ORPHANED LAND incorporates Middle Eastern influences into nearly all of its songs and is considered the premier metal band in Israel. They also regularly critique religion and politics, with singer Kobi Farhi telling New Statesman in a recent interview that he avoids adopting straightforward political stances. “Look, I don’t like the current Israeli government,” he explained, “but people make the mistake of thinking we are left wing. We are not. We are not right wing either. We don’t like politicians and their corruption.”
ORPHANED LAND boasts a large and devoted following of both Jews and Arabs. What’s more, the band made headlines in 2013 by touring with Palestinian metal outfit KHALAS. The two bands shared a tour bus, a stage and even the prestigious Metal Hammer award.
Asked by New Statesman whether he would accept that being Israeli puts him in a privileged position compared to the Palestinians, Kobi said: “To be Jewish is not privilege! Look at our history. We are boycotted across the Middle East. We have fans in Egypt, but we can’t play for them. And it’s just a car drive away!”
ORPHANED LAND has been around since 1991 and has supported METALLICA in Israel. In 2012, ORPHANED LAND‘s fans even started an online petition to nominate the band for the Nobel Peace Prize.
ORPHANED LAND‘s latest album, “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs”, was released on January 26 via Century Media.