The Tel-Aviv, Israel Based Band, MASZER Chats With All Access About Their Debut EP, “Dreamsz” And More!
Posted On 07 Apr 2016
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Black Sabbath, Boise, Buitar, Dionysus Records, Dreamz, Frank Black, Geezer, Hebrew, Israel, Joseph Braley, Katie Blackstock, KEXP, Maszer, Pixies, Reignwolf, Seattle, STITCX, Stitcx Magnificent Bandcave, Tel Aviv, The Mother's Anger, Tomer-David Rapaport, Treefort Festival
Maszer is made up of Tomer-David Rapaport (aka STITCX). He arrived in the US from Tel-Aviv ten years ago and cut his teeth in America as he toured relentlessly with his band The Mother’s Anger (Dionysus Records).
In the last three years David, along with drummer Joseph Braley, took on world tours, opening for Black Sabbath and Pixies as well as playing major festivals and shows all over the world with Reignwolf. Inspired by those years of musical excitement, David has spent the past year in his studio writing over a hundred songs in preparation for the next musical leaping point. Teaming with long time friend and captivating Seattle based singer Katie Blackstock, the trio have dubbed themselves MASZER.
The name means ‘tithing’ in Hebrew, and is far from a cast-off name; it’s a principle for operation as a creative entity. The band is committed to donating at least 10% of its profits specifically to fellow bands and artists, as a means of uplifting those in their orbit.
Learn more about Maszer in the following All Access interview:
Thanks so much for your time today! So, now that we are 2 full months into 2016, how’s the year been treating the band so far?
It’s a good, exciting time for MASZER. We have released a few singles and got great response, especially excited that three of them have been played on KEXP playlists. Been counting the minutes for the release of the Dreamsz EP and can’t wait to tour with it this year.
Can you talk about how MASZER was first formed? Where exactly did your name come from? What other names were you considering and why did Maszer win out?
Oh man, the endless list of names! So much fun to get creative with it but one hard choice to make! Many names were considered, but you can only marry one and we felt that MASZER could represent us well. The band started from a void after being back home from very extensive world-wide tours. It was truly exciting time when something new and unfamiliar is born, taking a fresh approach to writing and really do our very best to come up with music that will get to people’s hearts. Month after month, the project evolved and it’s continuing to evolve. We have a lot of songs in the works!
Later this month, you will be releasing your debut EP, “Dreamsz”. How does that feel? Can you talk about the recording process of this collection? How long were you working on this material?
Pretty much the whole of 2015. We’re lucky to have great friends in Seattle that stepped in and helped us with some studio time, but mostly it was done in my home studio, I call it “Stitcx’s Magnificent bandcave” and I cooked songs in there every night until the sun would come up. It feels great to hit a finish line, releasing, having a toast and starting a new journey for next MASZER record.
How do you think being from Tel Aviv, Israel has influenced the band’s sound and really you as an artist?
Quite a lot, I’m sure. I think it’s mostly subconscious, speaking the language and being from a certain culture just penetrates into your playing and songwriting, it’s unavoidable. I usually joke that I’ve been Americanized, and I’m definitely a bit more polite and act with more patience but as they say you can get the boy out of the hood, but you can’t get the hood out of the boy. It’s very culturally diverse over there, we love how we can mix it all into MASZER and get away with it.
Where do you think you are happiest- on stage performing, working on new material in the studio or elsewhere?
Undoubtedly on stage, that’s where you truly feel the moment and can get lost in the songs. The studio has some magic moments when things click or a new parts shows up, that perfect sound shows up and you get to sit back and exhale, which feels incredible, but mostly it’s research work, plugins and parts, and putting it all together. It’s fun work, don’t get me wrong, but on stage, from the moment we step in front of the crowd until we’re sweaty hugging backstage we’re pretty much in a different place, floating somewhere, closer to heaven, and we can’t just get enough of that..
Along with your drummer, Joseph Braley, you’ve been on world tours and opened for bands like Black Sabbath and Pixies. What was a favorite memory of yours from that time in your life? Is there anything that you would have changed about those experiences?
Oh man, I have a lot of great stories from these tours. With Black Sabbath, the day Geezer came over and talked to me about our performance and my “Buitar” and how he liked the setup, it was almost surreal. With the Pixies it was after a festival show in Europe, our whole crew was in the van ready to leave to the next town and I said bye to Frank Black and he followed me to say bye to everyone and looked into the van and someone in the crew was looking at porn stuff. We all had a really good laugh.
Can you elaborate on how you will be donating at least 10% of your profits to fellow bands and artists? Why did you decided to do this?
First of all, we are very fortunate to have friends and fans supporting us and we want to pay it forward. We are all social minded, if our friends are hurting, we are hurting, and it seems like right now everyone is hurting. Seattle scene has a lot of support for each other and we want to do our part in supporting the good and influencing others to do the same. If everyone in this country would take that approach this place would be heaven. We really hope the band would have a chance to make a difference.
Who have been some of your favorite artists that have continued to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?
Long list! Don’t know where to start. Do you mean like my wildest dreams? (Laughter) I can’t answer this question, I’ll think about it for days now. But for sure we are severly influenced by Seattle bands more than anything. Then Tel Aviv bands. Then British. My gawd, what’s in their water over there!
Where can fans see you perform next? Where are you looking forward to playing at next?
MASZER plays a Seattle EP release show on the 18th with a bunch of friends, that would be extra special for us, followed by two shows at Treefort Festival in Boise and EP release show in Portland, and then next month we’ll be down in Cali, San Francisco, San Diego and LA.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope fans take away from your songs?
Some comfort, some happiness, some reassurance. And good time listening. I tried to back off a bit with hard hitting social and political stuff like we did in Mother’s Anger but we tend to engage in writing about some things that are close to our heart such as women’s rights, poverty, racism and the possibilities for another world. Dreamsz…
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about the band and/or your music?
Stay tuned for some really exciting jams we’re currently working on. And that MASZER lovesz you so be good to yourself.