Translated by Gil Kormos
Written by: Honeysuckle
It’s always nice to know that outside all the tumult in the world, people are still making music. Israeli Kfir Rimoch has been rockin out with his band, THE GIANT LIZARDS FROM PLANET NIBIRU, since 2010. A space mix of stoner rock from the 70s and psy-trance; they are heavily influenced by the British band, Hawkind.
I met Rimoch in the early 2000’s in Tel Aviv. He was playing in a punk band ‘The Pickles.’ Being one of the more gregarious people I knew, I was amused but not shocked when I saw his long, thick, wavy dark hair beneath a top hat. He stood out even in the stylized B-movie vids I saw online. It caught my attention. They were cool and I wanted to know more about him, so I asked.
Raised in the beach-town of Yavne, Rimoch started The Giant lizards from Planet Nibiru with his younger brother, Israel Rimoch – a DJ who plays “Goa Trance” at raves. Rimoch was as an archeology and biblical studies student at Tel Aviv University at the time. Music combined with speculation about dogma, tradition and religion formed the themes of the band.
“My brother and I built a studio in our house composed of synthesizers, guitars and drum machines. We recorded song after song late into the nights. We posted them online and the songs immediately became kind of cult.”
Soon after he found “Shekel Productions” (meaning dollar in Hebrew) with the intention to make artistic music videos in B Movie style without spending any money on production.
Their live performances have become more ancient Eastern ritual than conventional concert, with effects such as Theremins accompanied by frenetic video-subversive art and space costumes.
As a Jew, with friends and family who were most likely killed in the Holocaust or recent wars, I couldn’t help but wonder if their songs were also political, with titles like ‘Bad Alien’, ‘The Blood of a Christian Child’ and ‘Nazi’s in Space‘.
“Reality in Israel is insane,” Rimoch said. “From the day I was born I was promised things would be better. That there would be peace, that I would not have to go into the army and there would be no wars. Nothing changed and the situation has not become any better. Religion waits for you in every corner, like heroin.
In Israel we feel we have a lot of responsibility. Sometimes leaving is not an option and it’s hard to find an escape.
“I grew up in a mixed neighborhood in the 80’s in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv. Until age 6, I didn’t know the difference between a Jew or an Arab.
“When my parents moved to the beach town of Yavne after the Gulf War, it was full of beautiful girls, psychedelic drugs and raves in the sand dunes. In the background punk, metal and grunge started showing up from overseas. All this gave me a lot of inspiration to write and perform.”
In Yavne, Rimoch founded THE PICKLES, stoner songs about the distress of living the suburbs in the days following the Gulf War and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Their biggest inspiration at the time was The BUTTHOLE SURFERS. In 2006 – they finally released their first album.
“Most people in the country do not know and do not understand what the Lizards are all about. People without humor, without self-criticism, full of arrogance, and lack of self-awareness. When they are introduced to our art, it becomes a conflict. This is my favorite audience.”
He has recently begun producing music festivals across the country.
“In these festivals I combine the best underground artists who bring different styles and flavors from around the world. The alternative rock scene in Israel is one of the best music scenes in the country. There are very special people with tremendous talent. Of course, some of the people of the world think that Israel is just a desert with camels and terrorist attacks.”
He said he chose the name The Giant Lizards from Planet Nibiru because it is long. The name comes from the Sumerian civilization existed 4500 years ago.
“It is a name that takes you to faraway places, an unpleasant name that stimulates the mind. The Lizards come from a different planet and are able to see the human race more clearly. They are not on anyone’s side.”
To Rimoch, who lives in the midst of an age old battle between defense and war, this concept presents some serious questions:
“Is the evil that is happening now something that we should fight against or we are just interfering with a process that began thousands of years ago. Is the fact that I think everybody should respect the other a deflection and am I actually hindering the process with all of my good intentions?”