Because the blues is closer to
jazz than metal?
How did your current
In Israel, I used to do jazz gigs
and a lot of recording with pop
artists. At one point, I wasn’t
getting many calls to do jazz
gigs, so I became a bandleader.
At first, I would do all Wes
Montgomery, but once I decid-
ed to do a real electric thing I
got a trio and we would play
Stevie Ray Vaughan-style stuff.
But, instrumentally, I got bored
after a few months of that. So
I added instrumental versions
of Stevie Wonder and James
Brown tunes. Then I got bored
again, because I was restricting
myself to the basic blues vocab-
ulary. I thought, “What would
happen if I just started playing
some of my bebop stuff over it?”
That’s when it all came together:
I had my electric rock sound,
the grooves weren’t really swing,
and I was playing a mix of any
style I wanted to—whether it
was rock, bebop, or whatever.
That is still basically the concept
of the band to this day.
When did you get into effects?
I was always into sounds. I used to
have racks in the ’80s, but I really
started to get into effects after I
started writing my own music.
When did you start writing
your own tunes?
I was writing in Israel. Then
I started to write for my band
here. I was playing at the Bitter
End about twice a month until
after I recorded my first record
in 2001, then I started playing
there every week.
That was some band: Will Lee
and Anton Fig.
I got introduced to Anton at
this musician’s hangout, The
Bar Bat. Anton and Keith
Carlock [Sting, Steely Dan]
played drums with me from
the beginning. Bassist Reggie
Washington [Branford Marsalis,
D’Angelo] played on most of
the first album. I knew Will Lee
a little. He saw me at a gig and
said, “Why don’t you call me
to play your gig?” I had always
wanted to call him, but hey—
he was Will Lee! Then Reggie
couldn’t make a gig, so I called
Will and that was it. Until now,