Infected Mushroom: Times change

Infected Mushroom (or Amit ‘Duvdev’ Duvdevani and Erez Eisen to their parents) blasted onto the scene in the late ‘90s with the album The Gathering, quickly followed by Classical Mushroom in 2001. If you caught them in the early days, bush-doofing away at an Earthcore, or have made the more recent trek to see them on the mainstage of the monster festival Stereosonic, no doubt you will agree Infected Mushroom is a band never short of a surprise. I caught up with Duvdev in L.A.

So whereabouts are you at the moment?

We’re travelling back from the studio at the moment, on the way home. We’re in L.A. and it’s a pretty day. Relaxing after a crazy week: we went from China to Israel to Wisconsin and now back to L.A.

You have come out to Australia on a pretty regular basis, most recently touring with Stereosonic. What have been some of your most memorable moments?

You know Stereosonic is one of my most favourite festivals on the planet. I am good friends with the organisers and not only that, the artists get to stay for a week together in Australia. We usually don’t have that in the rest of the world. So you know, it’s party, party, party all the time and I love it.

The artists on the Stereosonic tour are always talking about it. I flew from Germany a couple of days ago with Zedd and we talked about being at Stereosonic. We’re looking forward to being with all our friends. Everyone is going to be there, so yeah, I’m super stoked.

Can you remember when your first gig in Australia was?

Wow, that’s a tricky question. Back in the early 2000s, I think. You know, I used to do Earthcore and those kind of parties back in the day. So many years ago!

Dance music seems finally to have taken off in a big way in the States. What do you think of this sudden popularity?

Well you know there are good aspects of it and bad aspects of it. The good aspects are there are so many more events and more people are getting into electronic music. The bad aspect of it, in my opinion, is that dance music is also pop to many people today, and there are a lot who don’t really see the difference. That’s bad. But you know what, that’s the price of being mainstream. So in the overall picture I think we’re in a good position today.

Love the title of your new album, Army of Mushrooms – tell us about it.

This album is a little more back to the electronic roots after two heavy kind of metal albums, Vicious Delicious and Legend of the Black Shawarma. For this album we listened to a lot of young producers like Zedd from Germany and Skrillex and said “we love this stuff”. So we did a little bit of everything and this is what we came up with.

Your new album has lots of different directions, including the Foo Fighters cover, drum & bass, dubstep, lots of quick edits, synth and just good hard techno. How do you feel you have evolved, especially over the last three or four years?

At the moment we are more current and more listening to the young producers who are putting amazing stuff out there. For me, for many years, I was kind of fed up with electronic music because it was staying at one point, but lately I am so happy that there are young producers who are really taking it to the extreme in many genres like dubstep.

I am also really fond of glitch-hop at the moment. One of the best glitch hop artists is Opiuo from Melbourne; he is amazing you know? So there is a lot of new stuff that is pushing it to the edge of what Infected Mushroom is all about so we’re really happy with what’s going on.

You are coming down to Australia for Stereosonic later in the year. You have been a regular at this festival the last few years. What can we expect in 2012?

Definitely a live experience. We come with the whole band, a new stage show and a lot of brand new tracks that no-one has heard before. I have almost like eight tracks ready and I am really dying to check them out on the dancefloor. And for us it’s always a competition – who brings the track, who brings the new stuff. Stereosonic is always a great opportunity not only to play for the crowd, but also to play for my DJ friends. So I’m bringing the guns to Australia!

Are you able to choose one or two tracks that you have produced that are your sentimental favourites or closest to your heart?

One of them would be The Messenger that we have re-made on the last album. The original is the classic though and will always be a favourite of mine. The other is probably I Wish. The original version is another that will always be a favourite of mine. But you know, every year I change my opinion, these are the two that I like for now and next year if you ask me I’ll probably give you different ones.

What kind of music is on your iPod at the moment?

A lot of glitch hop, Opiuo, some Skrillex stuff. Also some heavy metal like Tool and Pantera, System of a Down, some chillout music, some old school hip hop music and some Israeli Hebrew music which is my first language.