IMR: Shalom Aleichem, Ida! Firstly, for a bit of background, can you tell us about DIBBUKIM, the music you guys play and how did the band come together? Also, does any of the member play in any other side-projects other than DIBBUKIM?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Hi there Pravin! DIBBUKIM is a Yiddish Metal band which mixes "Klezmer Music" with Metal and thereby shaping somewhat of a new musical style. The lyrics are exclusively in Yiddish, and we are currently the only band around writing Metal material in that language.
It was actually my idea to start the band. Me and my husband, Niklas, had discussed starting a new Metal band for some time, and when I suggested that it should be done in Yiddish he immediately liked the idea and DIBBUKIM was born. We called our old friend Magnus Wohlfart who is a great guitarist and started to arrange and write songs.
Both Magnus and Jacob are also members in our label mates, YGGDRASIL, and I believe Jacob is a part of numerous other projects, PANDEMONIUM for example.
IMR: Okay, so your debut album, AZ A FOYGL UN A GOYLEM TANTSN is about to be launched soon what can you tell your fans about the music genre, lyrical themes and concept?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Since our music style, mixes the old folk tradition "Klezmer Music" with Metal it’s inevitable that this also influences the lyrics. Partly because we have several covers on the album which lyrics were written in the time of the traditional Klezmer era. These tunes varies in themes, as some are quite wistful, like PAPIROSN and A MOL IZ GEVEN A MAYSE while others are happy like YIDL MITN FIDL. In our own material we try to incorporate the Old Folklore with modern problems, thus using characters like a shretl and a goylem but still talking about very contemporary issues.
IMR: DIBBUKIM's music comprises of mainly the traditional music and compositions rather than being more on the Metal side. What is your musical philosophy and what do you think is the bands(goal/mission)?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Haha, I don’t know if that’s true. I think we are a bit more on the Metal side than strictly traditional, but maybe you have a point since we are very eager to show the traditional heritage on which our music stands. But this is not a goal, we simply want to create good and unique music which leaves an impression on the listener, if we can help spreading Yiddish culture by doing so this is a definite plus, but it’s not our goal.
IMR: For me, the cover-art for AZ A FOYGL UN A GOYLEM TANTSN seems to have a deeper meaning to it. Can you describe what it represents and perhaps a bit about the development process for the album-art?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): We had a quite clear idea from the start on how we wanted the artwork to be, so we sat down with our friend and artist Jean Hessel and told him about the concept. He then made a painting which I and Niklas altered a bit. And yeah, it does have a deeper meaning and I believe that everybody can make their own interpretation. The trapped and fragile bird could be a symbol of all the humans in the world who are prevented from living free by something inhuman and material. The bird can also be a metaphor for the Yiddish culture struggling to stay alive. The bird and the golem is also a representation of our musical style, a dance between Klezmer and Metal.
IMR: Please, excuse my lack of knowledge for the Yiddish language but what would OYFN VEG SHTEYT A BOYM translate to in English? What do the lyrics talk about and the concept behind the music video as I am in love with the song?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): OYFN VEG SHTEYT A BOYM means “by the road stands a tree”. The lyrics tell the story about a lonesome and windswept tree by the side of a road. All the birds have left the tree which makes a boy wish that he could be a bird and protect the lonely tree in the cold and rough winter. However, as the boy transforms into a bird his mother dresses him with to many and to heavy clothes and in the end he cannot fly to his beloved tree to shelter it.
The lyrics are of course a metaphor and there are numerous interpretations around. Some say that the tree stands for the holy land after the last Jewish revolt against the Romans, but it could also be a song about a mothers love for her son. I’ll leave it up for you to decide!
IMR: Could you tell us the importance behind keeping your song-titles in Yiddish language, as I feel there are positive and negative points if you consider(fans) world-wide? How important do you think is to share these myths and stories that you cover, with the whole world?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Since there are many bands around, especially in the Folk Metal genre, who sings in other languages than English I don’t think that it’s any problem to sing in Yiddish. It’s not different from all the bands who sing in for example Swedish or Norwegian. Music is about getting a feeling through to the listener, and I believe you can achieve this in all the languages of the world.
The myths and the stories are something that comes with the territory. It’s not them we want to spread to the world, our mission is rather to present the Yiddish language in a new form and to a new audience.
IMR: As far as, the music of DIBBUKIM is concerned it is refreshingly unique and creative. What is the thing which secernate’s your band from the rest of Folk Metal bands?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): For one thing we come from a completely different musical tradition which differs quite a bit from the Northern-European Folk sound which is probably the sound primarily used by Folk Metal bands. The Yiddish language is of course also something that makes us unique as we and our brothers and sisters in the Industrial Metal band GEVOLT are the only metal bands in the world who use the language. Hopefully we also have something special in our own compositions which are typical for DIBBUKIM.
IMR: You guys are currently signed to GM Music. Is it a multi-album deal in the future and are the upcoming releases going to be on the same "pure folk" lines?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): We’ve not signed for more albums with GM, and who knows what will happen in the future. All I can say is that I’m very happy with the label work since our album is available in all the corners of the world. But if WARNER MUSIC calls I think it would be hard to turn them down.
Even though we have started the work on a new album it’s far to early to say anything about the sound. We want to take our music to the next level and we’ll probably focus more on our own material. But sure, we will of course stay in the Folk Metal genre and continue to be inspired by the Klezmer tradition and write our songs in Yiddish.
IMR: Recently, there has been a news regarding the addition of Jacob Blecher(YGGDRASIL, PANDEMONIUM) to the current line-up of the band. Is that true and will it remain this way or are any other changes going to come?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Yeah, that’s correct! Jacob has been a part of the band a while and It has been great working with him, he is a really cool guy. Right now we don’t have any plans on changing the line-up since we work very well together, but who knows what the future brings?
IMR: Which musicians have inspired you in the beginning of your career? Any “favorite-idols” that you would like to encounter one day?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): I think that THE BEATLES are actually my biggest source of inspiration as a musician and song writer. I don’t know if it’s noticeable in our music, but they have been a big part of my life. So even though it’s not possible I’d like to meet John Lennon one day, he’s in my opinion the greatest musician who has ever lived.
When it comes to Metal I think I get my inspiration from all the bands I like. Whether it’s very straight forward and heavy like MANOWAR or Progressive and dynamic like AYREON there are elements which truly inspires me.
IMR: On a personal note, what is your opinion regarding the people who enunciate that Women don't belong to the Metal scene?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Well, what can I say? Opinions like that are simply ridiculous and sad. I think it’s time for people to start defining each other as individuals and human beings rather than being fixated on gender… It’s truly such a small part of who we really are. But I must say that I haven’t encountered any of these people so far. Instead I’ve heard a lot of positive things from people who thinks it’s cool with women in metal.
IMR: Being a Yiddish Folk Metal band, what are the various modes of promotion that you guys are currently carrying on as language some or the other way will act as a barrier?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): We probably use the same promotion tactics as any other band. We try to be seen everywhere and hopefully our language will help us get noticed instead of acting like a barrier.
IMR: Okay, now here's something that I really need to know, suppose if I visit Sweden what are the best things that I should watch out for (all the famous things)?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Haha, that’s a tricky one. It’s hard to grasp the beauty in things you see every day, but in my opinion you should definitely visit my home town Lund, it’s a beautiful city which hasn’t been altered much through the years and has kept a lot of old buildings. Further more you should come during winter when it snows and the Swedish nature presents itself at its best.
IMR: Are you guys in plan of a tour to promote your debut release? What bands do you dream on playing on a festival or tour with?
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): At the moment we have complete focus on the album and haven’t started to plan any live shows. I think it would have been cool to do a world tour with our Yiddish Metal colleagues in GEVOLT, spreading the mystic powers of the Yiddish language all over the world! But of course, I also dream of touring with all my favorite bands like AXXIS, ORPHANED LAND, MANOWAR, LUMSK, RHAPSODY, TÝR, ALICE COOPER. Well, there are a lot of great bands out there.
IMR: Thank you very much for your answers. It is quite interesting to learn about Folk Metal from the musicians. Tell us your next plans for the future and let us conjure you farewell and wish good luck to the band!
Ida Olniansky(DIBBUKIM): Thanks for your questions, I’ve truly enjoyed the interview! When it comes to the future I first of all hope that many people will enjoy our new album and that they want to hear more from us. Secondly I already look forward to start composing new songs and my mind is currently spinning around the concept for a second album. Hopefully we’ll also be able to do some live shows, but our main goal is to create more music and enjoy the ride!
Pravin Prajapati, also the co-founder at IMR is an avid Underground Music follower. Basically, he likes listening to al the good/creative music around that can please/blast his ear drums such as Metal, Rock, Carnatic, Classical, Alternactive, Jazz, Soul, Avant-Garde, Country, Folk, New-Age and Trance.
In his free time, he loves listening music, photography, playing football and lil-bit of bird-watching. He is a psychic thinker when it comes to innovative thinking and also a crazy arguer when it comes to debate. Besides these, he is also the Founder at LUBUS(Web-Development,Graphic Designing & SoftwareDevelopment) freelancing group.
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