SAFFEK: Ecstatic Relief

Premiere: Israeli Alt/Prog Rock Act SAFFEK Launch Animated Video for "Mad"

Oren Amitai, the frontman of an Israeli alternative/progressive rock act SaffeK reflects on the group’s recent EP ‘All Too Human‘, the band’s mission, creative challenges, and more in a new interview for Prog Sphere.

Define the mission of SaffeK.

My mission with SaffeK is to reach out to the people who have existential thoughts and emotions, people who can be lost and afraid in this hallucination we walk in daily, to give them a rush of distortions, an ecstatic relief. To celebrate together, not alone, how much life is weird and jaw dropping. Sad but totally amazing.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent EP “All Too Human,” and the themes it covers.

Writing down “All Too Human” was a very deep and emotional journey for me. The E.P describes the main 4 elements in my character that make me suffer as a human, the 4 main features that separates me for the most part of what I feel and describe as divine. In order to really flesh them out I had to venture into my destructiveness and fill myself with the sadness, anger, pressure and alienation. The best part of it, of course, is that I feel that the best way to describe these elements is to burn them out, scream them out, feel them to the maximum effort. And that is what I tried to do with the compositions themselves.

What is the message of “All Too Human”?

That you can’t run from being a human after all. Accept that you’ll always be in the tension between desiring to elevate yourself and the harsh limits of your ego and humanity. That the beauty is still there, you can have it and still accept the pain that’s in you.

SaffeK - All Too Human

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

A lot of the music making goes on in my head, my imagination. Of course, I lay down the tracks in a DAW and work them to a song I believe in, but for the must part I start by imagining the song in my head over and over and let the conscious and unconscious sides of me work the story and the music out almost outside of my control. Usually in my bed before I go to sleep.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces careully architected?

Totally. It’s the most important part. Telling a compelling story, a story that makes sense in every way you can think and feel is the number one mission. We are, as musicians, a musical story teller. I can bust my head for weeks on a song just to understand how to make the pieces of the song fall to their precise place.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

The E.P was recorded in all sorts of different locations and settings. Me and Avishai Karawan, which did the mixing of the E.P and a lot of the technical work, worked together to understand how to get the sound spot on as we understand it should be. It is a privilege to work with someone you really hear ear-to-ear with. It allowed us to make all these different situations with the amazing guys in the band to work out as one unit.

How long “All Too Human” was in the making?

A year and half of exploring the ideas, fitting them together and production.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

The art of the E.P was influenced by the releases of the unbelievable band which is Pink Floyd. Also, a lot of my music is inspired by those wonderful minds in that group. You can also count on anything that came out with Maynard Keenan as in influence.

What is your view on technology in music?

I think that we live in a mind-blowing era. I think it’s awesome to see how many possibilities have opened up to musicians today thanks to the giant leap we did with technology and the use of it in music. I for one work a lot with DAW’s and my setup for playing is mostly digital and I’m proud of it. I feel like the possibilities in today’s terms are almost limitless.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

First of all, and for the most part, my music is simply ‘music’. I think that music by it self is a blessing that we live with. It’s an element in life that makes them a lot of time worth living for. It’s an elevation, bigger than me. Every time I play music, I feel humbled to just participate in the act of it.  Beyond that is a beautiful bonus.

What are your plans for the future?

A new video is coming out in the next few weeks, a work of a lot of great minds which I am very proud of. It’s gonna take SaffeK’s visual presentation to a new level.

Afterwards it’s all about counting down the days till summer when we will release a new album followed by a European tour. Besides that, truly, all we can’t wait for is to see the people, the crowds, what we live for. We can’t wait to break the lonesomeness, the dreadful silence of the music with you.

All Too Human is available from Bandcamp here.

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