Brutal Planet Magazine interviews Yoni Avittan and Ran Aronson of The Dodies.

Brutal Planet Magazine had the unique opportunity to talk with garage band sensation The Dodies from the Southern Desert of Israel.  Their debut album  It’s One Hell of a Ride is due out on April 24, 2020.  You might ask yourself what sets this band apart from other bands?  First they are from Isreal, a place where the export of bands are virtually non-existant.  Second, they are a two piece, which is a feat itself.  Thier album was produced by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.  Their questions are very honest and based on the sound of their album they have a great future in front of them. 

Brutal Planet Magazine: Thank you guys for taking the time to answer a few questions for the Brutal Planet Magazine readers. You two are from Israel, from where do you draw your inspiration? Are there bands from Israel that you draw inspiration from or does your inspiration come from other parts of the world and who?
The Dodies: It might surprise you, or not, but we’re mostly inspired by big Western bands, like Nirvana and Radiohead, especially sonically.  

Yoni – I was obsessed with the 90’s as a teenager and still feel in awe that so many special and honest bands could be a part of the mainstream. There has been one shoegaze band in Israel that managed to get on KEXP, that’s a big deal because bands rarely manage to leave little ol’ Israel and make something of themselves as musicians.

Ran – I can’t really say the impact Israeli music made on me was nearly as big as the impact made by British and American music.  And in the end, even the Israeli bands I liked listening to the most were mainly influenced by western rock.

Your album It’s One Hell of a Ride is a magnificent album with a drizzle of sounds that cover the spectrum of popular music. “Boiling Point” has a sound reminiscent of The Darkness. Are there any tracks on the album that have stories behind them that you can share with us?

Yoni – I wrote most of these songs when I was regular patient in southern Israel’s main psychiatric department. Our fourth song in the album “Suleyman” was written about one of the patients I met there. He was a schizophrenic Arabic man who lived in a small village in the desert. In our group meetings he would often describe these dark slim figures that wouldn’t let him sleep at night when they’d whisper “Kill yourself.  Stab your family” in his ear. He said they wore masks because they had no faces and that his wife and the rest of the villagers who know him thought he was possessed. He was a burly and ominous man but I still liked him. He’d write a lot of innocent poems in the “creative hours” we had there and he kept telling me that I was like family to him. I could understand why he’d want to feel that, since he said his own father would cover his face with his hand after passing by him in the village.  I wasn’t a very religious man, but I remember being pissed off at god at the time.

The album was produced by Bumblefoot, what was it like working with him and how did you hook up with him?

Yoni-Working with Bumblefoot was very surreal, especially since we recorded a lot of the album in Ran’s (the drummer) bedroom. Since we had trouble continuing the recording process, which at first began in orb studios in Austin Texas, Bumblefoot decided to fly over to Israel after his major tour with Asia, so he could finish the album with us. Bumblefoot wanted to make us sound like ourselves – even more than we had ever allowed ourselves. He insisted we’d play guitar and drums live and without a click, he didn’t “fix” my voice when I sang out of tune and we even used a synth bass like we do live. He pushed us to our limits in certain ways but also stepped back a lot and let us do our thing.   We hooked up with him through Orb studios, and we got to Orb studios through our patron, Alison. She’s a successful mortgage dealer from Texas, and she’s very punk rock. She  discovered our music, fell in love with it, and decided she was going to do everything in her power to push our music even though she had zero connection to the music industry.

Being a band of two, how has it been playing live shows? Are people quite surprised when two of you come out and make the music that you make?

Yoni-People are often surprised that so much noise can come out of two dorks. Ran gets a lot of the attention since he plays bass on a synthesizer with one hand, plays drums with the other, and sings backing vocals all at the same time. People are also surprised by the music itself, especially because of the randomness of the geographical location it comes from.  

After listening to the album I am fairly confident that you will go from being a “Garage Band Duo” something much bigger. What as some of the perks of being successful musicians that you are looking forward to?

We appreciate your belief in us. We really look forward to touring more and having better shows. We have a lot more songs for more albums we haven’t recorded yet and are hoping to get an even more explosive sound for them. Knowing we could keep recording our songs professionally and having shows around the world would be the ultimate perk, as cheesy as it might sound.

What has been the reception to you two in your home county of Israel? What do the Israeli’s think of The Dodies?

We do have a supportive fan base in our home town, but the scenes here are not big, and the ones that do exist don’t exist where we live. It wasn’t easy being a melodic garage band that doesn’t sound very “Israeli”. Actually, people overseas usually react better to our music.  

Lastly, pick a song by title or content from The Dodies that best describe an aspect of the global pandemic we find ourselves in and explain why?

“Sweet Solitude”, The ninth song on our album is about enjoying the fruits of aloneness. This much solitude might be hard for a lot of people to enjoy, but being forced to face yourself can potentially be the most productive thing you ever do. On the other hand, the following song on the track list is called Stuck… so it’s all a matter of perspective.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer a few questions from us and we look forward to following your success moving forward and hope to see you live in the US one day.
All the best:
Eric Peterson
Brutal Planet Magazine