Eyal Levi
Model(s) Used: ICT
Band: Daath
Ibanez: How did the recent shows in Japan go for you guys?
Eyal: I think that was our best tour or my favorite one other than Ozzfest. We were surprised by how crazy the kids went, but they pay attention to everything. We only did about three interviews for Japan before we went over there, but obviously the kids read them and knew all about us. They knew about our self-released album, all our songs, all our lyrics. It was crazy.

Ibanez: Have you guys made any changes to the way that you play the material from the album after touring so much over the past few months?
Eyal: See the thing is we didn't do the record with Kevin Talley except for two of the songs. So now that he's really comfortable with the songs, the drums have definitely been improved. Our old drummer¡Älet's just say that he lacked in the creativity and skills department. You get someone like Kevin on there, and we just give him free reign because he rules. So basically he's improving things, and we play to him. So we've changed things a little bit, but there's nothing major. If we were to go in and record the album now, I think it would be twice as good.

Ibanez: How did Daath get started?
Eyal: It started when I decided that I hated Berklee. I called Mike and said, "Let's start some weird death metal project." That was in 2001. So I came to Atlanta, and we started working. It took about three years for it to go beyond just me and him in the basement with a Pod and a SoundBlaster sound card. That's when we started to actually get other people involved. I'd say that it's been a very slow and gradual build, even since we got signed. It's just been slowly picking up.

Ibanez: That's not cool if you're impatient, but it seems like it paid off in the end.
Eyal: I'm both patient and impatient. Put me in line somewhere, and I'll go crazy. Tell me that it's going to take 10 years to make something happen, and I'm cool with it.

Ibanez: I know you had a brief stint in Arsis as well. How is playing guitar in Daath different from Arsis?
Eyal: Their stuff is a lot flashier. So I definitely have to be looking at the fretboard a lot more, but also a lot of it is across the fretboard. In Daath, we play kind of Mastodon-style, up and down the fretboard. There's different aspects that are difficult. In Arsis since it's faster and flashier, you have to keep your brain occupied with memorization a lot more. With Daath, it's a lot more about tone and attitude. The fewer notes you have, the less margin for error you have. Every note means more when there's less notes. When I played with Arsis, I could miss a note here or there and still be fine. I do that with Daath, and everybody knows and I get ragged on [laughs]. Arsis is just a different kind of difficulty.

Ibanez: What drew you to the SZ as your guitar of choice?
Eyal: It's black, and it has a fixed bridge [laughs]. I was having a lot of tone problems before, and I felt like my tone on other guitars that I played was either too shrilly or too woofy. I feel like on the SZ my tone has finally straightened out. The SZs are very playable for my style. I don't go with super low action or super light strings or scalloped frets or any of that shredder stuff. I go for a pretty standard setup. Since we detune, that can sometimes cause problems. I haven't had any whatsoever with the SZs. The intonation is always great. They stay in tune. They play great. I have no problems playing any of my stuff, and it's really easy to get a good tone with anything I plug into.

Ibanez: The songwriting is really intricate on The Hinderers. What's the process that you guys go through to write new material?
Eyal: Do you want to know the real answer? We get fucked up a lot [laughs]. We experiment, and then we get into an experimental kind of mood with our playing. We record stuff, and then we record stuff some more. Then we send it back and forth. Then, we rail each others ideas, and then rail each others ideas some more. Then, we go back and forth some more and get more fucked up and rail our ideas some more. Maybe about two months later we have a song. So now that's going to happen, except it's going to happen with Kevin Talley involved. So it should be interesting.

Ibanez: What's coming up next for Daath?
Eyal: We're going to finish the Dark Funeral tour, and then we're going to write the new album called "The Concealers".

Ibanez: Have you guys already started working on material?
Eyal: Yeah. We have like nine songs that are underway. We're going to try to do the pop method of writing by writing way too much music and then picking the best thirteen songs.

Ibanez: Do you have any advice for young musicians?
Eyal: Yes. My advice is focus on your songwriting, don't play with crappy musicians, don't sign up for any local band competitions, and sacrifice everything.

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