Özgür Ögret of Turkey's Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review recently conducted an interview with Kobi Farhi, vocalist of Israel's progressive folk metal masters ORPHANED LAND, about the band's highly anticipated fourth studio opus, "The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR", which is scheduled for release in Europe on January 25, 2010 and in the U.S. on February 9 via Century Media Records.
On who "ORwarriOR" is:
"The ORwarriOR is not some kind of heroic messiah or a hero we do not know. The ORwarriOR is you, me and everyone that is listening to the album. This is an album that is actually speaks about [the listener] personally."
On living in a land where much blood has been spilled for centuries in name of the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity:
"We are living in a very big spiritual darkness. If I put you in a dark room and you are not able to see anything, you would have a lot of questions in your head: 'Where am I?' 'What is this room?' 'Where is the door?' and if I would give you a small match, you could see the whole room. Just with a small amount of light. We believe that in the darkness you would have a lot of questions and in the light you could see more of the answers, more of the truth. We believe that when our inner light is turned on, we understand that we are all one. Turkish, Israeli, Philistine, Arab, whatever. You would see that it is just a big, stupid mistake."
On receiving lots of threats or criticism from both sides of the Middle East struggle over the years:
"We never take any side or get involved in politics. I think what we are doing is helping our tragedy in the world, and if you ask me if I am willing to die for our message, I do not want to die, but I do not care if I have to."
On the criticism ORPHANED LAND has received for its new promo picture (see below) in which Farhi is dressed as Jesus Christ and is standing next to their female vocalist, Hadas Sasi, who is the Virgin Mary in the picture (two of the remaining four members are dressed as Jews, praying in the Muslim way while the other two, dressed as Arabs, are reading the Hebrew bible):
"The three Abrahamic religions have been killing each other for centuries while holding the books that are supposed to teach us about morality, tolerance and friendship, and you are saying we are ridiculous? I really like religion, but I do not like what people made out of religion."
On how religious people could learn a lesson from the global metal community as it does not care about ethnic and religious backgrounds:
"Just come to see the ORPHANED LAND shows in Turkey. Come to see how ORPHANED LAND sings in Turkish and how sometimes the Turkish fans sing with ORPHANED LAND in Hebrew. A priest, a rabbi or a sheikh: If you do not believe in the utopia ORPHANED LAND can create with its music, if you cannot get along, the metal people can show you how to do it."
On how a lasting peace could occur in the Middle East:
"I will say that the only way to open our eyes is music. People tell me, 'You're naïve' and 'You are a dreamer,' but this is a fact. My music creates bridges between nations. I would say we are succeeding where politicians fail."
"[Our fans] are the future. They are liberal, they are open-minded, they do not want to kill you because of your religion. They know religion is about other things than killing each other in the name of God. There is no other way than music to educate ourselves and listen to each other."
Read the entire interview from Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.