Like all true artists Erez Eisen and Amit ‘Duvdev’ Duvdevani aka Infected Mushroom are constantly changing and evolving. Their May 2012 album Army Of Mushrooms moved their focus away from the more recent rockier tip back to their electronic roots, but with elements of dubstep infused throughout. Meanwhile their latest live creation, The Unveiling takes their performance to a whole new level, introducing a 3-D mapping visual experience while Erez and Duvdev play live in separate spheres.
The boys are back in London for a rare set at Halcyon at MOS on Boxing Day – where they’ll headline alongside Astrix, Dejavoo b2b Libra9, Champa, Zeus, Mebjar, Andy Force and many more. Taking place over four rooms of music from Liquid Records, Babies Events and Illusiom, this international celebration of psy trance has to be one of the highlights of the year. With the excitement mounting, we caught up with Infected just as they touch down in LA from Australia…
You’ve recently hit over 1 million likes on FB and given away a free track to thank your fans. That’s one hell of an achievement! What else have you been up to since you were last interviewed on here 18 months ago?
Thank you! Well, it feels like it has been a long time since our last visit. We have of course been busy in the studio, doing some solid collaborations and experimenting with new sounds. We have travelled the world a few times over, actually just landed home from the Stereosonic tour in Australia, ready to leave for tour in Finland tomorrow, followed by some dates in India the following week… the fun never ends, and we are thankful for that.
Your early albums were considered pioneering building blocks of what was to become the genre of psy trance, yet these days you’ve been mixing things up with more of a rock edge and dabbling in dubstep… How would you describe the sound of Infected 2012?
It’s hard to nail us down. I’d say 2007–10 were the real ‘rock years’ – in 2012 we took a big step back into the world of Electronica. Our new album (which hit #1 on Beatport and on the iTunes dance music charts) reflects a variety of elements including our interpretation of dubstep (very unique), electro, breaks, trance and more. We don’t like being nailed down to one sound, it is our goal to make interesting music that moves people. Also, Erez and I have been touring a new 3D-based visual experience within the US, which is super mind-bending, and will be coming to Europe very soon.
Coming from humble beginnings, you’re a source of inspiration for many all over the world. Who or what inspires you these days?
The youth of our scene keeps us striving to make relevant music – Porter Robinson, Zedd, Skrillex. Kudos to the new generation.
Your latest album ‘Army Of Mushrooms’ has hit No. 1 in dance charts all over the world. Which track from the album gets the most response from the dance floor?
I’d say either our cover of the Foo Fighters’ ‘Pretender’ or the dubstep tune, ‘U R So F******’.
Did the album have any overall concept or theme?
We wanted the album to reflect our sound’s evolution, while also paying homage to styles that have taken the world by storm. The music is unique and covers a range of genres. We even included a throw back to a popular old tune of ours, ‘The Messenger’. So when it comes to our recent album, we believe there is something for everyone.
Out of all of your albums, which one has been your most difficult to make and why?
Every album is a process, but none has been more difficult than the other. The most difficult part of making the album is probably the mastering process, since we do that ourselves.
You’re both originally from Israel and now live in LA, two very different cultures! Did you get much culture shock when you first moved to the States from Israel and do you feel like you’ve settled there for good now?
We were both born in Israel, but our family backgrounds are Romanian (Erez) and German (Duvdev). We had been to the US quite a few times before we moved here, so it wasn’t much of a shock. We love living in Los Angeles, and we are quite settled for now.
You’ve been a round a long time in dance music terms, looking back, what have been the highlights for you both so far?
Tough to sum it up, we are thankful for all of our experiences and accolades, but I’ll try… Twice ranked amongst the world’s “10 Best DJs” by UK’s DJ Magazine – the ‘bible’ of the scene. Over seven years consecutively voted ‘#1 Psychedelic Artist’ in the world by that same magazine. 15 million+ hits on YouTube for our song ‘Becoming Insane.’ 1,000,000 fans on Facebook. Our album Legend of the Black Shawarma (2009) reached #8 on the Billboard charts. Our recent album Army of Mushrooms (2012) hit #1 on the iTunes Dance Music Album charts in a number of countries including America. Some notable shows of the past couple years: Coachella, Baltimore Virgin Music Festival, Sziget Festival, Tomorrowland (Belgium), Red Rocks (Denver), Monegros (Spain), Burning Man and many others. Headlined with the Black Eyed Peas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for an audience of 500,000. Collaborated with: Jonathan Davis (KORN), Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Ray Manzarek (The Doors), Mayisyahu and many more.
And given that you’ve achieved so much, going forward, what goals could you possibly still have for the future?
In this business you’ve never reached the finish line. We will continue to tour, we will focus on getting our new 3D mapped visual experience to Europe. We also are working on a handful of new tunes, which naturally means another album will shortly be in the works.
You play around 120 gigs a year, which makes you one of the most hard-working bands around. What keeps you going on those nights when you’d rather stay in the hotel room and eat pizza?
Well, we just take the pizza with us… then we can continue on working.
When you go into the studio, what roles do you each play and how do you get started? Do you have a formula to making a successful track?
We are both classically trained, and over time we have learned all the gear together, so we both have equal contribution to the evolution of a song. Erez is faster with a mouse but I make killer lyrics.
What’s your current favourite piece of kit in the studio?
Most of our gear is digital these days. We like Massive. We also have some custom Infected software we like using too.
Last time we spoke you’d moved from playing chess to solve arguments to playing ping pong. 18 months on, you must be pros as it by now?! Is ping pong still your game of choice?
Duvdev is the undisputed champion, so we don’t use this to solve arguments anymore. We have hair growing contests now…
What artists/albums do you like to chill out to on your home stereos at the moment?
Opiuo is really tight.
Being international DJs and producers sounds likes a dream job to most people, what is the best thing about it?
You’ve just donated a track to Tiësto’s Dance (RED) Save Lives project, alongside some of the top names in dance music for World Aids Day on 1 December. How did this project come about and how did you choose the track you contributed?
To us it was a no-brainer. When we were approached, we jumped at the opportunity to help out for this great cause. We contributed a track that we had available! Nothing too strategic about it.
Do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with your fans? Please just tell us one interesting thing about the other one!
Erez likes to put his hair up like Princess Leah sometimes, you know, with the buns on each side. Duvdev’s guilty pleasure involves dressing up like Clark Kent from Superman and looking at himself in the mirror.
For your latest live tour you’ve dropped the band and your instruments, with ‘The Unveiling’ teaser clips showing you Djing in two large orbs. Why the move away from your usual live band set up?
Well, we aren’t “Djing” per se – it is a live performance. Erez has his keyboards and effects, I have an Emulator in my sphere (the touch screen in some of the clips you have seen). There aren’t CDJs. As for why we have moved away from the usual live band set up, we have performed as a band for the better part of a decade, and we are ready for something new.
When we formed the band, it was because we were bored of only DJing, and we wanted to expand our repertoire. Creating “The Unveiling” was our way of continuing the evolution of Infected Mushroom, while incorporating a visual element to our performance (a journey, really). A visual production is the call of the future, and the spheres are our answer.
You’re playing a DJ set at MOS on Boxing Day. For your newer fans that have only seen you play as a live band, how will this differ from your live set?
We are ready!! DJ sets are rare these days, and highly sought after. When we get the chance to DJ it is exciting for us too, it gives us a chance to play music we like from other artists. We are really stoked to make memories with you on Boxing Day 2012.
Thanks for your time and looking forward to seeing you both at MOS on Boxing Day!
-D & E