THESE GUYS ROCK: Up-And-Coming Israeli Band “Tiny Fingers” comes to New York!!
As a lifelong New Yorker living in Tel Aviv, Israel for the past month, I have been overwhelmed with the music and art culture that can be found here. I went looking for the underground and heard about this band Tiny Fingers from my friend Ariel Plotkin who has been living here for a few months working in the music business here at Oleh! Records. The atmosphere of the underground basement bar Levontin 7 was set with different sized white candles that covered the black stage in flickering light. When the band came on their power and energy and genuinely unique sound sent me into a whirlwind of motion. By the end of the show I had banged my head and gotten down in such an awesome amazing way that I decided to seek out the band and tell their story to our readers at Sensible Reason. I couldn’t keep these guys to myself!! As the Universe would have it, my timing was perfect because that was actually their last show in Israel before heading to their next destination: You guessed it, my hometown, NEW YORK CITY!!! Tiny Fingers lead singer/guitarist Oren Ben-David took some time to chat with me about the band, their interesting new sound, and how it gave them the opportunity to travel halfway across the world to America and tour in New York.
N: So Oren, tell me a little bit about Tiny Fingers. Give me some background.
O: Tiny Fingers formed 3 or 4 years ago. It started as an instrumental group. We are basically just friends from the north side of the river. We’d been jamming for one year or so, just playing some tunes and after awhile we became more focused and started to arrange some songs to make it serious. We didn’t think about it, it just happened. After one year or so we did a special show for a festival in Israel called In-D-Negev… We just invited some friends of ours to play with us (Another guitar player, another synth player and a vocalist) and the crowd went wild. There was such good feedback that we decided to expand the group and basically after that show, for the past two years we played with Nimrod, the keyboard player, and Daniela, she was the lead singer.
N: I was going to ask you about that, I heard her vocals on all of your online tracks but she wasn’t there last night.
O: So in the last two years we’ve done many shows and recorded many albums with a 5 piece group. It was a lot of music, a lot of songs with Daniela, but it was never a band with a singer, like verse/chorus/verse/chorus, it was more dynamic and more instrumental vibe even with the vocals. About two months ago we split, because we just had to move to another direction artistically. We wanted to go to another place, and she wanted to go a different direction. We decided to just continue instrumental for now and right now it works really well. From the start we never looked at ourselves as a rock band. We look to Tiny Fingers more as a project of our lives than a conventional band, you know what I mean? Now it’s an instrumental but who knows, maybe next year we’ll do an album with a singer. Eventually it will become more and more and more complex.
N: Do you have any intention that you are trying to bring to your audience with your music?
O: Yeah, for sure. We put really focused energy into making music that describes our personalities, and making music that displays our beliefs in the world. It’s much more diverse because we don’t see ourselves as a rock band. We like to explore a state of mind and psychological effects, and like to make music that the audience can listen to and relate to when they experience it live. We make it really powerful and explode in your face vibe. I told you we’ve been making some really different projects from one another so its our plan in the future is to make a band that just plays a lot of styles and genres that reflect the whole experience you have in life. It sounds ambitious but it will happen, sooner or later.
N: Who are your biggest musical influences? You, personally, and together as a band?
O: We love a lot of music and each one of us likes different types, but when we started to play we really liked Rage Against the Machine, that’s a big influence for us. We really love the Beastie Boys. I really love classical music. I like music that tells a story, you know. We also really like The Mars Volta and you know we opened for them when they performed in Israel in May. It was so cool. We also really like John Frusciante the guitar player of the Chilli peppers. But basically, everyone pulls to a different direction. Like Tal the drummer, really likes Moroccan music, and oriental stuff, and Boaz the bass player, he really likes hip hop and stuff and Nimrod is from the techno world so it’s like every time we meet we just exchange music from one another and just melt it together.
N: You do have a very interesting sound. What words would you use to describe the genre of music that you make?
O: Oh, that’s a tough question. We don’t tend to describe it, but when you ask us this question we like to say we make atomic rock or something. But it’s a mixture of psychedelic and rock and techno and between the genres you know. We like music that touches the boundaries of the genres we really like; music that doesn’t compromise and really goes to the limits, to the extremes of each genre.
N: You guys are going to New York on Sunday right? How did you end up touring there? Have you ever been to America before?
O: No, we haven’t played there, we’ve thought about it for the last year to do like a, to move to Berlin, to move to United States, we just wanted to figure out how to do it. Like a month or so we played a showcase show in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Music Conference, and there was a guy there that really liked us and he just asked us if we wanted to do some shows in new york and come play some festival (you know, the CMJ) and so we just jumped on it and said OK, we’ll do it right now. It was just a month or so ago so it all happened really quick. After he told us to come play in New York we decided to record an all live set album, which you saw yesterday.
N: Completely live?
O: Yeah, so in the past week we wrote all the music, recorded it in a live setting and that means that we can go to the festival with a new album so it’s really exciting.
N: So how long did it take you to produce this new album?
O: We worked on it for like two weeks or so, just rehearsing all day from 10-10, 12 hour days straight for two weeks, arranging all of the shows. What you saw yesterday, this is the set that we recorded. So we just worked on it for two weeks like really hard work, and then a week or so ago we went to the studio and recorded all the music like a live show. Without stops, without takes, and that’s it, we mixed it for like two days and yesterday we put out the copies.
N: That’s amazing!
O: Yeah, it was a really unique process for us, it was pushing ourselves to the limit.
N: And so that’s what you’re going to be playing at CMJ?
N: So where else will you be playing in NY?
O: We’ll be playing at the Lit Lounge, in the CMJ showcase official, also in Fontana’s, Trash Bar, and a place called Piano’s, in the Union Square Ballroom, and also the Brooklyn Vegan CMJ Party at Public Assembly.
N: Well I think that you’ll be very well received there, especially in Brooklyn. Do you have a current fan base in New York right now?
… Hear that, Sensible Reason readers?? Come out to see this rockin’ up-and-coming Israeli band, and show them a good time in America!! And buy their new album, Megafauna! Here is their tour schedule: