Israeli singer and songwriter Mosh Werner aka Mosh has been working on what’s become Unbreakable Wall for a very long time. On this 10-track alternative rock debut album, Mosh, in his own words, “breathes life into his songs with emotionally honest and direct lyrics.” Grasping themes that concern both personal and general, with Unbreakable Wall Werner creates a strong statement.
The album was released last month as digital download, and is also available as a limited edition vinyl. About the record itself, his decision to put it out on vinyl, his working chemistry, and more, Mosh talks in a new interview for Vinyl Sphere.
Describe the musical vision propelling your debut album Unbreakable Wall.
My vision is to make you feel emotions, such as happiness, comfort and sadness. I like my music to be authentic and honest. When I make music I communicate with others, this is my truest self. There are no boundaries. When I started working on Unbreakable Wall, I explained this to my producer, Guy Levy, and he opened a range of possibilities to take the songs towards and after getting to know each other taste better, we understood what worked for us and what each song needed.
What made this the right time to pursue that vision?
It took me years to become a whole, as a person and as a musician. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel scared, I wanted to fully express myself, and there was no better way to do so.
Tell me about what you’re communicating with the album cover.
The cover represents an aspect from my youth. I’m the man in red, I’m surrounded by a crowd of people, yet I’m feeling lonely. I’ve often talked about this feeling with Ray Marrero who made the album artwork, an incredible piece of work I must say. This is one representation of the unbreakable wall.
What was the creative process for Unbreakable Wall like?
Most of the songs in the album were written years ago. l finally took them to Guy, and we created sketches for a full band assembly, then we selected the musicians for live recording. It was important to us that album would to be recorded altogether.
Speaking of the album’s creative process, provide some insight into it. How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
We had 4 recordings for each song. The first one is my own recording with a guitar, a cellphone quality record. The 2nd recording was the sketch me and Guy Levy created in the studio after listening to the first recording. The 3rd recording was the live recording from the rehearsal room, where we listened and improved on the fly. The final recording was the grand finale of the process, after understanding each instrument role, we recorded the final mixes.
Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?
Yes, this was very important to Guy, the development of the song. This is where I mostly learned from Guy, the way he knows to assemble songs and fit the pieces are magnificent in my opinion. Some of the songs starts with a big boom and then calm down and rise again until there’s another eruption. Several songs begin quiet and get stronger along with the octave that rises, which gives the song a lot more intention and meaning. This is one of the elements that distinguish almost the entire album.
Did the environment in any way influence the vibe the album transcends?
I would say that the environment has influenced my lyrics, as for the vibe, well, there is a sense of connection between the songs, because these songs are representing my maturation process. I think the variety of genres represents a youth mentality that is often erratic.
Tell me about the gear you used for creating Unbreakable Wall. How did you achieve all these tones?
We mostly used acoustic instruments, as most of the album is analogous to its essence. We did of course steer from that direction when needed, for instance, the distorted harmonica in “Keep On Moving,” the crazy effects in “You and Me.” Sometimes we asked the players to try and play in an unconventional approach in order to create a specific agenda.
Speaking of gear, what is your view on technology in music?
I think it’s a great thing, but often used too much, the important thing is to find the right balance. I haven’t used much technology on this album, but it doesn’t say I won’t do so in the future.
How many instruments do you play?
I only play the acoustic guitar, it is a part me. I would love to learn bass guitar and piano, maybe in the future, who knows?
What is your favourite piece of gear or the one that makes your life easier?
You can already guess. I used to travel with my acoustic guitar throughout the east, I even slept side to side on trains in India. It makes my life easier because I can express myself when playing.
How do you usually go about creating a new song?
Writing a new song is not an easy task. I don’t just write when I feel like it, I need to be in the right mood, I need to be isolated and free to experience. When that happens, I find my muse and just play with my guitar until something clicks, sometimes it doesn’t and I go on with my day, but sometimes, “magic” occurs, I suddenly feel euphoric, I know that I’m on to something new and exciting and I just play and play until I find the right melody and I start to compose. The lyrics come afterwards for the most part, I need inspiration and a clear understanding on the subject I want to write about, but this takes a lot of time and patience.
Which bands or artists influence your work?
I try to take things from artists I love, and my first love was “Blind Melon” and Shannon Hoon, the singer in particular. There was something authentic and honest about him. I felt his pain through the music and lyrics and I try to follow the same. The next inspiration is Dave Matthews, his music has been a big part of the “growth” as a musician. I love the variety and depth in his music, he uses a lot of instruments and I really enjoy that. The latest inspiration for me is Wilco, there’s something soft and beautiful about their music, they prove for me that songs don’t need to sophisticated, they just need to be fun to listen to.
Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?
Yes, music serves a much bigger role, it brings comfort, joy and even anger to people. Listening to music is not just a treat to your ears, it’s also a treat to your soul and a way to connect with other persons. I wish I could bring people closer with my music and help them express themselves, I believe that people can relate to my music.
Unbreakable Wall is available as digital download and also in physical form as 12” Transparent Blue vinyl. What in particular made you gravitate towards this format?
I think music is best appreciated on a vinyl. There’s no way to experience music like on a turn table, the sound is unmatched. Having a vinyl record does bring out a statement, it shows how you appreciate music and art.
The vinyl edition of the album doesn’t feature the third track “All I’ve Got,” which is part of the digital version. What is the reason behind that?
That was a hard decision. I had to remove one track in order to maintain a high-quality record, it was either removing a track or editing another. “All I’ve Got” is the first song I wrote, and the song I sang to my wife on our wedding. This is probably the happiest song out of the bunch and for some reason, I felt that I could let it go. I was never pleased with removing it, but I don’t think it hurt the record’s balance.
Do you also maintain your personal vinyl collection, and if so when did you start collecting vinyl? How large is your collection?
I am a new comer looking to expand his collection of vinyl, it is a real gem having many records. Currently, I only have around 50-100 records, but in hoping to multiply that a few times in the next following years.
With the album out, what else do you have in the pipeline?
I have a few songs in my native language that I want to work on with a female singer song writer whom I’m still looking for. Other than that, I have a few new songs, some are already implemented in my live shows and some are still kept in the oven. I would love to come back to the studio once I gather enough new experiences.