If you're a fan of Israeli music then chances are you'll have come across Rockfour, the psychedelic rock trio who are one of the country's most successful bands. The Tel Aviv based band, who are influenced by the likes of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and David Bowie, have released a string of albums in both Hebrew and English, picking up loads of critical acclaim along the way.
Formed in 1988, Rockfour started life as a quartet – vocalist Eli Lu-Lai, guitarist Baruch Ben-Izhak, drummer Issar Tennenbaum and Australian-born bassist Marc Lazare. They released their debut album, Resheth Parparim, in 1991. The follow-up, Ha'ish, Shera'a Hakol, was released four years later and went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed Israeli rock albums of all time.
A third Hebrew language album, Behazara Lashablul, came out in 1996, but since then the band have swapped Hebrew for English, with their first effort, Supermarket, released in 2000. Two further albums, One Fantastic Day and Nationwide, followed, and there's a new album due later this year.
However, it'll be the first album without vocalist Lu-Lai, who quit the band in 2004. Since his departure Rockfour have continued as a trio, with Lazare supplying vocals.
The band have also been seeking success outside their home country, and have a following in the US, where two albums have been released and they've played shows. But they insist that it's the music that comes first in their case, as opposed to their nationality.
"In a way we are ambassadors," says Tennenbaum "but we don't want to ride on that responsibility, especially not politically because that's not what Rockfour is about. It's about music, it's not about representing Israel. We have enough ambassadors that are more connected to the Israeli music scene that have no problem doing what they do in Israel rather than the US... and they're fine with that. I prefer that they take that task, not Rockfour."
For more information: www.rockfour.com