Oh yes, it’s that time of year again when we ask Eurovision acts across the continent very nicely if they’ll talk to us. While some take no notice, issue a hollow laugh of derision and then take no notice, or demand a fee for their troubles (er, no) others actually quite like the idea, and do indeed take the time to answer our nosy questions. And first out of the bag this year are Israel’s Izabo, who not only deserve a big round of applause for being generally fab, but also for being the first Israeli act ever to face the Eurovision Blog interrogation. Over to the band’s keyboard player Shiri Hadar:
Introduce yourselves and tell us how you ended up representing Israel in Eurovision this year!
We are Izabo! A four piece band including Ran Shem Tov and Myself, Shiri Hadar, we are also husband and wife and just had our new baby girl 4 months ago, called Eli! Ran is the creator of the Music, he produces and Mixes everything aswell as playing Guitar and lead locals. I play keyboard, Jonathan Levi the redhead is our bass player and Nir Manzur is the crazy drummer. we all sing aswell. we are not really sure how we ended up representing Israel this year in the Eurovision to be honest, since its a very suprising choice to take us, being a left field band that are known to be more alternative Musicians. but we were very happy to hear that we were chosen, we believe Eurovision doesn’t have to mean you’re not a good musician. Remember Abba started there!!!! 🙂
Are you looking forward to going to Baku? What can we expect from your stage show?
We are looking forward, and working towards this trip. I think you can expect on the stage show that we will stay Izabo. We are a funk rock band and that is not going to change, we won’t be dancing dressed like clowns, I think being authentic is the most important thing, I hope people will relate.
Israel failed to make it out of the semi-final last year, how do you plan to change that this year?
I can’t say that it will change this year, all i can say is that we are doing our best for that to happen. all we can do is put on the best performance of the song on stage, and again, hope that people will relate to what we are doing.
Which of this year’s other entries do you rate? Since we’ve been working so hard, we didn’t have too much time to go over all the songs.. we really like the Turkish entry. and we know he loves Izabo aswell as he wrote us. England is interesting!
How have your fans reacted to your impending appearance in Eurovision? Have you also found that you now have a lot of new ones? Our fans were like us, suprised at the beginning, but everyone are loving it! everyone loves the song and being so supportive. all the “Music Lovers” around here are supporting us bringing something good to this show.
Ran mentioned in a previous interview that part of his family is from Azerbaijan. Did that influence your decision to represent Israel and will you be getting in touch with your roots while you’re there?
We didn’t know where the Eurovision is this year when we sent the song (hehe we’re not news type of people as you can notice) but when we realized it was amazing. I think it will be very interesting to see what the place looks like and even try and locate the area where Ran’s family grew up in.
You came over here in 2004 after the release of the Morning Hero EP, do you have any plans to play in the UK again?Yes most definitely!!!! We signed with 100% Records over in the UK last year. and a few months ago we released a free 3 track EP, which you could download in our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IzaboPage
Our first Single in the UK “I Like It” will be out this May! very excited about it. you can already check out the new video for the song over here:
The whole album “Life is on my side” will be released in the UK May 24th. After that we are planning to be in the UK as much as we will be wanted for!
Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke, an attitude which a lot of us are trying to change. How is it regarded in Israel? It’s pretty much the same over here in Israel. it’s a shame really. because Eurovision could be a huge celebration of great music from all around the world. I think it used to be that years ago.. but nowdays it’s less about the music…thats what we understand. This is why we believe we are bringing something different to this year’s ESC. Crossing figures that it will stick out and do a great job.
Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it, and our somewhat older representative? Any chance of some points? (please…..:)) Well, I don’t think that we will have too much input on the votes from Israel hehe…but i’m sure it will do great this year! We give your our personal vote 🙂
And finally, tell me why Israel should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2013 and which city would you choose to host it? Cause the weather here is the best in Europe? Great food? Amazing beach? All we can do is do our best and hope for the best outcome. either way, we are happy with the experience and with every new Izabo fan that it’s bringing along. it’s all about spreading your Music!!!