"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Emok

From: Israel
Last Known Status: Unknown

Background

The members of Emok -- Itai (Vocals/Bass), Ofer (Vocals/Guitar), and Bul (Drums/Drum-like-sounds) -- all grew up Northern Israel in a very secluded and tiny (50 families) village called Amuka, located in the middle of a forest in West Galilee. Amuka is situated next to the tomb of a holy rabbi where people regularly make pilgrimages seeking healing from a rabbi currently residing there (according to the band, the place is haunted.)

Itai and Ofer knew each other from a very young age. Ofer saw Bul playing at a local festival and realized that he was the missing ingredient in their band, got in contact with him and the band began sneaking out to the kibbutz Bul lived at, practicing in its school’s music room late at night. Later on they "upgraded" and practiced at an air raid shelter, which was their favorite place to rehearse because they, "couldn’t hear the jets going on bombing raids or machine gun fire from the nearby military base."

When Emok first began playing publicly, they put on shows in the forest and would arrange to bus kids in from nearby kibbutzes for the performances. Eventually they moved to Tel Aviv where they built a strong following playing local shows. Soon they were playing the biggest music festivals in Israel and opening for the major Israeli rock bands and then for visiting foreign acts including Prodigy.

Because they sang in English and were conspicuously experimental in their outlook, once they’d outgrown the alternative audience they realized they could make no further progress in their home country winning over more mainstream audiences. Their thunderous and complex style seemed out of place back home. In 1998 they decided to address new challenges and emigrated to New York, first living on the Lower East Side before moving out to Brooklyn where they still live and work, building up a strong following through incendiary, mind-expanding shows at Pianos, Knitting Factory, Sin-e, Rothko, and Lit among others.

Below is a summary of Emok coverage and information on Metal Underground.com.