Useless ID: That Hard-Working, Real-Deal Band From Israel
The political statement in "Misconception" is a force to be reckoned with, but don't let one song sum up the entire band. "There's more to our band than politics, so we deal with it, but don't want to be 100% recognized as the political band from the Middle East," says guitarist Ishay Berger. "We're much more into being that hard-working, real-deal band from Israel."
Useless ID's music doesn't jump out as being Israeli. Unlike some of the other punk groups featured in the 2006 documentary Jericho's Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land, Useless ID sings in English. Singer Yotam Ben Horin spent part of his childhood in New York and lacks any kind of detectable accent.
And Useless ID's career path is unique. The Lost Broken Bones is the fourth Useless ID album recorded in the U.S., and Berger says that in Israel, it'd be impossible to have "a producer that knows this type of musical aggression and can make it sound in control without losing the basic energy." The band recently toured China and Japan, will soon be in Russia, and hope to come back to the U.S. at some point. Berger says that Useless ID has played in more places than any other Israeli artist, punk or not. As Berger points out, no other Israeli punk band has ever released five albums on U.S. labels!
Last but not least, Useless ID is adamantly pro-vegetarian and pro-animal rights. Their Web site refers fans to several other animal protection organizations, and the lyric book for The Lost Broken Bones directs fans to PETA's site. (The band's site also notes how falafel is "the fuel and the main force behind" Useless ID.) Says Berger:
We feel that it's legitimate to let people know that we don't eat meat and going against the cruel industry that we always hated. If people don't want to hear about it, it's a good enough reason to inform them about what's the alternative to a cruel, mindless lifestyle. We don't push anything down anyone's throat, though; we just feel it's important to be somewhat vocal about it, 'cuz after all, I think bands like Conflict had a lot to [do] with why I've been a vegetarian for most of my life, so it's a good tradition, I think.heebnvegan gives The Lost Broken Bones two big thumbs up. Here's hoping Useless ID comes to North America sooner rather than later!
Interview With a Vegetarian Whose Band Toured Israel and Released a Split Album With Useless ID (August 2008)
I Met My One True Love in Israel, and Its Name Is Falafel (June 2007)
Vegetarian Jewish Punk Rockers (September 2006)