We contacted the Israeli band to learn more about their music, their lyrics and their view on the world. Dethster4life got Prey For Nothing’s vocalist Yotam ‘Defiler’ Avni to speak about the aforementioned aspects and much more.
If you have been offered a chance to go back to the beginning of Prey For Nothing, what would you do differently and why would you do such a thing? You know, artists always say that they could’ve done much better knowing what they know today, so how do you regard your story thus far?
“Can't think of anything I would’ve done differently when it comes to the band. Only the really small details – like refusing a show I should've refused or not working with this or that promoter, but musically, I really like what've done in “Violence Divine”. I would’ve redone some vocal lines of “Against All Good And Evil” if I had the chance or time – but that's no biggy either. All the artists are never satisfied with the work in the long run, but I don't think I made the long run perspective just yet.”
Where do you see this band in 5 years? Relatively underground or with worldwide recognition the scope of, say, Megadeth?
“To answer your question – if Metallica's 10, and an Israeli band called Absent Mourn is 1 (Who? Exactly) – that puts Megadeth around 9, and us around 3. If we'll get to 5 in 5 years, I'm pleased. Is that underground? Compare to Megadeth – no doubt. World wide recognition took Orphaned Land (Israeli biggest and most successful metal band) around 20 years. Who am I kidding that we could top that in 5?”
Would you ever consider creating music for a motion picture? If so, what kind: horror, thriller, sci-fi?
“Funny that you mentioned that. I am taking part in an international metal project called 'Reign Of The Architect' – which tells a story I wrote some years ago, a sci-fi story to be exact, and it probably will be released worldwide near the end of 2012. If you're into more of the atmospheric concept albums and metal-operas (the grooviest there is when it comes to metal operas like Avantasia or Ayreon)… But considering the music of Prey For Nothing? Most of them are plot less, maybe aside songs like “Homemade Holocaust” – that actually fit an action thriller theme. Something like the show 24 or something. Never gave it much thought besides that, but I guess most of our music will fit between thrillers and sci-fi. I'm not a fan of horror movies and horror concepts.”
How did you come up with the band's name? Does it reflect your position that all martyrdom and sacrifice is in vain or is that just supposed to be a play on words without much significance?
“Well – it is a play of words of course, and both of the meanings (the A and the E) fits us well, but we chose the Prey instead of Pray because it's less obvious and it makes you think. We believe that free thinkers are not subdued to social dictums to trendy fashions. They do not get 'consumed' by hypes and such – they stand as prey for nothing in the face of modern society's flaws, which are many. This name was suggested by a close friend of ours, Yuval Kramer, the guitar player of Israeli Oriental Metal masters Amaseffer.”
Do you think new world order or one world government, in a positive or negative is possible? Do you think it's a good or bad idea?
“Not in the old-fashioned way of the 20th century, but in cultural and economical hybrid of motives from western and oriental themes? Of course it is. The thing is that it is not a thing of 'good' or 'bad'. Monopoles tend to crush the little man, but capitalism won't last unattended for ages. If we think of the world history through economist eyes, and let’s face it, it was money that ruled the world since the first trade, even when we thought it was just about religion, we'll see that the capitalist way is the pure way of government, as corrupted as it can be but as most rational to the western mind. Nationalities are a thing of the past, they had their run in the 19th century and gave us nothing but sour scars in the 20th, so if the world will move to more rational state (see: the European Union) the power will shift to the better. But, to quote Hentington, this is not going to happen before what he named his famous book about, "The Clash Of Civilizations" – where the orthodox Muslim and Asian traditionalist can still put their massive, if not stronger by all means, weight on the balancing scales of what the world still holds in the foreseen future.
So – globalization is leading us to a federal government (represented by the rich and powerful, meaning here the U.S., and that's only natural in this specific trade of cards) for all, be it one mandate or several colonial governments. I won't be happy under any religious orthodox rule (Israel is bad enough as it is) – so the next political powerhouse to call the shots in the world won't be Fundamentalist, or dictatorial in any way.”
Do you think countries should just hold their own with healthy nationalism or cooperate as much as possible for the sake of the whole planet? You know, segregation is human kind’s favourite occupation in these times… Everybody against everybody!
“As I said before, nationalities are a thing of the past, a bureaucratic stamp to milk more money of honest civilian. Sure, some places are better than the others – like Sweden where you get paid by the government just for releasing an album, as an 'official artist' so things could be better, while other places, like Israel, don't have traffic on Saturdays cause they are offensive to those who want to stay traditional, and the Sabbath is a holy day in their eyes.
People think that mankind is built on segregation – but the true fact is that we are social creatures. We rounded in the same cave to escape lions hundred of thousands of years ago – and we do so now because we are enjoying each other's help. Societies may not be as organic as people thought they were in the 19th century, but they do tend to follow patterns, so we all just love how people make food for us so won't have to hunt it ourselves, or how they entertain us because we like TV and music. We just want to feel important, and when you cling to something big as a nation – you feel important. Nationality brought us mostly sorrow in the past 100 years, 2 world-wars and plenty of others – just because we all thought we belong to imaginary group of other people. Even if those groups have some biological explanation, why do we really keep ourselves from switching such groups if we feel like? This is why man invented immigration. With the internet, globalization took a few steps forward. It was weird enough for our fathers to talk to someone of the other side of the globe via telephone – but think how people actually perceive the fact that you can buy stuff from the other side of the world just by clicking on something in your computer, and you are guaranteed to have it in a few days! 2 generations ago people never thought about 'metaphysical money' – but we don’t even think twice about having a credit card. The world is evolving – and much like how many national ideologies are the thing of the past, so will be nationalism in any kind – sooner or later.”
What is your general view of the human condition? I tend to think we are all somehow damaged/skewed toward self-destruction, so, in a sense, I agree with the first part of Christian thought but I deny any power of redemption, saviors, messiahs, etc.
“I'll try to keep it short and I'll give you the psychological explanation that I came to know and understand. It's not 100% proof, but I like this explanation better than religion of any kind. Humans aren't flawed. They are just different. What we perceive as morals or altruism is just a social way of bonding and defending yourself by pack tactics. I'll be kind to you – you'll be kind to me, together we're better than one, and that's basically it.
200 years ago someone figured out that we all suffer from mental illnesses a certain degree. It could be that we act hysterically in the face of a threat, or to be completely apathetic to danger, both are signs of mental disorder. Same goes with emotional crisis, but the problem is that there is no 'menu' to how life should work. There should be one. People should reach a mature age where they naturally develop a sense of self responsibility and the will to continue to exist. If this will contradict of the will of others to exist, that's only natural. It's a crime when someone doing something about it – because of the same reason that we, as human beings, function better when with big masses, and hurting a single being in that mass is making us weaker – so we rather cast aside the one who hurt others than let him run lose and hurt others, weakening us even more. So this is the sociological and psychological why we can't tolerate direct 'evil' amongst ourselves, but in the 19th century came a time when someone realised that we are not that good just because we are many, and we could be much better if we split the better from the worse.
Everyone had an idea of who's better and who's worse. Add to that the thoughts of Freud about Egos, and you got the reasons of why we're all flawed. So I won't call it self-destruction, I'll call it pathological need to survive in a world where survival is not an issue anymore. I for myself try not to see myself as a self-destructive person. I don't drink or do drugs, I love my girlfriend very much, got my lovely job and the only aggression act I know is to go berserk on stage. This not self destructive. This is healthy. I won't tell people how to act – but I think that a little less self absorption and a little more education and thirst for knowledge could be quite helpful on finding a way to redeem ourselves and see ourselves worthy in our own eyes, which is the only pair of eyes that are important.”
What about playing live? What can we expect from Prey For Nothing?
“We hope to tour this summer around Europe, not sure if this going to happen – but this is our main goal right now. We've postponed the opportunity to tour for too long in my opinion, so it’s time to step in into the deeps and deal with all those live shows.”
Where do you see Prey For Nothing going from here? As you probably become better musicians all the time, will your write even more complicated stuff on the next album? You know, someone claims that simple is more effective, but…
“We don't believe in simple = effective formula. I get the whole 'Less is more' thing, but it's just not for me. Minimalism was never really my type of things anywhere. Not in modern art, not in the cinema, and especially not in music. When Burzum is realising 10 minutes song of the same slow atmospheric riff, I can die out of boredom. No, I need something fresh every couple of seconds. I need to be surprised, and complexity is the way to push the boundaries of excitement in music a bit further. Sure – some people finds complex boring, and are overwhelmed by the musical richness to the edge of indifference, but this is what we like as metal fans, progressive and overwhelming songs like “Master Of Puppets” or “Symbolic” or “Ashes In Your Mouth”. They are the epitomes of what we consider metal, and we try to follow those shoes and where the lead us.”
Composed by Dethster4life