Magor: Band Of The Day

By on 17 March 2014


Since their inception in 2002, Magor have been building a name for themselves for sharing the stage with bands such as Septicflesh, Rotting Christ and Moonsorrow. After a self-released EP, Israeli black metal outfit Magor are ready to stun the metal community with their debut full-length ‘Drawn to the Dark’ and become one of the most interesting stories taking place in Israel. Those were enough reasons to have a little chat with the band.

WORDS: Joel Costa

FOR FANS OF: Rotting Christ, Dissection, Dimmu Borgir
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Drawn to the Dark’ (self-released, 2014)
WEBSITE: Official website, Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube

Magor are about to celebrate 14 years of existence yet you’re releasing your debut album only now. Why did you take so long to release a full-length?
“Since the founding of Magor in 2002 we have released an EP and one single. Over the years our band has gone through many lineup changes. Israel is a small country so finding, let’s say a keyboardist, specifically for melodic black metal, is very hard. Lineup issues aside, up to several years ago recording an album and studio time were very expensive. The latest revolutions in sound technology allowed not only us, but many artists that aren’t swimming in money or have funding to record their album, to record an album without ending up on the street. Of course let’s not forget the three-year mandatory military service in Israel. Between all of that and holding our breath to be signed by a record label, the years went by. Finally we decided to take matters into our own hands and self-release our debut album.”

How do you balance all these years of activity and what fuelled your desire to start a Melodic Black Metal band?
“Most of Magor’s activity was on stage rather than in the studio, and even though we enjoy performing, there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to progress and not being able to. We believe that our perseverance will pay off. Our desire to make such dark music comes more from a place of channelling all the negativity in our lives. Instead of going to the supermarket with a shotgun or burning down churches, we perform and rehearse. Without this dark musical world we are all doomed.

How would you describe the current metal scene in Israel and where do you see it heading?
“The Israeli metal scene is flourishing nowadays more than ever. We have a range of success; from oriental metal band Orphaned Land, which is constantly touring the world, to the smaller gigs here in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. There is always something going on. In addition, many Israeli metal bands are releasing their debut or second album this year, some after many years of existence and with all the recent activity this is a very exciting time with many promising bands.”

Did Israel play a major role on your musical influences? Who would you cite as an influence?
“Israel did not play a role in our musical influence although it is very hard to ignore, because it surrounds us whether we like it or not, just like Indian music in India or Russian music in Russia. We are mainly influenced by the music that we listen to and bands that we grew up on such as Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, and many more.”

Tell me about your debut album ‘Drawn to the Dark’. What is it about and what can you tell us about the writing and recording sessions?
“‘Drawn to the Dark’ is not a concept album, making every track and the idea behind it unique. Although every track regards a different subject, be it humiliation, sickness, depression, death, loss, or insanity, they all revolve around one basic idea: the darkness in our lives, and why we embrace that darkness rather then run to the light. The writing and music production spread out through the years, track by track. Recording the album was not an easy task and took longer than we expected. As any artist, we always strive to perfection, and there were many issues, especially as this is our first full-length album. There were endless hours behind the console till the darkest hours of night, sometimes till dawn. It would make you lose your mind, but the result isour new dark child, in which we take endless pride.”

Kobi Farhi (Orphaned Land) made a guest appearance on this album. Can you tell us how did he come to be involved and what was like to work with him?
“Our drummer is a good friend of Orphaned Land vocalist Kobi Farhi, so we called him up to see if he would do a guest appearance on our album. He agreed with no hesitation. Kobi arrived at the studio super prepared, and in a short time, not only did he get the job done, but he also harmonized himself, though it seemed to be effortless. It’s very clear that he is a pro, and his openness and humble attitude was a plus. All in all, it was the funnest day in the studio.”

You’re currently looking for a record label. What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle of doing everything on your own?
“Everything basically. We try not to see each step as an obstacle, but rather as a task or something that needs to be done. No matter what you do there will always be something in your way, be it a hill or a mountain, but we will never give up. Everything you try to do will be hard the first time around, but we learn from experience. From printing T-shirts, manufacturing CDs, programming a website, to distributing and trying to knock every possible door down, at the end of the day doing it yourself is rewarding.”

Any words you’d like to share about that just in case some label’s boss is reading this interview?
“If any label’s boss is reading this, I hope they get a chance to listen our album, and of course, we are always open to releasing ‘Drawn to the Dark’ through any label that believes in us and our music. Regardless, we will continue to do what we do, and plan on many future releases and shows.

What are your plans for 2014?
“We are currently working on our first European tour, although we are open for touring anywhere in the world, and hopefully we will get in the studio soon to record new material that we are currently working on.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
“Keep supporting melodic black metal, and check us out in our new official website, YouTube and Facebook. Stay Drawn to the Dark.”

About Kez Whelan

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