You have probably heard of this week’s featured artist before in some way, shape or form. Not necessarily because of our own review of their début EP (read it here, if you like), but simply because ARP (Augmented Reality Project) is the side project of none other than Israeli progressive metal musician/producer Yoav Efron, who’s also the mastermind behind Distorted Harmony. Formed on the premise of having ‘had enough of this fucking bullshit’, ARP’s metal-/deathcore influenced sound is a different, more ferocious beast altogether than Efron’s main band, though. When asked how he came up with the project’s name in the first place, he had the following to say:
‘[It’s] A somewhat funny and stupid story. “Gone (Not here)” has lots of synth arpeggios, and I absolutely love playing with arpeggios and arp-like melodic lines, but it felt so stupid naming my project that way. So I thought of an abbreviation for ARP (I really liked doing it) – and I came up with Augmented Reality Project.’
He went on to explain the reasons for founding this new project, which also explain the obvious difference in style from Distorted Harmony:
‘I honestly don’t know who or what influenced me when I was writing “Gone (Not Here)” which is the first song I wrote for ARP. I had just started listening to deathcore (mainly Suicide Silence and Whitechapel) at that time but I don’t think I was influenced by them, yet. I’m sure Meshuggah and bands like Periphery had a big impact – and still do. Honestly, that period of time in my life is mostly a blur. I wasn’t listening to much music and I think ARP started as (and maybe still is) a mash up of everything I like and appreciate, consciously and sub-consciously.
Of course later on came ‘Somewhere’ which is a very Porcupine Tree(ish) song, that’s also around the time I started listening to what’s now my favourite band – Karnivool. “Promised” has a funny story behind it but is heavily influenced by Architects, and “Dawn Of The Restless”, our latest single, I wrote after I was introduced to Humanity’s Last Breath.’
For the recording of ARP’s début EP Gone (Not Here), Efron gathered the crème de la crème of the Israeli metal scene around him, while still writing and producing all the music by himself. This was meant to be the modus operandi for the band from the very moment it was conceived in his mind.
‘From the beginning I knew ARP was going to be my project where I write, arrange and produce the songs, then invite friends and colleagues to play ‘for me’. So when the songs were ready (there were actually 5 originally), I sent them to my friends and asked if they’d be willing to take part in my experiment. This is was my first time writing and dealing with (truly) heavy, low-tuned music and screamed vocals. We recorded everything (except for the drums) at my flat, Yogev Gabay (Distorted Harmony, Drums) who lives in Boston tracked them there and that was it. When the production and post-production was ready, I sent them to the incredible Forrester Savell and the EP was ready.’
Seeing that the music Gone (Not Here) was a satisfying and thoroughly convincing slab of progressive metal-/deathcore, it’s only natural that I had to ask Efron when we all could expect some new music to drop. His response was somewhat hesitant:
‘I just started working on a new song so hopefully soon. It’s not easy finding the time (and energy) between my work as a Producer/Engineer and working on Distorted Harmony’s third album.’
If nothing else, this statement should be reassuring for fans of Distorted Harmony. While Efron admitted that ARP definitely impacted his work in his main band, he emphasized that he will not let this new venture interfere with it too heavily – and vice versa.
‘I’m currently working on the new Distorted Harmony album (our 3rd) – and it’s obvious that ARP has influenced my style and writing, but since DH isn’t as heavy as ARP, I find myself struggling at times to balance the ‘two sides’ of me. Other than that, I see no reason these two will collide. Distorted Harmony is ‘the best thing I’ve ever done’ and will always remain so. I will not let the two interfere with each other.’
On January 5, the first Distorted Harmony Fest took place in Tel Aviv, Israel. Besides the performances of the eponymous band, Scardust, Yossi Sassi and Onoma , it also saw ARP’s first foray into the live setting, with its first full band line-up no less. About this fact, Efron said:
‘This was the perfect opportunity to get some live footage and acknowledgement for ARP as well. I gathered my mates and hoped for the best. People loved the show and music – which made us say, “Fuck it, let’s do it.” I honestly didn’t think this would happen when I first created ARP and I’m so grateful to be joined by what I can only describe as an elite-team of friends: Israel Papa (Vocals), Alon Tamir and Amit Plaschkes (Guitars), Gil Grosz (Bass) and Ron Amar (Drums).’
On this occasion, he also shared his future plans for ARP, which are surprisingly modest: ‘Staying the course of writing and releasing new songs while working on a killer live act and grow.’ But when asked about the bands he’d actually like to see his new project tour with, he gave the floor to Gil Grosz, who in turn sent the short enumeration you see below.
‘SikTh, Textures, Bermuda, Humanity’s Last Breath, Destrage, Protest The Hero, Uneven Structure, Hypno5e, Car Bomb, The Ocean, After The Burial, Vildhjarta, Thy Art Is Murder (and the list goes on and on hehe)’
So there you have it! Another new band from the Israeli metal scene, which Efron himself proclaims to be ‘absolutely fucking amazing’, to keep an eye on in the future. If you haven’t already, check out/purchase Gone (Not Here) on Bandcamp. Also, make sure to follow ARP on Facebook so you don’t miss any important updates!