Levi/Werstler Was a Sort of Homecoming for Guitarist Eyal Levi
“This opportunity was something that I couldn’t turn down. Since I was young, I wanted to put out multiple recordings under different names, different sounds, different genres.” guitarist Eyal Levi told Noisecreep about the guitar focused side project Levi/Werstler. Joining Levi on this prog instrumental journey is fellow Daath guitarist Emil Werstler.
“I’ve written music for other artists. I produce, and I’ve always wanted to get to write stuff outside of the band. I’ve always said what I’m known for is the band, but it just happens to be the first thing that I did that got recognized. It’s always been something important to me, despite how full-time the band can get, to not lose sight of the fact that Daath is not the only thing that I do.”
Enter Levi/Werstler, something very different from the thundering big-stage sound of Daath. But Levi contends that the project didn’t come out of a conversation based around just trying to do something different than the day job. “It developed into reality,” he points out.
A little over a year ago, Magna Carta Records sent the two a track with melodies intact and some brief solos to be finished for the compilation album ‘Guitars That Ate My Brain,’ that Guns N’ Roses axeman Bumblefoot produced and compiled. “Emil and I were underwhelmed by the melodies. Basically we have never been the dudes into soloing for the sake of soloing. When you put on a stock shred record and it’s basically a 50-minute-long wank session, that’s not what were into or about.”
The two felt uneasy adding to a song they didn’t have more of their hands and guitar work in, so they asked if they could pull the melodies and rewrite them. “The rhythms, the drums and the bass were there, but everything besides that we did,” Levi explained. “We felt it was something we could be proud of, and the label called us up immediately wanting to do this solo project thing.” And with that the work on ‘Avalanche of Worms’ began.
Though Levi/Werstler is prog in its basic sound, with swirling guitars and the added percussion of Cynic drummer Sean Reinert, the entire album is grounded in not loosing itself to layers of musical one-upmanship, which bores anyone who doesn’t talk gear. “Too many layers for the sake of layers is the same thing as too many solos for the sake of solos,” Levi asserted. “Every layer has to have a purpose physically and have some sort of a function or else it’s just wasting your time.”
For Levi though, this album was a chance to escape writing music around riffs. “I have a harder time seeing riffs than I do seeing soundscapes.” he explained of his writing process that tends to be more orchestral in nature. “The riff is not my natural thing. That’s why I felt so at home doing this record and happy to do it.”