Israel's Electric Zoo Takes You On A Spiritual & Psychedelic Trip

Not to be confused with NYC’s EDM festival of the same name, Electric Zoo is a psych rock, groovy and heavy band from Tel Aviv, Israel. They play music to create a spiritual escape for themselves and any lucky listener around them.

In a chat translated from hebrew to english, Electric Zoo’s Gal Davidson (guitar/vocals), Itay Manbar (drums), Ron Ephrati (bass) and Tomer Zuk (keys) discussed their sophomore LP Childhood Memories, accepting adulthood and the future of Electric Zoo.

“Your life will keep moving forward, whether you decide to grow up or not—so you have to learn to accept that,” Zuk tells BTRtoday about the album’s focus on maturity. “For me, this album’s motto is, ‘goodbye youth, hello love.’”

Read the entire interview with Electric Zoo and listen to their most recent album Childhood Memories below.

BTRtoday (BTR): How did you guys meet?

Gal Davidson (GD): Itay and I met years ago in a different band, now broken up. I met Ron through a mutual friend, and we met Tomer while playing a gig at a Wedding; we played Elvis, and it was obvious that we needed to play together.

BTR: Why the name Electric Zoo?

GD: Someone told us our show was “an electric zoo” before the project had a name and we loved it.

BTR: How did you get into this kind of psychedelic rock music?

GD:We just love psychedelic rock music.

IM: It’s what we grew up on.

GD: In the Tel Aviv music scene there is this special preserved vibe. The scene here is pretty small, but there is still room for all kinds of experimental sounds that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to have just anywhere.

BTR: Can you paint a little picture of your live sets?

Tomer Zuk (TZ): Honestly, it’s a trip. It’s constantly going in different directions. The picture changes with our mood in the moment. Sometimes dark, sometimes funky. We feed off the crowd and they feed off us. Two Electric Zoo shows can have completely different feels and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

BTR: How would your ideal live show go down?

GD:Good! (Laughs)

Ron Ephrati (RE): We love performing with a crowd we don’t know, in a town we don’t know.

IM: I would really love to play a large open space. I feel that’s when we sound best.

GD:We’re very influenced by the crowd. Our ideal live set depends on them. Like, our ideal live show would have the audience completely in synch with us.

TZ: We want to feel satisfied at the end of the day. To feel like we gave everything we had, regardless of the size of the crowd.

BTR: If your most recent album, Childhood Memories, had a motto, what would it be?

GD:There’s a line in the break of “Childhood Memories” that I feel is really the motto of the album. It goes, “all in all the blowing wind is here to stay.” It reflects a lot on the band and the music. It’s a darker album for us.

TZ:It’s not that dark. (Both chuckle.)

GD:Well, regardless of how dark, I would say, “all in all, the blowing wind is here to stay.” But if you have a better idea Tomer Zuk I urge you to say it. (Laughs)

TZ: For me, this album’s motto is, “goodbye youth, hello love.”

BTR: What do you want your listeners to feel from your music?

RE: Spiritual experience. A trip. When we were recording this album, and Me and My Machine before it, I think we all felt like we challenged ourselves to step out of our sort of comfort Zone. There’s an ongoing theme of accepting change and growing up in Childhood Memories, and it’s reflected in our sound as well.

TZ: We hope you can feel the sense of maturing and really like the world around you is going to keep moving forward. Your life will keep moving forward, whether you decide to grow up or not. So you have to learn to accept that.

RE: And honestly, sometimes it’s just a groove. I mean, we want you to want to move your head to it too. Sometimes the best thing you can wish is for people to really feel the music.

BTR: What’s each members character like?

GD: Ron is the band’s mom.

RE: (Laughing) I’m the mom.

TZ: Ron is our zen.

BTR: What does EZ have in store for the future?

TZ: We want to take our music and spread it to as many people as possible. We’re organizing a festival in Tel Aviv on Sept. 14. It’s the first time we’re organizing an event. It’s pretty big, with bands like The Great Machine, The Turbans, Elephant Hive, Love your witch and many more bands that we love—it’s going to be a huge party.

By the end of 2019, before Christmas, we’re going to release our third album, closing out a trilogy of albums. It works off of the other two as a complete narrative.

GD: I think we’re all really proud of Childhood Memories. It really feels like we explored places we haven’t gone before creatively with this album, and it’s exciting. We’re going on a European tour in March 2020, and we hope America isn’t too far behind.

(Interview translated by Adi Har-Shemesh.)