Sassy commentator on music, art, and culture.

INTERVIEW: Tel Aviv’s theAngelcy

Photo by David Pearl

theAngelcy aren’t well known in the international music scene, but all of that is about to change. With a recent hometown gig opening for the beloved Calexico, the brain child of Rotem Bar Or is ready to make waves.

Very recently I had an office debate. The topic? How would you categorize ‘theAngelcy’? Frankly, their sound is rather hard to pin down. I’ve heard a Bob Dylan and Beirut reference, but at the end of it all theAngelcy are bringing something fresh and unique to the scene.

Not much is known about the band so given the opportunity to speak with Rotem, I jumped!

Cori Spelling: Let’s start off by explaining what theAngelcy means and represent to you?

Rotem Bar Or: theAngelcy is an agency of angels. It’s because we’re on a mission to do good. Or maybe it’s ironic. I’m not sure. Might be a trap. Or a sad little joke.

CS: There is a lot of mystery behind where and what you were doing before you started theAngelcy. Can you clear the air and give us a little bit of history?
Rotem:  I did a lot of things. I was a restaurant manager in London, it was a Kosher oriental restaurant. I was a homeless street musician in Europe for some months. I’ve bathed in rivers and slept in parks. I was living in an ecological farm. I was a soldier. I worked with groups of rebels from Nigeria trying to let go of arms and become farmers. I guess I’m sort of a traveller. I never belong to any of these places or worlds. I’m a tourist.
CS: There seems to be a little bit of folk, jazz, and psychedelia mixed into your music. Would you say that is accurate? What artists have influenced your work?

Rotem: I guess I’m influenced by all the music I’ve ever loved during my life. It’s a very eclectic range – I like to change the scenery around me once in a while, including the musical one. As I said, I’m a tourist. And let’s keep in mind there are five other people in the band so it’s always an interesting mixture.

CS: Does life in Tel Aviv serve as a source of inspiration for the music?

Rotem: Everything is an inspiration for the music we create. It’s hard for me to put my finger on it. I’ve only just begun to feel at home here.

CS: Has the band toured outside of Israel? Are there any upcoming plans to take the music abroad?

Rotem: We have just been booked for our first concert abroad ever! We will play at Galapagai Festival in Lithuania this coming August. It’s a festival taking place in an island in the middle of a lake. How cool is that!
CS: If you could go on tour with any contemporary artist/band right now, who would it be?

Rotem: I never thought about this. Hard to tell. We recently had great fun with Calexico in Israel. They are very sweet, they’re great musicians, and they create a very friendly atmosphere. I think that goes a long way. It’s all personal.

CS: Can you describe your live show in one kick-ass word?

Rotem: Honest.

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