it hard to find a publisher or is it better to self-publish considering the internet? What have you published so far?
OF: Last August we released our debut album. We decided to publish it independently because when it’s your debut album it’s impossible to land a contract with the big labels that can really help you grow. What we thought would be the right way for us to go about this is to hire the best PR team we can find and they did a phenomenal job.
YP: We also have an Online Distributor that takes care of that area.
YH: Other than the album we have four music videos, one BTS video, and some live stuff that’s on YouTube.
How do you create songs, how do you record them?
RS: Normally someone would come up with a basic idea for a song and then we would work on it together at rehearsal, turning it into a StormbounD song.
SF: The idea can either be a nice melody, a lyric, a guitar riff… if we like something, we keep it in mind and get to it when we have time.
Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics?
OF: Life itself. The environment, the things we live and go through, and even events that affect us personally. Take the song December for example which details, in a way, the destruction of the world we live in due to our environmentally irresponsible ways in which we harm all living creatures, pollute the air we breathe, and destroy the planet.
YH: On the other hand, there’s a song like Shadows that depicts a toxic relationship. “Away from Here” also covers a romantic issue.
What is your favorite song you have made so far and why?
PK: Mine is Child’s Play, because of all the cool stuff that it encompasses.
SF: “Sacred lies”. It’s heavy and has a lot of good playing.
YP: “Altar of Innocence” – simply because I came up with the riffs:)
OF: Currently my favorite is the title song “December”. It says some things I feel obligated to say and it’s very well crafted instrumentally.
RS: I’m like a father that loves all his children.
YH: Mine is “Away from Here”. It has an interesting story and it tells it very well.
Where can readers listen to you and maybe buy your material?
YH: All streaming services out there, but we would be very thankful if they’ll buy it on Bandcamp. There are actual CDs and digital copies, and if you like and if for some odd reason can’t find them – send us a message! We’re available on IG, FB and Tiktok.
How do you organize concerts, is it difficult for you, and how many people come to such concerts?
YP: The Israeli Metal Scene is obviously not that big, but it is very warm and supportive. We got to play the important Israeli festivals, open for Epica as Pavel mentioned earlier and two months ago we had our first headline concert which was sold out!
SF: A well-organized local event in our city can expect several hundreds of people and sometimes a thousand.
In which countries have you played and where did you have the best time, where is the crowd the craziest?
PK: So far, we have only played in Israel, our home country, but we shall tour Europe the first chance we get!
What do you think about the digital release and is it serious like CD or LP?
OF: As musicians, we are happy to see that people are still buying CD’s, especially metalheads. It shows they understand that they need to support the bands they like. You won’t see that in the Pop scene for example.
RS: The digital copies are fine because the artist is still getting paid. It’s just that when you listen to the actual CD the quality of the sound is better.
Was metal music more honest than today?
SF: We don’t think metal was ever dishonest if any – metal has always taken the “truth to your face!“ approach.
How do you comment on this bunch of sub-genres in metal and is it good for metal or is it destroying it?
PK: That doesn’t matter. It looks as though some people really like to discuss specific differences between bands, compare, define, and all that – we find it pointless.
OF: As we said earlier, we are being labeled under different sub-genres by different magazines and reviewers. That doesn’t matter at all.
YH: I just listen to the music, and if there’s something new that resonates with me then I am very excited about it. titles don’t matter.
Do you support this commercialization of metal music and how about the wearing of metal t-shirts by some “exposed” people who do not belong to this philosophy of metal music?
RS: Making money and living out of art you made is not negative commercialization. It is being good and loved enough so people want to support you financially to keep you doing what you do and it is in itself beautiful. In general, we do not like metal “gatekeeping“. If people that do not follow the very ambiguous philosophy of metal (which is different for every band and person) want to wear a metal shirt – good for them. Instead of getting angry, try to introduce them to the music. They might even like it.
OF: When I see one of the Kardashians wearing a Slayer T-shirt, I hope that more people will now listen to Slayer. It’s as simple as that. It’s true that I would be very happy if useless assholes and “Hollywood whores” like the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, and others wouldn’t become household names because there’s nothing good about them, but when they push metal bands that’s positive.
What would you change in the world of metal and would you like to go back to the time before the internet if you remember it at all?
PK: As the oldest member of the band that remembers the pre-internet music era very well, I can tell you that there’s no reason to go backward. There are pros and cons to everything. Today it’s harder to sell albums but without the internet, it wouldn’t be possible for all of us to know so many great bands.
How important is supporting the local scene and can you single out a band from your area that you would recommend to our readers?
YH: Without support for the local metal scene, there will not be a scene. Moreover, no scene means no new bands, concerts, and all those things we love.
YP: A very good Israeli band we recommend is “Structural“. They play brutal technical death metal in which our very own Shani Friedman plays guitar. Check them out. You will not be disappointed!
How do you see this situation in the world and how do you think it will develop? Will they imprison us again, scare us or maybe send us into a big war?
PK: First and foremost – we stand with Ukraine and admire the resistance of the Ukrainian people against Putin’s war machine. We even took part in a pro-Ukraine festival that donated all its income to the Ukrainians.
OF: We believe that Ukraine’s amazing resilience shows that democracies will defend themselves at all costs, and in itself, it is a good thing. Putin is shown to be way less powerful than he was considered by most of the western world.
Finally, what would you say to our readers and why should they listen to you in the sea of bands that are offered to them every day.
YP: In all honesty, we believe that we make great music from the bottom of our very souls. We invest in every note, chord, and word to fit the metal orchestra that is StormbounD.
SF: Sometimes a small group from the Middle East can stand out with something truly unique that you may like and even discover they can be one of your favorite bands. Spotify and YouTube are free so give it a try.
YH: We also wanna thank you for having us in your magazine, we really like what you guys do. This has been a great interview and we hope to see you soon!