MONDAY MORNING MUSICAL MAYHEM - featuring Ishay Berger
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
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Another Monday? Ok, let's try to make it not suck! How do we do this? By heading to the Middle East, Israel to be precise, and chat with a mensch named Ishay Berger who most notably plays guitar in well-known Israeli punk band Useless ID but has also more recently began his own solo project completely sung in Hebrew. Let's learn more about Ishay in this week's Monday Morning Musical Mayhem!
BRUTAL REALITY DIGEST: Introduce yourself, your bands, and your weapon of choice.
ISHAY BERGER: Hi there! My name is Ishay Berger, I've been playing Guitar with Useless ID for the past 25 years. Around the year 2005, I started a band called Bo Labar, an Hebrew singin' Punk band, we recorded 3 albums and broke up in 2013. A few years later I missed singing in Hebrew and reformed Bo Labar, this time with a new name - TABARNAK. We made 2 albums already and working on our third one these days.
I also have a Fast H.C band called Shesh Shesh Shesh, we recently finished recording 13 new tracks for our second album. I like keeping busy!
BRD: How has the pandemic been affecting you personally (aside from being unable to travel the world playing music)?
IB: I have an unpopular feeling about it. Life always goes in a pretty ordinary cycle for a guy like me...it's work, tour, write, record. The past year had less work and no tour so I actually enjoyed just writing and doing a bit of recording. I loved staying at home with my girlfriend and will probably look back at 2020 with a smile...sorry, haha!
BRD: How many languages can you speak and which one is your favourite to write lyrics in?
BRD: I only speak Hebrew and English, and my favorite one for writing is Hebrew...it's a mix of it being the language that runs through my head all day AND the fact that there isn't a lot of punk songs in Hebrew, while there's probably too many of those in English?
BRD: What is Falafel Records and is it still going? (Looking it up on google just brings up a lot of articles on Falafel eating world records.)
BRD: When we started making recordings with Useless ID we tried to get with the cool punk labels of the time, but since there was very little interest in our band we just went ahead and released our own stuff. We since signed with Kung Fu Records and later with Fat Wreck, so we kind of stopped doing Falafel records.
Our friend and old roadie Haim has a label here called "Taklitim Holim" and he's putting out many of the local punk bands, including TABARNAK and Shesh Shesh Shesh.
BRD: Useless ID was signed to Kung Fu Records for quite some time. Any good stories involving The Vandals?
IB: So many! I will ALWAYS remember touring with them in Europe once. The first show was a warm up before the tour even started..at the basement of a record shop in Amsterdam, they played an insane set and Warren spilled a full bottle of whiskey all over his body.
BRD: Over here in North America, we hear lots of crazy stories about Israel. What was it like to grow up there and is it as dangerous as the News likes to portray it?
IB: Not at all man, it was very chill.
BRD: You've been all around the world on tour. Who has the best beer and the best food in your humble opinion?
IB: I don't think of beer or food when going on tour...I only care for what record stores I'm gonna visit, so - Japan!
BRD: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
IB: Worst thing was when we had summer festivals tour in Europe one summer. We had a day off and drove to see our friends in The Vandals, Less Than Jake and The Ataris play a big show in Switzerland... Me and Haim our old roadie bought a Jack Daniels and drank it all on the way to the show.
We get to the show and the promoter asks if we wanted to play because H2O couldn't make it to the show. We said yes but I was too fucked up to play. Just sat on the floor drunk and made noise with my guitar. I later heard that we're not welcomed in Switzerland no more. OOPS.
BRD: How long have you been working on your solo project and are all the songs going to be in your native tongue?
IB: I started writing songs as soon as Rona started, it was strange, we only HEARD of lockdown and I had a song right away, it's crazy. Didn't stop writing and working on these songs since!
BRD: What do you have planned for the rest of 2021 and beyond?
IB: I hope to play some solo shows in Israel this summer, next summer it's Useless ID in Europe, I hope we can do Japan, Russia, Finland AND Canada soon, too!