'Music Can Still Change the Way We Live'

Photo by: Adi Khavous

Punk Rock Champions 'Useless ID' Are Unstoppable. With a New Raging Album, 'State Is Burning', the Band Sounds Stronger Than Ever. 'We're a Punk Rock Family', Says Singer Yotam Ben Horin, 'I Can't Imagine Life Without Useless ID'

For the past 20 years, Useless ID has been unstoppable, and punk rock fans can be sure that band will continue to be so. Four years after their latest album, ’Symptoms’, the Punk Rock champions are releasing ‘State is Burning’, a very different album from all their previous creations. 

Described best on Fat Wreck Chords’ (The mighty punk label) site, Useless ID’s new album “marks the band’s return to fast, energetic, galloping, youthful punk rock—hardcore punk rock—the music they originally fell in love with and what formed the basis for starting the band in the first place.” 

The band will launch the album with a special show at their hometown of Tel Aviv, playing the Barby Club on June 30. They will later embark on a new European tour, playing with Lagwagon & Versus The World. Follow their dates on the Fat Wreck site.

“The creative process around the new album was a bit different”, Says Songwriter/Singer/Bassist Yotam Ben Horin in special interview to utab Magazine, “With ‘Symptoms’, I pretty much wrote 12 very personal songs, we jammed on them and went in and recorded. With this one, we decided to write as many songs as possible and this time we all wrote together. I went over some demos with Guy Carmel (Guitarist) and he would have ideas, some tunes I wrote by Jamming with Gideon Berger (Drummer). Ishay Berger (Guitarist) brought in a few tunes, we all wrote our own parts. Songs weren't demoed this time either, just ideas recorded acoustically on an iPhone so we wound up with 60 songs, narrowed it down to the best 18 at the studio and from there to the 15 that are on the record. It took quite a while to get to a point where we're all satisfied with everything and that's why to me ‘State is burning’ is a very special album."

Without a doubt, the new album is a straight up political album, filled with rage and a call for change, what were the first feelings that made you want to write these lyrics? 

“I think I speak for all of us when I say that we didn't want another album centred around my personal life again, I got my solo stuff for that”, He laughs, “So much has been going on in Israel these past few years that even as a citizen who normally decided to stray away from politics -  I had no choice. 

Photo by Adi Khavous

״It reached where most days I just find it hard to exist as a happy person in this place, with so many personal scars that you get from living in fear or even being a part of the draining rat race we're all drawn into, you start to question: ‘Where is all your time going? Am I truly living the life I want to live right now? Should I be somewhere else?’, I think most of the theme of this album is to open up the minds of others that it's ok to think outside the box and change shit up, why else are we living?”

Do you think that music still has power to change the way we live? 

“I absolutely do. Most of the early 80's hardcore albums like ‘Minor Threat’, ‘Dag Nasty’ and ’Bad Brains’ shaped my personality. I’d be honoured if someone will remember this record a few years down the line as the game changer.”

After all these years of Useless ID, what would you say is the main thing that keeps you guys together and working?

“The music. We all love each other, we love punk rock, we love touring, recording at The Blasting Room, meeting new people, and we don't want to play anything other than this style (Even though we tried a few times and ended up not playing it live). We're a punk rock family that's used to being on the road half the time and the other half at home. I don't think I can imagine life without Useless ID.” 

You've been touring constantly by yourself, traveling the world with your guitar. Would you say you are addicted to road life? And what is the most important thing you gain from those long days on the road?

“I think the road just made me fearless cause I've been through some dangerous times out there alone like picking up two sketchy hikers in Texas and driving them around. They could've kidnapped me and no one would know. I guess it's something that my soul needed and probably still does, to live in complete freedom with no barriers, jobs or anything holding me back. I'm not saying this is for everyone but for me -  I'm much happier this way and more excited than ever. There are new albums in the works. The most important thing I've gained from those long drives is that I made myself deal with all the insecurities I once had, and question everything about me inside and out. Reflecting on who I was and who I became, where I got lost and where I got found. This has nothing to do with religion or anything, just reaching a place where you're complete with what you've accomplished and who you turned out to be. And I wouldn't change a thing.”