For all the metal heads and hard rock junkies out there who tune out when EDM bounces through the speakers, the ones who look for the quickest route around Coachella’s Sahara Tent and The Do Lab stage in search of something a little darker and much heavier, there’s a pretty good chance that they have yet to hear RazoracK.
The Israeli-born musician and producer began making music at 11 years old, and in recent years he has been one of the few artists spearheading the genre known as “Rock Step.”
RazoracK aka Omri Efrat, has created a style of music that fuses danceable EDM beats and dub step with hardcore, screamo and heavy metal all sewn together with lyrical stories, emotive vocals and whatever he feels inclined to include in order to make a killer track.
As a producer, he has been a key contributor in developing the music for the progressive metal band Distorted Harmony’s latest album, in which he also creates and performs all of the electronic elements in the collaboration, and Evyatar Sivan’s EP “Inside the Abalone.” Several of RazoracK’s songs have also been featured on the popular YouTube Channel Vital EDM, where they’ve garnered over 50,000 views each.
RazoracK has travelled the globe performing to thousands of fans at sold out shows and festivals including Holland’s “Loud & Clear” festival, Israel’s “Hangar Night,” “Rave of Horrors,” “Extreme Sport Sail,” the Families Under Fire benefit, and many others.
A talented musician and producer with an ear for innovation, RazoracK is one of the most ingenious and exceedingly talented artists in modern music. To find out more about him make sure to check out our interview below. You can also download some of his songs for free through his SoundCloud page:
PLM: Where were you born and what was it like growing up there?
OE: I was born in Eilat, Israel. It’s a pretty small town down in the south of Israel, very far away from any other form of civilization. The actual city is amazing as a vacation or resort, but it’s pretty much impossible to have any sort of fan base from there.
PLM: When did you discover your passion for music, and how has it affected your life?
OE: Well, I’ve always been into music. I was making these weird little electronic songs when I was young, using loops and samples. When you make music for long enough it becomes everything for you, it’s all you think about and it’s what moves your day.
PLM: How many instruments do you play and how long have you been playing each?
OE: Drums – 12 years
Vocals – 4 years
Keyboard – 6 years
Computer production – 9 years
PLM: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you while Performing?
OE: Well, One time we we’re having a show in Eilat and my bass player Chez decided he wanted to join the mosh pit that was going on at the time.
He put his guitar aside and jumped into the crowd and I kept on doing my thing on stage and a half of a minute later he came back on stage holding his chin, totally bloody, saying he needed to go to the bathroom real quick. I started laughing and told him to hurry up because his part was coming up in about a minute. We finished the show, but he still wouldn’t stop bleeding so he went to the ER and sent me a picture of him next to a dude who’s head was bleeding –and that turned out to be the dude he landed on when he jumped into the crowd!
PLM: What artists inspire you the most and why?
OE: For me it changes every few months. Right now it’s Casey Crescenzo from the band The Dear Hunter. He just has a way of telling a story that is both personal and epic at the same time. More people should know about The Dear Hunter.
PLM: How would you describe your genre of music?
OE: Well people online have been calling it RockStep, combining Rock and Dubstep, but since I’m doing a lot of stuff that is not really dubstep – I like the term Electronic Rock. These are rock songs and they all have a story and a meaning, they are just built with Electronic elements instead of traditional instruments
PLM: Why have you chosen to create this kind of music?
OE: I feel like the EDM scene tends to sound very monotonic. I wanted to prove that you can have EDM elements, grooves you can dance to, and hard hitting sounds, but at the same time you can have a story, a purpose and something of which to relate to.
PLM: How has your music progressed over the years?
OE: I think the more I learn the more my music evolves. Lately I have been messing around with different scales and modulations, and I have started to give vocal harmonies a much bigger role in the songs.
PLM: Do you make all of your own music including the instruments and beats?
OE: I make everything in my music, though occasionally, I will have a guitar player helping with some tracks.
PLM: What is your favorite record or records of all time?
OE: Wow, that is an impossible question to answer haha… I listen to almost every genre so I can’t really choose, but I’ll be nostalgic and say Blink 182’s self-titled album, only because it inspired me to create my own music.
PLM: Can you tell me about some of the shows & events that you’ve performed at over the course of your career?
OE: I’ve had a lot of shows in my hometown Eilat, and they we’re really fun because it’s a home crowd so you know most of the people there.
I had a really fun show in Holland, at a festival called “Loud & Clear” at QBus, and that was really fun because we got to hang around Amsterdam the day before and after the show.
It was also very fun opening for Skazi at the Big Center in Eilat, Israel last year. I got to hang around with him a bit and he is a really chill guy. The show was great as well because I got to play some of my really heavy songs live for the first time.
Another show that was fun was GNARFest Tres Festival. It’s always fun to play my music to metal-heads because they love to mosh and go crazy and I love seeing a good mosh pit from stage.
It was great performing at the “Families Under Fire” Benefit in Yeruham, Israel because I got to perform in front of families in Israel that were, at that time, living under rockets from Gaza. It was really an amazing experience to be a part of such an amazing event and I truly felt speechless and honored to be given the opportunity to do so.
For Extreme Sport Sail I had the great honor to be part of a sail on a boat, centered about the Eilat Extreme Sport Scene. There we’re a lot of people and it was so much fun performing in the middle of the Red Sea in front of skaters and extreme sport enthusiasts.
A really interesting show that we had was at a place called The State Social House in Los Angeles earlier this year. The show was at a pretty intimate venue so we decided to create a more “chill” version of our set that focused more on deep and quieter songs. It was really great because I never got to do that sort of thing before and I actually really enjoyed being a bit more mellow for a change as I am usually a lot more aggressive and “In your face” at shows.
I also performed at a really cool production called “Rave of Horrors” in Jerusalem, Israel. It was a horror themed festival in the middle of a forest so there were a lot of people dressed up in scary costumes and we got to play really evil music and have fun on stage, after the show we just hung around the people and it felt like Halloween for grownups haha.
Another fun show was the “Hangar Night” at Hangar 72 club in Eilat. We we’re still in Jerusalem after the “Rave of Horrors” festival and we were planning to just chill and not do anything for the day, but we got a call and were given the opportunity to come and headline the event. We we’re 5 hours away and the show was set to start in 8 hours, so we decided to have fun and go with it, and we made a quick road trip to Eilat, performed, got home and collapsed as we were dead!
PLM: How do you approach the performance aspect of the shows you put on?
OE: We try to combine the EDM elements of a live show with the Rock elements of performance. So we have a set that feels like a hybrid of the two – very energetic, aggressive, and very musical but at the same time very crowd oriented and filled with electronic elements. We jam on stage a lot and improvise a lot of stuff during the show. It’s also fun cause since these are not really DJ sets we get to talk to the audience and joke with them, something that DJs aren’t allowed to do too often.
PLM: What has been your favorite event to perform at so far and why?
OE: I guess the “Loud and Clear” in Holland, mostly because it was the first show outside of Israel and it was fun speaking English with the crowd for the first time haha.
PLM: Can you tell us about some of your music videos and what inspired you to go in the directions you did with each one?
OE: Well the first music video we shot was pretty improvisational, we brought some friends and some cameras, some lights and just had fun playing the song “Enough.”
Another cool thing that happened is a few weeks after releasing the song “Tough Luck” I got an email from a production company named Panoptic Studios saying that they made a video game themed music video for it. I was blown away because it was so amazing. They also recently made another music video for my song “Dirty.”
PLM: What separates you from other artists?
OE: Well I don’t want to try and compare myself to other artists. I just like doing my thing. I believe that if you write your own music, instead of trying to write for a specific genre, your music will be so much more “real” than most of the stuff out there right now.
PLM: What’s next for you in terms of upcoming projects or events?
OE: Well I have some collaborations with some great producers, a music video and an animated music video, and some cool events coming up. You can check them all on my Facebook page:
PLM: Why do you think your fans are drawn to your music?
OE: I believe that people are drawn to the stories and maybe even the “darkness” of my music. I don’t know a lot of EDM songs that talk about Depression, Schizophrenia and facing your demons so maybe those super depressing things are what people are drawn to haha.
PLM: When did you start producing music?
OE: I used to make small techno tracks around the age of 11 using samples and loops. I later discovered different Digital Audio Workstations and started taking production more seriously.
PLM: How does producing tie all of your talents together?
OE: I’m lucky to be able to live in an era when I can actually record myself playing all those instruments and use them all in the same composition. I’m happy that I can work with programs today like Ableton Live and Pro Tools HD that allow me to actually manipulate the audio and shape it to my design.
PLM: Can you tell me about some of the artists you’ve produced and how you’ve approached “producing” their careers/music?
OE: Working with Distorted Harmony was very fun because they are the biggest progressive metal band in Israel so I really respect them and I love to work with people form the metal community. They are very open minded and enthusiastic about new ideas and new directions. When I was working with them I tried not to step on any toes and not to take over the production, but to be part of the band, which worked out great because everyone was very pleased with the fusion that we created.
I also produced a 4 song EP for Evyatar Sivan called “Inside the Abalone” and that was a really fun thing to do because Evyatars original idea was to make it mostly vocals and acoustic guitar but after some experimenting with sound design and different instrument we ended up having really huge and epic productions with many different and exotic instruments and it really gave a deep and unique tone to the production. For example we used a broken flute for the end of one of the songs and it sounded really weird at first, but after experimenting with different effects and secret sound design tricks we ended up with something that sounded like a war horn! That was really great and I love to be able to experiment with an artist because you can always find amazing things in small ideas that seem random and simple at first.
PLM: What makes you want to work with an artist as a their producer?
OE: As cliché’ as it sounds – I like to hear originality, I like to hear someone who doesn’t try to mimic a genre but just does what ever they feel is right. And you can tell when someone is writing for a genre or writing for themselves – it just sounds more interesting to me.
I also like to hear the artist’s vision. If an artist tells me that the vision of a song is to get him money – I probably won’t work with him haha. But if an artist tells me his vision is to… change the music industry help someone get over a relationship or even global domination – that’s already interesting to me.
PLM: How much musical input do you have when producing a project for an artist?
OE: I always take part in the musical side. It’s hard for me not to. When I work on a song I almost immediately hear it in my head and almost hear the next parts before they are written. That’s why it’s impossible for me to be only a recording producer that doesn’t go inside the musical writing, that’s why I always “warn” artists that their work will change and it will be a collaborating effort.
PLM: How does the producer & artist relationship work in terms of a continuing collaboration—do you sign on to do one song, an entire album, or is it an on going relationship where you continue to produce their work for an unspecified amount for as long as everyone is happy?
OE: Well it does depend on the project but usually we are very happy with one another and pretty much continue to work together. I’m still in touch with almost all of the artists I’ve produced and collaborated with and I may ask some of them for help here and there – same as they ask me. It’s good to stay in touch with other artists because you build relationships with those you trust musically and you can always help each other.
PLM: Outside of your solo work, what bands have you played with over the years?
OE: Only Distorted Harmony. I was in charge of the electronic side of the project, which means synths, electric drums and different sound design tricks.
PLM: How do you feel when you’re playing on stage? Was it something you had to get used to, or were you immediately comfortable in front of the crowd?
OE: Well, my first experiences on stage were as a drummer. So I was used to seeing the crowd through a barricade of wood and metal. After my first show as a solo artist I knew I wasn’t going back to the back of the stage.
For me being on stage is almost like a dreamy haze. It’s the most fun place in the world and it always feels like a mere second has passed even though the show could have been an hour long.
I am always comfortable there because it feels like that is the ultimate place to express myself.