Israeli folk-pop six-piece The Secret Sea is one of the more recent musical ventures of Amit Erez, a critically renowned guitarist and songwriter who’s been held in modern-legend/virtuoso status throughout Europe for quite a few years. The band came together in 2010 and could be considered a concept band. They’ve characterized themselves as “six musicians trying to show the world that there is more to their native land than war and politics.” Last year saw the release of their debut album and they recently took some time to tell us a little more about the band.
HV: So you’ve been around for a while now, but you’re still relatively unknown in the US. Is there anything you think is particularly important for fans and potential fans to know about The Secret Sea? How did you come together?
The Secret Sea: We came together when Amit Erez decided he needs a new ensemble for his songs. Dave (Bass) and Yael (Cello) were working with Amit in his previous solo albums. The rest just joined through personal and professional connections. During our work together, we honed our group sound and work method to become a real band. What’s important for anyone in the US to know is that although we don’t know when we will get the chance to tour the states in full ensemble, Amit will tour the US solo in 2015 and we’re gonna tour in Europe. So signing up to our newsletter can still be relevant to you, if you dig what we do. The signup form is on our official website at secretseamusic.com.
HV: What is it that inspired your name?
TSS: The Secret Sea is the name of one of our songs, which we feel represents many dominant themes in Amit’s lyrics in general, and we like the vibe of it. It generally means an inner self that wants to be celebrated or revealed. Everybody’s got one and can relate to that idea of self-realization and following your heart.
HV: What have been the highlights of the project, so far?
TSS: Playing live at Primavera Sound Festival 2014 in Barcelona, a landmark in our quest to reach out to the world. We’re eager to play many more festivals.
HV: How would you characterize your process of writing and recording?
TSS: Amit brings lyrics, melodies and chords. Then we all arrange the overall structure together, trying different ideas and lines until we find the perfect way for the song to shine. We enjoy making things interesting and complex, while keeping them catchy and emotionally moving.
HV: You released a self-titled LP last year. What would you cite as the album’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise?
TSS: Several artists and albums we’ve been listening to are Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, PJ Harvey, Karen O and Patrick Watson. Another influence was Amit’s fascination with making sad lyrics groove on happy music. He took a lot of his negative experiences of depression and fear through filters of uplifting sounds.
HV: Do you have a particular favorite track, whether one you’re most proud of, or just one that’s most fun to play live?
TSS: We love “Elegy” for the way it showcases our sound and abilities, and we love “Afterlife” and “Not About Us” for being pure fun to play live.
HV: What do you have planned for the second half of 2014?
TSS: We’re booking some more festival dates in Europe. A US tour is not yet booked. Amit is booking some US dates for solo shows that showcase both Secret Sea songs and previous solo material. If you happen to catch us in Europe you should expect the whole Secret Sea album, some highlights from previous Amit Erez albums, maybe a few new songs, big sound and a stage full of instruments and musicians doing what they were born to do.
HV: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TSS: We love being in touch with our listeners. Music is communication and we want to enjoy that communication outside the borders of songs and shows. We’re easy to write to and we answer. Feel free to talk to us through our official website, secretseamusic.com!
HV: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat.