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Interview

Deutsche VersionInterview mit Dibbukim (10.05.2011)

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Dibbukim

HH: Hello to Sweden from Bavaria in Germany! Your first LP Az A Foygl Un A Goylem Tantsn has just been launched. How went the reactions of the press and the audience so far? Are you satisfied with the results?

Ida: Yes, we are really satisfied with the reactions so far. We have received a lot of great reviews and most people seem to like what we are doing. With that said, there have of course been those with negative opinions as well. Fortunately, the complaints haven't really been about the musical performance, but rather that our musical combination is odd and hard to grasp.

HH: You are playing Yiddish Folk Metal - a crazy thing! Please tell me about the circumstances when and how the idea of this project was born. Who is the originator of the band?

Ida: The originator would be me. *grins* It was an idea I got after I started studying Yiddish at the University in our home town, Lund. I and my husband, Niklas, had prior to that discussed doing a music project together but we hadn't really figured out exactly what we wanted to do. When I suggested that we should do Metal in Yiddish he really liked the idea and Dibbukim was born!

HH: And then I could imagine that it is not so easy to find companions with Jewish roots to complete such a project. How did the band in its current constellation find together?

Ida: Well, it wasn't a demand from our part that our fellow musicians should have Jewish roots. The only thing that mattered was that they could handle their instruments and that they wanted play good music, and that we knew exactly where to find so it really wasn't that difficult. We called our old friend Magnus who has played with Niklas in a couple of bands in the past, and when we needed a drummer we snatched another friend, Jacob from Magnus' other band Yggdrasil.

HH: So, all members of Dibbukim have heavy metal background?

Ida: All of the guys have a heavy metal background and they have been involved with numerous metal projects the last ten years. I, however, haven't been a part of a metal constellation before, but I have been writing and playing songs since a very young age, and metal has of course been a passion of mine for many years.

HH: Az A Foygl Un A Goylem Tantsn - that means something like "When a bird and a golem are dancing", right?

Ida: Yes, you are absolutely correct!

HH: What's the meaning behind this title? If I had to guess I would say the bird stands for light and vibrant folk music and the golem represents the harsh metal tunes. But that is just speculation...

Ida: I'd say that's a good speculation from your part, as that is one of the possible interpretations. The title is meant to be something that can have many different meanings and I think of the bird as a symbol for the fragile Yiddish culture and language rather than the music itself, combined with the golem as a representation for metal. There's also a freedom message as the dance between the bird and the golem also can represent the fact that material things hinder a lot of people from being truly free.

HH: What kind of folk music is it you have integrated in your songs? Sometimes it sounds a little bit of Eastern European origin and sometimes like Finnish hummpa music.

Ida: We didn't really think about which folk music to integrate so I guess it became, as you say, a mix between klezmer, the Jewish folk music tradition from Eastern Europe and traditional Nordic folk, simply because these are our backgrounds.

HH: On the album you used some traditional songs and some "coverversions" of elder Yiddish material written by Ellstein and Goldfaden. Please tell a little a bit about this titles, their background, topic and of course why you have chosen them for your heavy metal interpretation.

Ida: Ellstein and Goldfaden are both very important names for Yiddish music and culture as the first has written the very popular Yiddish musical "Yidl mitn fidl" and the latter is considered the father of Jewish theatre. The big difference between the two is that Goldfaden was active in Eastern Europe in the 19th century, while Ellstein was born in USA in the beginning of the 20th century. This has of course an effect on the lyrical mood as Ellstein tends to be more happy and have dreams about the past and Goldfaden has a certain sadness with dreams about a better future.
We didn't really have a special agenda when we chose which songs to metalize, we just selected our favourites from the big treasure of old Yiddish music!

Dibbukim

HH: I really like your own titels "A Mabl Fun Mashke" and "Der Rodmakher". Do you have a special favourite, too? One song you would like to recommend to every listener?

Ida: Well, it's quite hard to pick just one song, but I'd definitely like to recommend everyone to check out our original material. So besides "A mabl fun mashke" and "Der rodmakher" I hope everyone will enjoy "Khaloymes" and "Hinter dem tol" as well.

HH: Ok, please tell me your opinion. Who is the target group of your special music? What requirements must a person fulfil to be the perfect audience for your music?

Ida: It's definitely a two way street in our case. I think the perfect listener is a metal head with an open mind who welcomes new influences to the scene, or a lover of Yiddish culture with an open mind enough to embrace the powers of metal.

HH: Now, this is a question I often ask musicians who stand at the threshold of their career with a new project. What is your destination? What do you want to reach with Dibbukim?

Ida: Right now I don't know where this will lead us, but I hope we will be able to create music for years to come and continue to bring something new to the metal scene with every release. I also hope we can do something special that many people will appreciate, and I think that's the most important thing and a good goal to have.

HH: I hope to get the occasion to see you live on stage some day. So my last question is: do you have some concerts or even a little tour in planning that leads you to Germany, to Bavaria to be exact?

Ida: We'd like to see you too one day, but right now we don't have any shows planned. Hopefully we will in the future and we'll definitely strive to reach Bavaria!

HH: I thank you very much for this interview. The last words to our readership belong to you.

Ida: Thanks so much for this interview, it has been a true pleasure. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us so far. It really means the world to us. I'd also like to advice everyone who reads this to give our music a chance. It might seem strange at first, but you'll soon feel the wondrous powers of Yiddish Metal unfolding!

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