Artist InterviewsInterviews

Infected Mushroom

 We got infected; our ears from extensive psychedelic sounds and our eyes from trippy visuals and a 3D setup. After that, we got to hang out with the guys at fault. Since starting out in Israel, Infected Mushroom now brings psytrance to dance floors worldwide with an average of 120 shows per year. The work of Erez Eisen (Eisen) and Amit Duvdevani (Duvdev) has ranked the duo in DJ Mag’s Top 10 DJs more than once as they advance their performances with impressive sounds, interactions and visuals.

Describe Infected Mushroom’s sound using three words.
Duvdev: Fast, aggressive, psychedelic.

From when you two started until now, how would you say you’ve changed and stayed the same?
Duvdev: We grew up, deviated from one start to many genres, and we’re still here.

You’ve evolved to include goa, industrial and dubstep elements into your music. Are there other sounds you’d like to experiment with in the future?
Duvdev: We’ve done music for so many years, and we always stumble into a new kind of thing. There are many styles I haven’t touched yet and many I did. I want to do a full instrumental album, a full orchestral album which is already in the works, and now in the midst of a collaboration album of which the first part will come out in two weeks; it’s a full collaboration album with American artists and some European.

Can you remember the moment you realized this was going to be a serious thing, that you’d be doing it the rest of your life?
Duvdev: I think after the second album, Classical Mushroom (2000), came out and became gold in Europe and we started to do 100 shows per year. I was kicked out of college because I was never there and then it became serious.

Was psytrance a popular genre when you started out in Israel, or was it you guys who took it to dance floors?
Duvdev: A lot of people call us pioneers of psytrance, but there were so many before us. It came from Europe, then to Israel with a few bands before us, then we took it to the mainstream. That’s why they call us the pioneers, but not really. It was a popular underground kind of thing and was a big movement.

Was it difficult to break into other countries?
Duvdev: For us, it wasn’t that difficult. It was an easy journey after our first album, The Gathering (1999), came out. It became really big in Israel and other countries in Europe started to get us. When the second album came out, we exploded in Europe. After a few years, we did our first show in America in Los Angeles with Thump Radio, then New York, then it started slowly coming to the States. There was no [psytrance] scene here, whatsoever.

A lot of people we know personally are jumping right into electro or dubstep as they begin to produce. What drew you to psytrance?
Eisen: We started with psytrance when I think there was no electro.
►Duvdev: There was no electro or dubstep, they started much later. There was trance, house, techno.
►Eisen: We liked it and kept going with it.

You’ve gotten to play events of every size. Do you have a favorite atmosphere?
Duvdev: It doesn’t matter if it’s small, medium, huge, or gigantic. It depends on the energy of the crowd. If it’s rocking, it’s rocking, whether it’s 200 or 2,000 or 20,000 people. I’ve seen very big parties that don’t get it and I see small crowds that go ballistic. It depends on the show.

563985_10151594276867261_1355521669_nIf you could perform with any artist, who would it be and why?
Duvdev: We both like Depeche Mode. One of them, Dave Gahan, is a massive vocalist. I would definitely like to perform with him.
►Eisen: Dreamcatcher.

A lot of electronic artists perform with just turntables and flashing lights. Infected Mushroom has such an elaborate setup. What brought you in that direction? Was this even your choice, is it something you wanted to do from the beginning?
Eisen: We saw Amon Tobin’s show in the beginning and we were blown away by the production. Then we found out the company that makes that stuff so we contacted them and made it happen. We wanted to step it up.
►Duvdev: We’ve been a live band for so many years and got bored of the DJ thing many years back. We added vocals, added guitars, added drums, then became a band, now this. When you’re doing it so many years and do the same thing, you get bored. For us, it’s changing every year with something new.

We really liked the cover you did of Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender.” What made you go with Foo Fighters over someone else?
Duvdev: We like the song, but there’s more of a reason. We were working on a drum & bass 174bpm kind of Pendulum-style, then I heard the Foo Fighters song when driving to the studio and started singing it over what we started and it fit. We were really hesitant about it because it was completely not our style, not the drum & bass and not the Foo Fighters, but it just worked out.

Define the word “psychedelic.”
Duvdev: Psychedelic changes from place to place, year to year. Some people are really crazy out there, and it fulfills their craziness in some way.

Do you have any advice for aspiring DJs and producers?
Duvdev: Today it’s easier if you have something good and can get it out there. Back in the day, it was a different story. But today, if you have decent music and your own following and people start talking about you, eventually it will go out.