symbols Magazine: Who were your early musical influences?
Louise: Well I grew up in the ‘90s, so personally it’s been many different people. I liked Prince and the Beatles a lot, melodically wise. Then growing up in the grunge period, I was a big fan of girl bands. I liked everyone from Courtney Love to Veruca Salt and all that. Then it slowly shifted over to electronic music, like Portishead…
sM: Massive Attack.
Louise: Yeah exactly. And, also a lot of Hip Hop actually. Like, I remember listening to a lot of Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest. I mean really just many, many, many different things. But, with a strong focus on the melody and the well written lyrics. Also, Madonna was a big inspiration. I would always listen to her. You know it’s also got a lot to do with accessibility because MTV was born in the ‘90s. I remember I was addicted to it then… I just couldn’t stop watching it.
sM: Now it’s completely different.
Louise: Yeah. You know the world has changed. They just want reality.
sM: I really wish they could focus more on the music like they did back then.
Louise: I think it’s because nobody wants them for the music. They would die if they continued because everybody is looking for music on YouTube, and in Soundcloud. So, I guess they had to adjust to the times.
sM: So, you played South by Southwest. Any plans or aspirations set for Coachella next year?
Louise: I love that. It’s a definite yes. One way or another, yes.
sM: Have you ever been?
Louise: Never. But we’ve been to a lot of big festivals in Europe that we’ve played in. We played in Rock N Sand, the big one in Paris, and then Kazantip, which is a big one in the Crimean Islands. We’re kind of a resident to this location. It’s basically a collection of all the electronic music in the world. We feel there’s something very cool happening in the United States though. There’s so much music we love that comes from there. We really would like to focus on this territory a bit more.
sM: Anyplans to come out to LA?
Louise: Yeah, we’re getting a lot of booking requests from the states, so I think we’re going to set up a tour there. We have a small dream to spend some time in LA because we have so many friends there and it feels like something really great is happening there right now.
sM: There’s always something great happening in LA. There’s just something about Los Angeles and you can feel it. It has its own kind of vibe to it.
Louise: Also, we played at the Culture Collide in October. It just felt very well received. We started with one gig and we ended up with more. Our last gig was so packed with people. It just feels like it is right for us to be there. I don’t know. We really hope we’re going to make this happen.
sM: Oh, we hope so too. It’s just a nice change to have someone here that can actually get into what we have going on. I heard you were in Silicon Valley for a little while, right?
Louise: Yeah, we’re developing a video game. It’s actually a music clip which has interactive parts and it’s all made from sequins and glitter. We were… like in this thing with Google. We are very much involved in the high tech scene in Israel. We are doing things all the time involving better high tech innovation. If it’s connecting or making our next stage outfit glow in the dark, basically we’re developing clothes that will work according to the sound. We’re creating furs, jackets and big stuff out of optic fibers.
sM: Fiber optics is really great right now. We just had a show called “Style to Rock” where they had designers work with different textures and different fabrics that were innovative, and fiber optics was one of them.
Louise: Wow amazing. I have to see that. We like to explore like our last video, Gorgeous. It won the first prize of the international iPhone film festival…
Anna: Because of its unique technique.
Louise: We basically gathered 52 people together with iPhones and made them create the matrix bullet shot…
sM: The 360…
Louise: Yeah, because we didn’t have money to do it properly. It turned out really cool, and we kind of incorporated it into the clip. All the time we’re just teaming up with as many geeks as possible. We’re getting invited to all these congresses around the world and it’s really cool. We really love that scene. It’s very creative and it’s nice to expand, you know?
sM: It’s definitely creative in its own element. It’s just a completely different art form and even though it’s technical, it’s still extremely creative.
Louise: It’s just like we have an idea for a song and then we can’t sleep at night. So, we’re staying up the whole night. What are we going to do with this song, you know? And then we start exploring the idea of making a video clip that is interactive. Then we think, “Let’s team up with this and this person, and do this and that.”
Anna: And that’s what eventually creates the language because many people’s input is getting implemented into our project.
Louise: So, it starts with the music, but then it completely takes off. We can spend quite some time developing ideas because we all come from various backgrounds in fine arts. I’m a web developer, I know how to program a bit and I think it is all part of that.
sM: So, tell me where does your love of fashion come from?
Louise: We just always have been. We’re quite famous in Israel, so we’ve been leading a bunch of campaigns for fashion. It is our interest. When we go on stage we always make an extra effort with our fashion. We’ll team up with a bunch of fashion designers and we’ll work with different designers either from the design academy or people who have their own brands. We always do a lot of collaboration and then we become a band who would be in a lot of magazines. We’ve been in all the major magazines from around the world. I mean not everything, but we’ve been in Vogue, Italy and I-D magazine. We got involved in that world through just wanting to dress up. We’re girls and we like to dress up and if there’s a stage…
Anna: And even though we have a boy, he also likes to dress up. I think whenever you go and see a show, you go and you are actually looking at something. It should match what you’re hearing and it should be interesting. Personally, I don’t appreciate artists who just don’t put an effort into their live shows because so many people are looking at you, physically. In that moment, you have another media to say something that can complete your music.
Louise: We grew up on Madonna. I mean she’s a part of pop culture.
Anna: They all dress up. Again, it’s this whole idea of taking the music and expanding. It starts from the music, but then there’s all these different layers and one of them is fashion. Then the others are video clips and whatever we want to do.
Louise: It’s just another layer in the bigger picture. It’s so much fun, you know? We are working with so many great designers. These are people who are still obtaining their degree from the design academy and who really give a lot of stage and space to really knock themselves out.
Anna: It’s true. And if we didn’t do that, how else would I ever get the chance to wear a panda outfit, you know? Sometimes…
Louise: Yeah and she has an amazing Panda outfit.
Anna: Where would I go with it, if not on stage?
Louise: Yeah exactly. Some years ago we did this amazing collaboration. We were playing in one of the big festivals in Europe. And we said, “Okay, we’re not going to make only t-shirts to sell. We’re going to make like these overalls. You know?”
Anna: Body stockings.
Louise: But, they were very much inspired by the things that you do for babies.
Louise: Yeah, but like bigger sizes. They’re quite sexy. I remember we were walking around in Tel Aviv with them on and we said like, “Fuck that. This is not something that you can only wear on stage.”
sM: The onesies?
Louise: Yeah, they were so cool and we were just walking. Okay we had stocking, underwear, etc. Or even if we didn’t, it doesn’t matter.
Anna: Don’t lie.
Louise: Yeah, that’s right. We didn’t have anything. So, we were walking around with them on and it is fine, you know?
Anna: It’s fun walking around in onesies. I think.
Louise: We make some really cool ones. We have some that we knitted.
Anna: I think all of them were sold.
Louise: People do like onesies.
sM: You’ll have to bring them to your Los Angeles shows.
Anna: Yeah, we will. We should have some again.
Louise: Actually, we wear more clothes now. Not only onesies. We don’t care so much about being with or without clothes on stage. Just whatever works, you know?
sM: Of course. It’s all about the surroundings. You dress for the occasion.
sM: So, your video for “Man after Man” is the newest single, correct?
sM: Okay. That had really great wardrobe.
Louise: We all wore the same thing.
Anna: It’s between three people. This was very tricky. The styling in this video was the hardest of all the other technological issues we had. Bringing the whole forest into the house and getting these lamps was nothing. We had to morph one outfit between three people. This was kind of the idea of the clip. If you look carefully we all wore the same clothes.
sM: I was looking at that. The sheer top with the appliqué on the breast. That is beautiful. Love that. So you all wore the same outfit?
Anna: Yeah, I mean we…Well, Bruno did not…
sM: Bruno didn’t wear the appliqué.
Anna: Because it was too big.
Louise: The whole idea was… we didn’t know actually if it was going to work or not, right? But the idea was that we wanted to have this idea of getting undressed and dressed, like preparing for something. Then there comes a man and then…
Anna: So, she spends the whole day washing and dressing herself and then preparing kind of, you know? Until it’s evening.
Louise: While they are taking their clothes off, but it’s the same clothes. Like, we wanted to make this kind of morphing thing. Now it worked okay, but it doesn’t matter because the clip works by itself. But the idea was like we were all sharing the things that they throw off. So I mean it’s the same thing.
Anna: A philosophical kind of whatever. There’s a philosophy behind all that.
sM: It also had sort of like a domination submission vibe at the very end where Anna and Bruno walked in and they were totally naked to present themselves in front of a woman.
Anna: Yeah we transmitted our thoughts. You know how funny that was?
Louise: Because at some point, we actually had to shoot it. None of us ever had sex with each other. We’re like family, like brothers, mothers and sisters.
Anna: And, because we are not attracted to each other. So… the first time when we tried that shot, I mean when me and Bruno were standing naked next to each other, we had to shoot it over and over again, like touching each other. And, then we were opening the door and Louise’s face! It was priceless. She was like…
sM: Were you surprised?
Louise: I knew that they were going to
come in naked, but it was just…
Anna: She was waiting for it and then she just let it out completely. It was very funny.
Louise: The director was very mad. It was very emotional, you know? Here we are this band and we’ve been together for quite some years and here they are stripping finally in front of me.
Anna: She had this look, like a little like crossed eyes…
Louise: Anyway it was very nice. A very smooth and wonderful experience we had with this whole thing. It was written in like a week. We produced it in like a week. And then by chance this French photographer, director was in town for a week. And we said we have to do something with you. And we had like one week and then he just said, “Oh there’s this apartment that we can use for one day and I already told them because they’re refurbishing it. It’s empty.” So he was like, “We’re going to take it one day and there is not going to be anybody there.” That was bullshit… because while we were shooting the clip somebody was painting. It was the most stressful thing, but it worked out perfectly. Everybody was so happy that it was like magic.
sM: So, how long have you guys been together?
Louise: I mean the band’s been through some changes and stuff since it started out. But, I think we’ve been together like this for maybe four or five years.
Anna: Yeah… four years.
sM: How does the dynamic all come together? How do you end up knowing that this is the right pairing for you?
Louise: I’m not sure.
Anna: Well actually it was a very interesting evolution. We’ve been a bigger group before. We got to the point where some people grew apart, while we actually got closer and to this point where it’s really fun for us to work with each other. So, I guess it’s just this place. We’re really lucky because it’s really hard to find people who you can create with and then to function also.
Louise: We have a higher mission you know. Of course, we can get a bit annoyed with each other but we set goals all the time. Some of them we achieve and some of them we achieve later on, even without really noticing. We’ve been through many ups and downs. Now we’re less people and we’re different… it’s all the time evolving and we have this big breakthrough in Israel in 2010 where we were selected by Depeche Mode to open up for them.
sM: That must have been amazing.
Louise: Yeah, that was the most amazing night. Now I’ve actually had other amazing nights. We were on TV all the time and then we kind of started shifting over to a different territory. We find very much strength in each other. We all write the music pretty much together, but we all have different tasks. We’re operating everything very much by our self. We’re managing everything. We outsource, you know? We have a great PR agent and we have a booker. We’re very much organized within ourselves.
Anna: Like a factory or a little company.
Louise: It’s very important not to waste time. The fight is to keep things alive. The fight is on the outside. The fight is to get back up and find funding. That is the fight. You can have some creative arguments, whatever, that’s fine, but you have to cut the crap and get to the real shit, which is making this band happen. This has happened pretty well for the last five years.
sM: So, you live in a deeply political area. Does this filter through into your music at all?
Louise: In a way it does. I mean it’s … okay. So, for us to go and write political music… it wouldn’t make any sense. We like to write about what happens on a personal level. Now living in this place, it has an effect on the music because it affects every single thing in your life. Without even noticing, you start valuing things different. You start valuing life differently. Imagine you walk on the street on a sunny day and you pass a newspaper stand and it’s written on all the newspapers, “Iran will bomb you tomorrow.” This happens.
Anna: We were in the studio writing a song with this amazing pianist from New York. In the middle of it the siren goes off and we had to run to the bomb shelter. I mean I remember that because, for us, it was so natural and he was shocked.
Louise: And, the only thing we were thinking about was taking our most expensive keyboards.
Anna: Yeah, just running down the stairs with the keyboards.
dM: It has to be a total shock. We don’t have that here. He’s from New York. There has to be a total shock to the system to be okay with going to a bomb shelter.
Louise: I can tell you that as a human being you get used to every single thing.
Anna: Yeah and it’s not a big deal anymore.
Louise: I remember living in Jerusalem while studying in the art academy. We had bombs every day there. We had one in the cafeteria in school. We had one off my street where I lived and I can’t believe I lived there, but I did. And, you get used to every single thing. The point is that you learn in the core of your body to just appreciate life. First you become more cynical, but you can’t read the newspaper all the time or else you would commit suicide because the situation is so complicated. You really hope and wish for peace. I mean nobody deserves this shit, but there are so many things in this conflict that makes it really hard. We don’t have to go into it. So, you end up becoming very much like, “Ok I live here. I love this place.” You just feel like you really want to follow your dreams.
I think this band is a clear example of that. We just jump into things. We have big dreams. We follow them. We want to make a clip, which looks like $1 million. We don’t have $1 million. We had $2,000 and we made it happen. People don’t take things for granted when you have death staring at your face all the time.
Anna: You have danger. In a way you’re threatening your life, so you become more edgy and in a good way. In a sense you’re not wondering about things too much because you just do it and that’s what’s kind of pushing people.
Louise: You have a very diverse society. You have that big compilation of different cultures and different religions. Not so much like in America where you have many different religions, but they’re all Americans. Still very different, but it’s getting more and more like America. It’s really starting to emerge. It’s a very diverse society, so there’s not enough space for a lot of things. Still, when people finish the design academy they go to the bank, take out a loan and open a shop. Now, is there really an industry? No. But they make an industry. Now with so many people doing that they have actually created an industry and have factories in Israel employing a lot of people for making fabrics, and whatever. And, in the high tech field you have the same phenomenon. Everybody wants to have a start up. Everybody has a startup and everybody has dreams and it’s a very, very inspiring environment. We aren’t writing about it because we are too close to the problem.
Anna: We’re in it.
Louise: When there are demonstrations to get out of the situation then we are there. But when it comes to the art, I want to be pro creative in a different way, you know what I mean? Like actually creating life and creating some kind of normalcy in this place makes more and more people just have this dream. Why the fuck can’t we be more like the rest of the world, where they don’t have this conflict? You see what I mean?
Louise: I think this has much more power when you create hope and dreams for people by having art and music available.
Anna: Or, even changing the subject.
Louise: Just like this. I know that in other places in the world it may sound like, “Oh you’re like normalizing, that’s how you get by.” In a way, it’s more proactive. Nobody wants it. We want to have a normal situation. I think the force of creativity of giving people the hope of having a music scene will eventually turn this place more normal. Like some kind of collaboration or you know? Slowly, slowly, slowly like it’s not going to happen in a day, but there is something good about it. And that’s how I think we contribute to this.
sM: It makes sense. I think art has the power to completely change a society and especially with the people that are in it. Art inspires you to do better things; it inspires you to think a different way. Music is an extremely strong portion of that. It definitely helps. Sometimes it changes your manner of thinking. I think it all ends up boiling down to being able to maybe accept your surroundings, but being able to rise above them. And, to make it better, not necessarily live in the depression of it, but make something beautiful out of it.
Louise: Yeah, totally it’s really that. I think Tel Aviv, especially if you have a chance to come; it’s really a mirror of what you said now. It’s just like, “Fuck this situation,” like you know people have been kicked in their faces. There have been many peace talks. There has been many things that have been going on and people have been very disappointed by the whole situation, basically. Some people are saying, “Fuck that shit, I’m going to make the best out of my life.” Not selfishly, but to create a place which I’m going to fight for. But more people have too much to lose. We have such beautiful creative young people who look to the future.
Anna: They have something to live for. What’s happening in Tel Aviv is a lot to live for. I mean it’s really an amazing place. It has turned into an amazing capitol and people from all around the world just coming every day. They’re curious.
Louise: We just, somebody in the Business Insider, like voted Tel Aviv as the best party city of the world.
Anna: It has a lot of parties.
sM: So, what do you guys see for yourself, like in your big picture, what do you see?
Louise: Continue doing what we’re doing. We love it. We’re not going to stop it. We play and we try to perform as much as possible. Hopefully, we’ll expand, you know? Slowly, slowly and yet…
Anna: Not too slowly.
Louise: We just, you know, continue making videos. We hope to finish this game we’re working on. I think it’s very important to all the time challenge yourself. So, in Israel we’re already very established there. For us, it’s very important to go to new places. To have the challenge and to meet people to work with that are different, in a different place. Coming to America…
Louise: Seems like the right thing to do for a period. Hopefully it will happen soon. It’s easier to tour in America.
sM: So, what do you hope the fans, especially new ones, take away from your music?
Anna: We just want them to keep listening to it in a loop until they go crazy, nuts. Dancing in underwear, woo!
Louise: I don’t know. I mean… why do I listen to some people’s music? I don’t know. I just like it.
Anna: We just want people to enjoy it.
Louise: Enjoy our world. We are really living in our own little world. With all of our creativity, a lot of the music we make really reflects what’s happening to us in our lives on the personal level. That’s why I like music so much, because I feel it’s one of the few art forms where you can let all your feelings out. It’s in the melody and the words together. You don’t have to stick too much to a concept. You don’t have to be cynical. You can just be really, like cheesy. Like, you don’t care. Like, it doesn’t matter.